Do dogs take after their owners?

Researchers at Michigan State University have discovered that dogs often take on the same personality traits as their owner. The study revealed that dogs are like humans in that they have personalities that are shaped over time.

Although your pet and you don’t actually have the same genetics, if you chose your pet, there’s a chance that your dog or cat looks a lot like you.

Is your pet similar to you? This is one of those nature vs. nurture questions, with a twist. While it’s unlikely that your pet and you are genetically related, if you chose him (rather than having him given to you by chance), it’s possible that you chose a dog or cat that is somewhat similar to you. It’s also possible that over time, regardless of how you got your pet, your personalities have gotten closer to each other. You share some personality traits.

Midnight, a mixed breed, seemed to be the most slothful of the litter as he napped while his siblings played. Although the mother and the two children who adopted him had very different personalities, the dog adopted the boy’s shaggy appearance and assertive personality. They were the only males, so perhaps the dog knew who needed him the most because the son was always having problems. Both Midnight and his male owner where intelligent, defiant risk-takers. Both tended to seek out their own adventures. Additionally, both appeared to have an angel on their backs as they both managed to survive potentially fatal accidents.

Personality Similarities Between Dogs and Their People

In a study published in Applied Animal Behaviour Science, researchers asked pet parents to rate themselves on five major personality dimensions (as well as on corresponding personality traits of dogs). “The Big Five,” as they’re referred to in the psychology community, are:

  • Neuroticism (a tendency towards feelings like anxiety and fear)
  • Extraversion
  • Conscientiousness
  • Agreeableness
  • Openness (level of creativity, curiosity and being open to new ideas)
  • Most pet owners said that they and their dogs share all five personality dimensions. Independent peers also evaluated the dog and human pairs to make sure the findings weren’t just pet parents’ projections. They received similar ratings from the independent peers in all areas with the exception of openness.

    Why Is Dog Personality Linked to Human Personality?

    One explanation why dog behavior and personality is so intertwined with that of their humans is a tendency for people to select animals who complement their own lives. A calm human will often choose a calm dog, or an anxious person will adopt a frightened dog, for example, says Jenn Fiendish, a veterinary behavior technician who runs Happy Power Behavior and Training in Portland, Oregon. She believes people do this on a subconscious level.

    “Twelve years ago, when my husband and I went to pick up our new puppy, I knew right away that I wanted the one who was more feisty, active, and a little afraid of things, which is much like my own personality. My husband picked the puppy that was the perfect fit for him: calm, laid-back, and unconcerned by anything. This also occurred with my other two dogs that we own. I chose both of them because they were independent and a little feisty (me again!). She claims that over time, the dogs have kept some of these character traits, and even strengthened them.

    Dr. Veterinary surgeon Patrick Mahaney is the proprietor of California Pet Acupuncture and Wellness (CPAW), Inc., based in Los Angeles. , claims that he has observed clients who appear to have neurotic tendencies favor energetic dogs. Such anxious owners appear to favor Weimaraners, Viszlas, herding dogs, and other breeds and breed mixtures that frequently benefited from their owners’ high levels of vigor. ”.

    It’s not surprising that dog personality has been influenced given that people and dogs have coexisted for at least 15 thousand years (scientists debate this timeline).

    According to Fiendish, dogs can detect and mimic human emotions. “Our dogs understand when a person is very anxious and frequently become anxious as well.” If the anxiety is persistent, the dog might also experience persistent anxiety, she says.

    Dr. Mahaney has witnessed this in his practice. “I have seen stressed-out owners of stressed-out pets, who then display behavior issues that may be related to the lack of calming energy in the home,” says the author. ”.

    Inappropriate urination and defecation, destructive tendencies, barking and howling, and decreased appetite are some of the behavioral issues he observes.

    Dogs are true empaths, says Dr. Lisa Pinn McFaddin, DVM, GDCVHM, CVSMT, CCOAC, CVA, CVFT, medical director at Independent Hill Veterinary Clinic in Manassas, Virginia, and host of a podcast called Vetsplaining. “They can sense minute physiologic changes in people and other animals and respond accordingly.”

    Dr. Smith continues, “The greater the response, the closer the human-animal relationship.” McFaddin. “Dogs frequently try to comfort and calm upset owners. Dogs may use subtle cues to communicate with people, such as by lying down next to them, placing their heads on their legs, making eye contact with them, or attempting to divert their attention with a toy. ”.

    They may share your mood

    If you’re happy, your dog is happy. Your dog will likely lie quietly by your side if you need to spend the day on the couch under a duvet because you’re feeling under the weather.

    This is based on science and a concept called “emotional contagion.” It is the phenomenon of social species sharing emotions when they are near one another. The science demonstrates that a dog will be more likely to be calm and confident if its owner is. On the other hand, if a parent is hyper or anxious, the dog will also likely exhibit these traits.


    Do pets take on owner’s personality?

    Numerous studies have shown that owners and pets often have similar personality traits. This phenomenon may be explained by the bonds that exist between people and their pets, or just by the fact that people are drawn to animals that they perceive to be like themselves.

    Do dogs take on your personality?

    Dogs learn to imitate their owners’ personality traits and behavior. While some people view their dogs as cute pets, others view them as members of their family. Regardless of how you define your bond with your dog, there’s a good chance that over time your personalities will jive.

    Are dogs really like their owners?

    Dogs really do love us unconditionally. Your dog follows you everywhere. Consider yourself loved if you feel as though you can’t walk through the house without your dog at your heels. Dogs cling to you for more than just security.

    Do dogs miss their owners when given away?

    It’s common for dogs to feel sad when a person they’ve developed a bond with is gone. Dogs do understand the emotional feeling of missing someone who is no longer a part of their daily lives, even though they may not fully comprehend the extent of human absence.