Updated: Oct 3
You might know canines and individuals whose personalities are perfect representations of one another. An example might include a calm pet parent with a similarly smooth little guy or a friendly pet parent with a canine who welcomes everybody with wet kisses. It’s a common thought that dog personalities are influenced by their owners.
Researchers say that canine character is undoubtedly connected to human character. In any case, how comparable is a canine's character to their guardian? Is the human-creature bond strong enough so a canine can take on character qualities from their owners and the other way around? Let’s take a look!
A paper distributed in the Journal of Research in Personality said a canine's character mirrors the character of its owners. It additionally explains that canines experience character changes like people throughout their lives.
Two specialists from Michigan State University reviewed the owners of 1,600 canines, covering 50 unique breeds. The canines were divided among males and females, and their ages crossed from puppies to grown-up canines. The owners addressed inquiries concerning themselves, as well as inquiries regarding their pets' characters and conduct history.
The overview uncovered that canine characters aren't firmly established from birth. Instead, dogs' characters change as they age and are impacted by their ways of life and encounters. Hence why so many dogs have a similar personalities to their owners.
Personality Parallels Between Dogs and Their Owners
Scientists requested that pet guardians rate themselves on five significant character aspects (as well as on relating character qualities of canines). "The Big Five," as they're alluded to in the brain research community, are:
Neuroticism (a propensity towards sentiments like tension and dread)
Transparency (level of inventiveness, interest, and being available to novel thoughts)
Pet guardians overwhelmingly answered they share each of the five character aspects with their canines. The outcomes weren't projections by pet guardians, and they also evaluated the canine and human couples. The companions also concluded them as sharing every one of the aspects, except transparency.
Why Is Dog Personality Connected to Human Personality?
One clarification of why dog personalities are so interwoven with that of their owner is a tendency for individuals to choose pets who mirror their own lives. For example, a quiet human will frequently pick a quiet canine, or a restless individual will take on a scared canine.
It’s a point that people gravitate toward things that interest them or share a commonality with themselves. The same can be said with the movies, music, and art a person enjoys. It’s a way for someone to see themselves in something, even if it’s not apparent. Thus, many people adopt a dog that’s most similar to themselves.
Dog Emotions and Human Emotions
Since individuals and puppies have shared a relationship for no less than 15,000 years, it’s not surprising that dog personalities are impacted. Some believe that dogs carry an ability to read and match human emotions.
That’s part of why your dog will seem down or happy, depending on how you feel. If you talk to your dog in a happy voice, your dog will similarly react to you. If you’re crying or upset, your dog will carry that face.
The same can be said with any emotion, making dogs fall under that empath category. Furthermore, it’s pervasive for dogs who live in stressful households to exhibit behavior problems that are connected to stressed individuals.
Can a Dog’s Personality Rub Off on Humans?
Although it’s more prevalent for a dog to gain its personality from their owners, sometimes the other case is true. For example, if you’ve had a bad day, you most likely have gone to your dog for comfort. The happiness and overjoy of your dog can cause your mood to switch and get you back on track. There are many examples of owners who turn to their pets for happiness.
The same can be said with owners with sick dogs who are anxious or upset about their health. Feeling helpless, the owner may feel stressed that they can’t get their dog to feel how it once did. On the flip side, the dog is most likely stressed and upset because they don’t feel good; hence, dog personalities can rub off on humans in these circumstances.
Does Breed Matter?
In that same study, nothing was found related to breeds. While over 50 breeds were in the study, some breeds were more popular than others. Hence, it was challenging to highlight any traits in the breeds. Therefore, it doesn’t necessarily mean there isn’t a link. All it means is no connecting link.
Still, the same study highlighted other studies showcasing some of a dog’s behavior in their DNA. Spayed/neutered dogs are less likely to be fearful and aggressive, but that’s not always the case. Much of it goes back to their living situation and how their life influences their makeup.
Lastly, many highlight how obedience classes and training can help a dog’s personality. These options are best if you’ve adopted an older dog and didn’t have the chance to raise them properly from a young age. However, it’s vital to pick the suitable classes and training that’s right for your dog.
In the end, dogs can pick up traits from their owners, just like people can pick up components from their life. Thus, you should provide the best possible life for your dog. Dogs are wonderful pets that deserve the most, and it’s our job to provide them with everything they want or need.
Nevertheless, visit us at Gateway Vet Centre if you need a vet in Edmonton. We’re open seven days a week and offer many services for dogs. As a locally-owned veterinary clinic, you can count on us to provide the latest, independent, and fair advice regarding your pet’s needs.