No wonder dogs are man's finest friend. A study finds that dogs and also their owners often develop similar personalities.


You may have actually heard the dogs and also their owner really do look alike. Now, brand-new research has presented that owners and also their pups often share personality traits, too.

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A paper, released in the Journal of research in Personality, says a dog’s personality reflects the personality of its owner. It additionally explains the dogs experience personality changes similar to how humans perform over the food of your lives.

Two researchers from Michigan State University surveyed the owners of 1,600 dogs, covering 50 various breeds. The canines were break-up closely between males and females, and also their ages spanned indigenous puppies to adult dogs. The owners answered questions around themselves, and questions around their pets’ personalities and also behavioral history. The inspection revealed that dog personalities aren’t collection in stone. Rather, dog personalities change as they thrive older and are affected by their lifestyles and also experiences.

“Just choose humans, dogs differ in your personalities. And also they have the right to potentially readjust over time. The dog you take house from the sanctuary isn’t the very same dog you’ll have actually 10 years from now,” claimed William Chopik, a psychology researcher and also lead author.

Your pup’s personality is responsible for an ext than just just how they behave in ~ the dog park, too. The researchers say it can predict necessary life outcomes, such together biting behavior and also chronic disease risk.

Doggy Doppelgangers

After parsing the data, the researchers uncovered an interesting tidbit: dog and also owner personalities regularly mirror each other. Energetic and outgoing civilization tended to have canine companions that behaved similarly. Dogs the were concerned or aggressive had actually owners the possessed more an unfavorable personality traits.

Chopik says human being probably pick dogs that match their lifestyles, or that mutual lifestyles can reason dog and human characters to meld over time. Owner projecting their individualities onto your dogs might seem choose a plausible explanation. But previous job-related cited through the study explains the friends or relatives often explain a dog’s personality comparable to how the owner does. So, owner predisposition probably doesn’t define why dogs often act favor their owners.

Old Dogs, brand-new Tricks?

If you think back to elementary school, you can remember encountering class clowns, bullies, and and awkward kids. The same personality dynamics are in ~ play in pup school, and they can influence learning. Owners reported that dogs with details traits are less complicated to train 보다 others. For instance, excitable and also happy dog are much easier to train, when fearful and anxious dog are much more challenging. Age was also strongly associated with trainability. Puppyhood come middle age is prime because that training. After ~ that, dogs become a bit set in your ways.

“It’s very hard to train a puppy. You have actually a difficult time maintaining their attention. Yet as lock age, it it s okay easier and also easier,” Chopik said. “But after period six, the doesn’t become easier. It becomes harder. The very first half the a dog’s life is really crucial if you desire to disclose them to training.”

Just together personality has actually been connected to condition risk in humans, part traits it seems to be ~ to help lower a dog’s risk of chronic illness, specifically age-related conditions. Dogs that are an ext active and excitable are much less likely to construct chronic illnesses favor hip dysplasia, blindness, deafness and also arthritis.

“Activity and excitability room probably correlated with BMI, and also there’s a lot of weight-related complications if her dog is overweight … that puts strain on your body, and that’s most likely a bad thing,” Chopik said, who added that masculine dogs additionally have a higher condition risk.

Does breed Matter? 

Chopik stated the examine was unable to spot any type of meaningful findings related to breed. While an ext than 50 each other participated in the study, some dog breeds to be far an ext popular 보다 others. The made it challenging to match traits to breeds. But that doesn’t median that breed isn’t a factor in a dog’s personality.

A current study found that dog behavior tendencies are distinct and also are rooted in your DNA. Chopik’s study, however, uncovered that purebred dogs were much less fearful and aggressive. Female dogs and dogs that were spayed/neutered were additionally less most likely to display fearful and also aggressive traits. Unfortunately, though, dogs that room prone to this traits will rarely totally outgrow them, the examine found.

But, no matter the dog, Chopik stated obedience classes and training deserve to go a long means toward helping a dog’s personality blossom.

“We discovered that dogs that were exposed to part training or obedience classes were much less aggressive, much less fearful and an ext active, excitable and also responsive to training,” the said.

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For many dog lovers, this study maybe validates what they’ve recognized all along: that dogs are complicated creatures that share a distinctive bond v their owners. Next, the team really hopes to increase on this work-related by digging deeper right into the various life occasions that deserve to transform a dog’s personality.