Pets and Animals science

Are Dogs Really Similar To Their Pet Parents?

black and white photo of woman and dog
Photo by Kevin Quezada on Unsplash

A lot of people wonder if personality traits come from the breed. This question is all over the Internet, with people offering their opinions. Whether their dog had the same personality traits as someone they know who has that particular breed. After conducting some research, it’s possible to make a general statement about how pooches and humans are alike in some ways. But completely different in many others.

Do dogs gain similar personalities as their owners?

dog sitting on table and looking at woman
Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Some people say that a dog’s personality is just like its owner’s. And there is little scientific evidence to support this. Recent research seems to show that it could be true. But the results are inconclusive. Dogs and their owners have been compared under various situations. The most popular comparison is based on the owner’s personality test results. But such a comparison could actually be biased by the observation of the dog and its behavior. Unlike humans, dogs do not read and write or take personality tests. But another evaluation has been done using a special device called a Canine Behavioral Assessment and Research Questionnaire (CBARQ).

The CBARQ consists of an owner taking an assessment on how the dog reacts in certain situations. And its scoring system is based on measuring responses to observing stimuli in many categories. Using the CBARQ, researchers examined owners’ attitudes towards dogs. When they were owners of domestic dogs and as non-owners or dog show participants.

The study involved 147 owners of domestic dogs and 77 dog show participants. The results showed a different pattern for both types of people. There was no significant difference between the owner’s and other people’s scores for the dog show participants. And their behavioral studies showed more commonalities between the pooch and its owner.

What personality traits do you share with your dog?

dog and girl doing yoga on mat
Photo by cottonbro from Pexels
According to another study published by Applied Animal Behaviour Science, asking pet parents to rate themselves on five major personality dimensions. Also, their dogs’ corresponding personality traits. Among these five are called “The Big Five” in psychology:
-Neuroticism (a tendency to fear and anxiety)
-Extrovertism Or Introvertism
-Ability to agree
-Ability to be creative and curious (level of openness to new ideas)
Pet parents overwhelmingly responded that they share the same characteristics with their puppies. To ensure that the results were not just a projection of pet parents. Independent peers also assessed the dog and human duos. They were also judged to be sharing all the dimensions except openness by their independent peers.

And do we also learn traits from our pooch?

dog with pink towel on head
Photo by Hayffield L on Unsplash

The truth is that most dog behavior is symbolic or learned from other doggos around them. Or humans and cannot simply be explained by genetics alone.

There is also a high similarity between the brains of dogs and humans. But only the parts of the brain that control emotions, particularly aggression, fear, fearfulness, and prey drive are common to both.

In humans and canines, one of the most common things we have in common is feeling empathy for others. That is why people who had a pooch growing up seem to be more generous. Then those who didn’t have a pet as a child.

We also use empathy to understand and cope with pain or threats. Maybe that’s why some children do not bite back when they are bitten by another child. Or would be far too slow to respond when teased or bullied.

Adults who have dogs are far more patient. They are also more trustworthy as well as responsible. People also find pet owners rather likable. They also believe that dog parents are generally more outgoing. They also have virtues like empathy, generosity, and thoughtfulness.

So it clarifies that humans do learn from dogs.

A bond of a doggo and pet parent is, therefore, mutually exclusive. You learn something from them. And your personality rubs off on them.