The University Of Michigan Psychology Department looked at 1,600 dogs, males and females, fifty different breeds between weeks old and 15 years, and asked their owners about the pets’ personalities and their own.Sometimes, there isn’t a lot of difference, the researchers confirmed.
Dogs pick up on their owners’ personality traits and become more like their human the closer their bond.
Pet health expert Lauriston Crockett says the fact was played to good effect in a 1997 movie starring Jack Nicholson called “As Good As It Gets,” in which a very neurotic OCD Nicholson, who superstitiously avoided sidewalk cracks, is charged with babysitting a neighbor’s unwelcome dog. “By the end of the movie the dog wouldn’t even step on a crack.The same thing happens with our pets.”
The University’s canine study saw correlations between the dogs and their owners in three areas: human-to-dog personality similarities, age and personality, and the quality of an owner's relationship to their dog having an influence on the dog's personality.The longer the relationship endures, and the closer it grows, the more the similarities are manifest.
Crocket points out our similarities are often set based on the choices owners make.“Sometimes we end up picking up the pets that will match our lifestyle.So if you’re a little more sedentary than you’ll get a dog that’s a little bit chunkier and a little bit calmer.If you’re an athlete you’ll probably pick a dog like that.”