Do you look like your dog?

Or did you choose your dog breed (without realising it) because it shares similar physical traits to you?

Psychologist Nicholas Christenfeld of the University of California, San Diego and his team took pictures of dogs and their owners. They then showed the pictures to other people, and asked them to match them back up. 

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Christenfeld’s findings were interesting, he talks about them below.

‘The finding was that with purebred dogs, they could do it above chance. Not perfectly, but significantly better than chance. Whereas with mutts they were just at chance, they couldn’t tell better than flipping a coin which mutt went with which owner’.

Why the difference? Well, Christenfeld says that while mutts are often adopted on impulse, or through friends, purebreds are carefully selected for predictable traits. And humans are naturally drawn to animals who look—and act—like they do.

Christenfeld talks about his findings:
‘And looking at pictures of the matches it really does suggest those sorts of things are happening. We have one picture of a guy with shaggy hair and a goofy grin, and his dog in fact is a retriever, and it’s got the same shaggy hair and exactly the same goofy grin, and it’s this combination of style and appearance. 

But he says we shouldn’t be too surprised. Studies show that we also tend to resemble our human companions. 

If you need more persuading check out these images of dogs and their owners from Photographer Sebastian Magnani project ‘Underdog’.

dogs owners 3 dogs owners 2 dogs and owners 1

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