Published April 26, 2013
Not only does your neighbor George bear a striking resemblance to his bulldog Barry, but chances are, their resemblance is more than skin deep. Turns out that pet owners may also share their dogs' personalities, according to new research.
Researchers from Bath Spa University in England surveyed 1,000 dog owners to determine their personality types. Based on their answers, pet owners were categorized into one or more of these five personality types: extroverted, agreeable, conscientious, emotionally stable, and intelligent and creative.
Researchers then drew connections between owners' personality types and what kind of dog they owned. (Does your dog never listen to you? It’s probably not his personality—it’s how he’s been trained. Check out these three tips to fix less-than-perfect pooch behavior.
Here’s what your dog’s breed may be saying about your personality:
1. Toy dogs (Chihuahuas, Yorkies, Poodles, and Pugs): Though Chihuahua-toting Hollywood starlets may not be the first group you’d think of as being the sharpest crayons in the box, people who own toy dogs are more likely to be intelligent. They also earn high marks for being creative. (Boost your already high brain power with these free brain games that make you smarter.)
2. Pastoral pooches (German Shepherds, Collies, and Corgis): If you share your bed with a border Collie, you’ve likely never met a crowd you weren’t comfortable in, you classic extrovert, you.
3. Gun dogs (Irish Setters, Golden Retrievers, and Spaniels): You and your pooch are happy watching a movie, taking a walk, and really just doing whatever the day dictates—it doesn’t get more agreeable than gun dog owners.
4. Utility dogs (Dalmatians, Bulldogs, and Bishon Frises): The fact that George never fails to scoop up Barry's poop isn’t a mere coincidence: People with utility dogs come out on top for being conscientious. (Just don’t forget about yourself when you’re always caring for others. Find out Are You Nice Enough To You?)
5. Terriers (Jack Russells, Carin Terriers, and Miniature Schnauzers): Now don’t take this the wrong way, but owners of terriers were shown to be—how can we put this delicately—rather low on the emotional stability scale. On the plus side, you’ve got a super-cute companion to help you through any funks.
6. Working dogs (Boxers, Rottweilers, and Great Danes):
Anyone with a Great Dane as a roommate would have to be easygoing and clever to make things work without getting claustrophobic. Not surprisingly, working dog owners are agreeable and intelligent.
7. Hounds (Beagles, Basset Hounds, Greyhounds, and Dachshunds):
Even if you ain’t nothing but a hound dog, good news: Hound dog owners are emotionally stable.
The connection between an owner’s personality and the type of pooch she owns may be due to the simple fact that certain personality types are more attracted to certain breeds, says study author Lance Workman.
Regardless, the next time you feel like no one understands you, look no further than your four-legged pal: He totally gets you.
Bonus: New research also shows that he can heal you, too! Click here to discover The Healing Power of Pets.