How alike our pets are we: Similarities between pets and their owners

Image - Woman and dog:PxHere

It’s happened to more than one of us, that a friend has told us that we seem like our dog. Often we can observe similarities between pets and their owners, in their expressions and their behaviour.

Various experiments carried out by psychologist Sadahiko Nakajima at the University of Kwansei Gakuin suggest that these observations may have more voracity than we first realised.

In one study, Nakajima had a group of people pair images of dogs with their owners. The only clue that they had were the physical facial features of the pets and the people in the photos. Subjects were presented with 20 pairs of black and white, same size images of a human and a dog. Surprisingly, many of the subjects correctly paired the images.

But, why should there be similarities between pets and owners?

Some investigations suggest that humans subconsciously choose a pet with the same psychological traits and similar habits as them. Psychologist Carmen Castro explains that if we are a calm person, we are more likely to choose a calm, non-aggressive breed of dog.

Other studies have related human beings to the type of animal they choose as a pet. Accordingly, dog owners tend to be more open, caring and spontaneous, whereas cat owners are usually more perceptive, emotional and independent.

Further investigations suggest that pets and their owners acquire a similar personality to their owners through imitation. Juan Moreno, an investigator at the museum of natural sciences in Madrid says that animals like dogs attach themselves to whoever raises them and tend to imitate their leaders. Perhaps then it is not so strange that animals adopt the behaviour and expressions of their owners in this way.

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Image - Annie Dabb
Written by

Annie Dabb

From Newcastle originally, Annie is based in Manchester and is a writer for the Euro Weekly News covering news and features. Got a story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]