Have you ever noticed that dogs and their owners can start to look a lot like each other? It may start as simply as sharing the same hair color but over time, they might take on each other’s mannerisms and even begin walking in an a similar fashion. We were curious to see if there might be more to the canine-human relationship than meets the eye.
In 2012, Bath Spa University in the United Kingdom presented their findings from a 1,000 dog owner survey to the British Psychological Society. The study revealed that people are “subconsciously drawn towards different types of dogs based on their characteristic personalities”. They were tested on the “Big Five” traits: extroversion, agreeableness, emotional stability, conscientiousness, and intelligence. Among the surprising trends they found, the most significant was that there was a strong correlation between the owners of each of the seven breed groups and their personalities. Depending on what kind of dog you may have snuggling up to you right now, let’s see if you agree!
1. Pastoral Pups
Collies, Sheepdogs, Heelers, and Corgis fall into this category, and these dogs are very high on extroversion, are eager to please and enjoy having a task or job. They’re curious, agile, hard-working, friendly, and considered the social butterflies of the doggy world. These pups are highly intellectual and enjoy being challenged mentally with games and tasks. Owners tend to be just as active, and the two can be seen participating in many outdoor activities that require focus and agility. These pups live to please their owners and they’ll literally bend over backwards to make sure their pup parents are happy. Responsible owners of these Pastoral pups are highly devoted, encouraging, patient and willing to go the extra mile with and for their pooches.
2. Sporting/Gun Pups
Labradors, Retrievers, Spaniels, and Setters are a part of this laid-back, happy-go-lucky bunch. They are highly agreeable, which means that they are great at making others feel comfortable and cared for. It’s pretty difficult to bring these dogs down, and they’re always enthusiastic, whether their morning plans involve staying in bed or playing tag at the beach. Owners of these dogs tend to be easy-going and adaptable to different social situations which makes these two a perfect pair to invite to your next backyard barbecue.
3. Hound Pups
Beagles, Bassett Hounds, Greyhounds, Dachshunds round out this cool and collected group. They’re consistent, and they work well under pressure and they also know how to goof around a bit. They’re considered the most emotionally stable out of all the other breeds which means they’re calm companions that you can rely on. Even when these pups are sent on Vacay with local pet sitters, they exhibit noticeably lower levels of separation anxiety than many other types of dogs because of their ability to keep their cool. You probably won’t find a hound-and-owner combo who are bogged down by stress and anxiety. These guys have got it all under control!
4. Terrier Pups
Jack Russells, Bull Terriers, and Staffordshire Bull Terriers are a few of the breeds that make up this lively pack of pooches. Though it’s undeniable that these dogs are adorable and affectionate, they can also be a little low on emotional stability. These highly energetic breeds need quite a bit of attention and can be social with people they know well. Among the “Big Five” traits, owners of Terriers didn’t rank high in any particular one and are across the board the “Jack of all Trades”. Whether you’re a dog owner or a dog sitter, people of all personalities seem to be drawn to these fun-loving pups.
5. Utility/Non-Sporting Pups
Owners of utility dogs, which include Bulldogs, Shar-Peis, Chow Chows, and Poodles, are ranked the highest in being conscientious. They work hard, are meticulous in their decisions, and are extroverted. Those who fall under this category have a dignified demeanor, which is often misinterpreted as aloofness. Schedules and order are thrilling to them which means they tend to have owners or pet sitters who know how to set a good structure for them and are firm yet sweet! Owners of these breeds also work hard to bring out the best in these loyal pooches by engaging them in fun tasks and lovingly setting good boundaries for them.
6. Toy Pups
Thanks to celebrities with tiny dogs in their purses, you’re probably familiar with Chihuahuas, Yorkies, and Pugs, a few of the breeds that make up the Toy group. They’re definitely agreeable, friendly, and are more open to new experiences than other groups but they can be a bit protective and stubborn. Pups in the Toy group were actually found to be more intelligent than they were previously perceived to be. This means that Toy breeds and their owners shouldn’t be underestimated! They are highly confident, aware of their needs, open to fun new experiences and they don’t back down easily.
7. Working Pups
Great Danes, Rottweilers, and Boxers belong to the Working group, a very agreeable, active and intelligent bunch. They’re always in search of new fun activities and owners of these breeds need to be creative enough to come up with interesting tasks for these fast-learning pooches. Working pups enjoy new experiences and approach them with limitless exuberance that a smart owner knows how to harness. These pups love being around people and require a lot of love and attention to keep their confidence levels high. The loyal nature of these pups ensures that the bond between Working dog breeds and their owners is second to none.
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Written by Caroline Park