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Like dog, like owner

Do you have a doggy doppelganger? It’s well known that people tend to choose dogs that look like them.

It’s no surprise to see an Afghan Hound trotting alongside an elegant woman with long flowing locks or to spot an English bulldog scowling at the feet of a Churchill lookalike.

There’s even science to back up this phenomenon. Research from the University of California proves that, yes indeed, people do like a pet who resembles them.

Canine character traits

But does the same apply to character? With humans, the saying that ‘The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree’ often rings true. So does your dog reflect your personality? Or could it even be the case that we shape our dog’s character by the way we train them and bring them up?

Recent research from Michigan State University revealed some fascinating insights. It found that extroverts rated their dogs as excitable and active, conscientious owners said that their dogs were responsive to training, and neurotic owners were more likely to report that their dogs were fearful.

Why do dogs reflect their owners?Why should this be? It could be because:

  • We choose a dog that fits our lifestyle. If your idea of bliss is a quick burst of activity followed by a luxurious spell on the sofa, it’s no accident if you opt for a greyhound as your perfect companion.
  • Dogs pick up on our moods. Dogs have evolved to rely on humans, so it’s in their interest to interpret our emotions so they can interact with us more effectively (and get their paws on that treat they’ve sniffed out).
  • Over time, dogs learn what to expect from us, so they adapt their behaviour to match our energy level and enthusiasm for a particular activity. Whether it’s fishing, forest bathing or watching a film, if you love it, chances are your dog will love it too.

Signs that you and your pooch are in sync

Here are five signs that show that you and your dog are perfectly aligned.

1. You’re equally sociable

Dogs socialising in the park

Have you ever noticed that dogs and their owners are often well matched in terms of sociability? The dog who races over to sniff and play with your dog is most likely to be accompanied by an outgoing human who can’t wait to chat. Meanwhile, introspective walkers tend to have dogs who are less interested in playing with other pooches.

Find out whether you’re an introvert or extrovert dog walker here in our quiz – What kind of dog walker are you?

2.Your body clocks are in tune

Do you and your pooch both bound out of bed at the same time each morning, ready to greet the day? Or perhaps both of you get a sudden burst of energy in the evening, and have itchy feet / paws until you’ve had one final walk.

To be honest, most of the dogs we know are morning people rather than night owls. Although some breeds are renowned for their ability to snooze. Basset Hounds love to catch 40 winks and there’s a reason why Cavalier King Spaniels are known as the original lap dogs.

On a more serious note, if you suddenly notice that your dog no longer leaps out of their bed in the morning or has trouble getting up after a rest, it might be a sign of joint issues. If so, try YuMOVE, the UK’s No.1 veterinary joint supplement brand.

3.You’re as messy as each other

Humans tend to get along better if they have a similar tolerance of mess, and the same could be said of our relationship with our canine best friends.

If you’re a neat freak who colour co-ordinates your bookshelves and never has any sweet wrappers in your car door, you’re best off with a pooch who shares your love of order. Or, more likely, one who’s happy to learn how to put their toys away.

Meanwhile, people with a rather more tolerant attitude towards untidiness will be happy with a dog that likes to add colour, interest and surprise to every corner of the house with their discarded toys, blankets and chews.

4.You have the same attitude towards guests

How do you and your dog react when the doorbell goes? Do you both rush towards the door or are you more inclined to slink away and hide?

If you and your pooch are both on the extrovert side, you’ll both be delighted when people turn up at the house. If the two of you are more reserved, at least both of you can tiptoe off to a quiet corner together and enjoy each other’s company until the last of the guests have gone.

If you think your dog is anxious, rather than simply being a bit on the shy side, try YuCALM. This clever combination of anxiety-busting ingredients helps stressed or nervous dogs by supporting natural calming pathways in the brain.

5.You have a similar appetite for exercise

Surfer with his dog

All dog owners want to give their dog the right amount of exercise, but it makes life a lot easier if you choose a pooch who matches your level of enthusiasm for burning off excess energy.

If you’re happy with a short stretch of the legs every day, try a tiny breed such as the Chihuahua, a lapdog like a Pekingese, or a Saluki - which will love to keep you company on the sofa.

If you like a good walk, a Cocker Spaniel, Golden Retriever or West Highland White Terrier will enjoy keeping up the pace with you.

And if you’re after a proper yomp up and down distant hills, your perfect hiking companion is a breed such as a Border Collie, Irish Setter or Vizsla.

Which breed are you?

If you were a dog, which breed would you be? Do you secretly see yourself as a sleek Weimaraner? Or perhaps you think you could have been a Bichon Frise in another life.

Discover the breed that you most resemble by uploading your picture to What breed is that dog?. The app was originally developed to identify dog breeds, but people have been happily uploading pictures of themselves instead. You might find the character descriptions surprisingly insightful too.

Do share what you discover with us on Facebook or Instagram.

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