Study Finds Dogs Personalities Mirror Their Owners Over Time
As a pug owner, I've always known this but didn't realize it was true about other breeds too! When I first decided I wanted to adopt a pug, I bought a book all about pugs and having one as a pet. One section in the book always stood out to me for saying that your pug will begin to mimic their owners personality. It said if you're an active person who enjoys outdoor activities, so will your pug! And if you're a couch potato well, you'll have the perfect lazy bum to sit next to while you watch tv. As my bond with my dog grew, I started realizing this was probably true, since I swing between extremely active doing a million things at once, and laying in bed watching an entire season of a show on Netflix. There is now in-between for me or my dog Tubby. If I'm running around doing errands and outdoor things, he's right there with me ready for the next adventure, but if it's a stay in bed kind of day, he's cool with that too. Now, science has discovered that other breeds like to mirror their owners personalities just as much as the pug does!
The study out of Michigan State University found that just like a human's personality may change over time due to big life changes, the same can be said for a dog. Over the course of the study they looked at dogs between a few weeks old to 15 years, as well as 50 different dog breeds. The findings, published in the journal of Research in Psychology, found that the dogs mimicked owners personalities. Researchers believe the concept of "nature versus nature" comes into play in the relationship between a dog and its owner. Even if a dog was adopted from a shelter or moved from one home to another later in life, the dog would keep some basic instinct traits but also conform to their new environment. One of the most important aspects of the study showed the ideal age for training a dog- which was surprisingly older than most people would think. Researchers found that a six-year-old dog had outgrown the energetic stage of being puppy but were still young enough to not be set in its ways yet.