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Do You Look Like Your Dog?

Do You Look Like Your Dog?

If you own a dog, chances, are he or she resembles you … Don’t deny it. Stand in front of a mirror with you and your pooch. What do you see?

What Are the Odds?

In a photo lineup of random people and random dogs, researchers were able to match pets to owners more often than not. For a while, researchers couldn’t quite put their finger on it. At first, they thought that guys went with larger breeds and women leaned toward smaller, fluffier pets. Or maybe long-haired females preferred droopy-eared dogs. Some thought the physical connection was tied to weight—obese owners tending to overfeed their animals—hence, heavier dogs to heavier people. But these matching characteristics failed to explain why people looked like their dogs. Why are people were able to match owners and their dogs simply by facial appearance.

We Like Dogs that Look Like Us

Science suggests that if the general features of a dog’s face resemble the general features of our own face, the dog is more endearing to us. In an article for Psychology Today, Stanley Coren, a psychology professor at the University of British Columbia, notes that since we are so familiar with our own facial characteristics, we look for that in our pets. To back this up, Michael Roy and Nicholas Christenfeld, psychologists from the University of California at San Diego, photographed 45 dogs (25 purebreds and 22 mongrels) and their owners, separately. The photos were shown to 28 volunteers, who were able to correctly match purebred dogs with their owners in about two thirds of the cases.

Mixed Breeds, Not So Much

Researchers found no link between the appearance of mixed-breeds and their owners. While 16 of the 25 pure-breds were correctly paired with their owners, only seven of the 20 mongrels were matched. Researchers blamed this on the fact that purebreds are usually picked based on how they will look as fully grown pets; those who pick mutts pick their pet based on how they appear when they buy or adopt them — and those dogs will change as they grow into maturity.

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Read more: Behavior & Communication, Dogs, Humor & Inspiration, Pets, , , , , , ,

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Alex A. Kecskes

As owner/president of AK CreativeWorks, Alex A. Kecskes is a national award-winning writer/blogger/journalist who has written over 2,000 published articles on health/fitness, "green" issues, careers, consumer tech, arts/entertainment and many other topics. He also writes web content, ads, brochures, sales letters, mailers and scripts for national B2B and B2C clients. Follow Alex on twitter at https://twitter.com/TopWordsmith.

75 comments

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8:39PM PDT on Sep 11, 2014

Fun! Too bad the matching pictures weren't included!

4:38AM PDT on Sep 11, 2014

Thank you

1:35AM PDT on Sep 8, 2014

interesting article

12:24AM PDT on Sep 7, 2014

It certainly looks that way at times.

4:23PM PDT on Sep 6, 2014

I look like my cats, it's hard 2 tell us a part.

9:53AM PDT on Sep 5, 2014

I'm sure some people do and have actually seen it. Funny thing is often times people will resemble their pets more than their partners or spouses (if they have them).

8:21AM PDT on Sep 5, 2014

Don't you kinda wonder about causality, here?

What kind of people buy pedigreed dogs these days, anyway? People looking for a specific accessory, perhaps, rather than a companion?

In other words, maybe buying a particular breed of dog is something that narcissists do, while people who regard dogs as living beings, not accessories, adopt them. That in itself could explain why purchased dogs look like their owners and rescue dogs do not.

I wish I looked like my dogs! They don't resemble each other, or me, at all, but boy, are they beautiful!

2:58AM PDT on Sep 4, 2014

Thank you :)

6:35PM PDT on Sep 3, 2014

I prefer mutts for the most part, (not that most dogs and cats are just plain adorable)... but going with the supposition in the article... it could be that I prefer mutts because, as my grandparents used to say... "we're heinz 57"...

(which I always took to mean that as we crossed Europe and headed for America, "our people were doin' everybody!" [hopefully happily so!]).

:D

4:37PM PDT on Sep 3, 2014

I have 5 dogs, 2 males and 3 females. Altogether I've owned 13 dogs. Most are rescues and most were/are purebreds! I look very similar to probably my female chihuahua. I'm tiny, have a pointy little chin, big ears, big eyes and I'm very white with reddish tan hair. LuLuBelle is white with reddish tan spots:) I'm sure if I had been part of the test group, I'd be easily matched to LuLuBelle!💕🐾

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