We’ve all come across it before, a sometimes uncanny resemblance between a dog and its owner. You might wonder if your mind is playing tricks on you. Are you merely seeing what you want to see or did this dog’s owner purposely pick his pet to look like his very own fur-child?
Personality goes a long way when it comes to choosing your pet, and it’s been said that you don’t pick your pet – your pet picks you. But do we really choose dogs that look just like us? What does this often-seen similarity actually mean?
They say the best form of flattery is imitation, but I can’t seem to figure out who is imitating who here. Either way, these two found each other and they were obviously meant to be.
Studies show that how we pick our pets tells a deeper story. It’s called familiarity. As humans, we gravitate toward what we know. It prompts a positive feeling. This theory holds true with how we pick our dogs.
The key component of comparison are similarities around the face. We’re likely to respond to animals whose general features are familiar to our own. Sometimes it’s the shape or spacing of the eyes, the length of the nose or the size of the mouth. Sometimes it’s even in the hair. People with longer hair tend to prefer dogs with long ears like spaniels. Those with shorter hair seem to prefer dogs like Huskies with shorter ears.
The similarities between dogs and their people are more apparent between purebred dogs and their human counterparts than with mixed breeds that may be harder to match with their owners.
This photo captures a perfect example of “man’s best friend.” The scene looks like three best friends drinking coffee and doing each other’s hair.
Familiarity can also correlate to those closest to us, such as family members, friends and significant others. Some theories say that it’s more comforting if your dog resembles people you know and love rather than yourself. Some psychologists even believe that we pick our dogs like we pick our mates – we’ve evolved into seeking out others whose genes are compatible to our own. It seems only natural to choose the way biology intended when you’re looking for your fur companion in life.
Another theory is based on personality. The relationship we have with our furry friends suggests that human traits can parallel those of our four-legged companions. The Big Five Personality Test, which tackles the five major factors of personality, might be another indication why we choose the way we do.
The broad personality traits described by the theory are extraversion, agreeableness, openness, conscientiousness and neuroticism. Certain behaviors like excitability, affection, good impulse control, anxiety and being adventurous can all influence your decisions. If behavior involves an interaction between a person’s underlying personality and situational variables, this theory is one that just might hold the answers.
These fun photos tell of the bond we share with our four-legged friends. Whether they look like us, resemble a loved one or act like us, the most important thing is that they love us and we love them. They not only teach us more about who we are, but they give us an opportunity to seek out the best in ourselves and each other. Plus, they make us happy.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, this one says it all. The most beautiful thing about a smile is, of course, the feeling behind it. These two are the perfect pair – happy and happier.
(0 of 1)