Every morning when I leave the house to take my youngest to school, I have about a two mile drive to the gate at 25 MPH, or thereabouts anyway. It’s really hard to drive 25. Anyway, every morning, since I’m going so slowly, I am treated to a show–Lookalikes On Parade. They travel in pairs, one is holding the leash, and the other is peeing on the grass. That’s right! I’m talking about people and their dogs. And it’s my personal observation, totally unscientific of course, that people who get dogs do tend to choose a pet that looks a lot like them. Not exactly, mind you, because how much alike can a canine and a human really look? A LOT, if you ask me!
If you think you look like your dog, there’s even a contest the two of you can enter: Do You Look Like Your Dog?
And, there’s science behind it too…
“Researchers at Bath Spa University in the U.K. asked 70 people who didn’t have dogs to match pictures of 41 canine keepers to one of three breeds of dogs: poodle, labrador or Staffordshire bull terrier. The guessers correctly matched dog breeds to owners 50 to 60 percent of the time…”
“In 2004, researchers in San Diego found that subjects in a study were able to correctly match pictures of dog owners with their pets more often than not, but only when the dogs were purebreds. Simple traits like hair and size played a smaller role than things like facial expressions”.
“Also in 2004, a psychologist at the University of South Carolina challenged the findings in a separate study, pointing out flaws in the study designs. When the San Diego researchers countered with a reanalysis that confirmed their initial findings, the debate seemed to be at a standstill”.
Some researchers seemed to conclude that if people do choose pets that look like them, it’s likely because of a preference for the familiar, and the comfort that brings. Either that, or people are likely to choose a companion that mirrors their own traits, physical and otherwise.
As the debate rages on…and we let the scientists duke it out, I think I’ll stick to what I know to be true–people do pick dogs that look like them! Just look around you for plenty of anecdotal evidence! In the meantime, whether you and your dog look like you were separated at birth or not, take a little time today to appreciate all of the joy that your best friend brings to your life…
The canines in my life…A Music Video
And please, if you’re in the market for a new addition to the family, consider adoption and rescue first! There are so many animals in need of good homes…Find One Here: Adopt A Pet