In my book Animality, How Pets and People Connect, I describe how we mirror our pets. We do this emotionally, physically, mentally, and even in our medical illnesses. As I interact with my clients I deliver diagnoses and often times my clients tell me “Oh, I have that too.” Its not a coincidence. A recent study published by the Journal of Research in Personality shows dog personality traits share similar characteristics to that of human personality.
Researchers at Michigan State University and lead author, William Chopik, PhD, MS, surveyed more than 1600 dog owners. The survey looked into 3 major areas: chronic health problems, biting history and relationship quality. Their findings showed dogs’ personalities can change when their owners’ personality changes. Researches stated that they expected dog personality traits to stay stable if their owners changed, they found the opposite. Not surprising, our dogs are here to teach us lessons, if we learn them, the dogs are much more likely to roll with the punches. I find that our dogs are much more resilient to change than we are!
Instead of looking at it as our dogs’ personalities are changing to fit the human, maybe its the human changing to fit the dog? Something to think about?
For more detailed information check out the article at AAHA: