What Your Dog Says About You

Do you have a favorite dog breed? If so, here’s what your top pick reveals says about your personality traits. But remember that you may not have a favorite until you’ve lived with them all. I didn’t know I loved terriers until I adopted Georgie :-)

What Your Favorite Dog Breed Says About You

The source of the info about dog breeds and personality traits is Dogology: What Your Relationship with Your Dog Reveals about You by Vicki Croke and Sarah Wilson. It’s a great book for dog lovers – especially for Christmas or birthday gifts. It reveals how our behavior with our dogs reveals our personality traits, and how our favorite dog breeds reveal our personality strengths and weaknesses.

Before we go there, though – here’s an interesting bit of dog research from the University of Leicester: younger people who are disagreeable are more likely to prefer aggressive dogs, confirming the conventional wisdom that dogs match the personality of their owners. In the study, participants indicated their preference for different types of dogs, and filled in personality tests. The dogs were independently rated according to how aggressive people perceived them to be. Bull terriers were rated as most aggressive, followed by boxers; retrievers and cocker spaniels were seen as least aggressive.

The researchers found that certain personality factors indicated a preference for dogs perceived to be more aggressive. Low agreeableness and higher conscientiousness were related to a preference for aggressive dog breeds. Younger people were also more likely to prefer the aggressive breeds. Surprisingly, the results indicated a small effect suggesting that those who liked aggressive dogs showed signs of conscientiousness – being careful, reliable and thoughtful about their actions.

This contradicts the perception that owners of aggressive dogs are always irresponsible. Dr Vincent Egan, lead researcher on the study, said: “This type of study is important, as it shows assumptions are not the whole picture. It is assumed owners of aggressive dogs (or dogs perceived as aggressive) are antisocial show-offs. But we did not find persons who expressed a preference for aggressive dogs had committed more delinquent acts, or reported showing off more. He added that there are reasons some people prefer aggressive dog breeds. For instance, a lot of human behaviour involves status display and dominance, and evolutionarily this helps with finding mates.

What Your Favorite Dog Breed Says About You

“Our relationships with our dogs tend to be so unconscious, so bare, and so basic,” write Vicki Croke and Sarah Wilson in Dogology. “Our relationships with our dogs are so much simpler than with fellow humans and less muddied by commentary and feedback about our own behavior and choices…[thus], we’re much less self-conscious when we interact with our dogs.”

If your favorite dog breed is a Retriever or Spaniel (Labradors, Goldens, Labradoodles, American Cocker Spaniels, English Springer Spaniels, etc) then your personality traits are:

  • Family-focused
  • Fun-loving and social
  • Easygoing
  • Active lifestyle
  • Positive perspective, with an “open door” policy at home

If your favorite dog breed is a Pointer or Setter (English Pointers, Weimaraners, Wirehaired Pointing Griffons, Irish Setters, English Setters, etc), then your personality traits are:

  • Passionate and determined
  • Energetic and motivated
  • Lover of luxuries
  • Rugged (you’ll hike all day!)
personality traits dog breed

“What Your Favorite Dog Breed Says About You” image by enigal via Pixabay, CC License

If your favorite dog breed is a Scent Hound (Beagle, Basset, Bloodhound, Foxhound, etc), then your personality traits are:

  • Determined and focused
  • Intense, even relentless
  • Funny
  • Lover of food

If your favorite dog breed is a Sight Hound (Greyhound, Whippet, Borzoi, Irish Wolfhound, etc), then your personality traits are:

  • Relaxed and introverted
  • Quiet
  • Lover of small groups and close friends
  • Organized

If your favorite dog breed is a Terrier, then your personality traits are:

  • Fun-loving and funny
  • Determined and focused
  • Energetic
  • Talkative and versatile
  • Rough- and-tumble

This light-hearted look at dog breeds and human personality traits didn’t mention dog who do “bad” things. My dog has recently learned how much she enjoys killing squirrels, and it makes me feel awful. I write about it in Coping With Guilt When Your Dog Kills Squirrels.

What do you think — does your favorite dog breed reveal anything about your personality traits?  Or, are the authors of Dogology in the doghouse? :-)

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