Have you ever noticed how often dogs match their owners’ personality? A new survey of 1,000 dog owners, conducted by researchers at Bath Spa University has found that humans gravitate naturally towards a dog that will in some way match their own personality and shows some of the same character traits. It makes sense. In human companions we also tend to look for those who think like us and have the same hopes and dreams.
Opposites may attract, but more often than not, relationships like these end in divorce. The same can be said about a dog breed that doesn’t match its owner’s or family’s attitude. Millions of dogs are taken to the pound or simply abandoned because they are too active, need too much attention, or bark too much for the owners’ taste.
In the survey, researchers split the dogs into seven groups, including working dogs, toy breeds, pastoral breeds (herding dogs), gundogs, terriers, hound dogs and utility breeds. This made it easier to categorize survey takers’ responses. While the study has not yet been peer reviewed, responses are pretty clear. People enjoy the company of dogs that are like them. Extroverted people mostly chose pastoral and utility breeds, very agreeable people owned gundogs or toy dogs, while very emotionally stable people owned hounds.
When considering an addition to your household, you’ll definitely want to check before you bring a dog home. Here is a list of breeds according to their personality or physical traits:
Calm, quiet and peaceful: For indoor living in an apartment, or for people with a lower level of energy, these are your best bet. American Eskimo dog, affenpinscher, Boston terrier, bichon frise, bulldog, Chinook, dachshund, Lakeland terrier, Maltese, shih tzu.
Doesn’t shed much: Not all people enjoy nests of fur in all corners of their homes. If you’re looking for a dog with minimal shedding, here are some breeds. Bichon frise, Boykin spaniel, Chinese shar-pei, Chihuahua, cockapoo, goldendoodle, Irish terrier.
Kid friendly: It’s difficult finding a dog for families with little kids. You’ll want a sturdy, easy-going and friendly dog. Check out these kid-friendly breeds: beagle, bearded collie, American hound, bullmastiff, English cocker spaniel, golden retriever, Irish setter, and puggle.
Likes other dogs: Not all dogs can share their surroundings with others. If you’re considering getting a second dog, consider these breeds: American foxhound, basset hound, Bernese mountain dog, pocket beagle, Norwich terrier, pointer, poodle, and vizsla.
Dogs are a long-term commitment. The decision should be made after much consideration and with the knowledge that you are committing to potentially 15 years of dog ownership — and all the good and bad times that come with it. If you can’t imagine this kind of commitment, it may not be the right time to get a dog. However, if you are ready to make the commitment, dogs provide us humans with a wealth of benefits both physically and emotionally.
Ute Mitchell is a Freelance Writer and Nutritional Therapy Practitioner located in Portland, OR, where she homeschools her kids, cooks healthy meals for her family, and hikes the forests and mountains around the Pacific Northwest. She is an avid CrossFit athlete, and loves to encourage others to live a healthy and active lifestyle.