What does your favorite type of dog breed reveal about your personality traits? If you love Labradors, for example, are you more family-focused? What about terriers, pit bulls, whippets, hound dogs? What your favorite dog and breeds says about your personality traits may surprise you.
My source 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. The authors playfully and cleverly reveal the connection between our behavior with our dogs and our own personality traits. They describe how our favorite dog breeds reveal our strengths and weaknesses. “Dogology” reveals that dog owners – depending on what breed they love most – fall into 9 distinct personality types: Angel, Dynamo, Soul Mate, Idealist, Observer, Expert, Buddy, Master, and Free Spirit.
First things first. Here’s an interesting bit of canine 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. “This type of study is important, as it shows assumptions are not the whole picture,” said lead researcher Dr Vincent Egan. “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.”
What Your Favorite Dog Breed Says About You
“Our relationships with our dogs tend to be so unconscious, so bare, and so basic,” write Croke and 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 Sight Hound (Greyhound, Whippet, Borzoi, Irish Wolfhound, etc), then your personality traits are:
- Relaxed and introverted
- Lover of small groups and close friends
“What do dogs do on their day off? Can’t lie around—that’s their job.” – George Carlin.
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:
- Fun-loving and social
- Active lifestyle
- Positive perspective, with an “open door” policy at home
“Dogs have masters. Cats have staff.” – unknown.
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!)
“There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.” – unknown.
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
- Lover of food
“Dogs’ lives are too short. Their only fault, really.” – Agnes Sligh Turnbull. Have you ever wondered how dogs cope with the loss of a fellow pet? Read Do Dogs Grieve? How to Help Your Dog Adjust After Loss.
If your favorite dog breed is a Terrier, then your personality traits are:
- Fun-loving and funny
- Determined and focused
- Talkative and versatile
- Rough- and-tumble
This light-hearted look at dog breeds and human personality traits didn’t mention dogs who are aggressive or bred as rat terriers. For example, my dog recently discovered that she was born to help lower the world’s population of rodents.
Warning: Even if you can easily and instantly identify your most-loved breed of dog, you still can’t know with 100% certainty that it is your absolute favorite. Why? Because you haven’t lived with every dog breed! For example, I didn’t know I loved terriers until I adopted Georgie Girl :-)
If your dog is displaying an unsavory side to her personality (in other words, she kills things), read How to Cope With Guilt When Your Dog Kills Squirrels.
What is your favorite dog breed, and does it reveal anything about your personality traits? Or, are the authors of Dogology in the doghouse? :-)
“Be the person your dog thinks you are.” – C.J. Frick.