What Does a Dog's Behavior Say About the Owner?

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Clearly you're a dog person. You dedicate so much of your time and energy to your precious pup because well, you love her! Dog owners are generally caring and giving. Your dog's specific behavior, however, can actually speak volumes about you. So what exactly does your dog's behavior say about you?


What does your dog's behavior say about you?

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Your dog's behavior, both positive and negative, is a direct reflection of how she is being trained and raised. Her behavior speaks volumes about the relationship between dog and human and the general personality of her owner.



Calm vs. hyper: Owners of calm dogs are perceived as organized and in control. These dog owners enjoy mellow activities such as yoga and meditation. Their calm nature passes on to their dog who will exhibit similar behavior. Hyper dogs struggle to sit still and are always on the go! These owners are more likely to seem stressed or anxious.


Affectionate vs. aloof: Affectionate pups surely have affectionate humans. People who chose affectionate dogs love to snuggle! From belly rubs to doggie kisses, these dog parents also spend lots of quality time with their pups that involves physical touch. Aloof dogs have owners that may take time to open up to people. They can be perceived as standoffish and less trusting.


Friendly vs. aggressive: Friendly people tend to have friendly dogs. Owners of friendly dogs are welcoming and kind to strangers. Owners of aggressive dogs are more likely to live isolated lives, enjoying their alone time and avoiding large groups. If your dog is aggressive this also speaks volumes to how she is trained or punished. Executing physical punishments on your dog commonly results in aggressive behavior. Physically abused dogs are distrustful, withdrawn and at times viciously hostile. A dog that exhibits these behaviors is showing clear red flags about her owner.


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Your dog's personality is a lot like yours.

When choosing a new dog, people gravitate towards dogs that are similar to them both physically and emotionally. Thinner people can have thinner dogs while plumper humans will gravitate towards overweight dogs. These correlations are also found in personality traits.



MORE: What the Pet You Own Says About You

According to a study published in the journal PLOS, dogs can sense a shift in their household when things are tense or when their owners are in an altered emotional state. This high sensitivity results in dogs adjusting their own emotions or their entire personalities to match their owners'. The study involved 132 dog owners and their pets. Researchers monitored the stress levels of each human and their pup. Owners also filled out questionnaires that measured their levels of the Big Five personality traits: agreeableness, neuroticism, extraversion, conscientiousness and openness. Similar surveys were filled out about each owner's dog as well. The results were clear: Owners with higher levels of reported stress had dogs who were more stressed out, while more laid-back owners had more relaxed dogs.


Dog owner personality types.

Dogs are universally known to be sociable, loving and energetic. It's only natural to assume that dog owners share these same traits. Sam Gosling, a psychologist at the University of Texas in Austin, and his graduate student Carson Sandy conducted a web-based study in which they found dog people were about 15 percent more extroverted and 13 percent more agreeable than cat people. Dog people were shown to be more conscientious with higher levels of self-discipline and an affinity towards planned activities. Dog owners are of course diverse, but their personalities have tons of similarities.


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Dog personality traits in humans.

Just like your behavior informs your dog's personality, dogs can pass on their personality traits to their humans. This may be a chicken and an egg situation, because we don't exactly know whether canines or humans are the true sources of a shared personality trait. There are definite traits, however, that both dogs and their owners have in common. Dogs are social, great lovers of food, intelligent and diverse in their own right! These are all traits that humans share with their four-legged friends.


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Does an owner's gender and personality affect a dog's behavior?

Dogs recognize and adapt to their owner's personality. Differences between men and women surely affect their respective pets' personalities. Men are generally more aggressive than women, resulting in more aggressive dogs with male owners. Women who are gentler are less likely to have an aggressive dog that is hostile to other dogs and humans.


Pet owners are no doubt bonded with their pups. Your personality traits are directly reflected in your dog's behavior and disposition. If you have a dog who's deviating from a cheerful nature, make sure nothing is wrong with her physically and then take a hard look in the mirror. If things are off with you (or your household), chances are this discord will show up in your dog's behavior. So take a breath and maybe a yoga class! It's time to enjoy the bright side of life for you and your pup.



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