Clinic Stories

Do Pets Look Like Their Owners?

We have all seen the pictures of dogs and owners who look alike, sometimes laughably so. In fact, owners do choose dogs who look like them. Research shows that strangers can match pets and their owners about 80% of the time. The accuracy falls when the eyes of one or the other are covered. But when only the mouth is covered and the eyes can be seen they can be matched almost as well as with a full face picture. So people look into a dog's eyes and approve if it is what they see in the mirror. They probably do the same with dates.

I have observed something beyond physical resemblance of pet's and their owners. It seems that people choose dogs that reflect their characteristics or ideals. An outdoorsy person will choose a sporting breed, a family person will get a dog that is warm and friendly, a paranoid person may select an intimidating guard dog. Since Labrador Retrievers are the most popular breed, it would seem that most people value faithfulness and gentleness, a comforting thought about the kindness of mankind

Few people think cats resemble their owners. For one thing, there is less variation among cats than dogs. Also, as cat owners will attest, we do not choose cats. They choose us.

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