Birds of a feather flock together? Perceived personality matching in owner-dog dyads

Borbála Turcsán, Friederike Range, Zsófia Virányi, A. Miklósi, E. Kubinyi

Research output: Article

35 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Partner choice is strongly affected by similarity in physical and psychological characteristics. Although there is a popular belief that dogs share similar personality characteristics with their owners, no studies have yet addressed the topic. Here, we tested for associations between the dog and owner personality in two countries (Austria and Hungary) and found significant positive correlations between owners and their dogs in all the five investigated personality dimensions (neuroticism, extraversion, conscientiousness, agreeableness, and openness). This similarity could not be attributed solely to the owners' self-projection, since the similarity in the first four dimensions was also significant when an independent peer person assessed the dog instead of the owner. The similarity was not affected by the length of ownership, however, we found cultural differences in the correlation pattern; more and stronger correlations were found in the Hungarian sample. Moreover, in multi-dog households the dogs' similarity patterns complement each other, suggesting possible differences in the dogs' role. Our results provide the first evidence that dogs do resemble their owners suggesting potential applied utility as well as indicating that dog-owner relationship could be a useful model of human social relationships.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154-160
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume140
Issue number3-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - szept. 2012

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Feathers
feathers
Birds
Personality
flocks
Dogs
dogs
birds
Austria-Hungary
cultural differences
Ownership
ownership
peers
Austria
Hungary
households
complement
Psychology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Food Animals

Cite this

Birds of a feather flock together? Perceived personality matching in owner-dog dyads. / Turcsán, Borbála; Range, Friederike; Virányi, Zsófia; Miklósi, A.; Kubinyi, E.

In: Applied Animal Behaviour Science, Vol. 140, No. 3-4, 09.2012, p. 154-160.

Research output: Article

Turcsán, Borbála ; Range, Friederike ; Virányi, Zsófia ; Miklósi, A. ; Kubinyi, E. / Birds of a feather flock together? Perceived personality matching in owner-dog dyads. In: Applied Animal Behaviour Science. 2012 ; Vol. 140, No. 3-4. pp. 154-160.
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