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Dogs reflect personalities - study

Monday April 23rd 2012

They say you can tell a lot about someone from who their friends are, and now it seems you can glean a lot from people's dogs also.

According to research from Bath Spa University, dog owners choose canine companions which reflect their personalities.

So if you appear to embrace change you'll be drawn to a chihuahua or Pekingese, but the more emotionally stable individual might opt for a greyhound or beagle.

Meanwhile outgoing extroverts are more likely to take home a German shepherd, collie or bulldog.

The research, assisted by The Kennel Club, was presented at the British Psychological Society's annual conference in London.

Some 1,000 dog owners were asked to complete an online questionnaire that assessed several personality traits. Participants also provided details of the kinds of dog they owned.

Psychologists Dr Lance Workman and Jo Fearon split breeds into seven groups: gundogs (e.g. golden retriever), hound dogs (e.g. greyhound; beagle), pastoral (e.g. German shepherd; border collie), terrier (e.g. Staffordshire bull), toy (e.g. Chihuahua), utility (e.g. bulldog) and working (e.g. Doberman).

In particular, owners of pastoral and utility breeds were more extroverted, gundog and toy dog owners were more agreeable, and owners of utility, toy and gundogs were more conscientious.

Copyright Press Association 2012

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