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Some owners 'not just look like their dogs but act like them too'

London, Fri, 20 Apr 2012 ANI

London, Apr 20 (ANI): Usually, it is said that dog owners bear a striking resemblance to their pets but now researchers have asserted that they even act like them.

The study of British dog owners has revealed that people are inclined towards choosing animals that mirror their own personality.

Agreeable types are drawn to Labradors, a breed known for their friendliness, while hard-working and responsible sorts favour no-nonsense bulldogs.

But there were few surprises.

The owners of chihuahuas and other 'handbag dogs' beloved by celebrities such as Paris Hilton and former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell are apparently most intelligent, the Daily Mail reported.

The findings were revealed by psychologist Lance Workman who questioned 2,000 people, including 1,000 dog owners, about their character traits.

The results indicated the two groups to be broadly similar.

But within the dog owners, there were evident differences. Owners of Corgis, the breed favoured by the Queen and DJ Chris Evans, scored highest on extroversion.

If the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge took the survey, their choice of a cocker spaniel, Lupo, point towards intelligence, agreeableness and conscientiousness.

Hounds, like foxhounds and beagles, are known for their even temperament and tend to be found by the side of calm and consistent people.

Working dogs, such as great danes, are owned by people who score higher on average on agreeableness and intelligence.

Labradors and golden retrievers, the pets of choice for Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Aniston, tend to be paired with friendly sorts.

Owners of toy dogs, however, buck the stereotype.

"One of the great things was that toy dog owners, who are often seen as airheads, came out pretty much on top when it came to openness, creativity and intelligence," Dr Workman, who presented his findings at the British Psychological Society's annual conference, said.

"Isaac Newton had what we'd today call a toy dog, a Pomeranian," the Bath Spa University psychologist said.

"He could take it around with him. It was easy to handle and left his mind free for other things."

Some may also be astonished to find that owning a cairn terrier makes Simon Cowell agreeable.

"TV personalities often play a role. I don't know Simon Cowell but it may be that if you know him personally that he is a nice chap to have around," Dr Workman, who did the research with student Jo Fearon, said.

Some years ago, Dr Workman showed that people really do look like their dogs - as we are drawn to pets with similar physical attributes.

Discussing his latest results, he said: "It could be that when you look for a dog, on some level that is largely subconscious, you look for something that is a bit like you."

"It is a bit like looking for a romantic partner: if they fit in, they will probably last.

"But it also has to fit in with your lifestyle. If you are going to get a gundog, you need to be an outdoor type of person," he added. (ANI)

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