real life

It's true: your dog has a personality that is very similar to yours.

My mum’s dog will only walk on the left of the sidewalk, and loves being around people.

My brother’s dog is as tough as guts, and likes resting her whole mouth around your forearm without biting — just to keep you there.

Lady Gaga’s French Bulldog, Miss Asia Kinney, likes fancy clothes and has a killer camera stare.

Lena Dunham’s dog Lamby was prescribed Prozac for anxiety when the actress moved house in 2013. “They misspelled my dog’s name on his Prozac prescription,” the Girls creator Tweeted.

Lady Gaga and the fabulous Miss Asia Kinney. (Image: Instagram)

Now, a study of 132 dogs and their owners, recently published in journal PLOS, found dogs often take on elements of their owner's personality.

This comes in addition to previous research, which has shown dogs are aware of and respond to the energy we express - for instance, if we are stressed or relaxed. It also established we often choose dogs with similar physical attributes to ourselves; from their body weight to the shape of their eyes.

The researchers used behavioural tests to measure the stress levels of the dogs and their owners. They observed their reaction to perceived threats, and they tested cortisol levels in saliva.

As well as this, the human volunteers filled out a survey to measure five personality traits — agreeableness, neuroticism, extraversion, conscientiousness, and openness — and also completed a personality questionnaire on their dog's behaviour.

Listen: "Pets are not your kids." Post continues after audio.

The results? Dogs of anxious and neurotic owners are more likely to share those traits. And the reverse is also true: dogs with relaxed and chilled-out owners are more likely to be relaxed and chilled-out themselves.

"Owners and dogs are social dyads, and they influence each other’s stress coping," lead author Iris Schoberl told the BBC.


The human was shown to the dominant of the two however, with the owner's personality trait more likely to affect the dog's, as opposed to the other way round.

It makes sense.

It's no coincidence that your dog acts like you. Image via iStock.

Lady Gaga also likes fancy clothes, and her recent Superbowl performance showed just how powerful she is on screen.

Lena Dunham has spoken publicly about having anxiety. “I don’t remember a time not being anxious,” she once told a crowd at New York-Presbyterian's Youth Anxiety Centre.

My mother has no issues about walking on the left, but she does love being around people.

Most tellingly, my brother is obsessed with twisting people's arms.