Do Doggos Look Like Their People?

July 24, 2019

It’s tempting to flatter ourselves by thinking that we look like our four-legged friends (c’ mon, look at those cute faces!). What if we told you that there are actual statistics to back up this claim? That’s right — all of those times when you’ve looked at your pup and have seen yourself, you weren’t crazy. We give you all the facts that you should know about your furry mini-me. 

Is it true: do our dogs look like us?

Could your bone-loving, tail-wagging, drooling four-legged friend actually look like you? Multiple studies find that this could be true. The belief that people and their pups look alike goes all the way back to our childhood memories. There are stats to back up what we always believed to be a myth. According to the BBC, people with long hair tend to have puppers with long ears that flop low near their bodies. Heavier people tend to have heavier doggos. So just when you thought that you and your treat-loving friend couldn’t be anymore similar, think again. 

dog-parent

The study

The man that put science behind the idea that people look like their dogs is Sadahiko Nakajima, a psychologist at Kwansei Gakuin University in Japan. To test if there is any truth to this idea, Nakajima conducted a study using photographs of humans and their pups. Students were asked to connect the person with their pupper out of the randomly ordered photographs. The results showed that the students correctly guessed the person and the pup by looking at the photos at a rate significantly higher than luck alone. 

The trials

Once Nakajima knew that humans do in fact look similar to their doggos, he wanted to know why. In different trials, he used a masking condition and covered up features of the face, such as the mouth and the eyes. This could determine what exactly it is that connects the appearance of humans to that of their furry friends. The rate in which the students correctly guessed the person with their pup dropped significantly when the eyes in the photos were masked. This leads some to believe that eyes are the most important factor in connecting doggos with their humans. Details on the study can be found at BarkPost and The Huffington Post

dog-girl

Mere-exposure effect

Why do we choose to bring home pups that look like us? This could be because of the psychological and unconscious preference humans have towards what is familiar. This effect is called the mere-exposure effect and is why we tend to trust brands that are highly advertised over brands that we’ve never heard of before. So basically, what we know, we like better. Doggos are an important part of the family; it makes sense that we would want them to look a little like us!

More than what meets the eye

Not only do we look like our doggos, apparently we act like them as well! Borbala Turcsan found that the personality profiles of people and their pups are shockingly similar to each other. Experiments have shown that the “Big Five” questionnaire has been used in order to show this. Now there is even a questionnaire for our four-legged friends! Turns out, how you treat others is mirrored in the behavior of your pupper! According to the BBC, extroverts are more likely to have pups that are more aggressive with others while introverts are more likely to have pups that are more shy and timid. That being said, go give your doppelganger a nice belly rub. 

Want to learn more about our furry friends? Check out our blog post on whether dogs can see in color!

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