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The Sun-Times - Heber Springs, AR
Massachusetts reporter Joe Reppucci's news and resources for those who love pets
The Ruff Report: Dogs and Surveys
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Joe Reppucci of Lexington, Mass., writes about dogs and keeping them a healthy part of the family. He has worked as a reporter and editor on major daily newspapers in the Boston area for more than 30 years and is a graduate of Lexington High School ...
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The Dog Blog
Joe Reppucci of Lexington, Mass., writes about dogs and keeping them a healthy part of the family. He has worked as a reporter and editor on major daily newspapers in the Boston area for more than 30 years and is a graduate of Lexington High School and of Suffolk University in Boston. He writes often about nutrition, behavior and saving money on pet supplies and insurance.
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Face it, you really do look like your dog

If your dog has a long face, you probably do, too, because chances are pretty good that you and your dog share the same mug as well as other physical features, a study has found.By simply looking at photos, participants in the study had a high success rate of matching up pet parents with their dogs. 

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CLICK HERE TO LOOK INSIDE THE BOOK
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Seventy people who do not own dogs were asked to match photos of 41 dog owners to three possible breeds - Labrador, Poodle or Staffordshire bull terrier. Owners were correctly matched to their breed of dog above the level of chance.

The findings of the study, done by researchers at Bath Spa University in Britain, were presented recently at the British Psychological Society Annual Conference in Brighton.

"This suggests that certain breeds of dogs are associated with particular kinds of people," Lance Workman, head of psychology in Bath Spa University's School of Social Sciences, states in a media release. The non-dog owners used stereotypes to match the dogs to their owners."But apparently the owner-dog link only applies to physical features. Participants in the study also used the same stereotypes to assume that owners and dogs shared the same personalities."But when we tested the dog owners' personalities, we found no strong links between any particular personality trait and choice of dog breed, so any shared qualities are only skin deep," Mr. Workman said. 

Caroline Kisko, an official at Britain's Kennel Club, says the reason people often look like their dogs is because they choose a breed that fits their lifestyle. 

“Pedigree dogs, which were focused on in this study, have a breed standard that predicts the likely characteristics of the dog such as the size it will grow to or the amount of grooming and exercise it will need," Ms. Kisko states in a media release. "It therefore follows that if you are looking for a breed that will suit your lifestyle and assessing the needs and the physical characteristics of a dog, they may well be similar to your own.

"For example, you might be small and choose a small dog because it is not too powerful, or you might have a short haircut because you don't choose to spend too long styling it and so opt for a short-haired dog that requires minimal grooming, for similar reasons."

The study shows that many people are thinking carefully about the dog they choose, Ms. Kisko said. “This is actually a sign that people's choice of dog is motivated by a deeper desire to make a responsible choice that will lead to a happy and fulfilling relationship and this is obviously a positive result."



But the Kennel Club says the study's finding that some people believe a link exists between and owner's and dog's personality means more needs to be done to dispel this falsehood.



“We are concerned that people still think that an owner’s personality can be predicted by the type of dog that they own, especially as these preconceptions are themselves based on false assumptions about the nature of many breeds, such as the Staffordshire Bull Terrier," Ms. Kisco said. "The study showed that people believe the breed to be unintelligent and to have an aggressive nature, when it is in fact highly intelligent and affectionate."



People can learn more about matching a breed to their lifestyle by visiting the Kennel Club’s new "Find a Breed" web site at www.findabreed.org.uk.


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