Debate Magazine

Saturday Smiles: Kids and Their Lookalike Dogs

By Eowyn @DrEowyn

kids & dogskids & dogs1kids & dogs2kids & dogs3kids & dogs4

H/t FOTM’s MomOfIV

Sarah Yager writes for The Atlantic, Oct. 23, 2013:

Could there be something to the old adage that people resemble their pets? The phenomenon has been amply documented. Researchers around the world have repeatedly found that strangers can match photos of dogs with photos of their owners at a rate well above chance [4]. Perhaps people are drawn to animals that look like them. In a study of female college students, those with longer hair judged flop-eared dogs—spaniels, beagles—to be more attractive, friendly, and intelligent than dogs with pointy ears; women with shorter hair concluded the opposite [5]. And the apparent affinity between owners and pets is more than fur-deep: One analysis found self-described “dog people” to be less neurotic than “cat people,” who were more curious [6]. Another study, which cross-referenced personality-test scores and breed preferences, noted that disagreeable people favored aggressive dogs [7].

While the Law of Attraction—like attracts like, or in this case, adopts like—might explain some of these similarities, there’s reason to think pets also emulate their owners. A 2011 study found that dogs tasked with opening a door preferred whichever of two methods of door-opening they had just observed their owners use (head or hands/paws), even when offered a treat for the opposite choice. Researchers concluded that dogs possess an “automatic imitation” instinct that can override both natural behavior and self-interest [8]. Dogs are also more susceptible to yawn contagion (an indicator of social attachment) when it’s their master, rather than a stranger, doing the yawning [9].

A downside to pets emulating their owners is that as Americans increasingly become obese, so do their pets. The Atlantic article continues:

Plenty of research has established that pets are good for our health; less is known about whether we might be bad for theirs…. According to one recent study, as U.S. obesity rates shot up over the past half century, the average weight of animals living among humans also increased [1]. Another study linked pet owners’ body mass indexes to their dogs’ fat accumulation [2], backing up a 1970 survey that found that obese dogs were much more likely to be owned by obese people than by those “of normal physique” [3].

~Éowyn


You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • The European Union Just Made Bioenergy Worse for Biodiversity

    European Union Just Made Bioenergy Worse Biodiversity

    While some complain that the European Union (EU) is an enormous, cumbersome beast (just ask the self-harming Brexiteers), it generally has some rather laudable... Read more

    The 20 August 2018 by   Bradshaw
    ENVIRONMENT
  • The Romantics

    Romantics

    These two words conjure an image in my mind of running through fields with flowers in my hand and my beloved running after me, very much like the Bollywood film... Read more

    The 20 August 2018 by   Ashleylister
    BOOKS, CREATIVITY, CULTURE, SELF EXPRESSION
  • Lesson 1570- Life Lessons I Want My Kids to Know

    Lesson 1570- Life Lessons Want Kids Know

    We just back from a family vacation on Cape Cod. It’s the one week of the year that we all go barefoot, drink cold beers in the afternoon, read books in the... Read more

    The 20 August 2018 by   Wendythomas
    ANIMALS & WILDLIFE, HOME, PETS, SELF EXPRESSION
  • Who’s Gonna Love You, Tebey at Boots & Hearts 2018 Interview

    Who’s Gonna Love You, Tebey Boots Hearts 2018 Interview

    Tebey teased his last-minute addition to Boots Hearts 2018 through his social media channels, and then he came on out to the Burl's Creek Event Grounds and wa... Read more

    The 20 August 2018 by   Phjoshua
    LIFESTYLE, SELF EXPRESSION
  • Frugal Tip: Make-Your-Own Sore Throat Syrup

    Frugal Tip: Make-Your-Own Sore Throat Syrup

    Summer is almost over, and there is a chill in the air, so it's not hard to think of the cold season coming soon. And with it - coughs, colds and sore throats. Read more

    The 20 August 2018 by   Catherine Mcdiarmid-Watt
    FAMILY, FINANCE, SHOPPING
  • 7 Physical Signs Your Partner Is Sleeping With Someone Else

    Let us put aside the idea of a perfect world where people love their lovers honestly, with all their heart and would never ever cheat on them, where all... Read more

    The 20 August 2018 by   Naijapary
    SOCIETY, A-CLASSER
  • Home Decor: A Garden for Every Space

    Home Decor: Garden Every Space

    For in the true nature of things, if we rightly consider, every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold and silver. Read more

    The 20 August 2018 by   Rashmi Gopal Rao
    DESTINATIONS, TRAVEL