Home>News Center>Life

Like master, like dog: study
Updated: 2004-04-02 11:02

Those who think purebred dogs look like their owners are barking up the right tree, but matching a mutt to its master is another thing, a study suggests.

Research at the University of California, San Diego in the United States, indicates that when people pick a dog, they look for one that, at some level, bears some resemblance to them. And when they get a purebred dog, they get what they want.

When given a choice of two dogs, judges correctly matched 25 purebreds with their owners nearly two out of three times. With mutts, however, the pattern went to the dogs.

¡°When you pick a purebred, you pick it specifically because of how it¡¯s going to look as a grown-up,¡± said Nicholas Christenfeld, UCSD professor of psychology and co-author of the study, which appears in the current issue of Psychological Science.

Christenfeld said mutt owners such as himself make their choice on the spur-of-the-moment at a dog pound, not knowing what a puppy will look like.

Forty-five dogs and their owners chosen at random were photographed separately at three San Diego dog parks. The judges, some 28 undergraduates taking psychology classes at UC San Diego, were shown pictures of the owners and two dogs and asked to match the correct dog with the owner.

Out of the 25 purebreds, there were 16 correct matches and nine misses. For 20 mutts in the study, there were seven matches, 14 misses.

¡°There is a certain stereotype of person from each breed,¡± said Tracy Cavaciuti, a French Bulldog breeder in Connecticut.

So what kind of person likes the pop-eyed, pointy-eared, pug-nosed Frenchie¹Ò

¡°Actually, they¡¯re quite trendy and good-looking,¡± Cavaciuti said, adding that they tend to strut on the streets of New York City¡¯s tony Upper East Side.

Hound people are a different story.

¡°You can spot them a mile away,¡± she said. ¡°They¡¯re very doggy.¡±

How the aristocratic Afghan Hound or the other worldly French Bulldog resemble their owners is unclear since the study found judges didn¡¯t use any one characteristic to make the matches. There were no significant correlation between dogs and owners on the basis of size, attractiveness, friendliness and energy level when considered separately.

¡°People are attracted to looks and temperaments that reflect themselves or how they perceive themselves,¡± said Gail Miller, a spokeswoman for the American Kennel Club. Miller, who has owned several bearded collies, described her ¡°beardies¡± as gregarious, active dogs.

¡°I¡¯m definitely like them ¡ª very outgoing, likes to have fun and get active,¡± she said.

  Today's Top News     Top Life News

Nation indignant over US arms sale to Taiwan



China to US: Stop spying in border areas



2008 Games to bring US$16b business



Flight insurance dispute soars



Technical standards updated to suit WTO



National power needs require investors


  Like master, like dog: study
  'Girlfriend' photos upset Prince William
  Springtime sex in spotlight
  Glad to be gay?
  Beijing writers face a block
  American drinkers warm to Beijing liquor
  Go to Another Section  
  Story Tools  
  Eric Clapton plays the devil's music