Certainly, you must have noticed that a lot of people seem to have dogs with similar physical characteristics. For instance, you’ll see the guy with a slim face and a goatee who owns a miniature Schnauzer. Or, you’ll see the stocky fella with a round face who owns a bulldog. Then, you’ll find the lady with a long, narrow face who owns a whippet.
It’s not to say that people actually look like dogs. Some might find that insulting. But, often, it seems there is a similarity in appearance between people and the dogs they own. It’s hard to say why but, most would concede, it’s an unquestionable phenomenon.
According to an online story by David Robson in the Nov. 12, 2015, British Broadcasting Corporations online edition, a psychologist from the University of California, Michael Roy, tested the idea by taking pictures of people and their dogs in area dog parks. He then separated the pictures of dogs and owners, laid them out and asked strangers to match the photos of the dogs up with the photos of the owners.
According to Robson’s article, “Despite no additional clues, he found that they were able to work out who lived with whom with reasonable accuracy.”
This only goes to prove what most of us probably knew already.
Robson suggests, rather logically, that this is “due to the allure of familiarity.”
He also attributes the phenomenon of dogs that look similar to their owners to a degree of narcissism on the part of the dog owners. That seems to take the idea to the negative extreme.
A more pleasant explanation, and one that Robson also considers, is that the phenomenon of dogs that look like their owners is a reflection on the value of the relationships and the degree to which we bond with our dogs.
“It is awe-inspiring to think of how this relationship first emerged,” wrote Robson. “Humans started domesticating dogs as much as 30,000 years ago to help us with hunting, but slowly we have bred these creatures in our own image …”
Then again, maybe the phenomenon is purely the result of random chance. But, what fun is it to look at it that way?