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Love me, love my dog... how pet's breed reveals owner's true personality

It has long been suggested that dogs look like their owners -- now it seems they have the same personality too.

Dog owners are drawn to breeds that reflect their own traits, psychologists say.

Outgoing extroverts are mostly likely to be seen walking a German shepherd, collie or bulldog.

Owners of greyhounds and beagles tend to be emotionally stable, while fans of "toy" breeds, such as the Chihuahua or Pekingese, appear to embrace change.


Psychologists asked 1,000 dog owners to complete an online questionnaire that assessed several personality traits. Participants also provided details of the kinds of dog they owned. Breeds were split into seven groups: gundogs (eg, golden retriever), hound dogs (eg, greyhound; beagle), pastoral (eg, German shepherd; border collie), terrier (eg, Staffordshire bull), toy (eg, Chihuahua), utility (eg, bulldog) and working (eg, Doberman).

The findings revealed links between owners' personality traits and the breed of dogs they preferred. In particular, owners of pastoral and utility breeds were more extroverted, gundog and toy dog owners were more agreeable, and owners of utility, toy and gundogs were more conscientious.

Owners of hound dogs turned out to be more emotionally stable, while owners of toy dogs were more open to new experiences.

"We might be able to make predictions about someone's personality based on the breed of dog that they choose to own," Bath university researcher Dr Lance Workman said. "It seems likely personality types are subconsciously drawn to certain breeds."