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If you’re a dog owner, you’re in good company since 47% of American households and 57% of Canadian households have at least 1 lovable pooch in their homes. But are dog lovers different personality-wise when compared to people who own other types of pets, such as cats, birds, reptiles, or no pets at all?
A lot of people believe that the pets one chooses reflect the owner’s personality. The preference for dogs, cats, or some other pet species may reflect some underlying human personality differences.
Dr. Taylor Truitt, a veterinarian at the The Vet Set in New York, N.Y., believes the type of pet we choose could simply be what fits with our lifestyle. “There are certain breeds that I would never own that I love, that just aren’t a good match for my lifestyle,” Truitt told Medical Daily. While this may be true, there are a number of animals that people can choose to fit into their lifestyles that vary simply due to their personal preference. Indeed, science seems to agree that the animals people choose are arguably reflective of their personalities.
Puppy love is an almost tangible concept and luckily it is also a healthy bond when it comes to dogs. Several studies have produced information showing that dog owners tend to be healthier, better equipped to deal with stress, and less likely to be diagnosed with depression – this is especially true if the owners were single or female. Researchers speculate that the presence of any pet, including a dog, decreases feelings of loneliness and promotes warmth.
In a 2010 study, researchers asked a group of volunteers whether they were dog people, cat people, neither, or both. They gave these volunteers a 44-item assessment to measure their scoring among the big five personality dimensions. The results revealed that those who defined themselves as dog people were more extroverted, more agreeable, and more conscientious than self-described cat people.
Dog People’s Personality Traits
Dogs tend to be energetic, faithful, and easy to get along with, and guess what? So are the people who love them! Here are some traits that dog lovers share, according to various studies conducted. They are:
Dog people are 11% more conscientious than cat people. This means they are generally more:
- Have a strong sense of duty
- Are “planners”, rather than last-minute running around types.
Dog people were 15% more extroverted than cat people. This means they are generally more:
If you’re a dog person, you’re 13% more likely to be agreeable than a cat person. Agreeable people tend to be:
Studies were conducted at the University of California at Berkeley and at the Wisconsin’s Carroll University, and they determined that dog owners were rated as the most conscientious, more extroverted and more energetic. “It makes sense that a dog person is going to be more lively, because they’re going to want to be out there, outside, talking to people, bringing their dog,” said Carroll University psychology professor Denise Guastello.
So, if you’re a dog lover, you’re most likely going to be exhibiting many of the traits mentioned above.
If you own other types of pets, you’ll also possess certain similarities to other such pet owners. For example:
Cat Owners: About 37 percent of households own at least one cat, and a Texas study found that cat people are more creative and adventurous than dog people. They are generally more introverted and sensitive as well. Cat lovers tend to have more than one cat in the household.
Bird Owners: are more outgoing and expressive than other pet ‘parents’ according to a British study.
Reptiles: Owners of reptiles were found to be the most independent of all pet owners, according to another British study. They tend to need other people less than other pet owners.
Fish: A British study found that people who own fish were the happiest and had the best sense of humor. Another study at the University of Oregon found fish owners to be more optimistic and non-materialistic.