A recent study proves that the personalities of pet dogs are gradually shaped by their owner’s behaviour and can even change over time. So, if you’re wondering why your dog behaves in a certain way, you should think about how your actions are influencing him.
Researchers said that when dog owners spend extra time scratching their dogs’ bellies, take them out for long walks and games of fetch, they are gradually shaping their pooches’ personalities.
The extensive survey had owners evaluate their dogs’ personalities and answered questions about their behavioural history. The owners also answered a survey about their own personalities.
What has the study found?
1. Dogs, like people, have moods and personality traits that shape how they react in certain situations, researchers said.
2 Older dogs are much harder to train; we found that the ‘sweet spot’ for teaching dog obedience is around the age of six when it outgrows its excitable puppy stage but before its too set in its ways,”
3. Dogs resemble their owners.
4. Dogs’ personalities are assumed to be very stable because they don’t have lifestyle changes like humans, but it turned out that they do change a lot along with their humans.
5. The dogs, who are do not spend too much time with their owners turn out to be anti-social and depressed.
6. The research shows how much power humans have over influencing a dog’s personality. He explained that many of the reasons a dog’s personality changes are a result of the ‘nature versus nurture’ theory associated with humans’ personalities
7-One trait that rarely changes in age with dogs was fear and anxiety. “When humans go through big changes in life, their personality traits can change. We found that this also happens with dogs — and to a surprisingly large degree,” said William Chopik, a professor at Michigan State University in the US.
Chopik surveyed owners of more than 1,600 dogs, including 50 different breeds. Dogs ranged from just a few weeks old to 15 years and were split closely between male and female.