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What Your Pet Says About Your Personality

Image: What Your Pet Says About Your Personality
(Copyright AP)

By    |   Friday, 13 Nov 2015 02:54 PM


Are you a dog person or a cat person? You've probably been asked that at some point, if the cat hair sticking to your shirt hadn't already given you away.

According to the American Pet Products Association, 62 percent of Americans own at least one pet, and people have often been thought of as identifying with their choice of pets.

Several studies show that your choice of a pet companion does, indeed, reveal a lot about your personality.

"It's not surprising that studies have found that a person's choice of pets says something about their personality, " says Doris Wild Helmering, a nationally recognized marriage and family counselor.

"I've seen how much love people give to their pets," she tells Newsmax Health. "It's like the pet is an extension of themselves, so it's not uncommon for people to choose companions that reflect some of their personality traits.

"I've also known people that choose pets which remind them of their significant other."

A study at the University of California at Berkeley looked at pet owners who identified themselves as either a "dog person," "cat person," "both," or "neither."

Pet owners who expressed the greatest affection for their animals were also rated as the most conscientious — and also the most neurotic.

But unlike helicopter parents whose protectiveness can smother their children, it can be good for pets who need parenting for their entire lives.

"The fact that higher levels of neuroticism are associated with affection and anxious attachment suggests that people who score higher on that dimension may have high levels of affection and dependence on their pets, which may be a good thing for pets," said study co-author Mikel Delgado.

In Delgado's study, almost 40 percent said they identified with both dogs and cats, while 38 percent said they were dog people, and 19 percent said they were cat people.

See what else your pet says about you:

Dog owner: If you're a dog owner, you're in good company since 47 percent of American households have at least one dog.

A study of 4,565 volunteers from the University of Texas at Austin found that people who say they are "dog people" were more extroverted, more agreeable, and more conscientious than cat people, and are more fun to be with. Dog owners also tend to follow rules closely.

A study at Wisconsin's Carroll University found that dog lovers were not only more extroverted, but also that they were 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.

"Whereas, if you're more introverted, and sensitive, maybe you're more at home reading a book, and your cat doesn't need to go outside for a walk."

Cat owner: About 37 percent of American households own at least one cat, and the Texas study found that while cat people were more creative, adventurous, and open than dog people, they were also more neurotic.

The Carroll University study found that cat lovers were smarter than dog owners, and they were more introverted and sensitive. Cat owners also tended to be non-conformists, bending and breaking the rules more often than dog owners.

Although fewer households own cats than dogs, cat lovers tend to have more than one cat in the household.

Reptiles: A British study found that owners of reptiles were the most independent of all pet owners, tending to need other people less than other pet owners. But they also scored lowest in humor.

Fish: The British study found that of all pet owners, those who own fish were the happiest and had the best sense of humor. A study of pet owners from the University of Oregon found that fish owners are optimistic and non-materialistic.

Birds: Bird owners are more outgoing and expressive than other pet "parents," according to the British study, and those who own female birds are more domineering than other pet parents.

If you're in the market for choosing a pet, you might keep this in mind: Several studies have shown that dogs actually do look like their owners.

A Japanese study found that when people were shown two sets of photographs — real dog-owner pairs and random pairs — people identified the dog-owner pairs up to 80 percent of the time.

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Are you a dog person or a cat person? You've probably been asked that at some point, if the cat hair sticking to your shirt hadn't already given you away. According to the American Pet Products Association, 62 percent of Americans own at least one pet, and people have...
pet, personality, traits, owner, similarities
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2015-54-13
Friday, 13 Nov 2015 02:54 PM
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