You're a lot more like your dog than you think, and not just because you both have hair on your chests. People pick dog breeds that match their own personality, according to a new British study.
Researchers at Bath Spa University surveyed more than 1,000 dog owners and found that people who were extroverted, emotionally stable, or one of a handful of other personality traits also tended to have canines within broad groups of breeds, like hounds or toy dogs. That's because we subconsciously gravitate toward dogs who share our own temperament, says study author Lance Workman, Ph.D. a psychologist at Bath Spa. (Learn the number one reason why men need dogs.)
Because of that connection, a dog's character should trump its looks when it comes time for you to pick out a puppy. Here's how to find the perfect pooch.
If you're: Outgoing and extroverted
The dog for you: Border Collie
Collies are renowned for their smarts (one in South Carolina is said to understand over 1,000 spoken words), plus their working dog lineage means they're full of energy and like plenty of exercise. What's more, they prefer lots of company, which makes them great companions to bring to the park or the beach.
Also consider: German shepherds, Dalmatian, Bulldog
Related: The Best Dogs for Men
If you're: Conscientious and helpful
The dog for you: Golden retriever
There's a good reason why golden retrievers are so ubiquitous. "They are natural people pleasers," says Betsy Rosenfeld Vargas, the author of The Complete Single's Guide to Being a Dog Owner. It's part of their highly adaptable nature, bred to fetch slain game during a hunt, they're also easily trained and one of the go-to breeds to help the blind and disabled.
Also consider: Labrador retriever
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If you're: Friendly and agreeable
The dog for you: Viszla
A Hungarian breed, Viszlas are more sleek than labs, and energetic without being aggressive. "They're comfortable around both people and other dogs, so they're perfect if you want to take your dog to an outdoor restaurant or a cafe," says Vargas.
Also consider: Cocker spaniels (or any variety of spaniel), Spanish water dog
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If you're: Easy-going
The dog for you: Bloodhound
Bloodhounds are remarkable trackers, their scent receptors outnumber all other breeds. As a result, they're more focused on the world they can smell than the one they see or hear. "They're a little bit indifferent," says Vargas, so they're ideal if you like the quiet comforts of home with a hound curled up at your feet.
Also consider: Greyhound
Related: 3 Ways Pets Help Your Health
If you're: Creative
The dog for you: Pug
In the study, toy dogs were favored by dog owners who were particularly intelligent, along with people who seek out new experiences. "Pugs and other toy dogs are very expressive and in tune with their owners," says Vargas. They're also known for their outgoing character and mischievousness, the kind of dog you can play with when you get home from work, without worrying about knocking over the TV.
Also consider: Yorkshire terrier, King Charles spaniel
Want more breed advice? Take our quiz to find out which dog is best for you.
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