Personality of owners and their dogs
Nuša Klinar & Andreja Avsec
Abstract: The aim of our study was to find association between the personality of owners and the personality of their dogs, assessed by their owners. Furthermore, we were interested in finding differences between dogs of different breeds. The sample included 661 owners (556 women and 105 men) and an equal number of their dogs (332 females and 329 males). The participants filled in the Big Five Inventory and slightly adopted the Big Five Inventory for dogs. The results indicated statistically significant correlations between almost all owner's personality dimensions and personality dimensions of their dogs. Besides the influence of owners and their personalities on the dog's personality, a possible cause of these associations could be their misevaluation as they want their dogs to have some equal characteristics as they have. Analysis of the data also revealed significant differences in dimensions between breeds in three of four dogs' personalities. Results were partly in accordance with hypothesized differences which were based upon official descriptions of temperament of specific breeds. Despite the fact that the research confirms that owners can judge dog's personality with satisfactory levels of accuracy, it is necessary to account all limitations of measuring dogs' personality in interpreting the results.
Keywords: personality traits, dogs, species differences