AAAS CONFERENCE: Man's Best Friend Is Shown to Share Personality Traits
SCIENTISTS HAVE confirmed what every dog lover has suspected: pets have personalities. And a psychologist, Sam Gosling, has gone as far as to suggest that dogs and their potential owners should be matched for personality before they start living together.
Dr Gosling, of the University of Texas at Austin, has done research showing that dogs have the same sort of personality traits often used to describe people.
He told the American Association for the Advancement of Science that if owners and dogs could be suitably matched, then it may overcome the problem of many canines being left in dogs' homes because they are deemed to be "unsuitable".
"Dog shelters have to kill hundreds of dogs if they cannot find them homes, so they have a high incentive for trying to work out how well-matched a dog would be to a new owner," Dr Gosling said.
Dr Gosling asked dog owners to assess their pets on five criteria normally used by psychologists to judge human personality. These are extroversion, agreeableness, emotional stability, openness to new experiences, and conscientiousness - the ability to control impulses.
People who did not know the dog then rated its personality based on how it reacted in tests. They included finding a hidden biscuit and coping with its owner leaving with another dog. Dr Gosling said: "We found the tests usually correlated very well with what the owners …
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Publication information: Article title: AAAS CONFERENCE: Man's Best Friend Is Shown to Share Personality Traits. Contributors: Not available. Newspaper title: The Independent (London, England). Publication date: February 22, 2005. Page number: 4. © 2009 The Independent - London. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.