Science Says Your Dachshund Adopts Your Personality Over Time

In a study published in Applied Animal Behaviour Science, researchers asked pet parents to rate themselves on five major personality dimensions (as well as on corresponding personality traits of dogs). “The Big Five,” as they’re referred to in the psychology community, are:
Neuroticism (a tendency towards feelings like anxiety and fear)
Extraversion
Conscientiousness
Agreeableness
Openness (level of creativity, curiosity and being open to new ideas)

When dog-parents spend extra time scratching their dogs’ bellies, take their dogs out for long walks and games of fetch, or even when they feel constant frustration over their dogs’ naughty chewing habits, they are gradually shaping their pets’ personalities. Dogs, like people, have moods and personality traits that shape how they react in certain situations. New findings from Michigan State University went where few researchers have gone before to reveal that, also like humans, dogs’ personalities likely change over time.

The research, published in Journal of Research in Personality, is one of the first – and is the largest – studies of its kind to examine changes in dogs’ personalities. 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. The extensive survey had owners evaluate their dog’s personalities and answered questions about the dog’s behavioral history.

The owners also answered a survey about their own personalities.

One trait that rarely changes in age with dogs, Chopik said, was fear and anxiety.

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