Doggelgangers? People Who Look Like Their Pet
Have you ever noticed that some people look like their dog? Why is that? I’ve been pondering that question ever since I was six years old and fascinated that my funny uncle looked exactly like his weiner dog. When an article came out in the New York Times about this topic recently, it was finally time to research this phenomenon. The real question becomes, do people choose dogs that look like them or do the dogs and the people morph into a resemblance over time? Since 2004, there have been three significant studies published on the topic. One by researchers in San Diego, one by a psychologist at the University of South Carolina and one by a scientist in England. In all three studies, people were asked to match pictures of dog owners with dogs, and in all three studies, a surprising number of people were able to match the correct dog owners with the correct dogs. Why is this? Some participants claimed they looked at hair and facial expressions. Other participants said they tried to match personality traits that they thought would be similar in the owners and the dogs. Also, it is interesting to note that they were more likely to match the dogs to the owners when the dogs were purebred. In the end, the jury is still out on this question. According to the New York Times article, “Scientists suspect that some people look for certain traits or predispositions when choosing a dog that reflect their own personalities.” A National News Organization also ran a story about this topic a while back. According to that article, “A similar phenomenon happens among couples. People tend to be attracted to those who have personalities similar to their own, according to a study done in 2006. And as time goes on, similarities in appearance grow, explaining why some older couples look alike.” Then, of course, there are the people out there (usually not dog owners) who think this whole theory is nonsense. They would argue that the owners may have the same hairstyle or the same level of “hairiness,” but people cannot actually look like a particular dog. We say you be the judge. So, do you look like your dog? If you do - or know somebody who does, let us know! We'd love to share your story and pictures.