Everyone remembers the scene in “101 Dalmatians” when the camera pans to owners and their canine doppelgangers. In fact, walking through your local park might introduce you to more than one odd pairing of humans and dogs who look like one another.
While these similarities might seem coincidental, they’re backed by some substantial evidence. FastCoDesign explained that behavioral scientists discovered that some people look so much like their dogs that strangers can match pairs based on photos alone. While it’s obvious that genetics have nothing to do with it, University of California, San Diego, social psychologist Nicholas Christenfeld, Ph.D., believes it could be a subconscious decision.
Why We Pick Pooches Like Us
Christenfeld ran a study with his colleague, Michael Roy, using photographs of 45 dog-owner pairs from local parks. They noted the length of the pairs’ respective relationships and identified the canines as either purebred or mixed. Participants were shown three pictures – one person and two dogs – and asked to pair owners with their pets. They successfully matched 16 purebreds with their owners out of a possible 25 pairs.
“The results suggest that when people pick a pet, they seek one that, at some level, resembles them, and when they get a purebred, they get what they want,” wrote Christenfeld and Roy in a past issue of Psychological Science.
Although the resemblance between owners and pooches might be tough to pinpoint, many pet parents love to make sure their dogs always look their best.
Keeping your older canine looking handsome
Like their owners, pooches will tend to develop gray hairs as they get older. As Fido’s needs change, he’ll wind up depending on you more than ever to keep him happy and healthy.
The American Kennel Club explained that after about seven years, most dogs’ bodies will change just like humans’ do. Owners might start to notice changes in their canines’ appearance, as the fur around his muzzle and eyebrows turns white. At this point, it becomes important to bring him into the veterinarian’s office at least once a year for checkups on his health. Docs can perform specific age-related tests, such as drawing blood to examine vital organs, and give advice on making life more comfortable for your old furry friend.