Why Some Pets Look Exactly Like Their Owners

Psychology
year ago

Pets are often referred to as the “fur babies” of their owners. But some pets and their owners share such an uncanny resemblance that it’s impossible not to wonder if they were separated at birth. Let’s discover how science and psychology explain this phenomenon.

Some researchers put this idea to the test.

Michael Roy of the University of California San Diego was among the first psychologists to test this idea. For his project, he went to 3 nearby dog parks and photographed the furry animals and their owners separately; then, he asked a group of people to try matching them up. He found that people often guessed which dog belonged to which owner.

The reason is simpler than what we expected.

Some pets and their owners are so interestingly similar you can’t tell where one stops, and the other begins. It turns out we look like our pets because people are more likely to adopt an animal if it looks like them.

Let’s talk about the mere exposure effect.

The mere exposure effect is the tendency to prefer things merely because they are familiar. For example, if someone sees their face in the mirror every day, this might be why we like and choose pets with similar features.

It’s all about hair and ears.

There’s another study that supports this claim. 261 women were asked to pick which breed of dog they preferred based on a small sample: lop-eared pups (the English Springer Spaniel and Beagle) versus pricked ears (the Siberian Husky and Basenji).

Women with longer hair were likelier to choose a lop-eared dog, whereas women with short hairstyles preferred pricked-ear dogs.

We can’t be thankful enough for pets.

Although we’ve been domesticating dogs for almost 30,000 years, it’s hard to believe how strongly we bond with them.

Bonus: A mom-to-be saved a stray cat, and it turned out they were both pregnant.

We’ve bred our pets to be like us in many ways — so much so that we feel a strong emotional and natural bond with these animals, and they’ve even started having our physical attributes.

What animal do you think is a good match for your personality?

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