Saturday, November 3, 2007

Pets and their owners share traits: Study

Believe it or not, pets and their owners are just like married couples and they get more alike over a period of time, a study has indicated.

In a survey, Prof Richard Wiseman of the University of Hertfordshire asked about 2,500 people to complete online questionnaires about their characters and those of their pets.

The survey found that many dog lovers, cat owners and even reptile keepers said they shared many of the same traits - such as happiness, intelligence, independence and sense of humour - as their pets.

Wiseman also discovered that the longer an animal had been with its owner, the more likely it were to have picked up his/her characteristics.

Prof Wiseman told The Daily Telegraph : "For years, owners have insisted their pets have a unique personality.

"Not only does this work suggest they might be right, it also reveals people's pets are a reflection of themselves."

He said: "Similarity promotes liking in humans. Research has shown couples that are like each other stay together longer.

"Extending this to the animal kingdom, I think it is likely someone who is fun and playful is more likely to go for a dog, for example", Wiseman said.