There might just be some truth to the adage that dogs resemble their owners.
Researchers found that when college students were shown pictures of various dogs and dog owners, the students more often than not could correctly match dog and owner.
However, this finding only held true with purebreds. Mutts don't seem to resemble their owners.
"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 researchers Michael Roy and Nicholas Christenfeld of the University of California at San Diego, report suntimes.com
A lot of people have talked of this notion," said Christenfeld, who is no stranger to quirky research. He has studied the impact of people's initials on their life spans and how babies, at age 1, strongly resemble their fathers, making them feel secure that the children are their offspring.
Now Christenfeld has gone to the dogs.
The research found that the resemblance exists for people who have purebred dogs.
Owners who get these dogs as puppies have a pretty good idea what a particular dog will look like when it reaches adulthood, Christenfeld said. And, for whatever reason, they often pick a dog that has a look that's similar to their appearance.
Choose a puppy that is a mutt and you're rolling the dice, he said. You may hope to get a dog that resembles you, but it's unknown what that dog will grow up to be, inform signonsandiego.com
The study found no correlation between how long an owner and a dog had been together, suggesting that man and his best friend don't grow to resemble each other over time.
How the aristocratic Afghan Hound or the otherworldly French Bulldog resemble their owners is unclear since the study found judges didn't use any one characteristic to make the matches. There were no significant correlations between dogs and owners on the basis of size, attractiveness, friendliness and energy level when considered separately.
"People are attracted to looks and temperaments that reflect themselves or how they perceive themselves," said Gail Miller, a spokeswoman for the American Kennel Club. Miller, who has owned several bearded collies, described her "beardies" as as gregarious, active dogs.
"I'm definitely like them - very outgoing, likes to have fun and get active," she said, according to mercurynews.com