Pet lovers pick doggie doppelgangers
US researchers have found some scientific evidence to back the long joked-about resemblance between dogs and their owners, saying many people tend to choose an animal that looks like them.
A study by University of California social psychologist Nicholas Christenfeld and colleague Michael Roy found that people seek a dog "that, at some level, resembles them, and when they get a pure-bred, they get what they want".
In the study, reported in the May issue of Psychological Science, 45 dogs and their owners were photographed separately.
Students were shown pictures of an owner, that owner's dog and one other dog.
The challenge was to pick a pet-and-master match.
The 28 student judges identified a majority of the purebred dogs and their owners - 16 matches out of the 25 pure-bred dogs.
But they could not match mixed-breed dogs with their masters.
Researchers said it seemed owners of pure-breed dogs made a choice based on their physical resemblance.
"Once the researchers were able to confirm, with randomised photo-matching techniques, the high incidence of resemblance between owners and pure-breds, and none for mixed breeds, they went on to conclude that the similarity was due to owner selection at time of acquisition," Mr Christenfeld said.