Pets are often referred to as their owners’ “fur babies.” 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 find out how science and psychology explain this phenomenon.
Some researchers put this idea to the test.
Michael Roy of the University of California at San Diego was one of 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; so he asked a group of people to try to match 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 alike that you can’t tell where one ends and the other begins. It turns out that 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 simply because they are familiar. For example, if someone sees their face in the mirror every day, that could be why we like them and choose pets with similar traits.
It’s all about hair and ears.
There is another study that supports this claim. 261 women were asked to choose which breed of dog they preferred based on a small sample: lop-eared puppies (English Springer Spaniel and Beagle) versus prick-eared puppies (Siberian Husky and Basenji).
Women with longer hair were more likely to choose a dog with floppy ears, while women with short hair preferred pricked-ear dogs.
We can’t be thankful enough for pets.
Although we have domesticated dogs for almost 30,000 years, it is hard to believe how strong we are with them.
What animal do you think matches your personality?
Preview photo credit mama.maners / Instagram, Alina Nieman / haflinger_storm_naomi / Instagram