3 reasons dogs look like their people

Do you look just like your dog? Here are a few reasons why this comical phenomenon occurs!

Do you remember the montage in Disney’s 101 Dalmatians where Pongo sees dogs on the street that look scarily like their owners? Have you ever noticed that this happens in real life? Humans looking like their dogs is actually more common than you’d think – it’s even been scientifically proven! The question is why? Why do humans look like their dogs? Or is it, why do dogs look like their humans? Here are a few possibilities.

1. It happens on purpose

In many cases, humans purposefully search for dogs that are similar to them – both physically and attitudinally. Pet parents will look for pups that can mesh well with their lifestyle. For example, people who live an active lifestyle will try to find a companion that can join them. These are typically dogs with lots of energy and ambition like shepherds or retrievers. On the other hand, there are those who live a more relaxed, slow-paced lifestyle. Pups who love to cuddle in bed all day and watch the squirrels out the window are great companions for these people. Great human-canine bonds are built when the two can co-exist well together.

2. It happens subconsciously

It’s a human construct to gravitate towards things that feel familiar and safe. It can be comforting to pet parents to have a dog that has similar physical traits or characteristics. For example, people with long hair might be more in favor of dogs with droopy, long ears, while those with short hair might love a dog with perked ears. Are you looking at your dog right now wondering if you subconsciously picked a dog that looks just like you? There could be hundreds of reasons to justify why someone might choose one dog over another, but it really all comes down to feeling familiar and comfortable with your companion.

3. Dogs take on our mannerisms

If a dog doesn’t physically resemble us, perhaps they appear to look like us because they act like us. Dogs absorb our emotions. They can sense anxiety and fear the same way they can feel our excitement and happiness. Our behaviors and feelings are passed onto them whether we want them to pick them up or not. This is why therapy dogs are so popular! Dogs’ powerful senses allow them to exude empathy and form deep, emotional bonds with their people.

Like all families, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Whether it happens on purpose or not, having a mini-me companion is always a thing to treasure.

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Elissa Weimer-Sentner is the founder, co-owner, and head trainer of Paw & Order Dog Training, which has locations throughout Western Pennsylvania, Central Ohio (Columbus), Southwest Florida (Fort Myers/Naples), Houston/Galveston Texas, and Upstate SC (Greenville). Elissa’s extensive experience and understanding of advanced canine training methodologies and coaching enabled her to establish Paw & Order as a top-tier dog training program in the country. She has developed programs that specialize in all levels of dog training such as, puppy training, basic obedience, intense behavior modification, and works with dogs that have been deemed “impossible” to train. Elissa has been awarded Dog Training Specialist of the Year in 2021, Most Innovative Dog Training Business - South Western Pennsylvania in 2021, Best of the Burgh in 2020, and Best of the Best in 2019-2021.