Huffington Post - Would you rather own a domineering pit bull or a loving Labrador? The answer may say a lot about your personality.
New research, detailed last week in the journal Anthrozoos, finds that people with argumentative personalities are more likely to choose bull terriers and other aggressive dogs than their agreeable counterparts.
The finding, along with other research, suggests the dog breeds we choose act as mirrors for ourselves. For instance, research presented in April at the British Psychological Society Annual Conference suggested individuals who own toy dogs are more likely to be open to new experiences, a trait called openness.
Meanwhile, owners of famously friendly dogs, like retrievers, are likely to be the most agreeable personalities around.
In the new study, 235 adults, ages 15 to 64, indicated their preference for different dog breeds and also filled out personality tests, among other questionnaires.
The study focused on seven of the ten most popular dog breeds in the United Kingdom: Labrador retriever, English cocker spaniel, West Highland white terrier, border terrier, German shepherd, boxer and Staffordshire bull terrier. Studies showed people had difficulty differentiating the other three breeds in the top 10 — English springer spaniel, Cavalier King Charles spaniel and the golden retriever — from other dog breeds.
Dogs were independently rated on their perceived aggressiveness, with terriers thought of as the most aggressive, followed by boxers; retrievers and cocker spaniels were rated as the least aggressive.
Results showed the participants who scored lowest on agreeableness — someone who is less concerned with others' well-being and perhaps more suspicious, unfriendly and competitive — were more likely than others to prefer an aggressive dog.
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Written by Jeanna Byner