Science shows dogs do resemble their owners

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Science Shows Dogs Do Resemble Their Owners

There's a common belief that dogs tend to look like their owners, and scientifically, this appears to be true.

A recent BBC article describes an early study on the topic where people were able to match separate photos of dogs and owners through cues ranging from the obvious like weight or more subtle features like eye shape.

The BBC writer, David Robson, attributes the underlying reason to a bond which is strengthened through a mix of familiarity, shared personality, and even gene compatibility.

A Japanese psychologist, Sadahiko Nakajima, went further in a study published in 2013 by honing in on individual facial features.

Participants were asked to identify dog-owner pairs when shown a mix of photos that featured a human and animal together, but some images randomly had the mouths or eyes of one or both obstructed.

The researcher found that when only the eyes of both were shown, people were able to successfully determine a real match nearly as much as when the full photo was shown.

He believes the similarity phenomenon overall is an example of 'mere exposure effect,' which boils down to people preferring the familiar.

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Science shows dogs do resemble their owners
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