Is Your Dog’s Behavior A Reflection of You?

The study of canine psychology is deep and complex. Scientific researchers have dedicated their life’s work to studying, understanding, and interpreting the underlying psychological factors that influence how dogs behave and interact among one another, and with humans and other species.

The behavioral studies of dogs can help humans comprehend what determines a dog’s temperament and personality, whether it’s nature versus nurture, and what dog owners can do to maximize their potential for healthy and happy lives.

It can explain underlying reasons for behavioral flaws, such as seemingly unprovoked aggression and unpredictable mood patterns, even depression and anxiety in canines. It may also help explain why some dog owners and pets share certain similar traits.

It can explain underlying reasons for behavioral flaws, such as seemingly unprovoked aggression and unpredictable mood patterns, even depression and anxiety in canines. It may also help explain why some dog owners and pets share certain similar traits.

Canine Communication: Intention Versus Perception

It’s a well-known fact that dogs interpret and express their emotions differently than humans. Dogs are also impressionable, which means they absorb the energy around them, positive or negative. According to some behavioral research and scientific experiments on this theory, dogs can mirror their owners’ emotional states and reactions to stimuli or situations. This can include anxiety, anger, and fear-based negativity that humans experience and project through their behaviors and actions.

Dogs that codependently bonded with their owners perceive a situation through their owner’s responses, whether the owner intends to display a certain emotional response or not.

Primary personality traits that stem from neuroticism, extraversion, introversion, openness, and awareness can be passed from humans to other species that are capable of interpreting and reflecting emotional experiences. The lack of linguistic understanding doesn’t necessarily prevent the transaction and transferal of feelings and emotions.

Nature versus Nurture Theories

The nature vs nurture theory is one of the oldest and most debated theories in psychology. It pertains to how much more influence genetics have over a species’ behavior than environmental factors. As it relates to dogs, the question boils down to what governs dog behavior: is it determined and shaped by innate instincts that the dog is born with, or is it based on experience, and what the dog learns from its master.

Nature versus Nurture Theories

Dogs are very aware of their surrounding environment, and everything that’s a part of it. They have sharp sensory instincts that enable them to pick up on atmospheric changes, smells, and sounds that we can’t or don’t notice.

Their natural awareness and hypervigilance are so sharp, they can sense an earthquake or other natural disaster approaching before humans can. All dogs are born with genetically inherited traits. But depending on how they’re raised as they grow into adults, those traits can be overpowered or eclipsed by learned traits and behaviors.

A dog that came into the world as a happy, curious puppy has the potential to become a fearful, aggressive or unsociable adult dog if it’s raised by an aggressive owner whose actions and reactions are fear-based. The owner transposes his or her anger upon the animal that becomes dependent on them for food, shelter, and direction.

On the other hand, a dog raised by a good-natured human that trains it patiently with affection and authority is more likely to mature into a confident, sociable animal that isn’t governed by fear and has an easier time adapting to new environments and situations.

Your dog’s behavior, essentially, is influenced by how you raise and train them. If it exhibits any destructive or undesirable traits, reconsider how you’re behaving around your pet. You may also want to hire an HNH dog behaviorist to help curb any behavioral problems. Dog behaviorists are highly educated and trained experts who specialize in behavior modification.

Dogs as Pack Animals

Social hierarchy is intrinsically built into canine instincts and behaviors. Dogs look to an alpha figure, or leader, to hold authority over the rest of the pack and make key decisions for survival. Owners often assume that role in a dog’s world. For this reason, confidence is key for dog owners.

Some breeds fare better with stronger-willed and authoritative owners that don’t back down in the slightest when challenged, but in general, a dog’s behavior is reflective of its master’s ability to lead and delegate. Someone who lacks confidence and is constantly afraid will probably transfer these weak points to the animal that depends on them.

Dogs are highly intuitive and sensitive to emotional triggers. When they sense something, they respond or emulate it in their own manner.

Compatible Personalities in Humans and Dogs

Owners choose pets, it’s rarely the other way around, so people are often naturally drawn to a certain breed because of its size, type, physical characteristics, and personality traits. While it’s not uncommon for an unlikely pair to form strong companionship and enjoy a happy and healthy bond with each other, some dogs are just better off with certain personalities in humans.

compatible personalities in humans and dogs

A strong human-canine match depends on energy levels and sociability. If you’re an outgoing person that rarely feels shy, and you enjoy being active and social, you’d be well-suited to a dog with similar traits, and vice versa.

While experiencing anxiety or sadness is perfectly normal, your ability to control your emotions and overcome your fears will greatly benefit your dog. Someone who prefers to socially isolate, and doesn’t enjoy being outdoors or among other people would be better suited to a pet that doesn’t need as much stimulation to be happy.

That being said, it’s possible for a dog to change its demeanor and behavioral tendencies to adapt to its owner’s personality and habits.

That’s not to say that someone who struggles with an emotional disorder shouldn’t have a dog, or that the dog will become just as depressed or anxious as its owner. While fear is a very powerful emotional experience, the antidote to this is love, acceptance, security, and confidence.

Dogs and people can enjoy a mutually beneficial and complementary relationship by providing one another with unconditional love and support, which fosters confidence and self-esteem.

Conclusion

In summary, a human’s emotional experience and the way they express themselves can leave a deep imprint on their pet’s psyche, due to the codependent nature of their relationship. There’s strong evidence to suggest that dogs do tend to take on the personality of their owners, due to their absorbent natures and intrinsic need to follow a leader’s example.

All dogs are born with unique and hereditary characteristics. But the way they’re nurtured and trained as domestic pets plays a major role in how they turn out as adults. The behaviors they exhibit are heavily dependent on how they perceive their environment and how they observe and interpret their owners’ emotions, positive and negative.

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