We sometimes recognize that a married couple will start to look like each other after they have lived together for quite some time. We also may notice the same thing when we see a human with their beloved pets. It may seem like a coincidence but there may actually be some scientific research to show it is truer than we think.
One psychologist who has studied twinning extensively is Sadahiko Nakajima. He is also a researcher at Japan’s Kwansei Gakuin University and he claims to have evidence to support why people may look so much like their dogs.
The experiment was conducted in 2009 by Nakajima. He was trying to see if strangers could match up an owner with their dogs. They looked at pictures of human faces and canine faces and, amazingly, they were able to make a match with 80% accuracy.
Since the research had proven to be so interesting, Nakajima decided to take things to the next level. An experiment was created to see if there were specific features in those faces that could help dogs and owners to be matched up correctly. Two sheets were created of dog and human portraits. One of the sheets matched the dog with the owner and the other had dogs and people mismatched. In order to see which of the features were most important, the eyes and mouthes were blocked out of the pictures of both the humans and dogs. Random participants were then assigned to one of five photo conditions to see if they could successfully identify which dogs belong to which humans.
Nakajima made a rather interesting discovery, and it had to do with the eyes. When the dog’s or human’s eyes were covered, the accuracy of the match dropped to 50%. Interestingly, this was very similar to what you would see with random guessing. When the eyes were seen, participants were still able to make the match 74% of the time.
There has been other research to show that owners may be responsible for the matchup. Similar to the way a human may select a mate, they may choose a dog that has a degree of familiarity. They don’t really think about it but they actually seek out those features and personality traits that are similar to their own. As an example, dogs and owners often share traits such as shyness or being an extrovert. Those personalities may even be more closely matched than a married couple.
Humans are more than happy to proudly display for the world to see that they look like their dogs. This can be seen on Instagram, where people are posting pictures under the #dogownerlookalike tag.
@pinewoodcavapoos shows a similar hairstyle.
@inkedbymruniverse is unmistakably similar to his pooch
@gizmothelionking shares similar blonde hair with her dog.
I love to write and it keeps me busy. I've been working online, full time since 1999.
Help Rescue Animals
Provide food and vital supplies to shelter pets at The Animal Rescue Site for free! →