A study has found that our favourite canines are susceptible to the moods and emotions of their owners.
Anxious owners were found to have more anxious dogs, while friendly and relaxed owners had more relaxed and friendly pets.
The study was carried out by researchers at the University of Vienna, using 132 dog owners and their faithful canine companions.
They used measurements of the stress hormone cortisol during potentially stressful situations such as separation, walking over a wire mesh bridge or sitting still on a wobbly podium.
The way the dogs reacted to difficult situations was compared to their owner’s ability to cope.
Iris Schoberl, one of the study’s authors, told The Daily Mail: “Owners behave differently because they are pessimistic or neurotic, and perhaps dogs read the emotions of their owners and think the world is more dangerous, so are more reactive to it.
“It looks like people who are pessimistic have dogs which are worse at coping with stress than others.”
I would have liked to see a study into why dogs often seem to mimic the hairstyles of their owners. Or is the other way around? Maybe it’s the owners that are subconsciously mimicking the dogs?