A well-known proverb concludes that “dogs look like their owners” but an intriguing new research study will now explore whether pet owners also share their personality with their canine companions.

The research, which will take place at the University of Lincoln, UK, will investigate the role of different personality traits in the formation of a successful bond between a pet owner and their dog and will explore whether they share similar characteristics.

Conducted by Afrodite Agorastou, a postgraduate student on the MSc of Clinical Animal Behaviour programme in the University of Lincoln’s School of Life Sciences, the new study aims to discover what makes the best personality combinations when it comes to owners and their dogs.

Afrodite said: “We know that some dog owners wonder why others seem to have a perfectly harmonious relationship with their pets, while they face a regular struggle to train and bond with their dog. Even with professional dog training we know that some owners still come up against difficulties and face frustration so I am going to investigate whether other factors – such as personality – affect this relationship.

“We are inviting dog owners to take part in a short survey which will provide us with details about their own personality as well as their pet’s. It will be interesting to discover whether or not harmonious owner-pet relationships are thanks to ‘matching personalities’, and if so whether it might be possible for people to take this into account when considering taking on a pet dog in the future.”

Afrodite is currently collecting data and will begin analysing the results later this year. Her survey is now live and all dog owners are invited to take part online:

Afrodite can be contacted via email: