The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

Uncanny Connections With Canine Companions

Uncanny+Connections+With+Canine+Companions

Have you ever noticed how some dogs look like their owners? Take the woman above with long blonde wavy hair hugging her Golden Retriever and flaunting the same luscious locks. Or, an old man with a bushy beard walking alongside a fluffy Old English sporting a matching shaggy hairstyle. Or, you might come across a tough-looking biker whose intimidating appearance resembles his tiny, yet tough, Chihuahua. Whether it’s the hairstyle, appearance, or vibe, people tend to gravitate towards dog breeds that somewhat resemble them.

The resemblance between humans and their dogs stems from a variety of factors, both biological and behavioral. It could be the comfort of familiarity—choosing a dog that resembles them or their family members whom they love might strengthen their companionship with them. According to BBC, Michael Roy, a psychologist from the University of California San Diego, was among the pioneers who decided to investigate this exciting phenomenon. Armed with a camera, he visited three local dog parks and snapped pictures of both the dogs and the owners separately. Afterward, he presented these photos to a group of participants, challenging them to match the dogs with their respective owners. Remarkably, even without any additional cues, the participants paired all of them correctly! This intriguing finding, even after being repeated many times by other researchers, has yielded the same results.

Beyond the similarities in appearance, dogs demonstrate an impressive likeness in behaviors with their owners, conforming to the rhythm and lifestyle established by them. A dog living in a bustling city with a busy owner might develop an alertness that a dog living with a laid-back owner in a quieter setting may not have. 

That’s not to say that there aren’t exceptions; while my 2-year-old bichon-poodle Benji and I both have curly hair, his is short and golden while mine is long and black. Moreover, while I can sleep through mostly anything, Benji starts barking at the faintest rustle of leaves or scamper of a squirrel. However, we’re both friendly to those around us and love making new friendsexcept for the mailman who, despite seeing every day for the past two years, Benji despises.

This is Benji, my furry family member!

Ultimately, it’s clear that the unique bond between dogs and their owners goes beyond mere companionship; it’s a reflection of shared experiences, emotions, and an enduring connection. Often coined as a “man’s best friend,” dogs transcend this title and seem more like a mirrored twin, echoing their humans’ physical attributes and personality traits.

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About the Contributor
Kavya Chettur, Senior Staff Writer
Kavya Chettur ('25) is excited to be a Senior Staff Writer for The Echo! She is interested in covering stories related to current events, student life, and science. In her free time, she enjoys dancing, playing lacrosse, and spending time with her friends and puppy, Benji. She looks forward to sharing her writing with an audience.