It’s long been known that people with particular personality traits are more inclined to engage in certain hazardous activities, and recent research suggests that dogs display the same tendency. The study, which was published in the journal Translational Psychiatry, suggests that dogs may have mental health concerns that are quite similar to our own and that dogs might thus serve as a model for studying human psychopathology and personality. Despite our diversity, research has revealed that humans have just five primary personality traits: extroversion, conscientiousness, agreeableness, neuroticism, and openness. Neuroticism, for an instance, is highly associated with anxiety and other types of psychopathology, whereas conscientiousness is adversely correlated with attention deficit disorders.
Dogs, on the other hand, are regarded to have seven distinct personality qualities. Insecurity, energy, training concentration, aggressiveness/dominance, human sociability, dog sociability, and perseverance are the traits to look for. However, it was unknown until today whether there is a link between personality qualities and undesired behaviors in dogs, as there is in humans. To discover out, the researchers surveyed 11,360 dog owners in Finland, looking for a relationship between pet pups’ personalities and ten undesired habits.
Noise sensitivity, separation-related behavior, fear of surfaces/heights, and fearfulness were among the bad behaviors grouped together under the category of “fear-related behavior.” Barking and stranger-directed aggressiveness were among the behaviors called “fear-aggression,” whereas hyperactivity and impulsivity contributed to the latent behavioral characteristic named “impulsivity/inattention.”
The fourth and last behavioral category was “aggressive,” which included owner-directed, dog-directed, and stranger-directed aggression. The researchers determined that dogs’ personalities are tightly connected to their behavior and that these relationships are strikingly comparable to those seen in people, after evaluating the answers of dog owners. Dogs with a high score for the personality attribute insecurity, for example, were more likely to engage in undesirable behavior, mimicking the link between neuroticism and psychopathology in humans.
The research authors add, “The insecurity characteristic was highly comparable to the human neuroticism trait, with a high score in both reflecting negative feelings like fear and concern.” “Training concentration was similar to the human conscientiousness attribute; both were characterized by self-control and evenness, for example.” Training concentration in dogs was adversely connected with impulsivity/inattention, much as conscientiousness is linked to a lower incidence of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Other parallels between humans and hounds included females’ increased nervousness and fearfulness, as well as males’ increased inattention.
General fearfulness and sociability were observed to decrease with age in both species, but concentration and attentiveness increased with age in the opposite way. The study’s authors conclude that “dog personality traits are comparable to human personality traits,” and that “similarities between dogs and people imply that common genetic and neurobiological causes may underpin these behavioral features in both dogs and humans.” They go on to say that “the dog is a useful model for both mental diseases and human personality” based on these findings.