Picking the right dog for you can be a difficult choice, but one dog trainer has some ideas about what your dog’s breed might say about you.
While helping owners train their dogs, Taylor Cezanne Pefferkorn has noticed that people don’t choose their dog just because of how cute it is but also because of its personality type. She has highlighted on social media the correlation between dog breeds and human personalities, which can make for a perfect match.
Pefferkorn, who lives in Austin, Texas, told Newsweek that the connections she’s drawn are from her own observations, research and some humor thrown in for good measure. “My own experience with dogs, coupled with engaging with my community, helps me draw these humorous yet surprisingly accurate correlations,” she said.
In a video posted on her TikTok account (@taylorcezanne), Pefferkorn suggested that people who don’t like being told what to do and enjoy sleeping in are drawn to dachshunds, while intelligent people will choose a miniature poodle. Active individuals are likely to own a border collie.
The viral video has already been viewed more than 3.1 million times and received over 129,000 likes since it was posted September 30.
Pefferkorn told Newsweek: “In crafting these associations between dog breeds and human personalities, I’ve noticed some amusing trends. For instance, Labrador retriever owners often come across as sociable and outgoing, the kind of people who would organize the neighborhood BBQ.
“French bulldog owners seem to enjoy the hustle and bustle of urban life and often have a refined taste in food and fashion. German shepherd owners are generally serious and responsible—you can imagine them enjoying action movies and investigative TV series.”
As amusing as the links are between an owner’s personality and dog breed, Pefferkorn said they are “all meant to be lighthearted and comedic stereotypes,” and she’s aware that there are plenty of other complexities involved.
What Does an Expert Say?
Pefferkorn has certainly amused many social media users with her series of videos, but is there truth to her suggestions?
Leigh Siegfried, the founder of Opportunity Barks which does dog training, told Newsweek that a dog’s characteristics can align with its owner’s personality, so she feels “pretty congruent” with most of what Pefferkorn suggests.
“Mostly, what’s getting shared here are things that are specific to these breeds and their traits. Dachshunds, for example, love to burrow and go under blankets, and they love to snuggle up.
“When you get to the border collie, it’s more breed-specific traits represented by the dog. So you may have an active lifestyle, and a lot of people who have dealt with working breeds generally are more active. They’re often runners or hikers,” Siegfried said.
While she noted that many of the claims in the video are for entertainment value, it is possible that owners and dogs will mirror each other’s behaviors after a while.
A study that identified mirror neurons in the brains of macaque monkeys suggested that these animals could understand a human’s behavior and replicate it. Mirror neurons compute sensory information and cause the individual to act upon it—such as seeing someone else yawn or smile and then copying that action by default.
The discovery of mirror neurons in monkeys in the 1990s led researchers to delve deeper into the subject, and they have since been identified in songbirds and mice too. While it hasn’t been proven that dogs have them, Psychology Today reports that many researchers suspect it’s highly likely, as they can mirror their owner’s behavior.
How Has Social Media Reacted?
Pefferkorn has loved seeing the social media reaction to her videos, and this has encouraged her to continue posting more of the clips to amuse her followers.
“The response has been overwhelmingly positive. It’s been so rewarding to see people tag their friends in the comments, and it’s proof that we all see a little bit of ourselves in our furry friends,” she said.
“I love that this series has not only entertained but also sparked conversations about the wonderful diversity within the dog community. I’m thrilled to expand on this and maybe even tackle the cat world next.”
Among the 8,600 comments on just one of her clips, many social media users praised her comments for being true and relatable.
One comment reads: “The rottweiler owner description fits me perfectly.”
Another person wrote: “I have a dachshund chihuahua mix, and this is absolutely accurate.”
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