Saturday, 26 May 2012

Disagreeable People Prefer Aggressive Dogs, Study Suggests

ScienceDaily (May 22, 2012) — Aggressive dog ownership is not always a sign of attempted dominance or actual delinquency. A study carried out at the University of Leicester's School of Psychology has found that younger people who are disagreeable are more likely to prefer aggressive dogs, confirming the conventional wisdom that dogs match the personality of their owners.



Researchers found that low Agreeableness was the best predictor of a preference for those dogs seen as more aggressive, such as bull terriers or boxers. Individuals low in Agreeableness are typically less concerned with others' well-being and may be suspicious, unfriendly and competitive.
However, the study found no link between liking an aggressive dog and delinquent behaviour, or the possibility that liking an aggressive dog is an act of 'status display' to show off or attract romantic partners.
Dr Vincent Egan, lead researcher on the study, said: "This type of study is important, as it shows assumptions are not the whole picture. It is assumed owners of aggressive dogs (or dogs perceived as aggressive) are antisocial show-offs. But we did not find persons who expressed a preference for aggressive dogs had committed more delinquent acts, or reported showing off more.

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