Page last updated at 07:29 GMT, Friday, 3 April 2009 08:29 UK

Research matches dogs with owners

It is possible to match a dog with its owner by looking at photographs, researchers have claimed.

The findings of the Bath Spa University study are due to be presented at the British Psychological Society Annual Conference in Brighton later.

In the study Chris Hunter and Dr Lance Workman asked a group of 70 people who do not own dogs to relate photos of 41 dog owners to three possible breeds.

The study found the group made matches at a level significantly above chance.

Dr Lance Workman, Head of Psychology in Bath Spa University's School of Social Sciences, said: "This suggests that certain breeds of dogs are associated with particular kinds of people.

"The non dog owners used stereotypes to match the dogs to their owners.

"These stereotypes persisted into judgments of the dog owners' personalities: non dog owners considered the owners of each breed to share certain personality traits, such as level of conscientiousness and emotional stability.

"But when we tested the dog owners' personalities we found no strong links between any particular personality trait and choice of dog breed. So any shared qualities are only skin deep."

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