Dog People vs. Cat People: Being A Dog Owner

Dog People vs. Cat People: Being A Dog Owner

In my experience, there is a very distinct difference between dog people and cat people. Let me preface with the fact that there is nothing wrong with either type of person. However, a psychologist from the University of Texas says research proves there are key differences.

Sam Gosling’s research is the first to show significant differences in personality traits between the two types of people. Being a dog owner, I think it’s true when they say that animals are like their owners. Gosling says that according to his research, dog people tend to be more extroverted and agreeable than cat people. Adversely, cat people, while more open than dog people, tend to be more neurotic. To reiterate, I think there is nothing wrong with either type of person, I’m just intrigued by the fact that I have personally noticed a difference in the people I know.

Invest In A Friend

I grew up around cats. When I was very young, we had a Husky whom I loved dearly, but she was run over while we were on vacation. After that, my mom could’ve easily been mistaken for the crazy cat lady–except she wasn’t crazy (aside from the fact that she let her two children keep so many cats).


When I moved out, it was 5 years before I even considered being a dog owner, but then I found this beautiful black lab that needed a home. She had siblings also needing to be housed and I almost chose one of them. At that moment, Dahlia waddled her fat little puppy butt up to me and licked my leg. It sounds silly but I knew she was the one!

As a puppy, she was an asshole. She would deliberately poop on the floor after being outside for hours just to spite me for having to work overtime and for leaving her alone. We had a love-hate relationship until she cut open her paw and had to be rushed to the emergency vet. I could hear her howling and whining and my heart ached. She’s 4 years old now and she doesn’t leave my side. If I walk into the next room, she has to be right there with me. She sits outside the bathroom door, protecting me while I’m at my most vulnerable. When I come home from work, she welcomes me like she hasn’t seen me in years. When I’m having a bad day, she makes sure to let me know that she loves me and that it’s going to be okay. In fact, she’s sitting right next to me as I write this, as if she’s reading about herself and loving every minute of the attention.

The Science Between Dogs and Humans: The Brain

We never really think of dog’s brains working like ours. We know that they’re intuitive because they’re animals and we are all built with intuition, whether we listen to it or not. The University of Glasgow in the United Kingdome is continuing research on canines to see what makes them tick. Last year, they were able to train dogs to lie still in a scanner as they scanned their brain activity. They found that just as humans hear inflections and emotional tones in the voice, dogs respond to those things from humans as well. Being a dog owner, we dog people know this to be true just by experience. Their findings also suggested, however, that dogs tend to be more responsive to outside noise stimulants, such as other dogs barking or cars driving by.


The Bonding Hormone in Those Big Puppy Eyes

A new study is showing that when your fur babies look into your eyes, it activates the same hormonal response that bonds us to human babies. Takefumi Kikusui’s study is the first to show hormonal bonding between man and his best friend. As an author of the study and an animal behaviorist at Azabu University in Sagamihara, Japan, he claims to have found that the hormone oxytocin plays a part in trust and bonding between us and our dogs.

Kikusui explains that when a mother looks into her child’s eyes, oxytocin is released in the child, causing it to gaze back at the mother for a longer period of time. The returned gaze, then, releases oxytocin in the mother and thus creates a cycle. He thinks the same thing happens with our dogs. To test the theory, urine samples were taken before and after each test to determine the levels of oxytocin released, if any. The study also tested the same interaction with humans and wolves and the results were negative for oxytocin release. They believe one possible contributing factor is the dog being raised by its owner from puppyhood.


Friends with Benefits

Being a dog owner really has many benefits for everyone. Dogs can help people to interact socially when they suffer from anxiety. Service dogs are often used for people to help them handle social interaction and feel safe while doing so. We’ve seen them leading the blind and schools are even bringing them in during midterms and finals to help students reduce test stress. They are conversation starters, as I’m sure many of you know the new puppy-trick often used to help initiate romantic conversations between strangers. Cute little puppies are the classic pick-up line.

We have 3 dogs now, all labs, and I wouldn’t trade them for the world. Dogs can physically and emotionally make you feel loved and comforted whenever you need it. It doesn’t hurt that they can also be your personal dishwashers and be ready to clean up your mess on the kitchen floor for you!

Do you already have a furry best friend? Tell me about them in the comments below!


There’s always MUSIO. Learn more about this non-furry best friend: