It’s often said that a dog is man’s best friend. In addition, did you know that your choice of dog breed conveys a lot about your personality? New research by The Kennel Club has revealed some interesting facts. 

For example, Jack Russell’s owners, like King Charles and the Queen Consort, are the most loyal. On the other hand, Cocker Spaniel owners, like Prince William and Princess Kate, are top of the list for being most curious and family-orientated. 

Let’s explore some exciting findings – 

What does the research say?

The research was carried out by The Kennel Club ahead of its Discover Dogs Event & revealed what the dominant personality traits are for the owners of some of the UK’s most popular and well-loved breeds. 

Based on the Big Five traits, a common way of evaluating personalities, the research saw owners of the UK’s most popular dog breeds ranked against personality statements, which can be used to reveal their extroversion, openness, and agreeableness levels, emotional stability, and conscientiousness.

The top five most dominant personality traits that defined Jack Russell owners are:

  1. 88% agree they are loyal and faithful
  2. 87% agree that they like to help others
  3. 84% agree that they are friendly
  4. 83% agree that they are trustworthy
  5. And 82% agree that they are good listeners

Similarly, owners of Cocker Spaniels, like the Prince and Princess of Wales, had dominant personality traits of loyalty (85%), helping others (84%), and trustworthiness (83%), but also amongst their top five traits were curiosity (81%) and being family-oriented (83%).

Owner’s personality traits

The research also revealed which owners ranked the most highly for certain personality traits when compared to those who own other breeds: 

  • Springer Spaniel – Most traditional, reserved, and punctual 
  • Border Terrier – Most charming, lively, and exuberant 
  • Cocker Spaniel – Most creative and family-orientated
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier – Most affectionate and trustworthy 
  • Jack Russell Terrier and Miniature Schnauzer – Most loyal and faithful 

Those who enjoy new experiences, have lots of hobbies, and enjoy taking risks, suggesting they rank the highest within the ‘openness’ personality trait, owned Whippets, and those owners who ranked most emotionally stable, stating they were positive and happy, had Golden Retrievers. 

Owners who displayed the highest level of conscientiousness, including being organised and preferring to stick to the rules, had Miniature Schnauzers.

Those that ranked the most highly on agreeableness traits and extroversion traits and came out on top overall across the Big Five owned Pomeranians.

The research also showed similarities between owners and their breed, indicating people unconsciously select dogs that reflect their own personalities:

  • Golden Retrievers are known to be happy in temperament, and their owners ranked as the happiest and most optimistic compared to owners of other breeds.
  • Staffies have affectionate personalities, much like their owners, who ranked as the most affectionate.
  • Jack Russell Terriers are described as friendly, the third most dominant characteristic owners recognize in themselves.

Other findings when it comes to the selection of breeds

However, the research also showed that while people might select breeds they feel an affinity with, owners aren’t always so good at selecting dog breeds that match their lifestyle. 

63% choose their four-legged friend based on looks or following their heart rather than their head, and 50% say they can’t offer their dog everything they need. 

Those who did lots of research said they spent a long time understanding every aspect of their breed before buying. Besides, 88% agree their canine companion perfectly matches their personality and lifestyle. 

Expert’s Opinion

Bill Lambert, a spokesperson for The Kennel Club, which runs the Discover Dogs event, said, “It appears that we can often tell a lot about a person from the type of dog that they own, with the dominant personality traits of Jack Russell owners – owned by the likes of King Charles – being their loyalty, generous spirit for helping others and their trustworthiness.” 

Bill further adds, “Each breed has distinct characteristics, traits, and care needs, which helps would-be owners understand more about whether they might be a good fit for them. It is quite striking to see how many people unconsciously select dog breeds with personalities that match their own character, showing that birds of a feather really do flock together.” 

“However, it is also shocking to see how many people say that they choose with their hearts, not their heads, when finding a pet, and how many admit they can’t provide for all their dog’s needs. Our Discover Dogs event in London on 15 and 16 October is a unique chance for people to get up close and personal with almost 200 different breeds to find their perfect match,” concludes Bill.