Dogs tend to mimic the personalities of the family they live with. Although it may start as a cute gesture when they mirror you, it is also important to note that this is an additional responsibility for humans to act in a way that it would not harm their furry pals.
“Dogs are very observant and will witness and take in more visual and auditory stimulus than their humans may notice,” Stephanie Liff, DVM, of Pure Paws Veterinary Care, told Bustle in an interview. “Because of the vigilant nature of dogs, they are likely to pick up some habits they are witnessing regularly from their human.”
Here are some habits that dogs adopt from their hoomans, according to experts:
1. They talk like you
No, it’s not that they actually speak like us. But if dogs are around humans that like to speak to them, they may speak back and vocalize with a howl or a bark.
“Some vocal breeds will howl and bark when a parent howls or is rowdy with them,” Russell Harstein, certified dog and cat behaviorist and trainer, told Bustle. “The dog will also be more inclined to howl or become more verbal. If that behavior of vocalizing is reinforced (by laughing, petting, smiling, or given a high-value reward of any kind), the dog will continue to offer those behaviors.”
2. They sleep like you
Sleeping next to your dog is amazing, and although they sleep more during the day, will will most likely adjust their habits and get in sync with your nighttime schedule, too.
“I think the most common adopted behavior is sleeping patterns,” Dr. Liff said. “If the owner likes to stay up late and wake up late, the dog is likely to adjust to the same schedule.”
3. They get hungry when you do
If you feed your dog during your own meal time, they are more likely to start getting hungry the same time you do.
“Typically if a pet is being fed at a regular time and that changes, they will react to that,” Dr. Liff said. “Thus they are conditioned to expect meals based on time of day or certain triggers that indicate meal time is coming, and may become upset or agitated or demanding if that schedule changes.”
4. They share your moods
It’s no secret that when humans are excited, their dogs may seem like it too. And if you like on the couch feeling sad, dogs may share the same mood.
“Emotional contagion is the phenomenon of shared emotions between social species when in close proximity to one another,” Hartstein said. “Hence, if a parent is calm and confident, a dog will tend to be or inclined to be calm and confident. On the flip side, if a parent is hyper and fearful, the dog will also be inclined to be more hyper and fearful.”
5. How they express affection
Some dog breeds are more likely to be cuddly than others, but the habits of owners can also largely affect how a dog expresses their affection towards others.
“We show affection in different ways, and some people are more affectionate than others,” Nicole Ellis, certified professional dog trainer for Rover.com, told Bustle. “Our animals often fall into the same habits of expressing their affection from staying distant with simple tail wags, to cuddling and kisses.”
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