Study: Pet owners have an influence on their dogs personality

Researchers say dogs have distinct personalities that can change over time

According to, dogs have distinct personalities that can change over time, much like people.

Researchers at Michigan State University studied over 16-hundred dogs and their owners to get a better understanding of our furry friends. The study revealed dog owners have great influences over their traits.

Researchers say dogs can change their personalities depending on their owner’s personality or mental state. They say owners who have a happy relationship with their pet, tend to have a dog who’s more active and exciting. Researchers found dogs' personalities changed over time based on the quality of their relationships with their owners.

The study also revealed a dog’s age had a profound effect on its personality. And while many behaviors can be corrected, those stemming from fear and aggression are more difficult to correct for pet parents. Researchers found older dogs are harder to train. They say the best age for obedience training is around 6 years old.

Researchers found dogs both young and old tended to have more positive personality traits if they’d taken obedience lessons.

About the Author:

Gretchen Nowroozi was born and raised in Houston. She started working at KSAT as an intern in 2019 after graduating from Michigan State University. She is a producer for Good Morning San Antonio.