I’m sure you’ve heard people say that pet owners kind of start to look like their animals after a time, the same way spouses start to resemble each other after they’ve been married for awhile. I think it’s just that we start to really get the other person (or animal) and so we naturally adopt some of their mannerisms.
And while it makes sense that experience would go both ways when it comes to human, you’ve probably never realized that our dogs also start to pick up habits from their owners.
Veterinarian Stephanie Liff talked to Bustle about why she thinks this happens.
“Dogs are very observant and will witness and take in more visual and auditory stimulus than their humans may notice.
Because of the vigilant nature or dogs, they are likely to pick up some habits they are witnessing regularly from their human.”
Basically, they watch you for ways to make you happier, or to better fit in your daily routine.
Below are 6 things your dog might start to do if you do it, too – so check them out, and start paying attention at home!
6. They copy your moods.
You’ve probably noted that your dogs get excited when you do, and they tend to lay around when you’re tired or sick, but dog and cat behaviorist and trainer Russell Harstein says there can be a bit more to it.
“Emotional contagion is the phenomenon of shared emotions between social species when in close proximity to one another.
Hence, if a parent is calm and confident, a dog will tend to be 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.”
So please, be calm folks.
5. They pick up your sleeping habits.
Your dog sleeps more than you do in a 24-hour period, but they will adjust their nighttime sleep to make sure they’re snoozing when you are, says Dr. Liff.
“I think the most common adopted behavior is sleeping patterns.
If the owner likes to stay up late and wake up late, the dog is likely to adjust to the same schedule.”
Or if you have small kids, like I do, your dog might be ready to sack out by 8pm.
4. How they show affection.
All breeds have a natural level of affection, but how you are with your dog also makes a differences, says Nicole Ellis, a certified professional dog trainer on Rover.com.
“We show affection in different ways, and some people are more affectionate than others.
Our animals often fall into the same habits of expressing their affection from staying distant with simple tail wags, to cuddling and kisses.”
Me? I like the kisses.
3. They eat when you do.
If you feed your dogs when you eat, they’ll adjust so that’s when they’re hungry, says Dr. Liff.
“Typically is a pet is being fed at a regular time and that changes, they will react to that.
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.”
Basically, dogs get hangry, too, so if you’re feeling famished, their probably feeling cranky and ready to eat, too.
2. The way they feel about certain people.
You may think that you can trust your dog’s cues when it comes to other people, but in reality, they might just be reinforcing your own instincts or taking cues from you, says Ellis.
“Dogs can easily pick up on our emotions from happy and excited, to scared and upset.
If we get excited every time someone in particular comes over, our pets will soon pick up this same habit of being excited for this new company.”
Likewise, your dog will try to protect you from people who make you uncomfortable.
1. Your exercise routine.
Is your dog lazy? Does she love her walk and can’t live without it? Will he go for a run?
While some dogs are naturally lazier than others, most of them will adjust to your level of activity and begin to crave – or avoid – the same, says Dr. Liff.
“If a pet is conditioned to regularly scheduled walks of a specific duration and time and that schedule changes you may see a negative impact on your dog.”
Exercise is good for your mental health, and for your dog’s as well.
We’ve only had our current dog a year, so I’m going to have to keep an eye out in the future.
Have you noticed your dog picking up habits from you? Tell us what they are in the comments!