Choosing A Dog May Be As Complicated As Picking A Romantic Partner

Why do we fall in love with one person and not another? The mechanisms that govern the choice of the couple make it clear that it is not a casual act, but a process as difficult as the selection of a dog in an animal shelter. This is at least determined by an investigation by the University of Indiana.

In the case of humans or pets, the heart, according to the psychologists who have participated, does not always know what it wants. “What people say they want in a dog is not always in line with what they end up choosing,” says Samantha Cohen, who has led the study at Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences, at the University of Indiana. Her suspicion is that when someone is interested in having a pet, they should be advised by a psychologist to help them focus on the desired traits, to make the adoption of animals more efficient and successful.

Based on the data she has obtained with this work, published in the journal Behavior Research Methods, the psychologist has not hesitated to offer herself as an adoption counselor in an animal shelter. “It was my responsibility to match the dogs with people according to their preferences, although I often see that visitors choose regardless of my original suggestion.”

Appearances are deceptive

“As several psychologists have shown in speed dating experiments, physical attractiveness is very important,” she adds. Therefore, many people risk losing a good partner due to excessive emphasis on specific beauty and personality traits. “For example, an adopter who wants an Irish wolfhound because they are large, loyal and light, could stop considering a non-breed with the same qualities.”

Cohen also talks about what pet choice entails. “People who have never had a dog may not understand the implications of certain behaviors. One who is seen as playful in the shelter can become a real destroyer when he arrives at a small house. Also, remembering that shelters are environments of great stress and their personalities can change when they are more relaxed in a home, she suggests shelters consider the idea of ​​temporarily placing the animal in a quieter environment so that it shows its true colors before being adopted.

Glenn Clinton

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