IT HAS long been argued that couples who have been married a long time start to look like each other.
Since 90% of communication is non-verbal, and a good percentage of what’s left is down to facial expressions, it’s no wonder people who’ve spent a lifetime in each other’s presence pick up a host of identical mannerisms.
I’ve also seen the assertion that dogs and their owners start to have physical similarities.
The third and most intriguing suggestion is that dogs are a key to the owner’s personality, like His Dark Materials author Philip Pullman’s characters, whose souls are visible ‘daemons’ or creatures that are a mirror of their owners’ natures.
Dogless, I walk a dog-and-owner thoroughfare each morning, and am thus in a position to offer my own observations on this.
I’ve not noticed that owners look like their dogs. Selective breeding, however, occurs because owners like to see ‘human’ facial expressions in dogs.
If a dog breed shows a propensity for a ‘smile’, an ‘inquisitive glance’, a ‘pity me’ expression, its masters will artificially ensure those characteristics breed on.
Charles Darwin would have called it unnatural selection.
If a dog is friendly and inquisitive, its owner, so the theory goes, is also.
If, on the other hand, the dog’s hackles rise and it starts barking, or it backs away in fear, the owner too is likely to be wary of strangers.
I’m not sure you can take this the full nine yards.
If a dog rushes up and licks me madly, for instance, I’m not convinced that the owner would like to do the same.
And to be honest, if the owner did, I would most likely bat them away.