Aggressive dog ownership linked to low agreeableness
A study carried out at the University of Leicester has found that younger people who are disagreeable are more likely to prefer aggressive dogs, which confirms the adage that dogs match the personality of their owners.
Research revealed that low agreeableness was the best predictor of a preference for those dogs seen as more aggressive, such as bull terriers or boxers.
However, no link was found between liking an aggressive dog and delinquent behaviour, or that liking an aggressive dog is necessarily a 'status display'.
Dr Vincent Egan, lead researcher on the study, commented: "This type of study is important, as it shows assumptions are not the whole picture. It is assumed owners of aggressive dogs (or dogs perceived as aggressive) are antisocial show-offs. But we did not find persons who expressed a preference for aggressive dogs had committed more delinquent acts, or reported showing off more."
He added: "However, we did find a preference for a dog with an aggressive reputation was related to being younger and being lower in agreeableness."