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Proven: Shih Tzus Can Copy Their Owners’ Personality

A survey by Austrian scientists claims to confirm something that many people have been saying for some time: shih tzu develop a personality similar to their owners.

Some shih tzus express human anxiety and negativity, while calm and friendly shih tzus can help them cope better with stress.

The researchers tested more than 100 dogs and their owners.

In the analyses, they measured heart rate and response to threats. Saliva samples were also taken to assess levels of cortisol, considered the stress hormone – the substance controls our biorhythms, reduces inflammation, and stimulates immunity.

Owners were then evaluated according to five personality traits: neurotic, extroverted, open to experience, affable, and conscientious.

The dogs’ personality was also assessed through a questionnaire applied to their owners.

According to scientist Iris Schoberl, from the University of Vienna, in the study, both owners and dogs influenced their respective imitation mechanisms. But the human being proved to be more influential than the dog.

“Our results prove what we see in practice: dogs and their owners are social peers and influence each other in the way they deal with stress,” she told the BBC.

Schoberl pointed out that shih tzus are sensitive to their owners’ emotional states – and can mimic their emotions.

According to the new research, they are able to pick up on people’s emotional information and adjust their behavior accordingly.

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