Human personality types correlated with compatible dog breeds

I realized that I was an adult not when I got a job as a Software Developer at a Fortune 1000 company, automated my finances, or even when I packed my bags, moved out of my parents' house, and bought Ikea furniture for my own studio apartment. It was when I knew that I wanted to move out of what many have called "a great bachelor pad" and into an apartment with a dog.

This past week, I've been to dog shelters and called and visited multiple apartment complexes closer to where I work. I have felt quite restless, and I've only lived in my studio for two years. Now that I no longer walk to work, as I did at my old company, I think moving closer to grocery stores and a slightly older demographic is the most pragmatic decision. It also means that I can finally have a dog of my own.

One of my co-workers knew this and sent me to, which has a less devious version of eHarmony's Find Your True Love algorithm, pairing pet owners' personality types with those of dogs they have in their database of adoptable puppies. I was paired with 27 out of 1283 total dogs, resulting in N = 39 breeds. A threshold of 84% compatibility or higher defined "compatibility." I favorited these 27 dogs and noted language similar to my own personality profile, which appears to have been generated by a pre-configured sentence selecting algorithm.

"You enjoy light activity with your dog, such as a walk around the block. You prefer a dog that likes to be a couch potato, with little bursts of activity every now and then. You like a dog that is fairly easy to train to basic commands and a few fun tricks. The dog should be able to focus his attention on something for a decent amount of time. You want a dog with a lot of confidence but, you totally understand his feelings of insecurity at first. You don't mind taking a few minutes for your dog to check out a new person or place before he is relaxed. You enjoy being greeted at the door so you know you were missed with a little snuggling now and then. However, you prefer a dog that is content to lay near you and doesn't demand a lot of physical contact."

All of the above is extremely accurate and reminds me of memories I have petsitting other friends' dogs. Every dramatic life decision I have made - getting a tattoo, changing my 7-year-running hairstyle, and getting a dog - comes after months of cogitation and journaling and planning. Now is the time. Here are the breeds I was most compatible with.

[German] Shepherd Dog, Labrador Retriever, Pit Bull Terrier (4)
Australian Shepherd (3)
Boxer, Cattle Dog, Shar Pei (2)
American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Australian Cattle Dog, Australian Kelpie, Beagle, Belgian Shepherd Tervuren, Black Labrador Retriever, Blue Heeler, Chinese Shar-pei, Dachshund, Great Pyrenees, Hound, Shih Tzu, Yorkshire Terrier Yorkie (1)

Emotionally, I wanted a tiny, fluffy dog. According to the data (and my gut, incidentally), I'm most compatible with [Australian/German] Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, and Pit Bull Terriers. At the dog shelter I went to the other day, I walked by around 40 dogs and chose one to spend time with - a dachsund/shepherd mix - while the shelter volunteer who was in the pen with me explained best case practices for working dog owners. I'm looking forward to exploring more over the next three months before I move into my new apartment, and I might find something else to visualize too.

Published October 22, 2015