(LIFE WITH PETS/DOGS) Have you ever been told your dog is your look-alike?

If so, you may have a doggie doppelganger, a concept that sparked a contest this week on an episode of TODAY. The program highlighted this phenomenon with their own pet look-alike contest.

Jim Phelan and his miniature schnauzer, Jack were finalists in the TODAY show contest. Photo Credit: Jim Phelan
Jim Phelan and his miniature schnauzer, Jack, were finalists in the Today show contest. Photo Credit: Jim Phelan

TODAY asked viewers to send in photos of pet guardians with their doggie dopppelganger and the most similar were narrowed down to five contestants. The contestants wore corresponding clothing and hairstyles to emphasize their similarities.

David Frei, co-host of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, was the official judge for the segment.

But is there anything to this phenomenon or is just happenstance that some pet parents and their dogs share a resemblance?

Scientists seem to think there is more to it than mere coincidence.

According to psychologists, people tend to pick pets similar to them to begin with. This is part of a concept of familiarity, choosing familiar objects, events, or even relationships due to positive associations with the familiar.

Winner of the TODAY show contest for doggie doppleganger.
Austin Newcomb and his dog Tucker were the winners of the Today show contest. Photo Credit: Samantha Wasnich

People seek out friends, partners, and even pets who resemble themselves without even realizing it.

In a study in British Colombia, it was determined that women with long locks preferred dogs with long, droopy ears that framed their face, just like their own long hair.

The same was true of short-haired women who chose dogs with short, pricked up ears that did not frame their faces.

Another study suggested that people could pick out which dogs belonged to a guardian based on physical resemblance.

So, the next time you are adopting a new pup, don’t be afraid to go with your instinct and you might just end up with a doppelganger of your own!

— Elana Pisani, exclusive to Global Animal

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