The Ultimate Animal Personality Quiz

Staff

How can you observe animal personalities in action?

Take a stroll in a neighborhood dog park and watch the interactions of the various dogs.

How does a scientist begin to determine whether an animal has a personality?

He first needs to define what he means by personality -- whether it is just a collection of traits or do these traits have to be unique and enduring.

Do animals suffer from depression?

It would seem so, considering the FDA has approved an antidepressant for dogs made by the company that makes Prozac and which has been used to treat 70 percent of depressed dogs.

What do experts say about parrots that have been left alone?

They say they suffer from separation anxiety or depression and can harm themselves. This behavior has been treated with liquid Prozac.

According to studies, how many dogs in the U.S. suffer from separation anxiety?

Certain studies estimate that more than 10 million dogs in the U.S. suffer from separation anxiety.

How does the academic world regard the study of personality in animals?

There is a great deal of skepticism, but it seems to be declining slightly since research on animal personality has been growing since the 1990s.

What is the major problem in studying a dog's personality?

Basically, except for Dr. Dolittle, we cannot communicate with the dog to hear about its feelings.

How did Dr. Gosling research dog personality?

He compared how observers interpret personality in other humans and in dogs using two test groups, one familiar with the subjects and the other not.

What did Gosling find?

He found the judgments to be consistent for the humans and the dogs.

What factor could cause differences in behavior patterns between a dog, for instance, and a less domesticated animal?

Humans spend time with their dogs, train them and even manipulate breeding.

Do wild animals have personality traits?

Scientists in the Netherlands studied a species of wild birds, called the Great Tit, and found distinct and varied personalities.

What were some of the traits of the Great Tit?

Some were found to be aggressive and adventurous while others were shy and timid.

What were scientists able to do by controlling how the Great Tits were bred?

They were able to amplify certain characteristics leading one scientist to conclude that more than half the differences in traits was a result of genetic inheritance.

Natural selection usually weeds out one personality or the other. How has this affected these birds?

Strangely enough the personalities of these birds has remained significantly diverse.

What do other studies of animals show?

These studies have found personality traits in hyenas, ferrets, primates and spiders.

What is the main question arising from these researches?

Skeptics question the reliability of using human personality terms on animals.

All this research raises a basic question: So what if animals have personalities?

Regarding dogs, if a dog's personality can be assessed, people could choose a dog according to their personal tastes and preferences.

What practical application could knowing a dog's personality have?

Knowing a dog's personality could help predict which dogs will be best in search-and-rescue, explosive detection or guiding.

How can studying animal behavior benefit humans?

There are certain personality tests that are easier or more ethical to perform on animals than on human subjects.

What is a Bowlingual?

It is an invention by a Japanese company claiming to be able to interpret a dog's emotions by analyzing its barks.

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Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

Asking whether animals have personalities seems a bit strange to those who own pets. To a pet owner it's obvious that pets have personalities. Take this quiz and see why.

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