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Surly People Tend to Like Vicious Dogs, Study Finds

Photodisc/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Many people believe dogs match the personality of their owners, and in a new study that seems to confirm that belief, British researchers say they’ve found that surly people tend to own aggressive dogs.

For the study, researchers at the University of Leicester’s School of Psychology had human participants fill out personality tests that also included questions to determine which breeds of dogs they liked.

The tests reveal that younger people and individuals with “low levels of agreeableness” -- those who are generally less concerned about others' well-being and may be suspicious, unfriendly and competitive -- tend to prefer dog breeds that are considered more aggressive, such as boxers and pit bull terriers.

Lead researcher Vincent Egan says there’s no evidence of a connection between a person liking an aggressive breed of dog and delinquent behavior.  He says there's also no evidence that having an aggressive breed of dog is a “status display” meant to show off or attract members of the opposite sex.

The study is published in the June edition of the journal Anthrozoos.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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