I call Jaxson my big head dog! To some this might seem cruel, but it’s truly a term of endearment, that and the fact – it’s true…
Seriously – his entire life he’s been trying to grow into his head. So naturally I was intrigued when I stumbled across a study in Psychology Today that suggested a dogs appearance (in terms of their size and head shape) can lend insight into their personality and behavioral characteristics.
There is some correlation between the shape of a dog’s head and the functions that they perform for humans; for example sighthounds tend to have long narrow heads, while many of the guarding breeds tend to have more square shaped heads. Source: Psychology Today
Head shapes range from the –
- long headed dogs – called “dolichocephalic” (Afghan Hounds or Greyhounds)
- wide-skulled dogs – called “brachycephalic” (Pugs or French Bulldogs)
- in-between dogs – called “mesocephalic” (Golden Retrievers or Beagles)
Shorter dogs were found to be generally more aggressive than taller dogs. The taller dogs tended to show more affection, cooperation, and playfulness with humans.
Heavier dogs tended to be bolder, more inquisitive and attentive. Lighter dogs tended to be more cautious and fearful.
HEAD SHAPE –
- Brachycephalic dogs – seem to be more engaged with their owners and have a higher interest in human play. More defensive when faced with a difficult situation to interpret ( like coming in contact with a human dressed like a ghost). #cantsayIblamethem
- Dolichocephalic dogs – seem less likely to engage in object play, especially with people they do not know! Not easily startled and recovers quickly when an unexpected event occurs.
While these are just the major findings, the overall conclusion showed – height, weight and the shape of a dogs head can predict certain aspects of aggression, fearfulness, sociability and affection.
All this information is fascinating, but for me? I just know Jaxson is my big head dog…
And that’s fine with me…
To calculate the “Cephalic Index” (a technical way to measure the skull) to determine the shape of your dog’s head or to check out the brief list of dog breeds classified by their head shape, visit A Dog’s Size and Head Shape Predicts Its Behavior in Psychology Today.
My dog is my everything ❤️
*I am not a veterinarian nor a scientist. I’m a pet parent always interested in understanding more about my dogs.