Many of us think of our dogs as our best friends, but according to a recent study we may actually have more in common with our canine companions than we might have thought.

According to research carried out by psychologist Lance Workman, who questioned more than 2,000 people including 1,000 dog owners, people are subconsciously drawn to pooches that carry similar character traits to them.

Which means if you have a friendly Labrador sprawled out in front of the fire you are likely to be an agreeable sort, while those dog owners who have opted for breeds such as bulldogs you are probably hard-working and no-nonsense.

Considering how much time we spend around our dogs, taking them for walks, setting out their dry dog food and playing ball in the garden, it is perhaps unsurprising that we opt for pets that are similar to ourselves.

"I think when you look for a dog at some level, largely subconsciously, you look for something that is a bit like you," said Dr Workman.

"It's a bit like a romantic partner. If they fit in they will probably last, and contrary to popular opinion with romantic partners opposites don't attract - you need to have a lot in common if it's going to last."

However, the research also revealed a few surprises - the toy breeds including Chihuahuas and Yorkies that we often see clutched under the arms of celebrities such as Paris Hilton and Geri Halliwell, suggest that their owners are intelligent and willing to embrace change.

"One of the great things was that toy dog owners, who are often seen as airheads, came out pretty much on top when it came to openness, creativity and intelligence," Dr Workman added. "Isaac Newton had what we’d today call a toy dog, a Pomeranian."

Written by: Hannah