My Grandfather used to say that if you wanted to take the measure of a man, look at his dog.
A person’s personality gets expressed in their interactions with their dogs, which in turn shows up in the dog’s behavior. Someone with mean dogs is probably mean themselves even if they wear a great big smile. Someone with cowardly dogs is most likely a bully. Someone with uncontrollable dogs, is probably undisciplined themselves.
Like a lot of folk wisdom, it works better in small communities where people get to watch an individual deal with a lot of dogs over time. It’s harder to make the judgment with just one meeting but even so I’ve found the advice a good rough rule of thumb for evaluating people I’ve just met. My initial impressions from their dogs seem to prove true more often than not. I even query people about their dog’s history so I can judge just how much influence they had on it. If they got it from the pound as an adult, then the animal’s behavior probably doesn’t reflect their own. If they raised the dog as a puppy, then it probably does.
Unfortunately, this goofy little study doesn’t demonstrate what the article’s title claims. The study doesn’t actually seek to correlate training with behavior but merely correlates owners’ responses to their behavior. The study doesn’t take into account the very real possibility that dogs with genetic aggression or aggression induced by the previous owner evoke an aggressive form of training in response.