Which Animal Are You? A Fun Look at the Human Spirit

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Trainers use laid-back companion dogs and docile goats to mellow wild cheetahs and skittish racehorses. My theory is that some people have the untamed spirit of the former, and others have the even-keeled souls of the latter. Partnering with someone who possesses the qualities opposite yours can be mutually beneficial. Which animal are you?

Which animal are you? Cheetah, golden retriever, racehorse or goat? Find out at TravelMamas.com!

Wild Cheetahs and Laid-Back Companion Dogs

Cheetahs have speed, spiritedness and flashy spotted coats but they are also restless, uptight and nervous. Golden retrievers, on the other hand, are loyal, happy and for the most part, mellow. In their ambassador programs, the San Diego Zoo and its sister property, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park pair cheetahs with domestic dogs. According to the San Diego Zoo, “Dogs are naturally comfortable with people, even those they don’t know. Cheetahs are quite a bit more cautious and wary of new situations; having a dog buddy to show them that everything is okay—and even fun—helps the cat feel comfortable and relaxed. The dog’s body language communicates that there’s nothing to fear, which relaxes and calms the cheetah’s flight tendencies. We introduce a puppy buddy when the cheetah is still a cub and naturally playful. By spending time together, they get to know each other and become buddies.”

Skittish Racehorses and Easygoing Goats

Another animal pairing works similarly – racehorses are often calmed by the presence of docile goats. According to this article in the Chicago Tribune, goats often reside in the racehorse stalls to soothe their skittish thoroughbred friends. Goats get a bad rap in our society, but they are friendly and industrious (watch them clear land sometime!). So, you might ask yourself if you are an intense racehorse or an easygoing goat.

You Might Be a Cheetah or Racehorse If…

  • You startle easily and often loudly.
  • You have a difficult time falling asleep because you are always running to do lists and things you should have said or done differently on that unending movie reel in your brain.
  • You are greatly affected by the negative emotions of others around you, from road raging drivers to cranky restaurant servers.
  • Your athletic shoes must be tied in equal level of tightness on both feet, or you will untie and tie them over and over until they are just right.
  • You are very sensitive to changes in temperature – whether hot or cold.
  • You are either full or starving, and you get hangry (hungry + angry) when you miss a meal.

You Might Be a Golden Retriever or Goat If…

  • Noises and other distractions do not disturb your focus when you are hard at work on a project.
  • You fall asleep easily in your own bed, hotel rooms and even on airplanes.
  • When strangers are rude to you, you tend to blow it off because you know that’s their problem, not yours.
  • You have never considered whether your shoe laces are tied evenly on both feet – is that a thing?
  • You sometimes forget to bring a sweater or jacket because weather doesn’t affect you much.
  • You are okay skipping a meal every now and then if you are involved in an important or fun task.

Which Animal Are You?

I, for one, am a cheetah (or a racehorse). My mind is always a flurry of thoughts and worries. I sometimes exhaust myself and others around me with my constant need to go, go, go and analyze, analyze, analyze.

If you think you may be a cheetah, then the best thing you can do is find yourself a canine buddy. This could be a literal fluffy, affectionate dog friend, I suppose. (Although, my formerly abused rescue chihuahua/border collie mix is more cheetah than mellow retriever.)

I am blessed to have the human equivalent of a loyal and calming presence in my life — my spirit animal sister, Karen. She possesses the sweet, carefree demeanor needed to relax my untamable mind. As my husband puts it, I am my best self when my sister is around. I can still run like the dickens like a cheetah or racehorse when I need to, but she helps me realize when to stop running the race.

Being buddies with a cheetah or racehorse has its advantages for retriever or goat souls, too. We push our golden friends out of their comfort zones with our creativity and passionate approach to life. We are overflowing with ideas and energy, which makes us an exciting bunch to be around.

So…which animal are you? Let us know in the comments below! 

A note from The Travel Mama: Images purchased from Canva.com.

About Colleen Lanin

Colleen Lanin is the founder/editor-in-chief of TravelMamas.com. As the author of her book, "The Travel Mamas' Guide," she teaches parents not only how to survive a trip with children, but also how to love exploring the world with their offspring. Her stories have appeared online and in print for such outlets as the "Today" show, NBCNews.com, Parenting Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, Chicago Tribune, Expedia, San Diego Family Magazine, and more. Colleen gives tips on television, radio, and as a public speaker. She has a master’s degree in business administration with a background in marketing. She lives in Arizona with her husband and two kids.

  1. Lyla Gleason, The Globetrotting Travel Mama says

    This was so interesting. I’m definitely a cheetah or race horse – I scream every time my husband walks into our apartment… Not sure about getting a dog now but I would definitely like one someday.

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      Lyla – Your comment literally made me laugh out loud! My friend and former neighbor used to get so annoyed with me for screaming whenever I get startled but I can’t help it!

  2. Shobha George, The Expat Travel Mama says

    I am definitely a cheetah or a racehorse. You don’t want to meet me hangry. My husband learned that early in our relationship because I turn very cranky.

  3. Robin Masshole Mommy says

    I think I have a little bit of all of these in me. I don’t think fall into one category.

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      Yes, I suppose these are the extreme cases. Some people may be none of these animals.

  4. Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle says

    All I can say is, “Baaaaahhhhhh.” I’m pretty laid back no matter where I go.

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      Since I’ve met you a few times in-person, Stacie, I can say I agree! You’re totally a goat or golden retriever!

  5. Toni | BoulderLocavore.com says

    I think I’m a golden retriever. I don’t have all the characteristics but at least I have a few. And because I love Golden Retrievers too!

  6. Chavonne Harvey says

    I am actually half and half. On one side I am affected by the negative emotions of others and I startle easily but on the other side, I sleep fine anywhere and never pay attention to my shoe laces. When it comes to eating, I’m a bit of both. And same goes for the weather. Leave it to me to be a bit of everything lol

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      Sounds like a confused cheetah to me! 😉 It’s probably best to be a bit of both.

  7. Pam Wattenbarger says

    Well, I was hoping to be an easy going goat. Instead, I am a cheetah or a racehorse! Those characteristics were so me.

  8. I am so much of a cheetah that my spots are showing through the screen. That description pretty much sums me up perfectly.

  9. Oh my gosh I’m definitely a cheetah/racehorse or maybe a mix. I don’t usually have trouble sleeping but I’m super sensitive to temperature changes and I startle easily!

  10. Melisasource says

    I’m a cheetah/racehorse. Those points describe me to a tee.

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      We should hang out together, Melissa! Or, er, well maybe we shouldn’t. We’d get each other all riled up!

  11. Veronica Solomon says

    I am a cheetah! I am not sure it describes me to a Tee though

  12. This is so interesting! I’m definitely a cheetah/racehorse, I have the worst time falling asleep at night!

  13. I love talking about spirit animals. Each one of my children have one, and I never really thought about who I would be. After reading this, I am going to say race horse!

  14. I’m probably a golden retriever. Once I focus on a task, there isn’t much that can distract me until I’m finished.

  15. Kelly Hutchinson says

    I think I would be a cheetah. I am not really startled by noises but definitely distracted. Lots of noise definitely stresses me out. lol

  16. as a vegetarian almost a vegan I feel like I see a bit of myself in all of these living beings. I think we are actually more like animals than not. I work for a rescue organization and I’m going to bring this post aNd share it with all my co volunteers! As animal lovers I think they will get -a big kick out if it!

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      Melissa – That’s so sweet of you to share the post with your co-volunteers! And so wonderful that you volunteer for such a good cause! Thank you!

  17. Amanda Love says

    That’s a tough question! I think I am a mix of all of them, because I have some of the Cheetah’s traits and the Dog’s. This was a fun and insightful read though!

  18. Hmmm, it’s hard to say. I tend to have some road rage (like a cheetah or racehorse), but I don’t get cold or hot easily and can do with skipping lunch some days (like a golden retriever or goat). Tough choice!

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      Kecia – I think everyone gets road rage sometimes, even my easygoing golden retriever sister! I’m gonna say you’re golden!

  19. Karlaroundtheworld | Karla says

    Wow, I’m a mix of both! The comparisons make real sense and I’m ecstatic to show this article to a friend of mine who I think falls completely on the Cheetah category!

  20. Lisa Joy Thompson says

    I’m a golden retriever or a goat. I’m super laid back!!! I think I drive the people around me crazy because I’m so laid back.

  21. Kita Bryant says

    I’m a mixture because I can tune things out often times but am horrible at sleeping anywhere lol I’m not much of a laid back person, I’m very hyper.

  22. I love this. I’m quite a mixed animal after reading all of this. I always thought I was a lion (LEO) lol

  23. Hmm I am thinking I am probably a goat. I don’t startle easily, and tend to remain pretty calm.

  24. My spirit animal is a cheetah! Man sometimes I do let negative stuff effect me…what can I say I am sensitive to energy.

  25. Nikki Wayne says

    I may be a Cheetah. This is a very funny post!

  26. Amy @ Marvelous Mommy says

    I’m definitely a cheetah or a racehorse. I have a dog and a cat who are very loyal companions.

  27. This was so fun! I’m totally a cheetah, always on the go.

  28. I think I’m a hybrid. LOL, I can’t be just one or the other.

  29. Nicole Escat says

    Sometimes I am a golden retriever, although there are some things that distracted me like my son! But I still make it sure that I am focused.

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