Written by 7:03 pm Dog Breeds

A dog’s behaviour does not depend on their breed

A new study has found that a dog’s behaviour does not depend on their breed, but rather thei…
Many different breeds of dogs sitting together on the grass
Many different breeds of dogs on the grass

Do you think that your dog’s breed determines how it behaves? If so, think again. 

The idea that certain breeds are more aggressive, obedient or affectionate than others has long been accepted as truth. However, the new study found this to be false! Breed stereotypes don’t accurately predict how an individual dog will behave.

In an effort to better understand how dogs behave, a group of scientists in the United States studied over 18 thousand pet owners and sequenced their dog’s genome. What they discovered was that despite breed distinctions being relatively insignificant when it comes to behavioural traits – there are still many similarities between different breeds, including deviations from typical behaviour patterns.

The authors of this study used genome-wide association studies to search for common genetic variations that could predict specific behaviours in 2,155 purebred and mixed breed dogs. They combined their data with 18 385 pet owner surveys from Darwin’s Ark – an open-source database on canine traits/behaviours reported by owners who have submitted them through online questionnaires.

Results of the study

The study found that the DNA of different breeds of dogs affects how owners respond to surveys about their dogs. The domestication of dogs has been going on for a long time, but it is only recently that people have started to divide dogs into different breeds. There are only about 200 different breeds of dog. This has had an effect on the genetics of dogs. The study found that physical traits, like size and fur length, are strongly linked to different breeds. Some motor patterns were also seen to be linked to certain breeds. The study also found that dog behaviour can be influenced by breed and environment.

So, what does this all mean? Well, the authors of this study believe that it is important for us to continue to learn more about how dogs behave in order to better understand them as individuals, regardless of their breed. After all, your pet has his or her own unique personality – who wants to be put into a ‘box’ just because of their genetics?

If you have any questions about how we should relate our dog’s behaviour with their genes, don’t hesitate to ask!

Source: Science

 

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