Study Shows a Dog’s Breed Doesn’t Determine Their Behavior | BR Shenoy


“There is an enormous amount of behavioral variation in every breed, and at the end of the day, every dog ​​is truly an individual,” said study co-author and geneticist Elinor Karlsson from the University of Massachusetts. Associated press.

According to a large-scale genetic analysis, your dog’s behavior is most likely do not because of his race. The results suggest that stereotypes associated with specific races are unfounded.

Kathleen Morrill and colleagues at the University of Massachusetts published a study in the journal Science on April 29 which examines the relationship between a dog’s behavior and genetics.


Researchers interviewed on 18,000 dog owners and sequenced the DNA of approximately 2,100 purebred and mixed-breed dogs to determine if physical traits and behaviors can be correlated with dog breeds.

Each pet owner answered a question about their dog’s daily routine by describing characteristics and behavior. Owners have been asked to report bid, human-dog sociabilityand modern toy-oriented models. The dogs were also physically examined.

DNA can be used to determine if genetics influence behavior. The researchers discovered 11 areas of genetic code associated with behaviors such as how often a dog howls and sociability towards humans, although none of these genetic markers are breed-specific.


  • The results revealed that race can explain approximately 9% of a dog’s behavior and that dogs of the same breed differed significantly behavior and personality.
  • The concept of dog breeds is much more recent. On 160 Years ago, people started selectively breeding dogs to have certain consistent physical traits, like coat texture, color, and ear shape. The results support the hypothesis that dog breeds have more in common than differences in behavioral traits; their common ancestry is too ancient to be significantly influenced by modern breeding.
  • The breed of a dog is undoubtedly an indicator of physical characteristics, but the behavioral characteristics are much more varied and depend on each dog. The rest could be shaped by environment and life experience.
  • The researchers point out that the results show that no behavior is unique to a breed and that there are many variations within breeds.
  • The main finding of the dog breed and behavior study is that mutts, or mixed-breed dogs, are no more likely than purebred dogs to have behavioral problems. The same goes for breeds with poor temperament and behavior.

“We have to accept that our dogs are individuals. Each dog is the study of one, Elinor Karlsson at the Broad Institute in Massachusetts, said a study co-author.


When selecting a dog, owners should not rely on breed alone.

“I don’t think we should really decide that breeds are the things that will tell us if we’ll be happy with a dog or if a dog will be happy with us,” said Marjie Alonso, one of the study’s authors. . NPR.

The hope is that over time the journal will change people’s minds and help them see their dog for who they are rather than their breed.

Journal reference: Science, DOI: 10.1126/science.abk0639

What are your experiences with your own dogs? Please share in the comments.


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