Your Dog’s Breed Isn’t What Determines Their Behavior, New Study Finds

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There’s a great new study that challenges common beliefs about dog behavior.

There are many breeds of dogs. For some, like Lauren Rogers and her husband, who didn’t grow up with dogs, breed was a determining factor in choosing their dog.

“We have always heard that Golden Retrievers are great family dogs; really fun,” Rogers said. “That’s kind of why we chose him.”

Through Darwin’s Ark, researchers interviewed 18,385 dog owners and studied the genetics of 2,155 dogs, including purebreds and mixed breeds.

The results were published in the current issue of Science. The study shows that breed explains only 9% of dog behavior.

“As someone who’s never had a dog before, I was really surprised by that. So I figured when you pick a golden retriever you’d get the same type of dog everywhere,” Rogers said. .

She said this new data proves that what she has noticed over the past two years is not unique.

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“Some things people say, ‘Oh, those are typical golden retriever traits,’ I didn’t see Izzo, our dog, and some things I expected just didn’t line up, so it is very funny,” Rogers said.

Bonny Wainz, who has been training dogs for decades, isn’t surprised by the study results. She says she constantly tells her clients, “there’s always nurture and nature.”

Wainz has never been one to define a dog by its breed. Referring to a Chihuahua, she said, “This dog knows how to sit, knows how to stay, he knows how to calm down, he knows how to calm down, he knows how to do all of that stuff. Even if all we want to do is just have them and pamper them.

The new research also reveals that a dog’s behavior and personality are shaped more by genetics and their environment, something Wainz has explained to clients for years.

Click here to see the study for you.

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After: Coverage of 4 pets

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