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Study: 9% of a dog's behavior can be explained by its breed.

By Curt_Anderson
April 28, 2022 5:23 pm
Category: Pets

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(NPR)Labrador retrievers fetch, border collies herd, huskies howl: It's conventional wisdom that many dog breeds act in certain ways because they've been bred to do so over the course of many generations.

But a new study to be published Friday in the journal Science finds that though some dog behaviors are indeed associated with particular breeds, breed plays less of a role overall than that conventional wisdom holds.

"We found things like German shorthaired pointers were slightly more likely to point, or golden retrievers were slightly more likely to retrieve, or huskies more likely to howl, than the general dog population," says Kathryn Lord, a researcher at the UMass Chan Medical School and an author of the study.

Researchers surveyed the owners of more than 18,000 dogs and analyzed the DNA of about 2,100 animals to see if physical traits and behaviors can be correlated with dog breeds.




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Comments on "Study: 9% of a dog's behavior can be explained by its breed.":

  1. by HatetheSwamp on April 28, 2022 6:07 pm

    Having owned a number of Golden Retrievers, I'd say that 9% is low. The similarities among our Goldens was considerable. As was the lifespan.


  2. by Curt_Anderson on May 9, 2022 4:57 pm
    I tend to agree that 9% is low at least on certain breeds. We had an American Eskimo dog that exhibited all the expected characteristics of the breed. Other American Eskimo dogs owners we met said their dogs had similar behaviors.

    When I created the Dog Breed selector more than 20 years ago, I relied on and cited the work of Dr. Stanley Coren and other experts.
    selectsmart.com


  3. by Donna on May 9, 2022 5:27 pm
    "Pit bulls are responsible for a disproportionate amount of attacks on humans as many as 82% by some estimates, despite accounting for approximately 7% of the U.S. dog population."

    "...the Pit-bull was responsible for the highest percentage of reported bites across all the studies followed by mixed breed and then German Shepherds," and that "injuries from Pit-bulls and mixed breed dogs were both more frequent and more severe."

    If you peruse the chart of fatal dog attacks in 2020 at the Wikipedia link below (2nd link,) one breed stands out as causing the overwhelming majority of deaths.
    oklahomalawyer.com
    en.wikipedia.org


  4. by Curt_Anderson on May 9, 2022 7:28 pm
    Donna,
    Pit bulls, or Staffordshire Terriers as the owners prefer to call them, have the size and "design" to inflict damage. I suspect part of their lethality is because some owners weaponize them. I believe they are the dog of choice of drug dealers and illegal marijuana growers.

    BTW, you might remember me saying a few years ago that a Rottweiler bit my leg while I was running on a bike path. I had to get several stitches. They are bred to herd cattle and I was another stray cow to it.


  5. by Donna on May 9, 2022 8:31 pm
    I think it's more about nature vs nurture. I've read about many cases where pet pit bulls suddenly go off on their owner and mame or kill them. Personally I prefer dogs that aren't psycho killers.


  6. by Donna on May 9, 2022 8:45 pm
    The problem with that study as it pertains to the propensity of certain breeds to mame or kill is that the owners of dogs who have maned or killed someone wouldn't have taken part in the survey that that study was based on because their dogs would have been euthanized.


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