Dogs’ Breeds Don’t Dictate Their Personalities, Study Finds

WASHINGTON (AP) — Investigate confirms what pet fans know — every pup is truly an individual.

Numerous of the common stereotypes about the conduct of golden retrievers, poodles or schnauzers, for example, are not supported by science, in accordance to a new examine.

Dogs’ Breeds Don’t Dictate Their Personalities, Study Finds
Some well known stereotypes about canine breeds are not supported by science.

casacristal / 500px via Getty Illustrations or photos

“There is a huge amount of money of behavioral variation in every single breed, and at the stop of the day, every pet genuinely is an particular person,” claimed study co-writer and University of Massachusetts geneticist Elinor Karlsson.

She said pet homeowners enjoy to chat about their dog’s persona, as illustrated by some proprietors at a New York doggy park.

Elizabeth Kelly said her English springer spaniel was “friendly, but she’s also form of the queen bee.” Suly Ortiz described her yellow Lab as “really quiet, lazy and shy.”

Elizabeth Kelly plays with her English springer spaniel, Louise, who is "friendly," but "also kind of the queen bee."
Elizabeth Kelly plays with her English springer spaniel, Louise, who is “friendly,” but “also sort of the queen bee.”

And Rachel Kim’s mixed-breed puppy is “a whole lot of distinctive pet dogs, identity sensible — super independent, seriously affectionate with me and my husband, but pretty, rather suspicious of other individuals, other canines.”

That variety of enthusiasm from pet house owners motivated Karlsson’s newest scientific inquiry. She preferred to know to what extent are behavioral styles inherited — and how substantially are canine breeds affiliated with unique and predictable behaviors?

The reply: While physical traits these types of as a greyhound’s extended legs or a Dalmatian’s spots are obviously inherited, breed is not a strong predictor of any personal dog’s persona.

The researchers’ get the job done, revealed Thursday in the journal Science, marshals a substantial dataset to access these conclusions — the most at any time compiled, stated Adam Boyko, a geneticist at Cornell University, who was not concerned in the examine.

Canine turned humanity’s best close friend much more than 14,000 yrs ago, as the only animal domesticated just before the introduction of agriculture.

A Samoyed enjoying a bench in the winter.
A Samoyed having fun with a bench in the wintertime.

Zanna Pesnina / 500px through Getty Pictures

But the principle of pet breeds is a great deal additional recent. All over 160 decades in the past, people today commenced to selectively breed dogs to have selected dependable bodily qualities, like coat texture and coloration and ear condition.

The researchers surveyed much more than 18,000 puppy owners and analyzed the genomes of about 2,150 of their dogs to look for styles.

They uncovered that some behaviors — this sort of as howling, pointing and demonstrating friendliness to human strangers —do have at the very least some genetic basis. But that inheritance isn’t strictly handed down together breed strains.

For case in point, they located golden retrievers that never retrieve, explained co-author Kathryn Lord, who research animal habits with Karlsson.

Some breeds, these as huskies and beagles, may present a higher inclination to howl. But quite a few of these canines really do not, as both the owner study and genetic info showed.

Some dog breeds do show tendencies towards certain behaviors, like huskies and howling.
Some puppy breeds do present tendencies in direction of sure behaviors, like huskies and howling.

VIKAS BISHT / 500px via Getty Pictures

The researchers could uncover no genetic basis for intense behaviors nor a hyperlink to distinct breeds.

“The correlation amongst puppy conduct and pet breed is considerably lower than most anticipated,” explained Jeff Kidd, a geneticist at the College of Michigan, who experienced no part in the study.

AP reporter Emma H. Tobin in New York contributed to this report.

Follow Christina Larson on Twitter: @larsonchristina

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