Dog breed alone a poor indicator of canine behaviour, study suggests

Scientists say age or sex are best predictors for some behavioural traits in individual dogs

Vishwam Sankaran
Friday 29 April 2022 18:41
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<p>A golden retriever is only marginally more likely to be more friendly than a mixed-breed or another purebred dog, such as a dachshund, scientists say </p>

A golden retriever is only marginally more likely to be more friendly than a mixed-breed or another purebred dog, such as a dachshund, scientists say

Breed alone is a poor predictor of individual dog behaviour, according to a new study that suggests that the trait should not be used to inform decisions relating to pet selection.

The findings, published in the journal Science, challenge current assumptions about dog breed stereotypes, including that pit bulls and rottweilers are more aggressive, while some breeds like golden retrievers are affectionate.

“Although ‘friendliness’ is the trait we commonly associate with golden retrievers, what we found is that the defining criteria of a golden retriever are its physical characteristics—the shape of its ears, the color and quality of its fur, its size—not whether it is friendly,” study senior author Elinor Karlsson from the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School in the US said in a statement.

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