Your dog’s personality may have little to do with its breed | Science

WASHINGTON (AP) — Research confirms what canine lovers know — each pup is really a person.

Many of the favored stereotypes in regards to the habits of golden retrievers, poodles or schnauzers, for instance, aren’t supported by science, in line with a brand new research.

“There is a huge amount of behavioral variation in every breed, and at the end of the day, every dog really is an individual,” stated research co-author and University of Massachusetts geneticist Elinor Karlsson.

She stated pet homeowners love to speak about their canine’s persona, as illustrated by some homeowners at a New York canine park.

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

And Rachel Kim’s mixed-breed canine is “a lot of different dogs, personality wise — super independent, really affectionate with me and my husband, but pretty, pretty suspicious of other people, other dogs.”

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That type of enthusiasm from pet homeowners impressed Karlsson’s newest scientific inquiry. She needed to know to what extent are behavioral patterns inherited — and the way a lot are canine breeds related to distinctive and predictable behaviors?

The reply: While bodily traits akin to a greyhound’s lengthy legs or a Dalmatian’s spots are clearly inherited, breed just isn’t a robust predictor of any particular person canine’s persona.

The researchers’ work, revealed Thursday within the journal Science, marshals a large dataset to achieve these conclusions — essentially the most ever compiled, stated Adam Boyko, a geneticist at Cornell University, who was not concerned within the research.

Dogs turned humanity’s greatest pal greater than 14,000 years in the past, as the one animal domesticated earlier than the appearance of agriculture.

But the idea of canine breeds is rather more latest. Around 160 years in the past, folks started to selectively breed canine to have sure constant bodily traits, like coat texture and coloration and ear form.

The researchers surveyed greater than 18,000 canine homeowners and analyzed the genomes of about 2,150 of their canine to search for patterns.

They discovered that some behaviors — akin to howling, pointing and displaying friendliness to human strangers —do have no less than some genetic foundation. But that inheritance isn’t strictly handed down alongside breed traces.

For instance, they discovered golden retrievers that don’t retrieve, stated co-author Kathryn Lord, who research animal habits with Karlsson.

Some breeds, akin to huskies and beagles, might present a higher tendency to howl. But many of those canine do not, as each the proprietor survey and genetic knowledge confirmed.

The researchers may discover no genetic foundation for aggressive behaviors nor a hyperlink to particular breeds.

“The correlation between dog behavior and dog breed is much lower than most expected,” stated Jeff Kidd, a geneticist on the University of Michigan, who had no function within the analysis.

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

Follow Christina Larson on Twitter: @larsonchristina

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