A new study has debunked the myth that a dog’s behavior depends on its breed and instead found that temperament and characteristics are more related to age and sex.
Image: Getty Images/EyeEm)
Dog fanciers have long assumed that a dog’s behavior and temperament depend on its breed.
Pit bulls are stereotypically known for being aggressive and Labradors have a reputation for being lovable.
But contrary to popular belief, there is no real link between a dog’s breed and its character.
A new study compared the behavior and ancestry of 18,500 dogs to find that breed has a lot less to do with personality than we all thought.
The research was conducted at the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School and included data from a total of 78 breeds.
While 11 genetic loci were closely related to behavior, none of them were breed-specific.
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In fact, race only explained about 9% of the variation, with age and sex having a much greater impact on temperament.
Caroyln Menteith, puppy and dog behavior consultant for Zigzag, thinks we all need to stop generalizing dog behavior based on common stereotypes and misconceptions.
She told the Mirror: “This research indicates that the link between breed and sociability is much more complex than we previously thought, and highlights the need for more scientific research when it comes to understanding which dogs share our lives.
“If we really want to understand our canine companions, we need to recognize them as individuals who have unique personalities and identities – without clinging to our own expectations.
“Not all German Shepherds will guard your home and not all Labradors will love everyone.
“Many people have the wrong expectations of their dogs and quickly lose patience when they don’t behave in a certain way, and often don’t understand that dogs are sentient beings with their own thoughts and feelings. .
“A dog’s personality will develop based on the right environment, training, and the bond it creates with its human family.
“The challenge – and the joy – for new owners is to create the perfect environment and optimal learning opportunities so that each individual becomes the family addition that every new owner dreams of when they bring their friend home. “
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