The flag – Smart Cooley, loyal boxer? Race hardly determines behavior – Wikipedia

Worcester (dpa) – a dog breed that doesn’t say much about the temperament of a four-legged friend. According to a recent study, many behaviors are hereditary, such as whether a dog is more playful, docile or attentive.

However, the differences between individual dogs are usually greater than those between individual breeds, according to a report by a team led by lead author Kathleen Morrell of the University of Massachusetts Chan School of Medicine (Woster/USA) in the journal Science.

Humans have been raising dogs for 2000 years

Scientists wrote that modern dog breeds are less than 160 years old – a blink of an eye in evolutionary history compared to the origin of dogs more than 10,000 years ago. Humans have been breeding dogs for about 2,000 years, most of the time for the roles they perform, such as herding dogs, hunting dogs, or guard dogs. Only later were dogs bred according to a physical example and the idea of ​​breeds that were as pure as possible. To this day, the behaviors are attributed to the resulting strains, which are also attributed to their earlier fields of application.

The researchers are now testing whether this is true in a large-scale study. They collected information from 18,385 dog owners about the nature and behavior of their purebred and mixed breed companions. They also analyzed the genetic data of a total of 2,155 dogs and correlated it with the dogs’ reported behavior.

18,385 dog owners provide data

Evaluation of survey data showed, among other things, that differences in behavior between modern breeds are generally slight. The researchers did not find any behavior that was unique to a single breed. While Labradors are considered a breed that rarely howls, some owners have reported that their pets do so occasionally or often. It is said that greyhounds do not bury their toys, but this behavior has also been reported by some owners. In addition, behavior changed with age: dogs of many breeds were just as playful as German Shepherds, who are considered especially obsessed with toys.

Analysis of genetic data showed that individual breeds have very few genetic characteristics. The researchers wrote that the breed has little value in predicting a dog’s behavior. While most behaviors are genetic, they are influenced by multiple genes and the environment. Breed alone explains only about 9 percent of the differences in individual dogs’ behavior. Values ​​were higher for some behaviours, such as a tendency to howl or a desire to fetch. Huskies, beagles and hounds were especially fond of howling, while Collie Borods were very docile.

Breed and appearance say little about a dog

When choosing a suitable dog, looking at the breed as a whole only helps in a limited way, explains Margie Alonso of the International Association of Animal Behavior Counselors (Cranberry Township, USA). “Breed is not going to determine whether we will be happy with a dog or a dog with us. Appearance doesn’t tell us much about how a dog will behave.”

The scientists found no indications that some of the behaviors resulted from the breeding of the breeds. Most of the behaviors that are characteristic of some modern dog breeds likely originated thousands of years ago, senior author Elinor Carlson said in a press release.

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 220428-99-74879 / 5

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