Breed says nothing about a dog’s character

Breed says nothing about a dog's character

The Border Collie is affectionate and intelligent, the Beagle is friendly and inquisitive. That’s what stereotypes say. American researchers showed in the journal Science that this is not true. Breed says very little about a dog’s personality and behavior. Differences between individual dogs are greater than differences between breeds.

For example, Border Collie is known as a breed that can be well trained and listen to commands. Very different from a stubborn friend like a Basset. And indeed, if you measure that, the Collie scores slightly better. But the difference is so great that no significant deviation from the total dog population can be found. And if you look at the mongrel, the percentage of the collie’s genes in the hybrid says absolutely nothing about how well it listens to commands.

Breeding dogs has a great influence on appearance, but not on character and behavior. This is not surprising, say the researchers. About 20,000 years ago, humans began to take wolf-like animals into their homes that could be useful there. Dog breeding is only two centuries old. External characteristics are often determined by one or a few genes, so a breeder can do something about it. However, personality and behavior are only partially genetically determined, and are largely dependent on environment and upbringing. So, whatever a breeder can say about the breed, the nature of the dog is made at home.

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