Pitbull is not so bad. Dog personalities are untrue stereotypes – Science

Probably many dog ​​keepers and breeders have similar observations – the character and personality of the dog does not always correspond to the breed pattern and our views on it. The fearless Great Dane, who is supposed to decorate the sofa, suddenly decides to become a killer, and the energetic beagle turns into a lover leaning on the sofa. Today, these observations of people having sex with dogs confirm the results of a study published in one of the latest issues of the scientific journal Science. An international team of scientists led by Dr. Kathleen Morill of the Chan Medical School at the University of Massachusetts has shown that a dog’s personality is more influenced by the environment and upbringing than the genetic characteristics of a particular breed.

Nothing concrete

To investigate the relationship between personality traits and the sex of the dog, the researchers planned a two-way study. Part of the study consisted of filling in the DNA of 2,155 dogs, especially in areas responsible for behavior and appearance, while another part included more than 18,000 dogs. dog owners – a survey on the behavior and personality traits of pets – including, of course, information about the dog’s sex and age. The study involved 128 quadrupeds of different breeds and hybrids.

Dr. As the leader and founder of the study, Morrill was particularly interested in whether traits such as aggression or obsessive-compulsive disorder in dogs were genetically based and could be related to specific breeds. At the same time, scientists have studied other characteristics of the dog’s personality, such as playfulness, loyalty to people, impulsiveness, excitement, discipline, intimacy with other dogs or the search for socialization.

Data collected from the owners and genetic tests confirmed that the dog’s appearance is an indisputable heritage. Features such as measuring up to 80% or hanging ears. is encoded in the dog’s DNA and assigned to a specific sex. But character traits are something else entirely. Dr. As Morrill found, they have little to do with the dog’s sex, but it’s definitely more about his personality and the conditions in which the dog grew up and grew up. Scientists estimate that genes are responsible for only 9 percent of a dog’s tested personality traits. “We did not find any racial behavior,” he said. The researchers wrote in their articles that the breed does not determine the identity of the dog in any way.

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Functions in genes

Ancient traits that are only responsible for a dog’s usefulness, such as the tendency to communicate with humans or the ability to give back, are more inherited. Researchers say this is not surprising. Most modern breeds are less than 160 years old, and these old traits have been reinforced in the past by artificial selection in the domestication of humans. Their presence has been enhanced in dog genes for at least 10,000 years. Therefore, the main genetic behavioral differences between dogs occur in the primary groups – for example, guard dogs, hunting dogs and draft dogs. – I can see this inheritance of functional traits in many dogs – Dr. Janow Podlaski. Agnieszka Grąziowska-Maciela says, veterinarian and owner of the Polish Hounds dog shelter Nadbużańskie playing. – All the dogs I breed are vigilant and careful, they bark at strangers from outside, behind the fence, but whoever enters the yard is not offended, they even greet each other. After all, this type of hunting dog was not bred for direct combat, Dr. Grąziowska-Maciela explains.

Scientists estimate that genes are responsible for only 9 percent of a dog’s tested personality traits.

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The study even refutes the most common beliefs about the characteristics of different sexes. It turned out that German Shepherds, who are very prone to training, can be extremely stubborn and dangerous pit bulls – as kind as teddy bears. Martha Classic has similar observations. – In my opinion, most of all depends on the upbringing of the dog. Large dogs are dangerous due to their mass, huge strength and strong jaws, so they should be bred by people with great experience. But this does not mean that the Great Dane is more aggressive than the Parson Russell terrier we have. However, we had to separate the Great Dane from the Terrier, as the latter was still trying to prove to the first that he would manage the herd. As a result, she endangered herself, says Martha Classic.

The killer is a robber

Studies also show that small dogs are more aggressive and cruel than adults. Such an addiction was confirmed by scientists from the University of Helsinki, who collected data on the aggressive or fearful behavior of 9,000 people. dogs of different breeds. However, it has been found that the dog breed is only one of the many factors that cause a dog to become hostile to any stranger (research has focused on the treatment of previously unknown people by dogs), and the other will be friendly to the whole world. The researchers found that the most aggressive breeds include long-haired collie, poodles and miniature schnauzers. The other extreme was the Labradors and the Golden Retrievers. Interestingly, before them, as one of the softest dogs on this list, there were pit bulls, which are usually considered dangerous and aggressive.

Researchers in Helsinki have also found that a anxious dog tends to be more aggressive than a calm dog. They emphasize that shyness and aggression are inherited. – Therefore, breeders should also pay attention to the nature of the mother’s candidates for the baby – advises the professor. Hannes Lohi, head of this study. Both aggression and cowardice can be the result of mistakes in dog training. – When admitting dogs to the clinic, I often observe that a cool, curious puppy turns into an excited hysteria, because the owners neglect contact with other dogs and people, breathe, are protected from stimuli and have drama, because the animal is afraid of everything – Dr. Grąziowska-Maciela says. – I also have two patients, a sister from the same garbage, they live with the same owner and are completely different – one is calm, brave, and the other is afraid of everything. The same genes, the same house and differences already exist.

The Helsinki study also found that the differences between individual dogs within a breed are very large. Other factors, such as the dog’s age, had a strong effect on aggression levels. Older specimens were generally more aggressive than younger specimens, and males were more aggressive than females. Dogs that grow up alone in a house with a human family are more aggressive than their companions, and the first dogs of a certain owner are more aggressive than the next ones. Scientists believe that this is due to the fact that people have less experience with their first dogs and are not so good at fighting aggression.

Prof. Lohi, a human may also be responsible for the increasing aggression of small dogs. When a large dog is as aggressive as even a puppy, people usually try to work on their behavior. However, in the case of dog midges, this is less common. We know that these dogs will not harm anyone with their small teeth, so we are not interested in raising them. We even get angry nudes and angry yorkies.

Old man, old dog

There is another factor that strongly influences a dog’s behavior – the identity of the owner. The similarity between the owner and the dog is not just a joke, but a scientific fact confirmed by Dr. Iris Schoberlin of the University of Vienna. He tested the identities of 100 dogs and their owners with a test that identified five key personality traits: extrovert, consent, honesty, neuroticism, and openness to new experiences. He also measured the heart rate of humans and quadrupeds from saliva samples and levels of the stress hormone cortisol. From these studies, Dr. Schoberl found that dogs’ personalities and responses to stress reflect their owner’s characteristics. If a person has an insecure and negative attitude towards the world and is afraid of new experiences, his dog is more likely to react in a similar way. The dog captures our mood, our attitude to life and our ways of dealing with stress.

A man and a dog who have been in a close relationship for many years begin to resemble an old marriage – they grow old together and look like each other, for example, under the influence of emerging diseases or weakness. – Very often the symptom of suffering from a dog is that his behavior changes, he becomes nervous, he was previously cheerful and kind, although he may suddenly attack – Dr. Grąziowska-Maciela explains.

Even in a healthy dog, the personality changes over time. This was done by prof. William Chopik of Michigan State University conducted a study involving the owners of more than 1,600 dogs of 50 different breeds and ages. Dog breeders have completed extensive surveys that assess the identity of their dogs and answer questions about their history of behavior. Entrepreneurs also responded to a survey about their identities. The study also showed similarities between dogs and their guardians – extroverted people also more often described their dogs as extroverted, unpleasant dogs. The personality traits of dogs, as with their owners, have changed with age – it has been found that in old age, dogs learn harder, become less active and playful, and become more distrustful of strangers. But interestingly, a similar study from the University of Vienna shows that, unlike humans, old people have the same characteristics as dogs. It is the need to socialize and the ability to endure frustration. That is, the old dog also has great patience with us.

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