Individual breeds are known for their various temperamental charactersitsics, which are even often times described directly in their official breed standard. But what if the breed has nothing to do with the temperament. According to a new genetic study, the dog breed does not affect the behaviour of the dog. And even though the environment, socialization and training plays enormous role in the dogs development, this sounds like a bold statement.
The genetic study was made on approximately 19 000 dogs of different breeds and backgrounds, so the study was really made on very big sample. The results of the study claims, that even though some traits are more common in certain breeds, only 9% of the dogs temperament is affected by the breed type and the rest is a result of things such as pups environment, socialization, training and, of course, experiences.
I personally am very sceptical about it, because i dont know how you can exactly meassure temperamental traits such as loyalty, affection, playfulnes, friendliness or alertness, so such an exact number as 9% seems little bit wierd to me.
The study basically says that no breed owns any particular trait and that breeds do not have personalities, but individual dogs do. To some extent, this is certainly true, but there must be a reason why certain breeds are over and over used and trained by professional trainers for certain tasks and the reason for it, is mainly the breeds temperament. There must be a reason why Labradors are by far the most used service dogs, but you will not see a blind person led by a Greyhound or Beagle. That would be just impossible and it is due to the inherited breeds temperament.
Of course, not all Labradors will be trainable, gentle and even tempered enough to be good service dogs, but the average breeds temperament gives them the edge over other breeds.
The same goes with the German Shepherds. Even without much training, they will be naturally protective and alert. And the breeds temperament is also a reason why Border Collies rocks in dog shows, they just have the right temperament for it and it would be almost impossible to achieve the same results with, lets say, Dachshunds or Afghan Hounds. Those would have better temperament for other purposes.
And to be fair, the study states, that especially when it comes to modal action patterns and behaviors tied to original breed group functions, like herding or retrieving, the breed can sometimes be a factor in behavioural outcomes.
But the common sense just tells me that even though i agree that the breed does not determine the temperament, it significantly influence the probability of distribution of various temperamental traits.
But it would not be for the first time, when the sciencetific study contradicts the common sense and i am curious if there will be any other studies supporting this one.
I am also curious what is your opinion about this topic? Do you believe that the breed plays important role in the dogs temperament or that the breeds temperament is mostly shaped by environment and experiences?
Leave a Reply.