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Breed Stereotypes Not Good Predictors Of Dogs Study And Owner Survey Suggest


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A survey and only 2000 dogs actually tested - I call this an article not to take too seriously. I confess to only reading the first paragraph or two because of this.

 

It’s logical to assume that breed characteristics do indeed play a role in behaviour. We purpose breed canines for character as well as looks. It can’t be claimed it doesn’t hold any weight in aggression, affection or any other behaviour. 
 

The really poorly perceived behaviour is due to a lack of knowledge and understanding on the part of dog owners but breed characteristics play the biggest part in this behaviour. 

Edited by ~Anne~
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It is a smaller sample than I think is ideal, but the wording suggests breed is an unreliable predictor rather than a useless one.

 

Not hard to believe to me. In pedigree breeding adhering to the standard in looks takes precedence over behavioral traits, many of which can be masked in a show ring setting.

Unless very visibly  negative, behavioral traits are  more often a secondary consideration after conformation standard so I believe it only natural there would be increasing unreliability for the behavioral side.  That it would 'slip'. Some generalized predictors were recognized in the study, but stereotyping  is not a reliable predictor.  I really don't see that can be disputed while buyers are encouraged to research not only breed, but breeders and their priorities.

 

In working dog circles, there is a common saying; If you want a good personal protection/security Doberman, get a Mal. GSDs are also known to have traits in direct conflict with their ability to perform traditional roles

 

Even in working strains, prey drive often takes precedence over traditional traits for the snappy responses and trainability to show/ perform well in a ring setting, though that be ring sports. And its commonly recognized that dogs very successful in ring sports don't reliably perform in real life scenarios- they are not 'protecting', they are looking for reward from the sleeve. The performance tests and training methods are ritualized enough that breeding for the rituals and not the job is affecting breeding practices and the traits rewarded through selection. A more rounded approach is less likely to achieve  recognition as its judged. As in the show ring.

 

 

Edited by moosmum
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I think we all know a dog that is not typical of their breed but the vast majority are. Out of those 2000 dogs, a high % were crossbreeds, they lost me at that.

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I like Clothier’s very reasonable comment- ‘every breed has a bell curve’.    Yep. That doesn’t make breed irrelevant. 

 

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On 30/04/2022 at 10:51 AM, ~Anne~ said:

A survey and only 2000 dogs actually tested - I call this an article not to take too seriously. I confess to only reading the first paragraph or two because of this.

 

It’s logical to assume that breed characteristics do indeed play a role in behaviour. We purpose breed canines for character as well as looks. It can’t be claimed it doesn’t hold any weight in aggression, affection or any other behaviour. 
 

The really poorly perceived behaviour is due to a lack of knowledge and understanding on the part of dog owners but breed characteristics play the biggest part in this behaviour. 

They did full genome sequencing!  If I'm not mistaken that makes it one of the largest dog genome studies ever done.  Ostralander's big study sequenced less than 1000.  And they selected the dogs they sequenced to get representation of different categories.  None of the other full genome / breed studies have ever attempted to link behaviour to genetics.

The study of crossbreeds is a way to get at heritability.  

In a way it's good that their results aren't what pedigree dog people would expect.   It will encourage further work to try and disprove their conclusions.  I must admit, I've met a few Labs that weren't gentle, biddible and relaxed dogs, and some pitties that had no fighting drive.

 

The Science Friday podcast interviewed one of the PIs this week.   She mentioned that study of actual working dogs would be interesting,  as they do get selected strongly for behaviour.

[Science Friday] Dog Breeds And Dog Behavior, Polar Science Update, Decarbonizing Transportation. April 29, 2022, Part 2 #scienceFriday
https://podcastaddict.com/episode/139025982 via @PodcastAddict

Edited by sandgrubber
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On 30/04/2022 at 4:57 PM, Diva said:

I like Clothier’s very reasonable comment- ‘every breed has a bell curve’.    Yep. That doesn’t make breed irrelevant. 

 

Another take:  https://smartagain.org/2022/04/28/humans-cant-quit-a-basic-myth-about-dog-breeds/.

 

I agree with Diva's bell curve (gaussian distribution) comment. This is necessary for the evolutionary process of natural selection in all species. The curve can be shifted by environmental factors or deliberately through selective breeding, as shown by the Russian fox experiment where one group of foxes were bred over time for docility and another for the opposite trait. As an example look at the way German shepherds have changed such that Malinois are now the favoured working breed. Thus the pitbull breed which is supposed to be predominantly a 'game' fighting dog could be turned into a predominantly 'nanny dog' with only a small number of the population showing 'fight gameness'

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