New Study Reveals a Dog's Breed Has Little Impact on a Pet's Behavior and Personality

Researchers found that a dog's breed has about a nine percent impact on the animal's overall behavior

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Although many dog breeds have been associated with certain stereotypes, a new study has found that a dog's breed has only a small impact on a pet's behavior.

Researchers published a study in the journal Science on Thursday that analyzes the link between a dog's behaviors and genetics. Data found some specific behaviors are more common in certain breeds — for example, golden retrievers are more likely to retrieve than some other breeds — but when predicting a pup's overall personality, a dog's breed didn't provide much guidance.

Experts studied the genes of more than 2,000 dogs and compared them to surveys submitted by more than 18,000 dog owners. The results showed that about nine percent of a dog's behavior can be explained by its breed and that dogs of the same breed varied greatly in behavior and personality.

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"There is a huge amount of behavioral variation in every breed, and at the end of the day, every dog really is an individual," Elinor Karlsson, the study's co-author and a University of Massachusetts geneticist, told the Associated Press.

"From a genetic standpoint, that's fantastic. That means there are real behavioral differences that are connected to breeds that we can go and study," she added to NPR.

Researchers also found that a dog's size also has minimal impact on a canine's behavior.

"You will never have a Great Dane-sized Chihuahua, and you will never have a Chihuahua-sized Great Dane, but you can definitely have a Chihuahua that acts like a Great Dane, and you can have a Great Dane with the same personality as a Chihuahua," Karlsson said.

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