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Breed doesn’t necessarily predict behaviour, new study finds

rottweiler standing dog-wow © alberto clemares exposito - Shutterstock

We often say there are no bad dogs, just bad owners. Well now, it’s been scientifically proven with a study that looked at dog behaviour!

By Justine Seraphin

Published on the , Updated on the

A recent study looked at over 2,000 dogs and 200,000 survey responses to see whether there was actually a link between breed and behaviour.

What predicts dog behaviour?

Indeed, some dogs are given a bad rep simply because of their breed - Pitbulls, German Shepherds, and Rottweilers for example. Yet, for many dog owners, the way an animal is trained and treated is what impacts their behaviour. 

The study results seem to side with that opinion, as a dog’s breed only explained 9% of behavioural variation. Age and sex impacted dog behaviour more than anything else.

Laws should be backed by science

This doesn’t mean that as a first-time owner, you should go ahead and adopt a Belgian Malinois. But, it could mean that our laws are a bit outdated and need to be amended.

In the UK, four dog breeds are banned on the basis of being ‘dangerous’. Perhaps with this study, this could change in the future. 

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