A new study published this week indicates that a dog’s breed does not dictate its personality and temperament.
SCOTT SIMON, HOST:
The personalities we sometimes attribute to dogs may be mostly in our minds, not in their genes. AP reported this week on a study in the journal Science that found a dog’s breed doesn’t really contribute to their personality. Golden Retrievers don’t necessarily fetch. Beagles and huskies don’t necessarily howl. Dachshunds don’t necessarily speak with a German accent. Wait – I think I knew that.
There is a huge amount of behavioral variation in each breed, said Elinor Karlsson, study co-author and University of Massachusetts geneticist. Ultimately, each dog is truly an individual. The study notes that humans began breeding dogs around 160 years ago to try to pass down characteristics such as coat color and texture. But these are only cosmetics. Jeff Kidd, a geneticist at the University of Michigan, told the AP that the correlation between dog behavior and dog breed was much weaker than expected.
Our French Poodle, Daisy, sat on my lap as I wrote this and told me she was glad the stereotype of French Poodles as slightly pretentious Gallic snobs was scientifically undeserved. Then she took a sip of wine from her bowl and said, ah, you call that Beaujolais?
(SOUND EXTRACTION OF THE SONG, “ATOMIC DOG”)
GEORGE CLINTON: (Singing) Bow-wow-wow-yippie-yo-yippie-yeah, bow-wow-yippie-yo-yippie-yeah. Bow-wow-wow-yippie-yo-yippie-yeah, bow-wow-yippie-yo-yippie-yeah.
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