Aggression, trainability and other dog traits linked to genetics in study

| | October 11, 2019
fotolia subscription monthly m x
Image: Fotolia
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Among 101 dog breeds, scientists found that certain behavioral traits such as trainability or aggression were more likely to be shared by genetically similar breeds. While past studies have looked into the genetic underpinnings of dog behaviors for certain breeds, this research — published October 1 in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B — is the first to investigate a wide swath of breed diversity and find a strong genetic signal.

“Anecdotally, everyone knows that different dogs have different behavioral traits,” says Noah Snyder-Mackler, a geneticist at the University of Washington in Seattle. “But we didn’t know how much or why.”

While such a study doesn’t show if or how a genetic variant causes a specific behavior, it points to certain variants that warrant further research into that question.

Related article:  Peering into the brain: New technology allows unprecedented access to brain cells

Most of these variants were associated with genes considered important to neurological development and function, which is “exactly what you would predict for genes you think might be involved in affecting behavior,” says Carlos Alvarez, a genomics researcher at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, who wasn’t involved in the study.

Read full, original post: Dog behaviors like aggression and fearfulness are linked to breed genetics

Share via
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend