WASHINGTON (AP) — Research confirms what dog lovers know — every pup is truly an individual.
A new study has found that many of the popular stereotypes about the behavior of dogs aren’t supported by science.
The researchers surveyed more than 18,000 dog owners and analyzed the genomes of about 2,150 of their dogs to look for patterns.
They found that some behaviors, such as howling, pointing and showing friendliness to human strangers, do have at least some genetic basis. But that inheritance isn’t strictly passed down along breed lines.
"Behavioral factors show high variability within breeds, suggesting that although breed may affect the likelihood of a particular behavior to occur, breed alone is not, contrary to popular belief, informative enough to predict an individual’s disposition," the study says.
Researchers created an interactive dashboard that allows users to select characteristics they want in a dog. The dashboard will then show users which dogs are more prone to have those characteristics.
The research was published Thursday in the journal Science.