Who’s a Good Dog?


PUP PERSONALITY: Border collies are often assumed to be one of the smartest dog breeds—but is that true?

People often make assumptions about a dog’s personality based on its breed: Golden retrievers are friendly. Border collies are smart. Chihuahuas are nervous. To find out if those assumptions hold true, scientists at the Broad Institute, a research center in Massachusetts, surveyed the owners of more than 18,000 dogs about their pets’ behavior.

The researchers compared this behavioral data with the genes, or units of hereditary material, related to different traits of mixed and purebred pups. After comparing different behaviors across breeds, the team discovered that breed accounted for only about 9 percent of a dog’s behavior on average. Just like people, “all dogs are individuals,” says Jessica Hekman, a veterinary researcher who worked on the study.

Skills Sheets (2)
Skills Sheets (2)