How come some dogs are friendly and outgoing, while others are shy or aggressive?
It’s obvious dogs have their own personalities just like humans.
Now, science uncovered the reason behind dogs’ behaviors.
The research, published in Science Advances, explains how dogs and humans share some of the same DNA related to personality.
How Science Explains Outgoing and Friendly Dogs
In the research article, Structural variants in genes associated with human Williams-Beuren syndrome underlie stereotypical hypersociability in domestic dogs, scientists studied a human genetic disorder and found genetic variations revealing the personality differences between dogs and wolves.
Researchers have studied dog genetics for the past 10 years, uncovering DNA related to coat variation and body size.
Past research showed genetic links to personality, including one study revealing how dogs and humans strengthen their bond through gazing at each other.
The researchers for the new study first analyzed the differences between domestic dogs and wolves raised by humans.
Domestic dogs (pure and mixed breed) were friendlier around people than wolves raised by humans.
Every dog studied had a different variation of the gene, revealing why all dogs have different personalities and degrees of friendliness.
A lack of gene variation revealed more aloof, wolf-like behavior.
These genetic variations also cause social behavior in mice.
Other findings from the research include two separate genes linked to sociality in dogs.
The research supports the“survival of the friendliest theories related to the evolution of dogs’ relationship with humans.
What the Research Means for You and Your Pup
If you’re looking for a new pet, follow your gut!
When visiting a shelter or rescue organization to find a new furry friend, listen to your intuition about dogs’ personalities.
Some are friendlier and others are shyer.
If you want an outgoing family dog to go on long walks and snuggle in bed, look for dogs with lots of personality.
If a quiet, shyer dog suits your needs, look for a calmer, more reserved pup.
Because shelter life is traumatic for some pups, give each dog time to warm up to you when you first meet.
The research did not delve into breed-specific personality traits, but professional dog trainers can help you find the right pup for your needs.