What Kind of a Dog Is That?
It’s one of the most commonly asked questions about any dog. But, when you inquire about a dog’s breed based on how he looks, you’re really asking these three questions:
- What do we think we know about a dog based on their breed or breed mix?
- How accurate are our guesses at breed when we don’t know a dog’s background?
- And what can we predict about dog behavior based on breed or physical appearance alone?
With those questions in mind, Animal Farm Foundation looked at the science and research on the subject of canine genetics and behavior. What we found is simple: All Dogs Are Individuals.
Despite how a dog may look on the outside or what their breed or breed mix may be, research reveals that dogs are complex animals influenced by many factors. Looks alone do not dictate behavior.
Understanding dogs as individuals
We must hold all dog owners equally accountable.
This individual first approach leads to positive things for dogs and people: better matches between dogs and families, safer communities where laws hold all dog owners equally responsible, and higher adoption rates at shelters.
This infographic, called All Dogs Are Individuals, shares the science and research behind this perspective-shifting idea.
The Dog and Its Genome by Elaine Ostrander
Genetics and the Social Behavior of the Dog by Scott and Fuller
The Relevance of Breed in Selecting a Companion Dog by Janis Bradley
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. If you would like to make changes or translations of this work, please contact us for permission.