WellBeing News


An extensive study of the genetics of dog behavior (including individual dog personality) and appearance (physical traits) has just appeared in the major academic research publication, Science. The research team reviewed the behavior and genes of 2,000 dogs who had had their entire genomes sequenced. An additional 16,000 dogs, including mixes and pure breeds (128 represented), were also reviewed for behavior traits. The study reported that less than a quarter of the differences in dog personality could be explained by genetics. In contrast, at least 80% of the physical traits were closely tied to the dog’s DNA. These findings are important for at least a segment of the dog-owning population and possibly some dogs, specifically those colloquially referred to as Pit Bull terriers. Early on, Pit Bulls were admired as America’s dogs, as depicted in 1914 by artist Wallace Robinson, or as family dogs such as Petey. Petey was the everpresent companion to the children in the 1930s TV show, Our Gang. Today Pit Bulls are more often regarded as dangerous intruders into safe neighborhoods.