The Relevance of Breed in Selecting a Companion Dog

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Prospective pet owners and policy makers would like to be able to predict the probable future behavior of dogs in order to choose appropriate companion dogs and to anticipate problematic behaviors such as aggression toward humans.  Such predictions are commonly made based on presumed breed characteristics, both in the case of purebred and mixed-breed dogs.  These predictions rest on the main assumptions: that dogs are readily identifiable as members of a particular breed; that behavior can be reliably predicted according to breed; and that the behaviors associated with specific breeds are relevant to the contemporary function of most domestic dogs as companions for human families.  The purpose of this paper is to examine these assumptions in order to determine whether a breed label is a useful indicator of the suitability of a companion dog.

Bradley, J. (2011). The Relevance of Breed in Selecting a Companion Dog. Retrieved December 6, 2021, from


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Topic(s): Genetic Counseling, Genetics, Health, Pet Families