Importance of dog morphology in apparent behaviour and trainability: examining how morphological differences in dog breeds can affect perception of their trainability

Introduction

Domestic dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) are one of the most morphologically varied species, exhibiting an enormous variety of sizes and body types. Different breeds also exhibit different behavioural traits, and are perceived by dog trainers and owners as having variable abilities to be trained. There is evidence of a strong genetic component in canine behaviour. However, recent studies suggest that some differences, particularly in apparent ability to learn a task (trainability), may have a basis in morphology rather than cognitive ability. Owner behaviour probably plays a strong role as well, particularly in the case of small dogs, which are often considered less obedient than larger dogs (Arhant et al., 2010). Continue reading Importance of dog morphology in apparent behaviour and trainability: examining how morphological differences in dog breeds can affect perception of their trainability