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Preliminary analysis of an adjective-based dog personality questionnaire developed to measure some aspects of personality in the domestic dog (Canis familiaris)

By Erika Mirkó, Enikő Kubinyi, Márta Gácsi, Ádám Miklósi

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Abstract

In this paper we present a novel adjective-based dog personality questionnaire, which was successfully implemented to characterise the behaviour of individual dogs. The scales obtained by Principal Component Analysis (Stranger-directed Sociability, Activity, Aggressiveness and Trainability) correspond well with the results of other studies published earlier. The obtained personality scales were also used to compare breed-groups registered in Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) and a distinct group of mongrels was also included in the total sample (N=352 dogs). Results suggest that in the case of pet dogs there are only slight detectable differences in personality dimensions between breed-groups and breeds. Furthermore, the present investigation also includes the comparison of two breeds, the Hungarian Vizsla and the German Shepherd Dog. After matching for demographic differences, we could not reveal differences in personality traits between the two breeds kept as pets. These observations caution against making hasty claims about the presence or absence of breed differences because environmental factors can mask, or even enhance potentially existing genetically potentiated breed differences.

Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 138
Issue 1
Pages 88-98
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
DOI 10.1016/j.applanim.2012.02.016
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Tags
  1. Breeding
  2. Demography
  3. Dogs
  4. Groups
  5. Personality