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Dogs have five personality types

Dogs only have five personality types, new research reveals. 

Researchers from the University of East London used an artificial intelligence algorithm to go through 70,000 behavioural records of dogs from the University of Pennsylvania’s C-Barq database to find common threads.

They found that all could be classified into the five groups: excitable/hyper-attached, anxious/fearful, aloof/predatory, reactive/assertive, or calm/agreeable. 

Anxious and fearful dogs were more likely to whine, jump up or try to intervene when the owner petted another animal, while calm and agreeable dogs did not seem to mind. 

Calmer dogs were also less likely to chase birds or cats, and were quicker to learn new tricks or tasks. 

Aloof/predatory dogs were more likely to show aggression to joggers, rollerbladers or skateboarders passing outside the home. 

Reactive dogs tended to become aggressive when scolded or shouted at by their owners, as well as being likely to chase squirrels and cats, and scared of sudden loud noises. 

The report says: “These findings could provide a framework to explore personality matching between companion dogs and their owners and how this might contribute to the quality and durability of their relationships.  

“The results of such studies could potentially generate insights regarding why dog-human partnerships succeed or fail, thereby reducing future rates of shelter relinquishment and euthanasia, and may also help to guide animal shelter and rescue groups towards more successful and mutually rewarding dog adoptions.” 

It could also be useful in selecting or training dogs for specific roles where their temperament is important. 

The researchers are hoping that future research will be able to show if the personality clusters are influenced by genetics, age, sex, body size, neuter status, breed, previous history, and the characteristics of their owners. 

The research was published in the journal Nature Scientific Reports. 

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