Is "Breed" Relevant?

A look at how much breed really matters to creating positive relationships between dogs and people.

Breed identification is often used to help people choose a dog who aligns with their hopes and expectations. However, science suggests that breed is a poor predictor of a dog's behavior and personality.

The Relevance of Breed in Choosing a Companion Dog

Here are key points to consider:

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Janis Bradley2
One goal is to help adopters choose a dog who is likely to satisfy that adopter’s hopes regarding daily life with a canine companion. In organizations with the human resources to do it, this often means talking with that potential adopter to try to unpack what those hopes really are and suggest individual dogs who may fit well into that picture of the adopter’s daily life.

Janis Bradley

The Relavance of Breed when Choosing a Companion Dog

Meet the Author

Janis Bradley

Janis, the Director of Communications and Research for National Canine Research Council, holds a B.A. in Philosophy and a Masters in English. She first pursued a career as a college teacher, counselor, and administrator. Leaving academia, she then took up professionally her passion for the human-canine relationship. From 2000 through 2009, Janis trained more than 400 professional pet dog trainers.

Janis has co-author of the articles: “No better than flipping a coin: Reconsidering canine behavior evaluations in animal shelters” , “Who is minding the bibliography? Daisy chaining, dropped leads, and other bad behavior using examples from the dog bite literature,” and “Defaming Rover: Error-Based Latent Rhetoric in the Medical Literature on Dog Bites”. She is also the author of Dogs Bite, But Balloons and Slippers are More Dangerous (James and Kenneth), the complete guide to research on dog bites; Dog Bites: Problems and Solutions (Animals and Society Institute).. All of this comes from an abiding interest in finding the very best information about the remarkable relationship between dogs and people. 

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