Impulsive behavior is that of the sudden desire to act on the grounds of intense feeling or inability to stop and think before acting. Some dogs are actually pretty capable of containing their behavior, but new research suggests that some breeds have more impulsive behavior than originally thought.
Among one of the breeds of interest in the new research are Border Collies, which are a type of dog used by farmers to keep their sheep herds under control. The research suggests that Collies may be more impulsive than that of Labrador Retrievers, both of which are popular pets and service dogs in the U.K.
The dogs were selected at random, and the results have been collected by way of 1,161 participating test subjects. 716 of them were Collies, and 445 of them were Labrador Retrievers. The dogs’ owners were then asked to answer an 18-question quiz on how adventurous their dogs would be in situations they were no familiar with.
The results, which have been published in the journal Scientific Reports, suggest that working Collies may be more impulsive, and capable of entering a potentially dangerous situation without thought, than Labrador Retrievers are.
There were also some interesting differences in statistics between show dogs and working dogs. In show dogs, there were hardly any differences in impulsivity between Collies and Retrievers, but in working dogs, this is where the numbers seemed to illustrate Collies with more of an impulsive attitude than Retrievers.
Of course, the data was only measured by the opinion of dog owners, and not necessarily in a scientific way, so there’s no way to know for sure. Further extensive testing on the brain activity of these two breeds of dogs may better conclude which breed is going to be more impulsive.
This kind of data is useful because it helps dog owners to pick a specific breed for the type of work they may need the dog to do. For example, a more impulseive dog is better used for keeping herds under control than one that would hesistate to do its assigned job.