DEC 20, 2018 7:26 PM PST

A Genetic Test for Sociability in Dogs

WRITTEN BY: Carmen Leitch

Researcher Bridgett vonHoldt, an assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, and her colleagues found genes in dogs that are like human genes that have been linked to a hyper-sociability disorder called Williams-Beuren syndrome. It was determined that the canine versions are connected to sociability in dogs.

This data could be useful in the development of genetic tests that can indicate at an early age whether a pup would make a good service dog, and may also help pet owners make health decisions. Genetic screening tests for dogs are already on the market, so it could easily be added to an existing one.

“These gene mutations are always found in dogs and wolves that demonstrate human-directed social behavior,” said vonHoldt.


Source: Princeton University

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  • Experienced research scientist and technical expert with authorships on 28 peer-reviewed publications, traveler to over 60 countries, published photographer and internationally-exhibited painter, volunteer trained in disaster-response, CPR and DV counseling.
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