Dog Life With No Spoons

Breaking Down Breed and Behavior

June 25, 2022 Rene Smith and Jade Johnson Season 1 Episode 7
Dog Life With No Spoons
Breaking Down Breed and Behavior
Show Notes

A recent study on the effect of dog breed on behavior was largely misconstrued by the media, with many media sources implying the study meant breed and genetics had little to do with behavior. Join Jade and Rene to break down what the study actually said (and didn’t say) about the connection between behavior and genetics, and learn which traits are most influenced by genetics.


Morrill, K., Hekman, J., Li, X., McClure, J., Karlsson, E. 2022. Ancestry-inclusive dog genomics challenges popular breed stereotypes. Science. 376: 6592.

Sample media articles: Dog Personalities Aren’t Determined by Breed by Jack Tamisiea in Scientific American, Your Dog’s Breed Doesn’t Determine its Personality, Study Suggests by David Grimm in Science, Humans Can’t Quite A Basic Myth About Dog Behavior by Katherine Wu in The Atlantic, Looking for a Well-Behaved Dog? Breed May Not Tell You Much by Katie Shephard in The Washington Post

Other resources to understand this dense paper: IAABC Video One, IAABC Video Two, Breed, Behavior, and Mutt Genomics by Jessica Hekman (second author on paper), Interview with Jessica Hekman, Cog Dog Radio