Home Page Forums Darwin’s Ark Genes that influence dog behavior. Reply To: Genes that influence dog behavior.

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kathleen morrill

Hi Darlene,

The genetics behind dog behavior remain an open field, and genes involved in behavior aren’t as well-profiled as, say, coat color genetics… but that’s what makes behavioral genetics very exciting, too!

I might suggest reading about this study on Labrador Retrievers for a good example of behavioral genetics:

The original scientific article is here:

In short, Labradors with deletions in this POMC gene have higher rates of obesity (health and behavior-related) *and* Labradors with this variant are overrepresented in service dogs (behavior-related). The hypothesis behind this being that POMC influences food motivation, and that dogs who are more food motivated will work harder for a reward (great for training!)