The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

14 December 2006

Barking up the wrong tree

Some of this might be plausible, but I have reasons to be suspicious:

The color of a dog's fur may seem to be just a whim of nature and genetics that reveals little about the dog. But a new study claims that coat color for at least one breed, the English cocker spaniel, reflects a pooch's personality.

Prior research has suggested that fur color is also linked to behavior in labrador retrievers, while the type of fur — in this case, wiry or long — may indicate temperament in miniature dachshunds. Wiry-haired mini dachshunds are often more feisty than their mellower, long-haired cousins.

Well, duh. Anybody who knows anything about dachshunds, which these guys manifestly don't, will patiently explain that the original dachshund was the classic smooth-coated wiener dog. The wirehaired variety was developed by careful crossbreeding with terriers, particularly the Dandie Dinmont, which has the same low-slung carriage. And terriers, while they didn't invent canine attitude, act like they own the trademark. Longhaired dachs come from ancient dachshund/spaniel mixes; it's the spaniel contribution, not the coat itself, that produces their relative mellowness.

What's more, Labs don't necessarily breed true to color; it's not all that unusual to have a puppy a different color from its parents, unless both of them are yellow.

But let us continue:

The latest study, recently published in Applied Animal Behavior Science, determined that golden/red English cocker spaniels exhibit the most dominant and aggressive behavior. Black dogs in this breed were found to be the second most aggressive, while particolor (white with patches of color) were discovered to be more mild-mannered.

And all the other variations fall somewhere in between?

Helpful hint, guys: You want to perform a service to all of dogkind? Figure out a way to keep a Dalmatian from sulking.

(Via Scribal Terror.)

Posted at 6:59 AM to Dyssynergy