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(36,649 posts)
Wed May 29, 2013, 11:57 PM May 2013

There is little correlation between visual breed identification and the DNA of mixed-breed dogs.

Last edited Thu May 30, 2013, 09:16 AM - Edit history (2)

And nearly 80% of the dogs in the US are mixed breed.



NCRC Interview with Victoria Voith, DVM, MSc,MA, PhD, DACVB; Professor, Animal Behavior; College of Veterinary Medicine, Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, CA


Dr. Victoria Voith describes her research concluding that there is little correlation between dog adoption agencies’ identification of probable breed composition with the identification of breeds by DNA analysis.


NCRC Interview with Kristopher J. Irizarry, PhD; Associate Professor, Bioinformatics, Genetics, Genomics; College of Veterinary Medicine, Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, CA


Dr. Irizarry explains the genetic basis for why dogs that look alike often do not act alike.


NCRC Interview with Bill Bruce on Ineffective Dog Laws


Bill Bruce, Calgary's Director of Animal and By-Law Services discusses ineffective dog laws such as breed-specific legislation, pet limit laws, and mandatory spay-neuter, and why these broad-based forms of legislation are ineffective.

Nearly all media reports about dog bites and dog bite related fatalities are based on visual breed identification. In 2011, the most recent year with complete information, in cases of dog bite related fatalities the media listed the dog breed incorrectly almost 82% of the time. And any site that merely compiles media reports, making no attempt to investigate & verify the information reported IS DELIBERATELY LYING TO YOU!

Breed is not a determining factor in predictive a particular dog's propensity for aggression. What are determining factors are: Whether the dog is spayed/neutered, whether the dog has been properly trained & socialized, and whether the dog has been treated properly, not neglected or abused with no rehabilitation.


Here are the actual numbers for dog bite related fatalities:

Out of the 33 instances from 2011 investigated by the NCRC, 30 deaths were directly attributed to dog bites (DogsBite.com reports 1 additional case as a dog bite related fatality, when in fact it was not, and lists 5 as "pending", of which 2 are covered by the NCRC report). At least 50 dogs were involved in these incidents. Of those dogs, 3 (6.00%) were Rottweilers, 1 (2.00%) was an American Bulldog, 1 (2.00%) was a Cane Corso, 3 (6.00%) were what are normally referred to as "Pit Bulls" (2 APBT, 1 AST), 1 (2.00%) was a Doberman Pinscher, and 41 (82.00%) were either of indeterminate or unknown breed.

DogsBite.com incorrectly identified the breed (based solely on inaccurate media reports) in 27 (81.82%) of the cases.

DogsBite.com incorrectly states that the gender of the dogs was unknown in 16/33 (48.48%) of the cases when, in fact it was known.

DogsBite.com incorrectly states that the reproductive status of the dogs was unknown in 22/33 (66.67%) of the cases when, in fact they were intact (not spayed or neutered.) In one case DogsBite.com reported the reproductive status of the (2) dogs involved was unknown when they were females who had recently given birth. In one case DogsBite.com reported the reproductive status of the dog as unknown, when the owner purchased it with the intention of putting it to stud.

DogsBite.com incorrectly lists 18 (54.55%) as "Family dogs" when in fact they were Resident Dogs which were isolated by their owners from regular, positive human interactions. In 2 cases DogsBite.com reported the dogs "Family dogs" when they were intentionally trained as attack dogs.

Of the 30 deaths directly attributed to dog bites, 13 were children. Of those, 12 were unsupervised by adults. These circumstances were not mentioned by DogsBite.com 25% of the time, and were described inaccurately almost 17% of the time.

DogsBite.com makes no attempt to indicate if any of these dogs had been neglected or abused, when many of them were.

(And why does BogsBite include the death of Larry Armstrong in the 2011 listings when both the incident & the victims death occurred in 2010?)

In short, DogsBite.com has made errors, incorrectly reported the circumstances, or simply lied in 100.00% of the cases of dog bite related fatalities from 2011. I expect a similar result from 2012 & 2013.



(68,644 posts)
1. So, a media talking head might call a killer dog a "labrador", but it could really be a pibble?
Thu May 30, 2013, 12:01 AM
May 2013

Or majority pibble, or vice-versa?

I believe that, and if 80% are mixed who knows where any genetic predispositions come from.



(36,649 posts)
2. You didn't even bother to look at Dr Irizarry's video.
Thu May 30, 2013, 12:09 AM
May 2013

The simple fact is, that if a dog is a mixed breed - say a Lab/Boxer, it's not any more like one breed than another. And it certainly isn't a Pit Bull, even if it might look like one.

And the BREED DOESN'T MATTER anyway. It's how the dog is trained, socialized, & how it behaves that does.



(68,644 posts)
3. I do believe about the training and socialization, but what about herding and swimming instincts?
Thu May 30, 2013, 12:16 AM
May 2013

In labs and sheepdogs, respectively?

Are there not possibly other traits that are passed on, such as temperment and defensiveness and protectiveness?

OT, here's a daschund with a lion:


(29,257 posts)
5. I would not allow myself to be dragged into woo-woo land.
Thu May 30, 2013, 12:22 AM
May 2013

Anyone being honest should know that there is variation among individuals based on socialization.

BUT there is also a significant influence from genetics.

To claim that all breeds are the same and that they play no role in behavior is nonsense, absolute nonsense.

"Search your feelings, Luke..."


(30,994 posts)
9. Really: Fuck with my Lion and I'll chew your ass off your pelvis.
Thu May 30, 2013, 12:33 AM
May 2013

Sez the wiener dog on the left.....


(29,257 posts)
4. The big takeaway seems to be two points.
Thu May 30, 2013, 12:19 AM
May 2013

1) People make a lot of mistakes when identifying breeds.

2) There is variation in behavior between individuals of the same breed.

I am certain both are true.

But saying that there is variation among members of the same breed is NOT the same as saying that breeds do not have an influence on behavior and no one in the videos you posted said that -AND I AM SURE they would, in fact, readily admit that although variation among individuals exists, there is also tremendous behavioral variation between breeds generally.



(36,649 posts)
7. The point is that ignorant people want to subject Pit Bulls to wholesale slaughter
Thu May 30, 2013, 12:30 AM
May 2013

Simply because there are evil people who blame ALL dog bites on Pit Bulls.


(29,257 posts)
8. Well that may be your point.
Thu May 30, 2013, 12:33 AM
May 2013

But nothing in the videos suggests that there is not a correlation generally (separate of course from individual variation) between a dog's genetic makeup and their behavior.



(36,649 posts)
11. If you're worried about behavior
Thu May 30, 2013, 12:51 AM
May 2013

there are about 200,000,000 dogs in the US, and about 1,000,000 dog bites that require hospitalization every year (0.5% incidence), and 30 dog bite related fatalities (0.000015% incidence).

If someone has been trying to breed murderous bloodthirsty behavior into the genetic makeup of Canis lupus familiaris over the last 30 yrs, they've done a pretty sucky job of it.


(14,177 posts)
14. My dog thinks she is a cat...
Thu May 30, 2013, 12:56 AM
May 2013

She is also aggressive. I rescued her from a pack of children. I don't think she ever really got over the trauma of being mishandled as a small puppy. She is a bit better now. I can take her for walks and she only tries to start crap with other dogs occasionally instead of growling and stuff every single freaking time. I still have to stay very alert of course and retract her leash every single time I see another dog. I have to kneel down beside her if she is approached by any strange person. She is not a pit bull however. But, I am still responsible if she bites another dog or if she bites a human. Bottom line is that the dog or the breed isn't the party that should be blamed if a dog attacks. Their humans should have had control over the situation.

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