Did you know you could inherit a genetic component that effects the likeliness of dog ownership? A study was recently posted to Scientific Reports by a few researchers at Uppsala University in Sweden. For the study, they compared the genetics of 85,542 individuals. Out of these individuals, 50,507 had a twin, where 35,035 pairs included both twins and 15,472 only included one of the twins. Both identical (monozygotic) and nonidentical (dizygotic) twins were present in the study. The purpose of comparing both types of twins was to identify what gene structure is actually different. In this case, if any genes specifically matched among dog owners. The objective of the study is to determine if dog ownership is something heritable.
Structural equation modeling was used to examine the study population. The three main groups were classified as:
A- the contribution of additive genetic effects
C- common/ shared environmental effects
E- unique/ non-shared environmental effects
As you can see from the graph, it is noted that shared environment factors (C) only seemed prevalent in young adults.
In conclusion, evidence of distinct genetics plays a role in dog ownership with adults. Out of the study participants, about 10% were identified as dog owners. Further, dog ownership varied by sex and age. Dog ownership was present in 66% being females and 34% being males (see Table 1).
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