British and Swedish researchers teamed up to discover if there were any genetic clues showing that some individuals were predisposed to be dog owners. After testing around 35,000 pairs of twins, the researchers identified that there are specific genes that do have significant influence on whether or not one owns a dog. These genes also have influence on the interactions between dogs and humans. This leads to the researchers believing that some have a more innate response to take care of a dog. Another finding is that these genetic linkages may also show health benefits from owning a dog. Personally I can see how some are more innately dog owners and others are cat owners. From personal experience, I have always known I was a dog owner, and it is really cool to know that this could be due to my genetics!
Of all the things I expected to be tied to genetics, having a predisposition to being a dog owner was certainly not one of them! I find this interesting regarding how genetics can influence our behavior to make certain individuals want to care for dogs.ReplyDelete
This is definitely not something I expected to have a genetic relation. I always thought that animal owner preference was more of a environmental influence growing up, but this also shows a whole new side to what it means to be a potential dog or cat owner. Funny, I happen to be both, so I wonder what genes are influencing both instead of just one.ReplyDelete
I never would have put pet preference as being genetic but it is interesting to look into. I would also wonder about if it is genetics what other genes are linked with, as there can be significant differences between strictly dog and strictly cat owners (e.g. a lot of dog owners can't stand cats but most cat owners I know don't mind dogs).ReplyDelete