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J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1985 Jun 1;186(11):1181-5.

Selecting pet dogs on the basis of cluster analysis of breed behavior profiles and gender.


Using a computer-generated data base of rankings of 56 breeds of dogs on 13 behavioral traits, a factor analysis was performed to determine the extent to which a few general underlying behavioral tendencies are manifested in specific characteristics. Three factors, referred to as reactivity, aggression, and trainability, accounted for 81% of the variance in the 13 behavioral traits. Subsequently, a cluster analysis was performed to generate 7 clusters of dog breeds on the basis of similarity in scores for each of the 3 main factors. The clusters reflected to some degree the conventional groupings of dogs into working, sporting, hound, and terrier breeds. A quantitative analysis of the ranking of male dogs vs female dogs for the 13 characteristics revealed that males differed from females on 10 traits. It was concluded that these gender and cluster profiles will allow people to select a breed or gender of dog that is most likely to match the emotional and physical needs of the person who will provide a home for the pet.

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