“Reactivity to Stimuli” Is a Temperamental Factor Contributing to Canine Aggression

Short Synopsis: This study is a follow-up to another project that found that Shiba Inus who are “reactive to stimuli” are also more likely to be aggressive. The goal was to see if that trend continued across other breeds.

They used the C-BARQ to determine how much the dogs reacted to various stimuli, like being approached by a stranger.

The authors found that levels of aggression varied across breeds. Some breeds, like King Charles Cavalier Spaniels, showed very low levels of aggression while others like Chihuahuas were aggressive towards strangers and a third group like Jack Russell Terriers were aggressive towards their owners.

In the end, the researchers found that “reactivity to stimuli” as a trait was associated with aggression in 13 of the 14 breeds studied. Which type of aggression (stranger-, owner-, child-, or dog-directed) correlated with reactivity to stimuli varied across breed.

The authors also found that dogs who are more chase-prone are more likely to be aggressive towards other dogs.

Authors: Sayaka Arata, Yukari Takeuchi , Mai Inoue, and Yuji Mori

Publication: PLoS One

Publication Date: June 2014

Applies To: aggressive behavior

Sample Size: 5610 dogs

Limitations/Drawbacks: relied on owner’s observations for C-BARQ

Link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4074066/?fbclid=IwAR3WtnYTd_rwopQS0fNN7oI6SpCune67JEVPOc9ywhL0qDhEYSnFWfdQ-iE

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