Researchers from the University of Lincoln are using a scientific approach to see if they can determine specific gene patterns that could cause dogs to be aggressive.
By taking saliva swabs from dozens of pets, they are hoping to identify certain genes in the animals’ DNA that could cause them to have a more dangerous nature. This is coming after a series of dog attacks over the last few years, and reports that incidents are up 81% in Wales in the last decade.
The Dogs Trust has welcomed the research, although it does have fears that by genetically identifying dogs that are more prone to aggression, certain breeds may be further ‘demonized’. The Animal Rescue Centre in Lincolnshire has said that more owners are giving up their dogs, possibly due to the climbing number of attacks, and because of this demonization.
Researcher Fernanda Fadel has said that in future, if the research is successful, that it could be used for selective breeding to tone down the aggressive nature of dogs all over.
However, a spokeswoman of the Dogs Trust has said how the way a dog is treated and brought up will have a much higher impact on how aggressive they are, rather than their genes.