Dog Personality

Take part in this project by filling in a simple questionnaire. Take part »

Dog Personality

The Animal Behaviour, Cognition and Welfare Group at the University of Lincoln carries out a wide range of research. We study many species, but have a particular interest in companion animals, especially dogs and cats.

This website specifically focuses on a large series of projects on dog personality, which involves several researchers and students every year. Our main objective is to identify robust personality traits and trace their biology from the level of genes through the brain to their behaviour. This cannot only help us manage problems relating to these traits, but also helps us develop real life models that can be used in comparative work, and can even help us understand humans better too. Central to our work is the recognition of common core traits, which we express to a greater or lesser degree as individuals. Thus anyone can be aggressive, but some may be more likely to show this in a given circumstance than another.

With so many dogs living with people, who else would be better to help us find out more about dogs than the owners themselves? So, if you own a dog and would like to contribute to our research, the first step involves filling in one of our Dog Personality Questionnaires. Should you wish, we can then keep your contact information in our database and send you an invitation to get involved further with follow up projects at a later date.

Impulsivity Project

One of the specific projects going on right now, is looking at the factors that contribute to aggressive impulsivity in the dog. This is a serious welfare problem for both humans and dogs. PhD student Fernanda Fadel is trying to identify the genetic risk factors in the dog, which may allow us to develop a simple test to identify at risk individuals who may need specific management measures to help them live happy and fulfilling lives, at minimal risk to others. For this, she is recruiting dogs based on how they score on the Dog Impulsivity Assessment Scale (DIAS), with a view to collecting DNA samples from their saliva. We need to compare both low and high risk dogs, so we need all dog owners to help out.

This project has been approved by the relevant University's ethics committee and once we have collected the sample the results will be linked to the personality scores and any individual associations with you or your dog will be removed so that your data can be kept confidential. We will not comment on your dog's behaviour, but if you would like help with managing your dog's behaviour, please contact our behaviour clinic team for further information (Animal Behaviour Clinic)

If you would like to know more before taking part or have any question, you can contact me at:

Take part in this project by filling in a simple questionnaire. Take part »

Other ongoing projects

To learn more about research carried out at the University of Lincoln and take part in it, please visit: Lincoln Pets Can Do

Fernanda with Luigi

Fernanda Fadel
PhD Student
Animal Behaviour and Welfare
School of Life Sciences
University of Lincoln

Canaine Science Forum