Dog Breed Differences in Learning and Behaviour

PACTA is pleased to share the 1 1/2 hour recorded seminar with veterinarian and PhD student Dr. Amin Azadian.

Join Dr. Azadian (he/him), to learn more about his recent research into the breed differences of domestic dogs in their learning and behaviour. Exploring questions such as:

  • Can a dog breed be labeled as the smartest?
  • Is one dog breed inherently smarter than another?
  • To what extent does genetic background explain a dog's behaviour and personality?
  • How do dog owners' decisions and actions impact the behavioural shaping of a dog?
  • Can a dog's personality be reflective of physiological processes like immune system responsiveness and disease vulnerability?
  • What factors contribute to a dog's failure in a training program? Is it due to a lack of focus, motivation, or poor learning ability?

This was live-streamed, and Dr. Azadian answered attendees' questions after his presentation.

Selective breeding has resulted in a diverse range of domestic dog breeds, enabling them to serve in various roles within human society. However, excelling in many of these roles often requires extensive and costly training, with the interplay between genetic and environmental factors in determining a dog's behavioural performance and learning outcome remaining an ongoing exploration. Some studies highlighted the substantial influence of historical selective pressures, forming dog breeds for certain functions, while contrasting perspectives emphasized recent shifts towards prioritizing aesthetic traits over behavioural characteristics resulting in behavioural profiles potentially diverging from breeds’ original functions. These inconsistent research findings challenge the traditional notion that a dog's breed is a major predictor of behaviour and learning, suggesting maybe a more significant role for environmental factors shaping a dog's behaviour through life. In this presentation, we would like to review all these crucial factors based on previous research findings, which have the potential to shape modern dog breeds' behaviour and learning.

About Dr. Azadian

Amin Azadian (he/him) is a veterinarian with a DVM from University of Tabriz in Iran. He is currently a PhD student in the University of British Columbia’s Animal Welfare Program. Amin's doctoral research project focuses on individual and breed differences in behaviour of domestic dogs, studying factors influencing behaviour and resulting in these differences. Before joining the Human-Animal Interaction research group at UBC, he was collaborating with a veterinary research group at the University of Edinburgh, UK, researching the link between Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) and age-related dementia in domestic cats.

Continuing Education Units

CEUs pre-approved for KPA, AnimalKind, CCPDT: others may be available.

Some of the feedback

"So glad to see this kind of research being done!"

"I love that instead of calling an independent thinking dog "stubborn" or "determined" we could state they have a "cost effective strategy" to walk away if they didn't get a treat/reinforcer!"

"Wow! Thank you for an awesome presentation! I wish it was longer as I'd love to learn even more about the research!"



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