Journal article

GENETICS OF TRAITS WHICH DETERMINE THE SUITABILITY OF DOGS AS GUIDE-DOGS FOR THE BLIND

ME GODDARD, RG BEILHARZ

Applied Animal Behaviour Science | ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV | Published : 1983

Abstract

The most important traits causing dogs to be rejected as unsuitable for training as guide-dogs were found to be fearfulness, being too easily distracted, especially by other dogs, and aggressiveness. The guide-dog trainers evaluate these traits and several others using a series of 17 scores. The between-trainer repeatability of these scores varied from 0 to 0.7. Factor analysis of these 17 scores yielded 5 factors, which can be labelled distraction, general performance, sensitivity, fearfulness and fearfulness accompanied by high activity. There were no negative correlations between desirable traits, so it should be possible to obtain an overall improvement in the performance of the dogs. Co..

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University of Melbourne Researchers