Canine Behavior Stats That May Surprise You!


A study called Demographics and Comorbidity of Behavior Problems in Dogs produced  by The Center for Canine Behavior Studies shows that  85 per cent of dog owners interviewed indicated that their dog had behavioral problems.

The goal of the study and indeed the mission of The Center of Canine Behavior Studies is to try and help owners resolve issues so that dogs are not surrendered to the shelter system and euthanized.

Here are some highlight from the study:

  • A total of 3201 dog owners submitted information about 5018 dogs, spanning mixed and pure breeds.
  • Among 2,480 dog owners and 4,114 dogs, the prevalence of owner-reported problematic behaviors was 85%.
  • Males and female dogs were equally represented; a majority of which were neutered.
  • The top three dogs in the study were Labrador retrievers (382), golden retrievers (138) and German shepherds (132). 
  • The two most prevalent acquisition sources for the dogs were rescues (43%) and breeders (33%), while the least reported source was pet stores (1%)
  • Gender, neuter status, origin, and lineage were found to have a notable effect on behavior problem prevalence.
  • Age, neuter status, origin, and lineage were found to have a notable effect on the number of behavior problems per dog.
  • Dogs from rescue situations displayed significantly more behavior problems than dogs acquired from breeders.
  • Neutered males and females were almost twice as likely to exhibit behavior problems as intact dogs.
  • Fear and anxiety-based problems were reported in 44% of cases and were the most prevalent behavior problems reported.
  • Aggression was the second most common behavior problem reported (30% of dogs).
  • An association was found between owner-direct aggression and maleness.
  • Biting: of note is the high number of dogs (91%) that had never bitten a person or another dog. Of the 9% that did, almost a third (29%) of the biting incidents involved more than one bite.
  • A majority (92%) of biting incidents reported were for neutered dogs with castrated males accounting for 52% of the total reported bites and spayed females accounting for 41%.

You can learn more about the study and the Centre of Canine Behavior Studies on their website