Fearfulness in dogs

An interesting study has determined that dogs raised in urban settings are more fearful of people and other dogs than those raised in rural areas. The survey revealed that inadequate socialization of puppies was one of the main cause of fearfulness.

Jenni Puurunen at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Helsinki based the research on approximately 14,000 dogs. It was noted that in humans, people living in cities have more mental health issues than those living in rural areas. The researchers are not sure if there is a connection between people and dogs in this regard. Fearfulness was more common in spayed females and small dogs.

They also found that fearful dogs were less active and their owners did not take them for training and other activities. Another fact that came to light was that there were significant differences in breeds. Spanish Water Dogs and Shetland Sheepdogs were very fearful while Wheaten Terriers were among the bravest breeds. The Cairn Terrier and the Pembroke Welsh Corgi had the least fearfulness toward other dogs. This indicates that genetics also plays a part in fearfulness.

Sue’s Note: Because fearfulness can be inherited and the environment a puppy is born in contributes to fearfulness, it is very important to carefully select an ethical breeder and avoid situations where puppies are mass produced solely for profit.