- Topic: Breed Labels, Visual Breed Identification
- Type: Summary and Analysis
- Behavior, Genetics, and “Breed”
- Public Policy
This paper is included because it is the largest study to date that relates shelter breed labels to canine genetics.
Visual breed identification is often inaccurate, and study results bring into question the findings of any research which attempts to link breed to behavior based on visually identified study populations and demonstrates a need for eliminating visual breed identification as a data source for ongoing canine behavioral studies.
The purpose of this paper was to explain the shortcomings of visual breed identification and persuade veterinarians and shelter staff to refrain from guessing a dog’s breed based on its appearance.
This is an inter-observer reliability study, the primary goal of which was to determine the level of agreement between shelter workers in the U.S. & U.K. regarding dogs they labeled “pit bulls.”
This study explored two aspects of visual breed identification: consistency among experts and validity when compared to DNA analysis.
This study examined both inter-rater reliability between experienced canine professionals and validity of visual breed identifications compared to DNA profiles—both were very low.
This study compared adoption agencies’ visual breed identifications of 20 mixed-breed dogs against DNA analysis.
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