December 19, 2016

Fear and Aggression in German Shepherd, Boxer, and Rottweiler Dogs

This research study’s purpose was to determine a way to classify factors that invoke fear and aggression in order of their significance. Additionally, it hoped to identify which breed – German Shepherd, Boxer, or Rottweiler – was most resistant to fearful or aggressive situations. In this study, there were sixty male dogs (twenty of each breed). There were multiple steps and variables that the researchers used in this study in order to arrive at a conclusion. First, they gave each of the sixty dogs a veterinary hygiene check to ensure that each dog passed the medical standards necessary. Following this, they gave each dog the “test of Toman – fifth variant for dog temperament typing”. It is difficult to locate additional information on this test online, as the article cited in the experiment is originally French and therefore not able to be deciphered by an English college student. After this examination, the researchers observed the dogs. During this portion of the experiment, they observed the length of which each of the dogs performed six behavioral actions. These activities included eating, drinking, exploring, vocalizing, being scared, and reacting to something that instigates aggression. This process occurred once a day, every other day, with five trials for each dog. After this process, these behaviors were evaluated through the “Mirror test of Breto”. This test ranked each dog’s behavior on a 4 point scale.

To minimalize other variables, the dogs were kept in isolated, distant areas with access to resources necessary.  The study also analyzed the distribution of the dogs in regard to their types of nervous systems – Sanguine type L, Choleric type F, Phlegmatic type G, and Melancholic type A. This table is presented and expanded on more within the research study’s paper.

The researchers concluded that fear and aggression depended mostly on the dog’s temperament, secondly on the dog’s breed, and thirdly on the conditions the dog was held on in addition to the extent that the dog was socialized. The Rottweiler, specifically, was considered “most susceptible to fear and aggression conditions”. This is logical because the breed is known to display the least amount of Sanguine type L. This study was significant because it disproved Queinnec, a highly regarded European professor.

A flaw found in this paper is that the study concluded that the German Shepherd and Boxer breeds were roughly equivalent on the scale of fear and aggression. However, this is highly contradictory, as the results show that the boxer breed is prone to develop more fear and aggressive traits. After a class discussion at Washington University in St. Louis, we are unable to completely decipher the findings of this experiment. This may be due to a language translation barrier or a misinterpretation of the data.

Uzunova, Krassimira. "Fear and Aggression in German Shepherd, Boxer, and Rottweiler Dogs | Uzunova | Scientific Papers Animal Science and Biotechnologies." Scientific Papers Animal Science and Biotechnologies. N.p., 2015. Web. 15 Nov. 2016

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                                                                                                                    Reviewed by: Roxy Ackerman