Genetics and the Social Behavior of the Dog


 Click on the cover above to go to this book at

This book was first published in 1965, and has also come out under the title ‘Dog Behavior: The Genetic Basis’. Why should we bother reading something that came out so long ago? Mainly because it is the result of a long-term experiment to try to tease out the impact of genetics on behaviour, taking developmental stages into account, and it was so thorough that it is still a key text for anyone interested in dog behaviour. Dog breeders will obviously find this book of particular interest, but trainers and pet dog owners can also learn a lot from it. Breeds do differ in how they behave,for example, how easily they live together and share resources, or solve problems, and Scott and Fuller’s work helps with understanding these differences.

The book covers a lot of ground, including dog-dog relationships, various aspects of dog-human relationships, and the physical development of dogs. This is a must-read for any dog nut who wants to understand breed differences, and is especially useful when supplemented with works from modern ethologists. It’s by no means an easy read, but it’s accessible to the general public, and is well worth the effort.