The canid genome: Behavioral geneticists' best friend?

N. J. Hall, C. D.L. Wynne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


We review a range of studies on the genetic contribution to behavior in canid species. We begin by identifying factors that make canids a promising model in behavioral genetics and proceed to review research over the last decade that has used canids to identify genetic contributions to behavior. We first review studies that have selectively bred dogs to identify genetic contributions to behavior and then review studies that estimate heritability from populations of nonlaboratory bred dogs. We subsequently review studies that used molecular genetics to identify gene-behavior associations and note associations that have been uncovered. We then note challenges in canid behavioral genetics research that require further consideration. We finish by suggesting alternative phenotyping methods and identify areas in which canids may have as yet unexploited advantages, such as in gene-environment interaction studies where genetic factors are found to moderate the effects of environmental variables.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)889-902
Number of pages14
JournalGenes, Brain and Behavior
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Belyaev foxes
  • Canine behavior
  • GWAS
  • GXE
  • Genetics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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