Genetics and Dog Ownership
Why do we love our dogs so much? Could it be that we are slaves to our genetic makeup? I can think of several owners of multiple dogs that would embrace this argument, so lets take a look at a study out of Sweden that asked this very question.
Why Sweden? Sweden has a huge registry of twin siblings both identical and fraternal. Identical twins share 100% of their genes, while fraternal twins share 50% genetic makeup. Since twins are raised in the same environment, they offer a perfect laboratory for investigating nature vs nurture studies. Twins share the same environment, so if a trait is genetic, identical twins will look more like each other in that trait than fraternal twins do.
The study found that if one identical female twin owned a dog, there was a 40 percent likelihood that her twin would, too, compared with a 25 percent likelihood with fraternal females.
When an identical male twin owned a dog, there was a 29 percent likelihood that his twin did, compared with only an 18 percent likelihood for fraternal males.
Crunching the numbers further showed that genetic pre-disposition for dog ownership was 51% in men and 57% in women.
Dogs themselves are complicit in this strategy by being so darned lovable. So when you are questioned about the number of dogs in your life, now you can explain that it can't be helped, its just in your genes.