OSU researchers link dogs being happy with humans to their genes - KPTV - FOX 12

OSU researchers link dogs being happy with humans to their genes

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For anyone who has ever wondered what makes dogs so friendly and lovable, a group of scientists from Oregon State University and Princeton may have discovered the answer.

A dogs behavior is tied to two very specific genes. What researchers found is when these genes developed over time, so did the dogs sociability. 

OSU Animal Behaviorist Monique Udell studied the behaviors and genetic makeup of 16 dogs and wolves. 

What Udell found is dogs had increased levels of happy genes that made them excessively friendly.

These genes are also associated with Williams Beuren Syndrome in humans, which leads to excessively friendly behavior, but can also cause health issues.

Although they're considered desirable traits, Udell says there is such a thing as being too social. For instance, it can lead dogs to experience separation anxiety more often than other animals.

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