Changing Personalities? New Study Shows That Your Dog’s Personality Changes With Age
Age-Old Questions Answered!
Age may be anything but a number but there are recent studies showing that the age of your furry companion might bring on personality changes.
If you’ve had a pup from birth to elder ages, you might have noticed that over time the pep in their step wasn’t the same and they weren’t as happy go-lucky as they once were. We all go through this, however, we become frustrated when we can’t pinpoint the exact time the personality changes will occur. We’re about to give you some answers to the common questions you might have.
Studying The Spectrum
Recently, Scientific Reports published a study that attempted to find when those changes occur and what personality traits of your pup are likely to change over that timeframe. From attraction to the desire to explore, all were being studied. The study conducted at the University of Budapest in Hungary stated, “Dogs that are active and curious when young will remain active and curious when they get old, but only compared to other dogs. A dog’s personality changes over time, and, on average, every dog becomes less active and less curious as they age.” Lead researcher, Borbála Turcsán, and her team gathered 217 different pups all ranging in age from 6 months to 15 years at the onset of the study.
Researchers used the Vienna Dog Personality Test to evaluate the animals on a number of factors. Four years later, the same researchers invited the dogs who were still living back to study the differences and make comparisons to their earlier findings. 37 pups returned and the results might surprise you!
How Did The Pups Measure Up?
A variety of tests were performed to measure different aspects of the pup’s personalities. The experiment started with an Exploration test where dogs were allowed to explore the room and different objects in the room for one minute while their owner stood unresponsive in the middle of the room. Pups then took part in a Frustration test where experimenters swung a large piece of sausage on a stick in front of the dogs nose just out of reach. After taking more tests that showcased obedience and calming behaviors, the dogs were given a final test of problem-solving. This would help researchers discover the mental strength of the various aged pups by having their owner’s teach their pups to remove a covering so that their pup could access the treat.
After the tests were completed, researchers compared the most active and curious dogs from the initial test to the current results and found that the most active pups were still the most active and curious four years later as a group, however, individually they were all less active then they once were. Overall, the study showed that a dog’s attentiveness and problem solving skills were the most impacted, changing a lot during their lives. Another personality trait to witness the most change was the doggo’s novelty-seeking trait where when they reached 3-years-old their curiosities decreased about unknown subjects. While frustration toleration and socialization remained unchanged for most, their activeness decreased as they got older. Dr. Katherine Houpt, a professor at Cornell University stated “This wasn’t terribly surprising.” “Something that was surprising to me is that dogs don’t seem to get particularly more intolerant of frustration as they get older.”
An Oldie But A Goodie
Although the study might not have tested all breeds, there is great news for doggo owners everywhere. While dogs get less active with age, its important to enjoy the moments in the present. Furthermore, knowing that obedience and socialization stays level throughout their lives, makes it easier for dog owner’s looking to take on a new pet no matter what age.