On ‘Radio Times’: Research suggests that genes can cause hyper-social behavior in dogs…and humans

    Dogs are often said to be man’s best friend, but research suggests that, well, it’s not you that makes your dog such a good friend. It’s their genes.

    Apparently, dogs have similar genes as humans with Williams-Beuren syndrome, a developmental disorder that has among its effects, hyper-social behavioral tendencies. This includes being unafraid or skeptical of strangers, and otherwise feeling the need to be constantly social.

    On Tuesday’s Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane, Marty was joined by Bridgett vonHoldt, assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at Princeton University. She’s among those who have been researching the correlation between  the genes of people with Williams-Beueren syndrome and the genes of dogs. She said “we went on an expedition to collect more data and we found a very similar set of genes that are changed in dogs with a hyper-social behavior, then wolves, and these genes are among the same sets of genes in the human condition. Though it’s not essentially the same behavioral syndrome we have very discrete behaviors that overlap with the human trait.”

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