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Dog Behavior Only Slightly Influenced by Breed, Research Says

New research confirms what Hounds Town USA has always believed — breed can’t predict behavior when it comes to dogs.

RONKONKOMA, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES, June 13, 2022 / -- You can’t judge a book by its cover. And you can’t judge a dog by its breed.

That’s one of the big takeaways from a groundbreaking study recently published by the University of Massachusetts that surveyed more than 18,000 dog owners. In short, the results imply that canine behavior is far more influenced by variables such as environment, age and upbringing than by specific breed.

This means golden retrievers are only slightly more inclined to retrieve, beagles only slightly more prone to howl and boxers only slightly more disposed to destroy your shoes. Some breeds even defied their stereotypes; pit bulls, for example, weren’t found to be any more aggressive than other dogs, despite their dangerous standing in some circles.

“It’s a major advance in how we think about dog behavior,” says Elaine Ostrander, a canine expert at the U.S. National Human Genome Research Institute. “While some behaviors were shown to be slightly more heritable, no breed owns any particular trait.”

While the findings challenge conventional thinking, they come as no surprise to many pet experts. Among them is Mike Gould, founder of national pet care franchise Hounds Town USA. Unlike other doggie daycares, Hounds Town doesn’t discriminate against any dog breed, instead offering a place where all dogs can thrive.

“We feel that no dog should be denied the chance to be a dog simply because of their breed, and the research now backs it up,” Gould said. “Breeds don’t have specific personalities. Individuals do. That’s why we’ve always welcomed all types of dogs at our facilities — from Pit Bulls and Rottweilers to disabled and senior dogs.”

Instead of grouping dogs by size, Hounds Town uses a soft-science approach to socialization by placing dogs in appropriate play groups. “While all dogs must pass a no-cost temperament evaluation, all social dogs are welcome to book an appointment,” Gould adds.

If anyone understands canine conduct, it’s Gould. He opened the first Hounds Town location 21 years ago in Long Island, New York, drawing from his 40-plus years of dog behavior training as the commanding officer of the Nassau County (NY) Police Department and the head of the Military Working Dog program. Since then, Hounds Town has grown into a national success story with more than 30 locations across the country and dozens more expected to open soon.

Pet Spending Continues to Skyrocket

According to the latest metrics, pet-industry spending continues to soar. The sector has proven immune to financial downturn, as consumer spending increased nearly 115% since 2011. A big reason for the rise, research says, is the increased interest in the pet services market, which includes grooming, training, lodging and daycare. Over the past five years, it has been the fastest-growing segment under the pet-industry umbrella.

Statistics also show that nearly 53% of U.S. households now own at least one dog — and the vast majority (85%) consider them to be part of the family. As many pet owners return to work and resume traveling, they’ll likely need a suitable spot to drop off their pooch. That’s where Hounds Town can help — regardless of breed.

“What sets us apart from other daycare options, I think, is that we focus on the needs of the dogs, not the needs of the owners,” Gould said. “We offer a natural environment that allows dogs to be dogs.”

Since 2000, Hounds Town USA has offered a safe and welcoming environment for dogs to be dogs. With interactive doggie daycare, pet boarding, dog grooming, a pet taxi and retail services, Hounds Town USA’s unique town for dogs is home to the happiest dogs — and franchise owners — on Earth. Founded by former NYPD canine handler and commanding officer of the Nassau County Police Department Michael S. Gould, Hounds Town USA has grown to more than 30 locations with plans to open 20 more units before 2023. For more information, please visit

David Martinelli
Hounds Town USA
+1 406.459.0471