Love Dogs?

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Being a dog-lover is not a choice, it is in your DNA.

This finding from a team of researchers in Sweden and England sheds some light on how man’s best friend came to be and found being a dog owner is may be genetic.

A study of twins found that getting a dog is influenced by an individual’s genes and may even be inherited.

It is impossible to say which genes are involved from the study but identical twins agreed far more than non-identical pairs on whether they would have a pet pooch.

Previous research found if we had a pet as a child we are more likely to like animals and own a pet in adulthood.

But it was unclear if genetic differences between families contribute to this association.

Lead author Professor Tove Fall, of Uppsala University, said: ‘We were surprised to see that a person’s genetic make-up appears to be a significant influence in whether they own a dog.

‘As such, these findings have major implications in several different fields related to understanding dog-human interaction throughout history and in modern times.

‘Although dogs and other pets are common household members across the globe, little is known how they impact our daily life and health.

‘Perhaps some people have a higher innate propensity to care for a pet than others.’

Researchers studied the heritability of dog ownership using information from 35,035 twin pairs from the Swedish Twin Registry.

It compared the genetic make-up of twins to determine whether dog ownership has a heritable component.

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