(Does a dog's personality traits stay consistent over time? A look at a Department of Psychology, University of Texas, a study by Samuel D. Gosling, Jamie Fratkin, David Sinn, and Erika Patall.)
Recent studies demonstrate that predictability of canine personality cannot be taken for granted, and many canine experts today believe that "puppy tests" measuring a dog's behavior during the first year of life, may not be quite as accurate as previously thought. In this scientific review, "consistency" means predictability of behavior.
In this meta-analysis, Dr. Sam Gosling, Dr. Jamie Fratkin, Dr. David Sinn, and Dr. Erika Patall from the University of Texas discuss why predictability in dogs cannot be assumed.
From previous studies of canine personality, it appears that to have a full understanding of canine personality, researchers need to use meta-analytic methods to quantitatively summarize the overall basis of what makes up canine personality and all the factors that influence it.
Researchers expected that their meta-analysis would reveal that canine personality would be moderately consistent over time, but they found that the absolute level of consistency would vary depending on the personality dimension being assessed.
They also presumed that personality in dogs would be more stable as dogs matured, thus the importance of testing during a dog's adult years, whenworking dogs were used for these tests and when aggregate measures were used, when shorter test intervals were used, and, finally, when the same test was administered in all personality testing. Jones and Gosling had questioned the wisdom of separating the fearfulness and reactivity dimensions, so researchers combined both traits.