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DNA researchers suggest that being a ‘dog person’ is genetic and hereditary

Owning a dog could change the genetic code of your children, say the scientists.

I will tell you, from a personal point of view, that there truly are only two types of people in this world:  Dog lovers and everybody else.

Sure, all the feline fanboys out there are going to give me guff for this, but I can’t help it.  It’s something so inherent in my being to love dogs that I simply cannot explain it…and I’m sure that many of you feel the same way.

But just how deep does our love for our furry companions go?

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Perhaps all the way down to our genes, say researchers in Sweden and England.

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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.’

To accomplish this, the researchers utilized an ingenious method of deduction, (phonetic pun absolutely intended).

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

Identical twins share their entire genome while non-identical twins on average share only half of the genetic variation.

They used this to determine that how much the twins agree can be used as a gauge for if it is a genetic preference.

Their findings supported the view that genetics indeed plays a major role in the choice of owning a dog.

Further research could determine whether or not the ownership of a dog affects our genetic code, and the genetic code of our offspring, possibly indicating the positive health effects of keeping a canine companion.

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