Effects of breed, sex, and neuter status on trainability in dogs

James A. Serpell*, Yuying Hsu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

124 Citations (Scopus)


In a previous study of canine temperament (Hsu and Serpell 2003), a distinct "trainability" factor was identified, characterized by a dog's willingness to attend to its owner and obey simple commands, combined with a high "fetch" motivation, and low levels of distractibility and/or resistance to correction. This paper explores the distribution of this trait in a large sample of dogs in relation to breed, sex and neuter status. The owners of 1,563 dogs belonging to 11 common breeds were invited to assess them for "trainability" using a standardized questionnaire (C-BARQ

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)196-207
Number of pages12
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2005


  • Breed differences
  • Dog
  • Social cognition
  • Temperament
  • Training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Anthropology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • veterinary (miscalleneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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