Join Date: May 2011
Location: Northern California
Coat color and temperament
I have heard people talk about how a dog's color relates to its temperament, and I'm wondering how much truth there is to this.
For example, regarding GSDs, I've always heard that sables have more drive, and blacks are the most solid in nerve. So far, in general, I have noticed this trend to hold true. I remember reading a study that showed sable bitches are more likely to regurgitate food for their pups.
Some people swear that temperament differences relating to color holds true in other breeds, as well--that buff Cocker Spaniels are more sensitive than blacks, that red Poodles are the craziest, and that chocolate Labs are goofier than blacks or yellows.
Temple Grandin claims that white animals are often more sensitive in body and temperament than their colored counterparts; that their nerves are a bit thinner. They do tend to have more sensitive skin, for sure.
I was reading a study that showed there is a physical difference between the skin of black vs. yellow Labradors. The blacks have a higher pH to their skin. I have always noticed that black dogs have a particular odor, irrespective of breed. It's not usually an overpowering odor, just distinctive, and in my grooming salon I always notice it when I bathe black dogs. The more alkaline pH of the skin could account for this, as it could allow for the growth of certain microorganisms that cause odor, vs. a more acidic skin pH that would discourage such growth. If there are such physical differences, it's conceiveable that there could be physical differences that affect temperament as well.
What do you think?