Data from: Effect of canine oxytocin receptor gene polymorphism on the successful training of drug detection dogs
Konno, Akitsugu et al. (2018), Data from: Effect of canine oxytocin receptor gene polymorphism on the successful training of drug detection dogs, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.td13jp3
Drug detection dogs can be trained to locate various prohibited drugs with targeted odors, and they play an important role in interdiction of drug smuggling in human society. Recent studies provide the interesting hypothesis that the oxytocin system serves as a biological basis for co-evolution between dogs and humans. Here, we offer the new possibility that genetic variation of the canine oxytocin receptor (OXTR) gene may regulate the success of a dog’s training to become a drug detection dog. A total of 340 Labrador Retriever dogs that were trained to be drug detection dogs in Japan were analyzed. We genotyped an exonic SNP (rs8679682) in the OXTR gene and compared the training success rate of dogs with different genotypes. We also asked dog trainers in the training facility to evaluate subjective personality assessment scores for each dog, and examined how each dog’s training success was related to those scores. A significant effect of the OXTR genotype on the success of the dogs’ training was found, with a higher proportion of dogs carrying the C allele (T/C and C/C genotypes) being successful candidates than dogs carrying the T/T genotype. Dog personality scores of Training Focus (Factor 1) were positively correlated with an increased likelihood that a dog would successfully complete training. Although the molecular mechanism of the OXTR gene and its functional pathway related to dog behavior remains unknown, our findings suggest that canine OXTR gene variants may regulate individual differences between dogs in their responsiveness to training for drug detection.