New Study Sheds More Light on Dogs and Their Hierarchies

New Study Sheds More Light on Dogs and Their Hierarchies When it comes to canine hierarchy, is it all about the breed, or does attitude and character matter too? The short answer is yes — they both matter. A new study by Hungarian researchers found that if your dog is ultra-friendly, it might have trouble establishing itself in the presence of other dogs.

The Link Between Personality and Social Rank for Companion Dogs

The Department of Ethology at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest, Hungary, set out to research exactly that — is there an actual link between a dog’s personality and its social rank. Researchers assessed the complex relationship between personality and owner-perceived dominance in group-living companion dogs.

The study team created an online survey for people who owned more than one dog to assess two factors: The relationship of dominance between the co-habiting dogs through their everyday interactions, also referred to as the “dominance score.” The dogs’ individual personalities through the most commonly used model of personality assessment, known as the Big Five test.

Examples of dominant dog behavior might include less self-handicapping (reducing their own abilities to match those of a weaker dog) and more offensive moves during play fights. The Big Five canine personality traits that were used in the survey were conscientiousness, openness, agreeableness, extraversion, and neuroticism.

Authority Might Come With Age, Too

One of the most curious discoveries that researchers made is that older dogs tend to dominate when it comes to a multi-dog household environment. They argue that this is a result of getting older and that dogs might get more authoritative by nature as they mature.

In addition to that, researchers confirmed that more extraverted, open, and conscientious usually rank higher in the hierarchy, while more affectionate and agreeable canines tend to rank lower.

Take a look at your own dogs at home and look for a connection between their behavior and social rank among the other canines. Do you think the results of the study apply in your case, too?

Forecasters Have Predicted a Very Active Hurricane Season

Hurricane season typically takes place from the beginning of June until the end of November. This year, the season will be quite active in the tropical Atlantic compared to previous seasons, according to several forecasters, due to the warm ocean temperatures.

2020 Atlantic hurricane predictions
Forecasters Have Predicted a Very Active Hurricane Season

Hurricane Predictions for 2020

The predictions for this season include 18 named storms, and 9 of them being hurricanes, which are set to start on June 1st. The Weather Channel, which is owned by IBM, makes these predictions every year and typically has an average of 12 named storms, six of them being hurricanes. These predictions are made possible by the U.S. National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration.

Of the 9 hurricanes for this season, four are expected to be “major hurricanes” according to the Weather Channel. A “major hurricane” consists of Category 3 or higher and should have sustained winds of a minimum of 111 miles per house.

The Research Behind the Predictions

Hurricane Predictions for 2020
Forecasters Have Predicted a Very Active Hurricane Season

There are other researches, like forecasters from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, along with those at the University of Arizona in Tucson, and risk experts from University College London that have also predicted above-normal hurricane activity for 2020.

All three groups of researchers reported high sea-surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic, which is the reason behind the predicted activity. The warm and moist air that evaporates from the ocean is like fuel for hurricanes as it pumps water into the atmosphere, which then gets carried to higher levels by winds until it rains. This releases more heat and pushes the cycle forward.

The sea-surface temperatures of the tropical Atlantic this year are forecasted to be some of the warmest since 1993. This year was the first time researchers at the University of Arizona released their forecasts for the hurricane season in April instead of June.