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According to a recent study in the journal Behavioural Processes, it’s possible to predict the strength of a dog, as well as its speed, just by looking at the dog’s head. The reason for this is that physical performance is constrained by trade-offs between structure and physiological features.
Project leader William Helton, who is a senior lecturer in the University of Canterbury’s Department of Psychology, explains: “In the real world, it would be hard to be both fast and efficient at running, and to be extremely strong in combat at the same time. Nature does not allow unlimited budgets, and the trade-offs are often physical constraints.”
As a result of these physical indicators, just looking at the size, width and basic shape of a dog’s head can then inform you about the dog’s strength and ability to run. In general, the more broad-headed a dog is, the stronger it is likely to be, according to Helton. More narrow-headed dogs tend to be speedy runners.
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