What determines the nature of the dog
Breeders and experienced owners argue that their characters must be similar to establish friendly relations between the owner and the dog. Based on this recommendation, the first thing a person planning to have a four-legged friend should know is if there is a connection between the breed and the pet’s character.
How does the breed affect the dog
Moreover, purebred dogs are attractive for home keeping because their behavior toward adults, children, and other animals is well studied and therefore predictable. Predicting how a homeless animal behaves in a given situation is tricky.
Choosing a dog according to its character
In the breeding process, breeders develop exterior and behavioral qualities. As a rule, dogs that show cruelty, are prone to aggression and dominance over humans, and are challenging to train and socialize are not used to obtain offspring. Depending on the direction of the breeding program, certain character traits are more pronounced; for example, representatives of guard breeds are more balanced and patient, and companion pets become attached to the owner literally from the first days of communication and need “feedback.”
Friendliness towards humans is typical in the character of all thoroughbred dogs (except for pets of primitive breeds). But the new owner should never forget the animal’s genetics, which can sometimes give unexpected character manifestations.
Genotype and behavior of pet
More than 400 dog breeds are officially registered. Among them are primitive, formed without human intervention, and species obtained from the tolerant. From the point of view of behavioral attitudes, representatives of primitive breeds (Husky, Samoyed dog, Laika, Akita Inu, German, and Pomeranian) are more independent. Therefore, they need professional training for socialization.
The genotype of decorative breeds and companion dogs was formed by many years of selection of parents. Often, one of them was aboriginal animals – dogs of primitive breeds living in a limited area. As a result, breeders received a specific character and a set of behavioral qualities. Pets from these groups are recommended to be taken by inexperienced dog breeders, as they quickly learn the basic rules of behavior and are trusting and non-aggressive “by nature.”
Can parenting change the nature of pets?
However, in practice, in specific conditions, the behavior of a dog depends on education. Even the most peaceful and non-aggressive animals, subjected to cruel treatment, will not obey the owner. If a similar communication format is used about pets classified as dangerous breeds, then more severe consequences are likely, up to an attack on people.
Experienced dog breeders and cynologists can develop breed character traits in a dog, both positive and negative, so the responsibility for a pet’s behavior and attitude towards family members and strangers lies entirely with the owner.
The dependence on the nature of the dog on its purpose
All purebred dogs have a “combination” of abilities determining their purpose. The most common are four groups:
- indoor/decorative: Bichon Frize, Pug, Yorkshire Terrier, Maltese, Pekingese
- companion/family dogs: Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, Spitz (German, Japanese, Eskimo, Pomeranian);
- service: German Shepherd, Rottweiler, Alabai, Newfoundland, St. Bernard, Collie, Samoyed dog;
- Hunting: beagle, English setter, cocker spaniel, a bloodhound.
There is no clear division since most dogs have flexible character and versatile abilities. For example, a pet Pekingese is an excellent companion, and a Labrador known for its friendly will correctly serve as a lifeguard and guide.
The type of temperament primarily determines the purpose of a pet:
- Sanguine – lively and agile dogs, easily trained, stress-resistant, and generally friendly; phlegmatic – calm and balanced animals with high intelligence and learning abilities
- Melancholics are psychologically unstable pets, very impressionable; therefore, they can hardly endure loneliness and rudeness;
Choleric dogs are active dogs, always expressing emotions vividly; in training, a “firm hand” is required to keep the pet’s attention and control attitudes.
Sanguine and choleric people are prone to dominance, so the owner must have good training skills to raise dogs. These pets should feel the owner’s authority from the first days of communication. In the future, this will help to control the animal’s behavior and quickly teach it basic commands.
Phlegmatic and melancholy people usually do not pretend to be a leader, but this does not mean that their upbringing can be left to chance. The dog must learn to respond correctly to many life situations, for example, the absence of the owner of the house or the attitudes of strangers in the place. Animals from this group can get sick against the background of psychological stress.
Thus, the introduction of the character of a dog of a particular breed implies not only its behavior but also the type of temperament, which can both help and hinder education. There is a conditional classification into those breeds whose representatives can be started by inexperienced dog breeders and those whose socialization can only be handled by a person with professional training skills.
Ways to determine the nature of dogs
It is almost impossible to determine the nature of a pet unambiguously in a few minutes of communication. When choosing a puppy, it is customary to conduct several tests that help to identify a tendency to leadership, activity, and stress resistance.
It is necessary to remember the similarity of the owner and pet characters, which was mentioned at the beginning of the article. Choosing a dog with the appropriate temperament and physical data is better for a person to lead an active lifestyle. Homebodies and families with small children should take a four-legged friend with a calm character and moderate activity.
Observe the puppy’s behavior when you see him for the first time. Try to organize the first contact at the breeder’s premises to assess the quality of all puppies.
Test your pet’s reaction with a loud sound like clapping your hands or a “squeaking” toy. It is undesirable to take a puppy frightened by a sharp sound. A loud bark is not a manifestation of aggression but a sign of courage or curiosity (depending on the breed).
Simulate an attack – puppies with a healthy psyche and a balanced temperament usually perceive such an “exercise” as a game. Fear and flight are regarded as a sign of weak stress tolerance.
Assess the pet’s behavior in the company of other puppies when in contact with a person. Animals with pronounced leadership qualities look more significant than their counterparts; if you take such a puppy in your arms, he will either calmly wait when they lower him to the floor or protest.
Correct behavior is calmness, benevolence, and cheerfulness.
Cynologists do not recommend taking an adult dog into the house because nothing can be corrected in case of poor upbringing. However, these situations are prevalent.
What should be done so that communication with a pet does not become a confrontation between two opposite characters? As with puppies, look at the dog’s behavior in different situations. If she shows interest when meeting with a stranger but remains calm in anticipation of the command, we can talk about a good upbringing. Any different reaction should alert because at the age of 2-3 years, dogs – regardless of breed and temperament – must be thoroughly socialized and behave appropriately to the situation.
If we are talking about an animal from a group of dangerous breeds, then the slightest signs of aggression and disobedience should be perceived as a potential threat to life. Most likely, the reason for selling the pet was that the first owner could not learn to maintain his dog and decided to get rid of the problem most simply.
Factors that negatively affect the character of the dog
Breeders who sell pedigreed dogs usually classify the pet class (the lowest class of pedigreed animals) as pets with disqualifying features. Often they concern the psyche and physical health of the puppy. It is difficult for a person ignorant of cynology to identify such defects; meanwhile, unhealthy genetics negatively affect the dog’s character. The most innocuous thing that the owner of such a puppy can expect is the inconsistency of his behavior with the breed standard.
Each breed has its characteristics of physical development. It is advisable to find out about them in advance since congenital diseases also do not contribute to the balance and friendliness of the pet. Experiencing physical discomfort, the pet becomes irritable and inattentive; it is tough to teach him basic commands. It should be noted that almost all purebred dogs are prone to certain diseases, but with the help of high-quality nutrition and care, the influence of heredity can be leveled.
Since the primary condition for forming a friendly, docile character is competent education, the owner should try to eliminate negative factors.
If the pet feels the love and care of the owner and lives in comfortable conditions, then its physical and emotional development occurs harmoniously. What traits of his character the owner should show when raising a pet – perseverance, exactingness, calmness, or gentleness, depends on the breed and the individual characteristics of the animal’s behavior.
Which dog to choose
Cynologists are sure that irresponsible, disorganized people are not the best company for a dog because they are an example for her to follow. The use of brute physical force, cruelty, and disrespect can spoil the character of a pet in precisely the same way as condoning lousy behavior and permissiveness.
If you are a gentle, non-confrontational person, do not take a German Shepherd or Alabai, who needs strict discipline and constant physical training. Choose a four-legged friend from family breeds or companion dogs, distinguished by an accommodating character and good learning abilities.
From the first days of the appearance of an animal in the family, he must be made to understand that in their relationship, the person is the main one. Whatever the dog’s character, all its flaws and virtues are a reflection of the personal qualities of the owner.