WHAT DETERMINES THE CHARACTER OF THE DOG
Breeders and experienced owners state that in order to establish a friendly relationship between owner and dog, their temperaments must be similar. If you rely on this recommendation, the first thing a person planning to have a four-footed friend should know is is there a connection between the breed and the character of the pet?
HOW DOES THE BREED AFFECT THE CHARACTER OF THE DOG
There is a connection between the breed and the character of the pet, moreover, pedigree dogs are attractive for home keeping because their behavior in relations with adults, children, other animals is well studied, which means it is predictable. It is rather difficult to predict how a stray animal will behave in a given situation.
In the process of breeding, breeders develop not only conformation, but also behavioral qualities. As a rule, to obtain offspring, they do not use dogs that are cruel, prone to aggression and domination over a person, they are difficult to train and socialize. 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”.
Common in the nature of all purebred dogs (with the exception of pets of primitive breeds) is friendliness towards humans. But the new owner should always remember about the genetics of the animal, which in some situations can give unexpected manifestations of character.
PET GENOTYPE AND BEHAVIOR
More than 400 dog breeds are officially registered. Among them there are primitives, which were formed without human participation, and breeds obtained as a result of selection. From the point of view of behavioral qualities, representatives of primitive breeds (Husky, Samoyed dog, Laika, Akita Inu, German and Pomeranian) are distinguished by greater independence, therefore, they need professional training for socialization.
The genotype of decorative breeds, companion dogs was formed through the long-term selection of parents. Often, as one of them were aboriginal animals – dogs of primitive breeds living in a limited area (in a certain region, country). As a result, breeders received offspring with a certain character and set of behavioral qualities. Pets from these groups are recommended to be taken by inexperienced dog breeders, since they quickly learn the basic rules of behavior, are trusting and non-aggressive “by nature.”
CAN PARENTING CHANGE A PET’S PERSONALITY
Cynologists are convinced that the breed and genotype is a kind of theoretical basis for understanding the character of the future pet. 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 format of communication is applied to pets classified as dangerous breeds, then more serious consequences are very likely, up to and including an attack on people.
Experienced dog breeders and dog handlers can develop breed character traits in a dog, both positive and negative, therefore the owner is solely responsible for the behavior of the pet, its attitude towards family members and strangers.
DEPENDENCE OF THE CHARACTER OF THE DOG ON ITS PURPOSE
All pedigree dogs have a “combination” of abilities that determines their purpose. The most common are 4 groups:
- indoor / decorative: Bichon Frize, pug, Yorkshire terrier, Maltese lapdog, Pekingese;
- companion / family dogs: Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, Spitz (German, Japanese, Eskimo, Pomeranian);
- service: German shepherd, Rottweiler, Alabai, Newfoundlen, St. Bernard, collie, Samoyed dog;
- hunting: beagle, English setter, cocker spaniel, bloodhound.
Interestingly, there is no clear division by purpose, since most dogs have flexible temperaments and versatile abilities. For example, the indoor Pekingese is a great companion, and the labrador known for its friendliness will successfully serve as a lifeguard and guide.
TEMPERAMENT OF DOGS
The purpose of a pet is largely determined by the type of temperament:
- sanguine – live and mobile dogs, easily trained, stress-resistant and generally benevolent;
- phlegmatic – calm and balanced animals, with high intelligence and learning abilities;
- melancholic – psychologically unstable pets, very impressionable, so loneliness and rudeness are hard to endure;
- choleric – active dogs, always expressing emotions, training requires a “steady hand” to keep the pet’s attention and control behavior.
Sanguine and choleric people tend to dominate, so to educate dogs, the owner must have good training skills. These pets should feel the authority of the owner from the first days of communication. In the future, this will help control the behavior of the animal and quickly teach him basic commands.
Phlegmatic and melancholic people usually do not pretend to be a leader, but this does not mean that their education can be left to chance. The dog must learn to react correctly to various life situations, for example: the absence of the owner of the house or the appearance of strangers in the house. Animals from this group can get sick due to psychological stress.
Thus, the description of the character of a dog of a certain breed implies not only its abilities, but also the type of temperament that can both help and interfere with education. For the same reason, there is a conditional classification for those breeds, representatives of which can be got by inexperienced dog breeders, and those whose socialization only a person with professional training skills can cope with.
WAYS TO DETERMINE THE CHARACTER OF DOGS
It is almost impossible to determine the character 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, stress resistance.
As a rule, people first “remotely” select a breed – according to external data, a description of the dog’s character according to the standard, reviews of the owners, and having already made a preliminary choice, they go to the breeder.
It is necessary to remember the similarity of the characters of the owner and the pet, which was mentioned at the beginning of the article. For a person leading an active lifestyle, it is better to choose a dog with the appropriate temperament and physical characteristics. Homebodies, families with small children should take a four-footed friend with a calm character and moderate activity.
Observe the puppy’s behavior when you first see it. Try to arrange the first communication at the breeder’s territory to be able to evaluate the quality of all puppies in the litter.
- Test your pet’s reaction with a loud sound – a hand clap or a “squeak” toy. It is undesirable to take a puppy who is afraid of a harsh sound. Voiced barking is not an expression of aggression, but a sign of courage or curiosity (depending on the breed).
- Simulate Attack – Puppies with a healthy psyche and a balanced temperament usually perceive this “exercise” as a game. Fear and flight are regarded as a sign of weak stress resistance.
- Evaluate the behavior of the pet in the company of other puppies, in contact with a person. Animals with pronounced leadership qualities look larger than their counterparts, if such a puppy is taken in your arms, then he will either calmly wait until he is lowered to the floor, or protest.
Correct behavior is calmness, benevolence, cheerfulness.
HOW TO DETERMINE THE PERSONALITY OF AN ADULT DOG
Cynologists do not recommend taking an adult dog into the house due to the fact that in case of poor upbringing, nothing can be fixed. However, such situations are very common.
What should be done so that communication with a pet does not develop into a confrontation between two opposite characters? As with puppies, look at how the dog behaves in different situations. If, when meeting with a stranger, she shows interest, but remains calm while waiting for the command, we can talk about good upbringing. On a walk, such a pet does not try to pull out the leash, does not stand on its hind legs, does not react to other animals and people, and executes commands. Any other reaction should be alarming, because at the age of 2-3 years, dogs – regardless of breed and temperament – must be fully socialized and behave appropriately.
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 control his dog and decided to get rid of the problem in the simplest way.
FACTORS THAT NEGATIVELY AFFECT THE CHARACTER OF THE DOG
Breeders who sell purebred dogs usually assign pets to the pet class (the lowest class of purebred animals) that have disqualifying characteristics. Often they concern not only the appearance, but also the psyche and physical health of the puppy. It is difficult for a person ignorant of cynology to identify such defects, and meanwhile, unhealthy genetics have a very negative effect on the character of the dog. The most harmless thing that the owner of such a puppy can expect is the discrepancy between his behavior and the breed standard.
Each breed has its own 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, inattentive, it is very difficult to teach him basic commands. It should be noted that almost all pedigree dogs are prone to one or another disease, but with the help of high-quality nutrition and care, the influence of heredity can be neutralized.
Since the main condition for the formation of a friendly, docile character is competent upbringing, the owner should try to eliminate negative factors.
If the pet feels the love and care of the owner, 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 – persistence, exactingness, calmness or gentleness, depends on the breed and 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, since they are an example for her to follow. The use of brute physical force, cruelty, disrespectful attitude can ruin the character of a pet in exactly the same way as connivance to bad behavior and permissiveness.
If you are a soft, non-conflict person, do not take a German Shepherd or Alabai, which need strict discipline and constant physical training. Pick up a four-footed friend from family breeds or companion dogs that are docile and have good learning abilities.
From the first days of the appearance of the animal in the family, he must be made to understand that in their relationship the person is the main one. Whatever the character of the dog, all its flaws and dignity are a reflection of the personal qualities of the owner.