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Dog personalities

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Lounge' started by Finsky, Sep 22, 2020.

  1. Finsky

    Finsky Well-Known Member Registered

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    I have been wondering...and I suppose there is no real research done to it...how much does the first home in dogs their puppy stage has influence to dog's personality, particularly how big/small litters they come from?
    I have found with us humans that the sayings about the first born and the youngest particularly often does come true..or are we conditioned to full fill the prophesy? o_O

    But for do we really know how this 'works' with dogs? I doubt the order of the birth has much anything to do with it, but maybe the size of the litter does?
    Iida comes from quite large litter and she is very laid back and don't suffer with any issues with sharing or competitive behaviour.
    Eva comes from much smaller litter.. and she was mainly hand reared as well. Although they are not identical breeds, but can't really put my finger down if it is 'breed thing' or her early upbringing but she has totally different way of thinking when it comes to owning things..basically she has right to everything that is given :D And she is not even demanding/guarding/growling or have any reactive behaviour...things she likes are her's for taking, as simple as that! I can quite easily to regulate her behaviour but if I would not, she would totally walk over and be the 'rightful owner' of everything. Eva was like that already when she first started to interact with Iida at 8 weeks old..so at least part of it is in her personality as she wouldn't have time to learn it with us.
    I'm interested to hear all about your dogs and their personalities vs. litter size...bring on the stories....
     
  2. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    My dog is quite nervous, but very affectionate. He loves snuggling up but doesn't like being handled for grooming etc - he is always half groomed because that's his tolerance level, I get the other half the next day!

    Have you heard of the Volhard test for puppies - that would be interesting to have someone do for your litter (it has to be a stranger and has to be, I think, on the 49th day after their birth).
     
  3. Finsky

    Finsky Well-Known Member Registered

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    Has your dog always had that nervous side to him?
    Nope, I haven't heard that. I'll have a look...
     
  4. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    He was fine as a puppy but I think I maybe made a mistake during his second fear period, when I took him to a doggy event on a beach nearby. There were lots of boisterous dogs and he was quite overwhelmed.

    It's not a major problem, we have worked really hard on him being dog neutral but some dogs tip him over his comfort levels.
     
  5. Biker John

    Biker John Well-Known Member Registered

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    Folly comes from quite a large litter, and she is very submissive when meeting strange dogs and takes quite a time to relax with them, (other sight hounds are accepted easily though). She was like this as soon as we started going out and I don't think she had any bad experiences, so I just assume its her personality. With people she is happy with them at first sight, (two exceptions though, two fellas at separate times, she took one look at and kept as far away from them as she could).
     
  6. lurcherman

    lurcherman Well-Known Member Registered

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    Both mine is a little hard to work out as rescues and maybe a travellers camp, the black saluki x was defo from camp, his bro died early at two year old from a liver complaint but my bracken lived 16 years, the brindle was found roaming streets at 5 months old, he took 4 months to settle indoors, apart from a couple of correctional slaps he was a joy to own and one hell of a hunting attitude which suited me and him, the black one was a tad lazy in his attitude and wouldn’t chase at 100% but differences is fine as you just work a different pattern.
     
  7. Finsky

    Finsky Well-Known Member Registered

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    Did you ever get to observe her with her litter mates and how she behaved then?
     
  8. Finsky

    Finsky Well-Known Member Registered

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    Ah...it is always different situation with rescues as we haven't had chance to witness their early days. But even if they come with a 'package'...more often than not they are capable to adjust to their new surroundings and owners and show their wonderful characters.
    Did yours change a lot character wise when with you or was it more of adjusting few behavioural issues?
     
  9. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

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    Jasper is from a litter of 9, and he is neither easygoing nor relaxed about possessions! He's also competitive with other male dogs, even if it's no more than a dirty look to let them know that he's boss. It's very much 'mine are bigger than yours, even if I don't know where they are any more':D

    Possession-wise, he's incredibly suspicious if he has something of high value - he assumes everyone in the world wants to take it off him, and he'll have to fight to the death to retain it. But if I do manage to get it off him (only done when absolutely essential, and involves a lot of skulduggery), the moment I have it, it's mine, and he calms right back down.

    He's generally friendly with other people, but can be unsure about some, particularly children and teens. This emerged soon after we got him at 7 weeks when my son's friends visited - you'd think at that age he'd be happy to meet new people.

    As far as I know they were raised well, with enough to eat - but I don't think they had much socialising at all.
     
  10. Hemlock

    Hemlock Well-Known Member Registered

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    Having had the joy of raising several litters, and also being allowed to visit litters bred by friends - I think the personalities are there from the get-go. If you are lucky enough to watch pups interacting even when only a few days old, there are bold ones, pushy ones, ones that allow themselves to be pushed off the milk bar (of course the conscientious breeder sees that shy pups get their full share) and then as they develop, those personalities remain.

    Honestly, no decent breeder would allow a series of prospective owners (or scientists) to conduct those Volhard tests. You'd end up with a litter of reactive unhappy puppies who fear human hands. Instead, all you have to do is sit and watch them.

    I always choose the shy pup because I am good at instilling trust and confidence, and bold pups (or people) irritate me. But we must bear in mind breed differences. For instance, the shyest labrador pup is likely still going to be bolder than most bold lurchers.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2020
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  11. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    I didn't realise there were potential problems in doing it - I thought it was just one person doing things like rolling a ball past the puppy and seeing which ones chased, which ignored etc. I've just looked at it more closely :(
     
  12. lurcherman

    lurcherman Well-Known Member Registered

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    Finsky, the saluki x stayed 90% the same, aloof, lazy, and did his own thing, my brindle was brave, strong, a bit challenging but smoothed out from 8 ish and became a soft loving dog who loved a good old play time.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2020
  13. Biker John

    Biker John Well-Known Member Registered

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    finsky, yes I saw the full litter and she was relaxed, though thinking about it she was more interested in staying close to me than she was in playing with the pack. Not appearing to using me as a shield sort of thing just happier. The funny thing was a friend went with me and although Folly was happy to say hello to her she stayed near me when she could, I always said and tend to think she chose me just as much as I chose her.
     
  14. Jan Woodhall

    Jan Woodhall Active Member Registered

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    Man maketh the beast! :) Of course we are all wired with the DNA of family so that will have a huge impact on the personality traits. We all learn from our experiences so that is another impacting factor. We are taught by our peers and parents, family and friends. Animals are no different - IMHO of course! :)
     
  15. Finsky

    Finsky Well-Known Member Registered

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    Because I don't know much about lurchers...does he show typical male behaviour for his type of dog? Or is he his own 'man'..one of a kind? :D
     
  16. Finsky

    Finsky Well-Known Member Registered

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    Thank you...most interesting. You see I've never had chance to witness full litter before to experience and witness it all. I suppose I've always thought that there must be some differences as all the books I've read talk about looking at the pups...but it just doesn't quite sink in when you don't see it in person.
    Oh...gosh....and now I'm wondering...if we do have some pups, how an earth am I going make any decisions when the time comes :rolleyes: My dogs were not really a choice as they were the last ones left and available..they looked like a terriers, they behaved like terriers and they were healthy...good enough for me and that's it. I must have been lucky to end up with reasonably level headed dogs :D
     
  17. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

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    No, not when it comes to guarding. And I don't think in terms of needing to put other dogs in their place - sighthounds are generally aloof to non-pointy dogs. I might have caused that issue myself, by encouraging him to mingle with all the other dogs on the field in the woods as I wanted to socialise with all the other owners, when he clearly felt like a fish out of water. And one unneutered male in particular used to bully him... I would stop it, but that dog usually spotted Jasper before I spotted the other dog.

    But when he's not guarding something, and not informing another dog of the rules round here (which only happens very rarely now), then he's very lurchery.
     
  18. Finsky

    Finsky Well-Known Member Registered

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    Sounds like it was meant to be...:)
     
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  19. Rinkydinkydo

    Rinkydinkydo Well-Known Member Registered

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    This one I've got now I spent just over a hour watching her and the other 4 pups before I picked the little rat bag. She wasn't the biggest nor was she the strongest. What she did have was attitude,she wouldn't back down from any of the others. I also watched some videos of her mum working on her own then with lurchers and ferrets. Everything was looking good,just one more test to pass. Picked her up to check her over,did all the usual checks. Checked her teeth and her bite was right, she didn't wriggle once for me to put her down. Happy days I'd found my girl.
     
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  20. Buddy1

    Buddy1 Active Member Registered

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    I know puppy socialisation and early experiences play their part in determining dog behaviour and personality, but I think genes are the key factor. I can understand it may be important for owners to trace a particular behaviour back to a particular incident, but sometimes if a dog is possessive, nervous, reactive etc. it may have nothing to do with lack of socialisation, bad experiences, mistakes by their owner– some dogs are just made that way. Our current dog has a pretty sound temperament. As much as I would love to take the credit for his personality, I am under no illusion that his breed, breeder and genes are to thank and my role has been minimal.
     
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