This morning when I woke up, I looked down at the little fur-ball at my feet and marveled at how he likes staying in bed with me – and would stay there all day if I didn’t make an effort to get up. Such a sleepy head! My last dog – same breed – was like a little alarm clock. The minute the alarm went off or the sun poked through the blinds, she popped that little head up and jumped out of bed – ready for her day! If I didn’t get up, she’d walk circles around the bed… purposely clicking her toenails on the hardwood floors… so that I would get up, take her outside, and, most importantly, feed her breakfast!
I have owned two Lhasa Apso’s… as different as night and day. Same with the two sibling Jack Russell’s I had years ago. We often hear from customers who have suffered the loss of a beloved pet and have attempted to fill that void… “I wanted to get another dog just like Rufus, but this one is not at all the same.” Same breed. Often the same breeder. Different dog altogether.
Same Dog Breed, Totally Different Personalities
Totally different personalities within the same breed never cease to amaze me. They may look alike, and there are most certainly traits that make them similar, but their individual dispositions vary widely. What is even more perplexing is that their upbringing may have been nearly identical – same owners – same environment – but the resulting adult dog has no resemblance whatsoever to his predecessor or sibling.
When looking for a puppy, people are often advised to be sure and meet the mother and father because, the belief is, that predetermines what kind of dog theirs will be when he grows up. Dare I beg to differ? The mother and father may tell you what your dog may look like or about how much he’ll weigh, but can it really dictate the grown dog’s demeanor? Just like humans, the parents don’t always determine the outcome of the child.
Specific Moments in a Dogs Life Can Impact their Personality
Circumstances that we are totally unaware of can change a segment of a dog’s personality in an instance. For example, a loud noise may scare a pup exactly at the time he steps through the door to go outside. From that point on, you have a dog who is nervous and possibly even aggressive when outdoors, as he associates the outdoors with that terrible noise and resulting fear. That reaction becomes embedded into his personality. “Rufus” didn’t act this way when he was outside… Same breed. Same upbringing. Personality altered by circumstances.
Can You Reshape Your Dog’s Personality?
It doesn’t mean that the undesirable parts of a dog’s persona can’t be changed, but it may take quite a bit of effort on your part. Professional dog training can positively affect and reshape your dog’s personality. At Holiday Barn, we’ve seen timid, fearful dogs transformed into happy confident little beings after completing a training protocol specifically designed for them. Sometimes a dog needs only boundaries and structure in order to blossom. Consistency in dog training will help dissolve any confusion a dog may have had in the past about what is expected of him, resulting in a self-assured, obedient companion.
Is it Possible to Know the Personality of the Puppy Before You Take it Home?
Not entirely, but the probability is good that if you start early, you can greatly influence the shaping of his personality. Good socialization, medical care, nutrition, proper training, and, of course, love can go a long way into nurturing your puppy into a wonderful, life-long companion. But be careful about expecting him to be just like Rufus… he’s his own dog, and you’ll learn to love the differences.