Do Dogs Take on Owners' Traits? Discussions

Discussion in 'General Dog Chat' started by Toedtoes, Aug 28, 2021.

  1. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Member

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    Do Dogs Take on Owners' Traits?

    On another forum, a poster commented that dogs take on personality traits of their owners and that a nervous owner will raise a nervous dog, an aggressive owner will raise an aggressive dog, etc.

    I disagree and see a dog's attitude develop from: 1) understanding the breed/puppy; 2) building a bond of trust between the owner and dog; and 3) abuse/trauma to the dog.

    To me, a nervous owner is just as likely to raise an aggressive dog as a nervous dog. While dogs may sense emotions in their owners, that doesn't mean they will reflect those emotions.

    I believe that thinking as this person does is underestimating dogs. They are not simply a reflection of ourselves, but have emotions and personalities independent of humans.

    Thought it would be interesting to hear others' thoughts on this.
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  3. Chris

    Chris Member

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    I agree with you Toed.

    All my dogs have had their own unique personalities and yet they all had the same upbringing from a few weeks old.

    Rosie is the most laid back, but that, I suspect, is that with her neither of us have had to go out to work and she has accompanied us everywhere.
  4. Helidale

    Helidale New Member

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    No I don't agree with this. I believe the greatest predictor of a puppy's temperament is the temperament of his mother. A nervous bitch should not be bred from. Early handling by humans can either help or hinder the development of character in a puppy, but a calm, attentive mother is greatest aid to confidence that a puppy can have.
  5. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Member

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    Malka and Helidale like this.
    You're right. A well adjusted mother will raise well adjusted puppies. There will be variations to the personalities, but they will handle most things well.

    I think with this man, he was suggesting that a well adjusted puppy would become a nervous nellie dog simply because the owner is a nervous nellie and the puppy would learn from the owner to be nervous.
  6. Malka

    Malka Member

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    Helidale likes this.
    I totally agree with Carole. Even though I had to be a surrogate mother for Tikva as she was too young, being with her and attending to all her needs 24 hours a day, has made her a confident, happy, and easy-going dog.

    I am sure that had I been a worry-guts and been over-protective of her, she would not have grown up as confident as she is.
  7. GsdSlave

    GsdSlave Member

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    I believe the core temperament is genetic. Whether a dog is fearful, aggressive, reactive, high-energy or low-energy comes down in large part to genetics, training and raising can help you manage what you've got, but the basic blueprint comes from the parents.
  8. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Member

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    Helidale likes this.
    Yes. And your BEHAVIORS, regardless of your personality, can exacerbate the dog's natural personality. An owner who behaves aggressively towards his timid and shy puppy will not create an aggressive dog - but can very likely increase the timidity and shyness of that dog to the point of extreme fearfulness. An owner with an aggressive personality can raise a fairly well adjusted dog by BEHAVING in a manner that manages the puppy's natural timidity.
  9. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Member

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    Helidale likes this.
    To me that's the catch. "AND been over-protective". It's not that a dog "inherits" your personality, it's that a dog learns from your example, and how that learned behavior fits into the dog's personality.
  10. Malka

    Malka Member

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    Believe me, it was very difficult not to be over-protective, and the amount of time I spent hunting for her because she had managed to get lost and eeped until I found where she was and rescued her. She was so young and so tiny...
  11. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Member

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    When I got Moose-dog, he was just 8 weeks old. The first thing I did was to take him to my dad's to meet his 3-yr old akita (Uncle Akita). While I was there, they had some interaction but very protected. After a bit, I had to go run an errand, so my dad had me put Moose-dog in a crate so he wouldn't have to watch him closely.

    A couple hours later I returned and the crate was open and my puppy was no where to be seen. I asked my dad where is my dog?!?

    He said "he started whining and I got tired of it, so I let him out to do or die... he's over here with Uncle Akita".

    I walked around the desk and found Uncle Akita laying on the floor with Moose-dog standing in front of him. Moose-dog's entire head was inside Uncle Akita's mouth and I could see the akita's jaw muscles working away at trying to swallow. I tapped Uncle Akita's head and said "let my puppy out, he's suffocating". Moose-dog's head popped out, he took a massive breath, and he went right back down into Uncle Akita's mouth. I said "OK" and let them be.

    Sometimes, you just have to let dogs be dogs.
  12. ashketchum

    ashketchum New Member

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    I believe that it is actually based on how an owner raised their puppy. I saw one video that he is teasing his rottweiler puppy for fun. tho the puppy looks cute even if he got angry it also didn't change the fact that he can pick up that behavior when he grew up.

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