GermanShepherdHome.net

It's all in how you raise them...

Posted By: JeanKBBMMMAAN

It's all in how you raise them... - 06/15/12 04:18 PM

I was reading a newspaper article where someone said that about dogs.

Really? Do people think that? Do people here think that?

I have raised from 4 months or less, Ilsa, Mario, Rocco. I have done many of the same things, yet strangely, they act nothing alike and often, act like dogs of similar breeds more than as a "family" group who were raised alike. In fact, despite being raised by me, an involved dog forum type person who has fostered and adopted out highly functional dogs, the results are such that I would probably, if I did not know better, toss in the towel in terms of raising puppies.

But, I have also raised puppies for other people. Happy little silly puppies and they all did well.

So is it possible, my fellow logicians, that it was more than just "how I raised them" but the at least 80% (grad school stat I can't find source for) of genetic factors that influenced their behaviors?

Going a little further - this is something I had not read before - hmmmm, interesting:
http://www.videxgsd.com/understanding_dogs.htm

Some more stuff on it: http://www.animalbehavioronline.com/dogbehavioralgenetics.html

This is interesting but I only skimmed (and know when they mean aggression it's not the good kind): http://actavet.vfu.cz/pdf/200776030431.pdf

I am fully in the thought that a dog has a blueprint that is decided well before we get them. We can influence it positively or negatively, but we cannot change the core of what they are. We cannot just raise them right and undo chemistry and genetics. Science! happyboogie
Posted By: Remo

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 06/15/12 04:59 PM

Once our rescue had a litter of pups that had come from a "junkyard" female GSD. There were four puppies in that litter. They were hand-reared by a biologist who had raised other litters of pups for us. They were socialized, handled extensively, she did EVERYTHING right for these pups. Out of the four pups, one was a nightmare - at four weeks old he growled and acted like he was going to bite the vet when the vet was trying to give him liquid dewormer. I distinctly remember the vet looking at me (with his eyes bugging out) and said that in his entire career, he had NEVER seen a young pup react this way.

I have not looked at any studies, but from this personal experience, I have no doubt that genetics plays an important role in personality.
Posted By: proudshepmom

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 06/15/12 05:29 PM

I think there is some truth to it though. How a dog is raised certainly influences how they turn out...but it's not EVERYTHING...
Posted By: Kayos

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 06/15/12 05:30 PM

Jean I did not read all the links but I agree. We start with a genetic print and each breed is bred for certain things. Hard to make a duck retriever out of a Husky.

We can influence the pup through diet, exercise and socialization or lack of it, but if a dog is born aggressive it will stay aggressive.

Havoc is a little nutty, he was born that way. I think we have influenced him to be more stable but I think in the wrong home he would have been in trouble and quite possibly, dead by now. Or, in another home he might be a SchH 3 by now. In my home he is pretty good, works hard at his dog sports that I have chosen, picked up some titles. But he is carefully managed.
Posted By: ozzyandsandi

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 06/15/12 05:49 PM

My biggest issue with the nature vs. nurture argument with nurture being the considering factor is as Remo said, a dog can never been shown a cruel hand, never been abused, never so much as had a late meal and be a disaster. Mentally not properly wired. On the other hand there are countless stories of dogs who have never been shown a kind hand, never slept in a house, never been fed proper food and yet are perfect once someone starts caring for them. The rescue section of this board and the stories and journey's contained therein are proof of that. Beyond science, what we all see and read, day in and day out.
If nurture were the only considering factor, we wouldn't have people, respected dog owners who have found themselves in the unfortunate situation of euthanizing a dog because of unmanageable aggression in dogs purchased from reputable breeders and raised what most of us could agree was correctly. We've all seen those stories and felt the heartbreak with the owners. I'm sure the breeders can tell stories of dog's returned to them under contract for aggression from good owners, from good breeding, ones where the siblings act as therapy or assistance dogs, dogs so sweet they fart perfume and one or maybe two pups from the litter might as well be junkyard curs the way they behave.
My biggest issue with the nature vs. nurture argument is it is the one pit folks trot out every single time, it's not the dog's fault it's all in how you raise them, bunk. Sometimes it is the dog. If it's all in how we raise an animal, let's all get pet Cayman's and let them be "Nanny's" to our children.
To me this argument does nothing more than perpetuate a myth and give rise to backyard breeders and puppy mills to continue churning out unstable, poorly bred dogs for the commercial market.
I live with two rescue dogs, Oz wasn't really a rescue, but we got him at 6 months, we don't think he was abused, he spent a lot of time in a run, Dolly, we know so little of her first year of life, she ended up in rescue at about 9 months of age, 30lbs over weight, wandering in the country with a male. She has broken teeth a deformed nail bed and eats watermelon, rind and all. She prefers people food to dog food, now maybe that is just her breed, but not a great start to life. You couldn't find a sweeter dog, a disposition, my goodness. No accidents in the house and even at the rescue she was kenneled. I don't think she was house broke, but she's clean, even when she came in heat, she was clean, I had some cleaning, but not a lot.
Posted By: MaxaLisa

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 06/15/12 07:07 PM

Without the context of the article, did it really mean that it really is *all* how you raise them? That seems incredibly naive? No doubt, how you train them, and the choices that you make for them, including medical, all play a role, but the bottom line, is that they are who they are, with their individual quirks and personalities.
Posted By: BowWowMeow

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 06/15/12 07:14 PM

I think a particular type of treatment/training can have a strong affect on how a dog turns out but the underlying genetics will be just as strong.
Posted By: JeanKBBMMMAAN

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 06/15/12 07:42 PM

Really quick, yes, it was a pet owner, and they said all in how you raise them.
Posted By: JeanKBBMMMAAN

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 06/15/12 07:50 PM

Then my head popped off. rofl
Posted By: Kayos

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 06/15/12 08:05 PM

Originally Posted By: JeanKBBMMMAAN
Then my head popped off. rofl
rofl

Sandy, Havoc is a prime example of this. I would not say I am the perfect owner or a faultless trainer but he has stretched me beyond all of my skill level. He is handful and will always be a handful. I think we have been successful because of my work and I am not bragging.
Posted By: Zisso

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 06/15/12 08:10 PM

I think how we raise them has a fair influence but that we raise each dog according to it's breed-with the knowledge that different breeds have different needs. I don't think I would be as firm with a toy breed as I am with my GSD's...I would probably pamper them more. That said I also agree with Patti (got your name right this time wink )in that there are some dogs who are just not mentally wired soundly to begin with.
Posted By: MaxaLisa

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 06/15/12 08:10 PM

That makes me feel better that it was a pet owner.

Indy's behaviour was significantly altered by her vaccine reactions, and it changed her forever. You also see what idiot owners can do to their dogs. So, I understand the viewpoint!
Posted By: ozzyandsandi

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 06/15/12 08:34 PM

It's such a delicate balance. I mean there is who the dog is scientifically. There is what the breed is supposed to be, there is what the breeder wishes to accomplish in their goals and there is how we raise them. All elements have to be present, the dog needs to be mentally and physically sound, we all know a dog in pain will bite, a dog mentally unstable is a bite looking to happen.

I think JMHO the statement "It is all how you raise them", is very dangerous. It leads people to believe they can take any dog, raise it well, I mean these are likely well-meaning folks, and ignore things like breed characteristics, temperament and lineage.

I guess it's like breeding Jeffrey Dahmer to John Wayne Gacy, will you get a healthy, sane child, maybe, do you want the potential time bomb in your house?
Posted By: Good_Karma

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 06/15/12 09:18 PM

I was at the library this week and I saw one of the women that works there that I don't often see, so we caught up a bit on our dogs (she has a lab puppy she is working on getting a therapy certificate on), and she asked about Niko and I told her he had come to watch me race and had done very well and met several women and gotten petted by them (this was HUGE) so I said he'd come a long way.

The very next thing she said, "Oh so he wasn't socialized?" mad mad mad

Well, I was definitely offended by that offhand remark, even though I know she probably only ever dealt with little problems with her dog, like digging in the yard or chasing squirrels. HER DOG loves kids, and since mine doesn't, that's all my fault??? No, I cannot accept that.


"It's all in how you raise them"... I 100% disagree. I have to disagree because to accept this as true means that I have somehow seriously messed up my dog, who barks at little kids and little old ladies (and women, and most men, and cats, and bunnies, and...well, you get the picture.)

Through lots of work, private training, lots of work, and lots of work we have gotten him to be on mostly acceptable behavior when in public. Yes, I concede that we made some mistakes with him, tried to do too much too fast, did not take his cues that he was uncomfortable in situations, did not find a way to build up his confidence the way we should have, relied too much on the advice of trainers who did not understand the breed, etc. But I will not accept all the blame and say that Niko is the way he is because I messed up in raising him. mad
Posted By: Good_Karma

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 06/15/12 09:20 PM

Originally Posted By: JeanKBBMMMAAN
Then my head popped off. rofl


My head kind of popped off too! laugh
Posted By: PositiveDog

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 06/15/12 11:35 PM

Poor clueless pet owner to think that. WDJ has a great article about that subject this month.

Rally good one if you have time to read it. thumbup
Posted By: DancingCavy

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 06/15/12 11:52 PM

Oh if only that were true. Perhaps then Risa would be able to overcome more of her fears. . . (Granted, I didn't 'raise her' until she was 2.5 years old.)

Certainly, with all the work I've done, Risa has become more social and less phobic. But, despite all the work I've done, she is still not very social and still phobic. She is who she is. Part of it is how she was raised (not well-socialized I'd bet) and the other part is how she's wired. Experiences can only go so far to 'change' who she is.
Posted By: Grakira

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 06/16/12 12:58 AM

Think you all would like this blog post by Suzanne Clothier smile

http://www.suzanneclothier.com/blog/perfectly-normal

If only it was how you raised them...maybe my Vigo wouldn't be a shy, fearful dog!
Posted By: JeanKBBMMMAAN

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 06/16/12 02:36 AM

Great article. I am loving reading this thread. So many good points! And I think it sets up dogs and people to fail. And gets away from the biology of an animal. Which we have too.

When I was getting inquiries for a foster that needed a fence, people asked will they grow out of it and I was like...what? And they said, with training, won't he be able to not need a fence...and I was like yes, magically, the fact that he will follow his nose INTO A WALL, will stop when he's 2. I think it was Dyllie. Who has a fence. smile
Posted By: Qyn

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 06/16/12 05:52 AM

This is a very interesting discussion - thanks for raising this, Jean.

Mostly, anyone seeing a litter of pups will notice the different temperaments within a litter even from a young age and, to me, that alone suggests that not all pups will respond exactly the same way to the same training methods. But I think that, as individuals, people do not train or treat each dog exactly the same way, no matter their intentions. As within human families and other relationships, people have favourites and will modify their behaviour according to the responses they get back from a dog during training and other interactions. This, together with the persons own temperament and level of experience, influence the training and relationship with each different dog (many other factors like health, age and emotions may also have impact too). We also learn from each dog we have experience with whether they are our own or someone else's dog and modify our methods as we learn additional training tools.

Unfortunately, there are dog and human mismatches all the time and that is the basis of most problems in my opinion. Of course, there are dogs that need specific types of owners/handlers and training but I think there are few dogs that are unredeemable however the odds of the right owner being found by every dog is sadly not skewed in the dogs favour. I don't think there are any one size fits all but I do think we are very fortunate that most dogs do fit into our families with mostly manageable and often wonderful results - why else would we keep going back and adding these animals to our lives.
Posted By: debbieg

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 06/16/12 01:26 PM

Anyone who has seriously raised more then one dog knows this is not true. Even from the same litter pups are genetically different.

.

It takes a lot to screw up good genetics, and it takes a lot of work to bring the best out of bad genetics ( and sometimes the best is still not very good)

The only way I agree with "It's all in how you raise them" is that Dogs of different temperaments need to be raised differently.One size does not fit all.

Dogs of different temperaments need to be raised differently. My Eli was a soft/ sensitive dog. He responded to positive training and very light corrections often just my voice. Anything harder would shut him down.

Benny on the other hand needs a much stronger hand, the occasional "come to Jesus" meeting just to get his attention.

We must raise each dog according to who the dog is.
Posted By: Mary Jane

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 06/16/12 09:20 PM

Just to offer what I understand is the biology (I may be mistaken).

Dogs have been genetically engineered by people for centuries, selecting individuals for breeding for physical traits and for behavioral characteristics. From what I know, there is literally no other organism in which human intervention has created such diversity. For instance, dogs, on average, may weigh 35lb, but it would be a very unusual Yorkie or a very unusual Mastiff who weighed 35lb. In just the same way, dog breeds differ in their behaviors. Most livestock guardians are more independent than most herding dogs, so you can predict how many, not all, individuals will behave in some respects with no input from their owner at all. This is all easier to understand with regard to pure-bred dogs, but the same thing applies to any dog.

It's simply inconsistent with the facts that dog owners account for most of their dog's behaviors. Of course, owners have influence. But dogs start with a lot of hard-wired behaviors, that we might modify.

Mary Jane
Posted By: SunCzarina

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 06/16/12 10:59 PM

Since I don't want my head to pop off, I'm not reading it rofl

Nature vs nurture is the oldest argument in the dog world.

It's in Morgan's nature to be aggressive, not with her family because her nurture is NO WE DON"T DO THAT. Doesn't mean she won't come on too strong with people who aren't family.

My latest let's see what nature does case, the little shepherd girl who lives on the corner of the next block. Perhaps it sums it all up to say they're pick up the little dog when it acts up people.

Bella is the oldest son's pup, she's 9 months old. He's like 11. The only resource he has for raising this dog is ME when his little sister comes over to play with my daughter. The other day I was blowing Otto's coat out on the sidewalk and he was LOL blown away by the fur. I laughed because Otto's a close coat and maybe it's his DDR blood but he does not grow that much undercoat. Little Bella's a long coat.

She's a darling pup, of her own nature because the kid certainly has no clue. The mother is nice enough and loves the dog but she's a purse dog woman. The father passed away. The grandmother lives with them, she's country folk, let the dog run loose... So Bella's often on my front lawn visiting Otto (he hates that)

Bella, she's so beautiful. I think she's showline. They dont' know.
Posted By: Liesje

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 06/18/12 06:36 PM

You cannot change the genetics. In Schutzhund we are always told that in a stressful situation (like a good trial with some real pressure from the helper) the dog will revert to it's genetics, it's foundation training, and it's later training and proofing, in that order. The way I see it is that genetics will determine where along a spectrum of a given trait that a dog might fall, but nurture/training/socialization can pin-point more precisely where within the confines of genetics the dog actually falls. However nurture/training/socialization cannot push a dog outside of the boundaries of their genetics. This means the same dog might end up differently depending on who owns it but never outside of the inherited genes.



I have witnessed enough anecdotal proof that I will not be convinced otherwise (and likewise, I used to believe that nurture had a lot more influence than I currently believe). For example, I've seen dogs that lived in a kennel from 6weeks to over a year old with no training, no socialization come out of that kennel and within days be very happy and stable, integrated with their human and dog pack. I've seen dogs that were neglected and abused act as though they've never known an enemy. I've also seen (and own) dogs that have had every advantage from birth act fearful and skittish or show inappropriate thresholds for aggression or flight/flight reaction.
Posted By: Leesa

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 06/20/12 09:55 PM

I do believe that in a lot of dogs, people (owners) have screwed them up because of the way they've raised them, don't understand their behaviors, traits, etc.. Unfortunately I see it all to often and have lived with it first hand.. Yes, genetics also plays a part in this.. But, even dogs with good genetics if raised incorrectly can have problems and become nightmares..
Posted By: chelle

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 06/24/12 01:16 AM

Interesting topic. I can't count how many times I've heard someone say, "It's all in how they're raised."

I used to believe that far more than I do now.

What made a believer out of me are the two littermates I have. One came home at 11 weeks. He showed fearful tendencies quickly. I worked so hard to socialize him. Went everywhere! Did every single thing I could -- outings several ++ times per week. Multiple classes, exposure, exposure, exposure. It did help tremendously but I'll never call him "cured." There's no curing! It's his baseline tendency. Had I not done all that? I think he'd be a real hot mess of a dog. frown (That's where I think nurture comes into play. That all that work helped, but only "helped." Didn't/can't change what the dog *is*.)

His littermate brother came here at 10 months. He'd been in a backyard all his life. He sure had wildman issues, as you can imagine, but he is such a different dog. He is more affectionate and has a far "sweeter" type of disposition, in spite of living outside and neglected of companionship for the majority of his life.

I would've expected the backyard dog to be the fearful dog, not the highly socialized one. I suppose it could be argued that he is now just thriving on getting the human contact he wasn't getting.

I don't know.. but I've found it very interesting. They are far more different than alike, and I don't credit that huge difference entirely to raising.
Posted By: Oliver's mama

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 07/12/12 10:27 PM

I FINALLY understand this rescue we adopted --- her parents were Jeffrey Dahmer & JANE Wayne Gacy!!!! That is the only explanation for this beautiful, BYB by-product that's physically beautiful but emotionally nutso.

And, if I ever find the WOMAN who abused her, well - she better run!
Posted By: JeanKBBMMMAAN

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 07/14/12 01:55 AM

rofl
Posted By: AllMyShepherds

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 08/27/12 02:01 AM

Just like people, I think, that it's some of both.
Posted By: Kayos

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 08/28/12 05:49 PM

Originally Posted By: Oliver's mama
I FINALLY understand this rescue we adopted --- her parents were Jeffrey Dahmer & JANE Wayne Gacy!!!! That is the only explanation for this beautiful, BYB by-product that's physically beautiful but emotionally nutso.

And, if I ever find the WOMAN who abused her, well - she better run!


Or her head will pop off! rofl

I am happy to see this thread active again. Now I have Lydi home and at a week short of 5 months, she is a tick shy. Not bad, very workable. I realized this when we saw her at the breeders but it did not stop me from taking her home. Her brothers were not, they were very outgoing. Same genetics (nature).

With good socialization I believe we can turn the corner with her (nurture). That said, she will never be an outgoing dog I do not think, but she is a GSD, not a golden retriever.

I actually hope that when her adult teeth come in she may be a little less cautious.

I do believe our rearing of the dogs plays a large role in how they turn out but you have to start with good nerve which can vary from pup to pup within a litter.
Posted By: Good_Karma

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 08/28/12 08:20 PM

When we went to pick out our puppy from the breeder's litter (there were only two puppies to choose from, both males) there was a definite difference in behaviors between them.

One puppy wasn't all that interested in interacting/meeting us and wanted to wander off and explore the world, although he didn't mind the breeder's teenaged daughter picking him up and loving on him (like, the entire time!! I mean, hello, we'd like a chance too, us-the potential buyers!).

The other puppy spent the whole visit trying to avoid the breeder's four year old son (who seemed to want to gouge out the poor thing's eyes frown ) and in fact ended up sheltered under my legs as I was squatted down in the grass. I though "Awwwwww!!! He's a little love bug and he LIKES me!!" laugh

Guess which puppy we came home with? whistling So Niko was kind of a scared-y dog right from the beginning. frown We just didn't know what we were looking at when we saw his behavior. We interpreted it a totally different way, as in this pup here (cowering under me lol) is people oriented whereas the exploring pup is not.
Posted By: shelle

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 11/26/12 09:34 PM

I am a believer in our dogs are the result in nature plus nurture.
I have met pet/show and working line GSDs, and they look and handle very differently. That's genes.
But there is also neurochemistry to add to this mix. And that is where genetic research is heading for me. ie. a pups central nervous system is exposed to high levels of cortisol (stress neurotransmitter) in the pregnant dam. The pups central nervous system continues to develop past birth. But if the cortisol hormone for stress is required to survive, these levels become fixed as a baseline.
So the dogs resting arousal state is elevated. Anxious. and you see separation anxiety and other anxious behaviours.

I think that nature, extends far further than we origninally gave it credit. Past the birth into the early life stages.

That nature, can and does affect the make up of the dog, permanently, past the point of the pup being born.
Posted By: mjbgsd

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 11/26/12 11:15 PM

I totally think its both. If a first timer got Akbar, he would have turned into a scary dog. He's a strong headed dog who will take charge if no boundries are given. He's a make me dog and will walk all over anybody if he was not given good handling. He absolutely loves and respects me but hand the leash to my mom and he gives her the bird, lol. I've done a lot of training with Akbar and he's grown into a well respected adult who's calm and listens to my commands, unless he sees a cat..haha. Akbar will never be a social butterfly like isa but he's turned into my greatest friend and protector. We go everywhere together. smile although in crowds line the Saturday market he's mister pet me lol.
Then there's my beloved Cody who past away in April. He came from bybreeding. No person unless they knew him in person knew he was a nervous dog. He was nervous when people would try to pet him. He was my first dog and I went through MANY ups and downs with him. Around when he hit 8 months he started acting shy around men mostly. It took a year to get him to stand still for the stand for exam. I worked so hard with him, I was also in 4h dogs, that I got his BH at 2, and then his CGC, CD in3 shows with scores like196 RE at 5?, and HIC. But even with all his training he would still behave shy outside of the ring. In the ring you wouldn't have known. When he hit about 6 1/2 he started behaving nervous towards loud sounds.. not sure what went there. But in the home he was fine, I mean I could take him to events and he was fine but all the training in the world wouldn't have changed him.
Isa is my perfect child. Fine with anything, people, kids, wheelchairs, gun shots, people stepping on her tail(has happened a lot) anything. Also why she's a therapy dog. I see her mom once a months at my work. smile
Posted By: Deno

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/06/13 02:00 AM

It's just common sense, it's all in how you raise them. Just say you have 2 dogs at the opposite end of the spectrum. One smart and the other not so much.

You have what you have with nature.

Either way, the way they are raised has the greatest affect on the dog. Stern and loving guidence will make a better dog than one raised by a fool.

I am not calling anyone a fool, I'm just using that for a good example.

Deno
Posted By: Chris Wild

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/06/13 03:51 PM

Environment cannot change genetics. Certainly how a dog is raised and trained has some impact, but only in the outward behavioral expression of traits. It cannot change the dog, and even how much and what form of influence environment can have over any individual trait is also determined by genetics. A good, solid dog will not be ruined by bad environment. And a poorly temperamented dog cannot be fixed by a good environment. If a dog is genetically weak nerved, it will always be so. Confidence can be built and the dog can be taught more adaptive coping mechanisms for dealing with stress, but it will always be stressed by things that a solid dog would not be bothered by. A dog who is genetically dog aggressive will always be so. It can be taught to inhibit it's reactions and not act on those impulses, but the underlying cause will never go away and the dog will never be 100% reliable around other dogs. Those are just two examples, but the same holds true for everything.
Posted By: Good_Karma

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/06/13 04:08 PM

I think people who feel that a dog's temperament is solely based on how the dog is raised have perhaps never tried to raise a dog of fundamentally unsound temperament. I know that if my only experience was with well-adjusted dogs, I would assume it was my skills as a dog owner than made it be so.
Posted By: Deno

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/06/13 10:02 PM

It's just common sense, say you have two genetically similar dogs.

One dog is used as bait for pit bulls and the other is in a loving

home. There will be a vast difference in the two.

A good dog can be ruined by a not so smart owner.

A bad dog can be helped by a smart owner.
Posted By: MaxaLisa

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/07/13 10:19 AM

Originally Posted By: Good_Karma
I think people who feel that a dog's temperament is solely based on how the dog is raised have perhaps never tried to raise a dog of fundamentally unsound temperament. I know that if my only experience was with well-adjusted dogs, I would assume it was my skills as a dog owner than made it be so.


Leah, how true.
Posted By: Good_Karma

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/07/13 11:49 AM

Originally Posted By: Deno


A good dog can be ruined by a not so smart owner.

A bad dog can be helped by a smart owner.


I don't disagree with these statements, however I don't think things are as cut and dried as you put it. A good dog can certainly be stressed out by and learn bad behaviors from a poor handler. But if he has a well adjusted base line of temperament, changing the training and lifestyle can help let his "inner good dog" out. How else can you explain how so many of Michael Vick's bait dogs were rehabilitated and found homes? These were basically really good dogs who had been mistreated, but rebounded and became well socialized and ready for placement after being shown that they could trust and love humans.

And a "bad dog" can most definitely be helped by a wise handler, but only to a point. And in many cases, a fearful dog will always hold onto his fears, but will have been trained not to show reactions. That fear still exists, but not the evidence of it. Does that make him a good dog? I don't think so, because that fear still exists and that dog can never be fully trusted. He will always and forever need management and constant reinforcement of his training.
Posted By: Chris Wild

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/07/13 02:34 PM

Great post, Leah! thumbup
Posted By: PaddyD

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/07/13 03:12 PM

How about the terms: sound and unsound as opposed to good and bad.
Unsound dogs can be problematic but that doesn't make them 'bad'.
If a sound dog is trained to do 'bad' things is s/he still 'good'?
Posted By: PaddyD

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/07/13 03:20 PM

Nature versus nurture.
I agree with the idea that nature greatly overpowers nurture, though not completely.
Humans have the benefit of self-evaluation and a greater capacity to overcome their nature than animals(dogs here).
I am one of 11 siblings and some of us were talking about that and (humorously) wondering whether we have all that much free will since we are so guided by our nature to behave in certain ways.
Posted By: aubie

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/07/13 03:35 PM

I believe in the in combo of the two.

Like people, dogs are born with certain core personalities and traits. And like people, other parts of their behavior can be influenced by their environment. Like how they might react to a certain stimuli, overall distrust of people and can be trained for a reaction. Whereas other traits are just genetic-overall fearfulness, drive, skills/talents, stubborness.

I think where this saying comes from is a defense in regard to bully breeds or breeds seen as "aggressive." That a dog wouldn't necessarily go out and attack a person unless raised in an environment that would make them more prone to do so. It helps defend the breed, which is good and "mostly" true.
Posted By: Deno

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/08/13 01:08 AM

Originally Posted By: Good_Karma
Originally Posted By: Deno


A good dog can be ruined by a not so smart owner.

A bad dog can be helped by a smart owner.


I don't disagree with these statements, however I don't think things are as cut and dried as you put it. A good dog can certainly be stressed out by and learn bad behaviors from a poor handler. But if he has a well adjusted base line of temperament, changing the training and lifestyle can help let his "inner good dog" out. How else can you explain how so many of Michael Vick's bait dogs were rehabilitated and found homes? These were basically really good dogs who had been mistreated, but rebounded and became well socialized and ready for placement after being shown that they could trust and love humans.

And a "bad dog" can most definitely be helped by a wise handler, but only to a point. And in many cases, a fearful dog will always hold onto his fears, but will have been trained not to show reactions. That fear still exists, but not the evidence of it. Does that make him a good dog? I don't think so, because that fear still exists and that dog can never be fully trusted. He will always and forever need management and constant reinforcement of his training.


When I say raise them, that isn't limited to when they were puppys or whatever. The people who rehabilitated vick's dogs made the change, not nature. If left alone, they would have remained messed up.
Posted By: Chris Wild

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/08/13 03:11 PM

Originally Posted By: Deno
The people who rehabilitated vick's dogs made the change, not nature. If left alone, they would have remained messed up.


But nature allowed it.
They would not have been able to make those changes if the dogs had not been fundamentally sound genetically. If they had not, if their *nature* had been different, no changes would have been able to be made no matter how hard anyone tried.
Posted By: Deno

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/09/13 02:37 PM

Originally Posted By: Chris Wild
Originally Posted By: Deno
The people who rehabilitated vick's dogs made the change, not nature. If left alone, they would have remained messed up.


But nature allowed it.
They would not have been able to make those changes if the dogs had not been fundamentally sound genetically. If they had not, if their *nature* had been different, no changes would have been able to be made no matter how hard anyone tried.



People can shape what nature has made.
Posted By: Good_Karma

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/09/13 02:57 PM

But only to a certain extent. You cannot completely remake or transform a temperament. Temperament has a genetic component. You can agree that there are different personality traits from breed to breed, can you not? There are toy and companion breeds that will never have the drive to be working dogs, or have the tolerance to be a therapy dog, or the focus and impulse control to be a guide dog. So how is it therefore so impossible in your mind that fear levels or aggression or confidence might not also be inherent in an individual as well?
Posted By: MaxaLisa

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/09/13 06:15 PM

People can shape, but, it's really important that we understand, they are who they are.

I wonder if this discussion is colored by what a person might choose as their training method. I might think (and I might be wrong), that people that use compulsion would be more likely to think that they have the ability to actually change a dog's nature.
Posted By: Good_Karma

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/09/13 10:14 PM

I agree, it is an easy trap to fall into especially since dominance theory appeals to our need to be in control. It is extremely rewarding to our egos to believe that we have superiority over another being.
Posted By: Deno

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/09/13 10:43 PM

Any conscientious person should seek to control their dog. Not for egos sake,
but for the saftey of the public and the dog.

Every one including the dog is better off for it.

Deno
Posted By: MaxaLisa

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/09/13 10:55 PM

There is, however, a difference between control and training.

I prefer to train my dog. In the abence of proper training, you have to control. But even with control, there are so many different ways that can be done. I threw away my dogs' shock and prong collar when he got here, and went with a front clip harness.
Posted By: Deno

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/09/13 11:01 PM

Originally Posted By: Good_Karma
But only to a certain extent. You cannot completely remake or transform a temperament. Temperament has a genetic component. You can agree that there are different personality traits from breed to breed, can you not? There are toy and companion breeds that will never have the drive to be working dogs, or have the tolerance to be a therapy dog, or the focus and impulse control to be a guide dog. So how is it therefore so impossible in your mind that fear levels or aggression or confidence might not also be inherent in an individual as well?


I agree with what you say about traits from breed to breed. If we were talking about people this would be called profiling.

There is no doubt in my mind that a Pit Bull raised in a loving home with a
"Knowledgeable" owner will be quite different from one raised by a gang member for dog fighting.

We can shape nature.
Posted By: Deno

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/09/13 11:11 PM

Originally Posted By: MaxaLisa
There is, however, a difference between control and training.

I prefer to train my dog. In the abence of proper training, you have to control. But even with control, there are so many different ways that can be done. I threw away my dogs' shock and prong collar when he got here, and went with a front clip harness.



I agree about training your own dog. I would never let someone else train mine.

Proper control can only be obtained with proper training.

We both agree there is more than one way to skin a cat.

There is nothing wrong with using a prong and/or a shock collar if done properly.
Posted By: Good_Karma

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/09/13 11:44 PM

You keep saying we can shape nature and yet that is a contradiction in terms. The very point of having two separate classifications (nurture and nature) is because one can be affected by the actions of the environment and one cannot.

I also find your assertation that there are differences in the personalities of people due to race mildly offensive. I would correct your statement to say that culture can have some impact on behavior of individuals, although I fail to see how it can change a personality. I think you can find all manner of personalities existing in all cultures and races.

And of course you must raise a dog to behave in a socially acceptable manner. I do not allow my dog to counter surf. Did I accomplish this by having control of my dog? I don't think so. I made sure that I did not leave anything tempting out for the duration of the time it took me to communicate to him that what was out of his reach when he has all four paws on the ground is also off limits. I did this by constant supervision when he had free access to the house (I suppose you could argue that I was controlling his movements) and letting him know that investigating the counters was not allowed by a verbal marker and redirection to a more appropriate behavior. I really don't see that as control. And just as an aside, neither of my dogs has ever taken anything off my counter. Not even my homemade bread, fresh out of the oven, is danger from my dogs. Allthough I suppose you could argue that has more to do with the palatability of my bread than the skill of my training.

Back to the original point of this thread, and your reference to the difference in behavior between a dog raised poorly and a dog raised kindly. OF COURSE that would make a difference in how the dog turned out. But it is not 100% of the equation. You cannot disregard the core starting materials. No dog comes into this world as a blank slate. All dogs are a product of their ancestry.
Posted By: Deno

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/10/13 12:26 AM

You either have a problem with reading comprehension or you are twisting my words on purpose.

Where did I assert that there are differences in the personalities of people
due to race? All I did is agree with you.

The bottom line is nature gives us a dog. We can, depending on our knowledge and/or skill or lack of same, make a good dog or a bad dog.

It's just common sense.
Posted By: Good_Karma

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/10/13 12:54 PM

My apologies, sometimes communication through the Internet can jumble meanings. When you mentioned "profiling", I took it to mean the pejorative description of using race to determine the likelihood of criminality and I thought you were being sarcastic.

You and I are not really making any progress in this discussion. Although you have conceded that breeding (the manipulation of genes through mating) can have an effect on personality traits, somehow you remain steadfast in your claim that genes for temperamental traits are meaningless in the face of a skilled trainer. I stand by my earlier statement that those who feel "It's all in how you raise them" have never raised a dog who was born with serious temperament flaws.
Posted By: Deno

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/10/13 01:34 PM

Leah, I was being sarcastic. But in the end what you said about different breeds is true.

Like dogs, we are all different.

We are all passionate about our dogs and how we train them. The way I look at it is as long as you are kind & loving in your training it's OK.

I just think it is all in how you treat them. I don't think dogs are born
bad, I think they are made that way.

I also apologize for being a smart aleck.
Posted By: Wolfstraum

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/10/13 02:26 PM

Originally Posted By: Deno


I agree with what you say about traits from breed to breed. If we were talking about people this would be called profiling.

There is no doubt in my mind that a Pit Bull raised in a loving home with a
"Knowledgeable" owner will be quite different from one raised by a gang member for dog fighting.

We can shape nature.


Unfortunately - I will disagree with you - genetics are strong and often overcome or conversely, cannot be overcome, no matter how much training and care.

The city I live in has a large population of Pit Bulls. All too often there is a story on the evening news about a pit bull attack on a child, a neighbor, a dog being walked. These are not always in the 'gang' areas, and are invariably pet dogs who are owned by non gang members....the most recent two that I saw were owned by older women/couples, raised from 8 week old pups as family members. One in a traditionally Italian neighborhood was a 11 month old pit bull who escaped his fenced in yard, and attacked and killed a small dog being walked...the other was 2 adults who escaped repeatedly and attacked a small child...all these dogs were raised in loving, nurturing homes.

Yes - there are many pit bulls who are nice and have never attacked anyone. But the genetics are there, and IMO, they are always going to have a question mark as to their safety. I know people who own them, love them, and bristle with indignation at that, but I would hazard that 95% of the dog attacks in this city are pit bull incidents.

Lee
Posted By: Good_Karma

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/10/13 02:31 PM

Apology accepted, thank you. What makes this whole discussion very personal for me, and I suspect for other members, is that to state that the way a dog is raised as being the sole predictor of the dog's temperament is very hurtful to those of us who have fearful and aggressive dogs. It suggests that we made serious mistakes in how we raised our dogs. I am certainly willing to own up to not being the perfect owner, but I refuse to take full responsibility for my dog's reactivity and fearfulness.

For example, my dog has an unreasonable fear of women, particularly elderly women. As I have owned Niko since he was 8 weeks old, I can say with near 100% certainty that not once did an elderly woman ever treat him poorly. He is beloved by my mother in law who is in her 50's, my mother who is in her 60's, my aunt who is in her 70's, and my grandmother who is in her 80's. And yet if I encounter a strange woman, most especially an older woman, Niko is certain to have a barking/lunging reaction.

Ever since Niko was a puppy he has lacked confidence. When we picked Niko out from his litter (he came from a small litter of two males), Niko was shy. I didn't interpret his behavior that way at the time due to my ignorance. I thought him hiding under my legs as I crouched down was just a sign that he liked humans and wanted to snuggle me. In reality, he was hiding from the breeder's rambunctious toddler.

And in the days after we brought him home, every time we stepped outside Niko had a barking fit, barking at nothing in particular, and what I have come to believe now is that he was scared and was trying to warn off anything and everything that might be out there. This behavior does not make much sense as we live in a very secluded area and there is quite literally nothing out there.

Now, were there actions I could have taken in the beginning to ameliorate this situation? Absolutely, and if I could rewind the clocks I would change some of the things I did with him. Ironically, in light of the other thread and our conversation about dominance, my first change would have been to throw out the whole Cesar Milan alpha dog thing. I would have been more supportive and encouraging, I would not have "flooded" my dog with forced encounters with other puppies. I would not have used leash corrections. I would have kept outings shorter. I would not have insisted on socialization experiences that were stressful for all of us.

But nothing I did when Niko was growing up warrants the degree of fear, sharpness, and reactivity that he displays as an adult. I am not a monster. I did not abuse my dog.

Can you understand why saying that "It is all in how you raise them" might be hurtful and offensive to someone in my situation?
Posted By: Schnickle Fritz

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/10/13 04:04 PM

great post leah...
Posted By: JakodaCD OA

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/10/13 05:55 PM

ditto great post leah:)

I have had dogs 'forever', the majority of them were all 'raised' the same way, I don't pretend to be an expert dog trainer, but I think I've done ok with the dogs I've had.

I do believe that genetics play a major part in a dogs wiring.

Case in point, I got kodi at 8 weeks of age, socialized him, obed classes, did everything I did with my other sound stable dog. He was a fear biter, shoulda known when his 'mother' was also a fear biter. He wasn't fond of kids, you couldn't stick your hand over my fence without getting 'nipped'..He was great with his 'circle' of family, but strangers 'iffy'..

He was what he was, I didn't blame myself, or think that "I" did something wrong, it was in his genes and tho you can 'manage' a dog like this,which I did, it was always wired in him, thus a dog who couldn't be trusted.
Posted By: Hatterasser

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/10/13 07:10 PM

Over the past 10 years, I've had both Thor and Freya in my life. One could not find two more different personalities, even though raised in the same household by the same person.

Thor was fear aggressive right from the beginning. He was bonded to me totally and was an absolute cuddle bug and wuss at home with me. But out in the world, he was unpredictable. One never knew what he would or would not react to. Walking him was a trial at all times, never a pleasure. Once, meeting with a neighbor he knew well, something the man did apparently frightened the dickens out of Thor and, without any warning, he lunged and bit the man's knee.

Freya, on the other hand, is and has always been the most laid back, gentle, friendly dog I've even known (and I've had dogs in my family since I was a child, centuries ago). Little bothers her and I could take her anywhere without fear. She is always well behaved and polite.

If anyone speaks of nurture overcoming nature, I beg to differ. The nature of Thor was never overcome in almost 9 years and was, as I've said, unpredictable. Fear aggression is innately a part of dog's genetic compound and no matter how well loved and trained, will rear its ugly head unexpectedly.

I look at my dogs as children from the same family, raised the same way by the same loving people. One may grow up to be a social worker, caring about all of humanity. One may grow up to be an alcoholic and a bum. And one may grow up to be a murderer. How can that happen? Yet it does.

All we can do is the best we can when training our dogs. Be firm with them, correct mistakes, show them the proper behavior, understand that the differences in their personalities may require different training skills, and most of all love them and pray for the best.
Posted By: Wolfstraum

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/10/13 07:35 PM

Leah - it is genetics - plain and simple. That he functions well in the home and with family is because you love him and have worked with him....we all make mistakes - the media/social networks etc...tell us so many conflicting things...it is hard to figure out who is right (BTW - I am ALWAYS right wink wink wink ) and what to do...

Lee
Posted By: Schnickle Fritz

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/10/13 07:36 PM

m0re great posts!!!
Posted By: PositiveDog

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/10/13 08:20 PM

I am finding these posts to be interesting and informative. And for the most part very courteous.

Thank you to all who have shared your personal experiences with your dogs over the years.

The more we know the more we grow. thumbup
Posted By: dano

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/12/13 05:45 PM

A well bred dog is so much easier than a spook, it's like comparing apples to oranges.
Nurturing can change the outward behaviors, but one needs to be ever vigilant when the nerves are weak and thresholds low. Of course vigilance is necessary with all,
but intervention simply won't be required as often when solid nerves exist.

Have hosted both, and it's more work dealing with a nerve bag, for sure.
Posted By: Good_Karma

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/12/13 09:26 PM

Originally Posted By: dano
A well bred dog is so much easier than a spook, it's like comparing apples to oranges.
Nurturing can change the outward behaviors, but one needs to be ever vigilant when the nerves are weak and thresholds low. Of course vigilance is necessary with all,
but intervention simply won't be required as often when solid nerves exist.

Have hosted both, and it's more work dealing with a nerve bag, for sure.


Agree.

BTW, your username is remarkably similar to someone else's. I thought you'd had a personality change lol
Posted By: SunCzarina

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/13/13 01:29 AM

Leah, you are not a moron LOL, I read dano/deno the same way.

My opinion, it's more genetics than how they're raised. Nature is more important than nurture but nurture is still quite important.

Morgan is the biggest reason I think this. I've often said she was 'shattered' when I got her. She was truly a mess, who ever had her from 8 weeks until she ran away at 6 months messed that dog up, tried to beat her spirit out of her. She was fearful, she was with me a year before she stopped hiding behind my leg every time some new friendly person wanted to meet her.

Shattered.

Morgan, the Queen of North Edgewood! She needed kindness but not coddling. Rules, structure, a confident dog like Luther to help her learn who she was. She also needed a job, that was odd but she picked James as her job.

It was never weak nerves that gave Morgan the urge to maim people, it was her fierce loyalty to me and the children. Never did anything that was uncalled for or I didn't understand in hindsight why she'd seen the need to be aggressive. A bit more aggressive than I like in a dog, less warning than I'd like but that was just her nature, she was a fierce bitch.

Unlike Otto, who I'm often told looks fierce but he's still that same sweet curious little bear I met at 5 weeks old. I had plenty of opportunities to mess him up, the kids, Morgan, random life events. Nothing I threw at him shook that bravado he was born with.
Posted By: Jane Jean

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/14/13 01:20 AM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKyF9IPGEZw
Posted By: Hatterasser

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/14/13 06:54 PM

Quote:
It was never weak nerves that gave Morgan the urge to maim people, it was her fierce loyalty to me and the children. Never did anything that was uncalled for or I didn't understand in hindsight why she'd seen the need to be aggressive. A bit more aggressive than I like in a dog, less warning than I'd like but that was just her nature, she was a fierce bitch.


Jenn, I think that was part of Thor's reason for his fierceness as well. He had been left all alone from 3 months old to almost a year, food shoved at him as he remained tied to 6' chain out in the north 40. When he learned what love was (with me), his loyalty and protectiveness was to me and me only. Anything he 'perceived' as a threat to me (and a blade of grass blowing the wrong way could be part of that perception) he felt the need to react. No matter how much I tried to socialize him, his puppy-hood months of isolation, added to his inherent genetic weaknesses, were what ruled his behavior. He wasn't 'bad', he was just a product of bad breeding and horrid care during those important early months.
Posted By: SunCzarina

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/15/13 01:22 AM

That's the curse and the cure of a rescue dog. You don't know the parents are behind them so you don't know what genetics is throwing at you. Loyalty of a rescue like Thor or Morgan, I don't get that from Otto. I know he'd step up for my kids, he's told a few people in uncertain terms to back off his kids and with a face like his and his growl, he gets respect. Me he would probably let get stabbed to death with a garden rake.
Posted By: Deno

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/15/13 01:27 AM

I was going to leave this alone, but I guess because of genetics I just can't help myself.

Is this genetic thing only applicable to dogs?

Or is it true throught out nature? Say humans for example.

If you were to talk about people like this, again, some might consider it bigoted.

I only read your first link, at least that guy understands pack leadership.

I am sure there must be dogs that are just messed up from the get go from all of you guys stories.

I guess I have just been lucky with all the dogs I have owned so far.

My new female pup Lexie is the most aggressive pup I have ever seen including Satan, my first male.

I guess it's a Checz thing, I hope she is not the exception to my good luck. I start training them on day one.

We will have had her for two weeks tomorrow and I think I already have her house broken.
Posted By: Chris Wild

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/15/13 01:29 PM

The higher the intelligence and reasoning skills, the greater the ability to move away from genetic predispositions. Humans can self analyze and make conscious choices when it comes to personality and behavior. Animals cannot so are more at the mercy of their genetics.
Posted By: Good_Karma

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/15/13 06:27 PM

I don't think it is bigoted to talk of temperament traits being inheritable in humans . It has been proven in studies that children of parents with addiction issues will have a greater risk of addiction themselves. There are probably dozens of personality traits that tend to get passed down from generation to generation. It is not something I have researched, but I know I have read about children of alcoholics being more susceptible to alcohol addiction themselves, just as a matter of how their brains are wired. Children of Alcoholics

An excerpt from link:

There is strong, scientific evidence that alcoholism tends to run in families. Children of alcoholics are more at risk for alcoholism and other drug abuse than children of non-alcoholics.

Children of alcoholics are four times more likely than non-COAs to develop alcoholism.

Genetic factors play a major role in the development of alcoholism. There is an expanding base of literature which strongly supports a heritable basis for alcoholism and a range of family influences that may direct the development of children of alcoholics.


Incidentally, I had to look up the definition of bigot to be sure I understood what you meant. From Merriam-Webster: "a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance"

I don't think the word bigoted needs to come into play in this discussion at all. I am a bit confused as to why you would bring it up.

I am glad you are open to the possibility that perhaps you have just been very fortunate in having always owned dogs with good temperaments. That speaks well of how you choose a breeder and a puppy. Maybe I will ask you for advice when I am ready to find a breeder
wink
Posted By: Schnickle Fritz

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/15/13 08:36 PM

Quote:
I don't think the word bigoted needs to come into play in this discussion at all. I am a bit confused as to why you would bring it up.
-- i was thinking this , too...
Posted By: Hatterasser

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/15/13 09:35 PM

Quote:
Is this genetic thing only applicable to dogs?

Or is it true throught out nature? Say humans for example.

If you were to talk about people like this, again, some might consider it bigoted.


To quote myself:
Quote:
I look at my dogs as children from the same family, raised the same way by the same loving people. One may grow up to be a social worker, caring about all of humanity. One may grow up to be an alcoholic and a bum. And one may grow up to be a murderer. How can that happen? Yet it does.


Have you any siblings? Were you all raised by the same parents?
Have you noticed any disparities in all your personalities. There is no bigotry involved in this; there is only genetic differences, possibly passed down through generations. I know there are very obvious diversities between my brothers and me. Some might ask this very question; "Were we raised by the same parents?" We are so different (though none of us has graduated to the level of murder...yet *laughing*).

In the case of dogs, even from the same litter, there can be variations in personality and behavior. Add that thought to rescue dogs, where their breeding (nature=genetics) and their pasts (nurture=training) are usually unknown, and even though currently being raised in the same household they will exhibit completely individual and unique behaviors. Rescuing, though a noble thing to do, opens a door to virtually unknown and unlimited varieties of critters. One can only do the best one can.

I have to agree that you have been very blessed in having only owned dogs with sound genetic backgrounds. You are extremely fortunate. I'm glad Lexie is doing so well for you.
Posted By: Deno

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/16/13 03:50 AM

Originally Posted By: Chris Wild
The higher the intelligence and reasoning skills, the greater the ability to move away from genetic predispositions. Humans can self analyze and make conscious choices when it comes to personality and behavior. Animals cannot so are more at the mercy of their genetics.


With this logic it would stand to reason that humans with all their intelligence could somewhat shape a dog, maybe not all dogs, but surely most.
Posted By: MaxaLisa

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/16/13 04:01 AM

Of course we shape dogs (that is the nurture part), but we cannot redefine who they fundamentally are (that's the nature part).
Posted By: Deno

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/16/13 04:27 AM

Leah, no need to get all worked up, I just said some may see it as bigoted
when you assign certain traits to certain breeds. This can't even be debated as it is a fact.

Your link about alcoholism running in families is debatable and far from conclusive. Some old timers might even say studies like this are just an excuse.

I would like to say it was my expertise in picking dogs but this isn't the case, and I have always violated the rule of not buying from a back yard breeder.

It may very well be just dumb luck that I have always ended up with handsome and trainable dogs.
Posted By: Deno

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/16/13 04:36 AM

Originally Posted By: Schnickle Fritz
Quote:
I don't think the word bigoted needs to come into play in this discussion at all. I am a bit confused as to why you would bring it up.
-- i was thinking this , too...



It's not hard to understand when read in context.
Posted By: MaxaLisa

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/16/13 04:42 AM

Originally Posted By: Deno
Leah, no need to get all worked up, I just said some may see it as bigoted
when you assign certain traits to certain breeds. This can't even be debated as it is a fact.


Well, see, this previous reference wasn't to breed traits, this was about general genetic influence on behaviour and personality.

If you yourself were thinking breed traits but didn't articulate, then we don't have a human equivalent, as far as I know. I have yet to see a human breeding program that has been prolonged and sustained, that breeds for things like hair color, posture, etc.

Posted By: Deno

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/16/13 04:53 AM

All I am saying Hatterasser is that what ever nature gives us in a dog, a knowledgeable and loving owner can make some kind of a difference.

Thanks for your comment on Lexie and good luck to you and your dogs.
Posted By: MaxaLisa

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/16/13 05:33 AM

Originally Posted By: Deno
All I am saying Hatterasser is that what ever nature gives us in a dog, a knowledgeable and loving owner can make some kind of a difference.


Yes, this is exactly what most of us have been saying from the beginning.
Posted By: Barb E

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/16/13 03:02 PM

Originally Posted By: MaxaLisa
Originally Posted By: Deno
All I am saying Hatterasser is that what ever nature gives us in a dog, a knowledgeable and loving owner can make some kind of a difference.


Yes, this is exactly what most of us have been saying from the beginning.


Yes!

We can't take a geneticly temperamental nerve-bag and make that dog a great LE K9.
We can perhaps though, take that same dog and make it a great pet...with the right training methods,the right owner and trainer! Which smile probably wouldn't be me!!
Posted By: Good_Karma

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/16/13 04:41 PM

Originally Posted By: Deno
Leah, no need to get all worked up, I just said some may see it as bigoted
when you assign certain traits to certain breeds. This can't even be debated as it is a fact.

Your link about alcoholism running in families is debatable and far from conclusive. Some old timers might even say studies like this are just an excuse.

I would like to say it was my expertise in picking dogs but this isn't the case, and I have always violated the rule of not buying from a back yard breeder.

It may very well be just dumb luck that I have always ended up with handsome and trainable dogs.




Don't worry Deno, nothing you say is going to get me worked up wink I just am a bit of a stickler for words and their usage and connotations. To use a word like bigot or racist in a thread where we are discussing human and canine genetic traits struck me as inappropriate in this context. I would not want anyone reading this thread to get the wrong impression.

You can certainly explore the many studies done on alcoholism and heritability (or dismiss them entirely and go with your own personal beliefs, I like to call those "heart facts" smile ). The link I posted was just one of dozens I found in a quick search. Perhaps it is my own scientific background coloring my viewpoint, but I tend to respect the studies done by researchers (in the human and canine fields) much more so than the experiences of one person (even if that person is myself!).
Posted By: Hatterasser

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/16/13 07:37 PM

Originally Posted By: Deno
All I am saying Hatterasser is that what ever nature gives us in a dog, a knowledgeable and loving owner can make some kind of a difference.

Thanks for your comment on Lexie and good luck to you and your dogs.


And the key word here, Deno, is SOME. We can make SOME changes but as I've said, often times those changes are unpredictable. If genetically our dog has a weakness or is 'unsound' in a given area, it is possible that, given the right trigger and our failure in the moment to notice that the trigger has taken place, our dog will react instinctively as opposed to the training we've spent so much time giving.

In a dog like Thor, for example, I did the right things. Took him to OB training, socialized him, practiced NILIF, watched over him carefully for ills, ailments and inherent fears (like fear of thunder) but when he perceived a threat, and I will admit I wasn't watching him closely, he reacted. All my training went out the window. Why? Because genetically, he was a fearful dog. I don't know his history...who bred him, with what parents, where he came from originally, etc. But I knew and was backed up on this that he was fear aggressive. Ergo, he had to be watched every second he spent in those situations that could trigger that aggression, something often forgotten when having a pleasant conversation with a well known neighbor, as an example.

You have been so lucky...or perhaps it's not necessarily luck but good judgement. When you have the time to see a pup with its parents and siblings, and you choose the one that seems the most well-rounded, you have a far better chance of ending up with a sound dog. Kudos to you for having done that with Lexie.

Thank you for your well wishes. Thor, bless his troubled heart, is waiting for me 'at the bridge', so to speak, while Freya and I are developing a relationship long overdue, given the amount of time, effort and energy Thor took while he was alive. If I need well wishes, it will be when I rescue my next dog, given that once again I will probably have little knowledge of his/her background and heaven only knows what I'll be getting. *laughing*
Posted By: MaxaLisa

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/16/13 09:08 PM

Originally Posted By: Deno
Leah, no need to get all worked up, ...

Perhaps a bit of an aside, but I always find this type of response offensive, trying dismiss a sound argument (in this case both logically and scientifically) by assigning it to an emotional outburst (which it was not). This is a technique often used by some males when addressing strong and asssertive women - that whole double standard thing.

Leah, just calm your pretty little self down wink Don't worry yourself with facts and logic smile
Posted By: JakodaCD OA

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/16/13 09:22 PM

Quote:
My new female pup Lexie is the most aggressive pup I have ever seen including Satan, my first male.

I guess it's a Checz thing,


I saw this, and wondered what you meant by "aggressive?", agressive how? just curious.

Masi (my gsd) would be rather insulted by "it's a czech thing" ..it's c z e c h btw:) since she is predominately czech.
Posted By: SunCzarina

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/16/13 11:20 PM

Dominance and aggression are often confused for the more correct terms: self assertive and confident.

Otto is a hard dog who exhibits traits that are often mistaken as dominant. He's not.
Posted By: Deno

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/17/13 03:50 PM

Originally Posted By: JakodaCD OA
Quote:
My new female pup Lexie is the most aggressive pup I have ever seen including Satan, my first male.

I guess it's a Checz thing,


I saw this, and wondered what you meant by "aggressive?", agressive how? just curious.

Masi (my gsd) would be rather insulted by "it's a czech thing" ..it's c z e c h btw:) since she is predominately czech.



I may have used the wrong word here. She will back Dex off the food bowl
while growling and snarling and she isn't afraid to bite him in the process.

It's a whole another story with Sabel, my 13 year old female. Lexie has learned quick to pay her the upmost respect.
Posted By: Deno

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/17/13 04:13 PM

Originally Posted By: MaxaLisa
Originally Posted By: Deno
Leah, no need to get all worked up, ...

Perhaps a bit of an aside, but I always find this type of response offensive, trying dismiss a sound argument (in this case both logically and scientifically) by assigning it to an emotional outburst (which it was not). This is a technique often used by some males when addressing strong and asssertive women - that whole double standard thing.

Leah, just calm your pretty little self down wink Don't worry yourself with facts and logic smile


I would have said the same thing to a man. The part about the sound argument
is up in the air.
Posted By: SunCzarina

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/17/13 04:15 PM

That's assertive but it's referred to as food aggression. It's her food, right? He should NOT be so much as looking at it and she's telling him that.

Morgan was like that, picky eater and she'd leave half her to dinner to check out what else was going on. Luther would get in her food and she'd snarl at him. So he'd hunker down in her dish crying while she was biting his head but he wouldn't get out of her food until I physically removed him.

Then about the time Otto turned one, Morgan would look at him while he was eating and he'd start growling. She was a senior and he's a beast so it seemed easier to feed him in his crate.
Posted By: Deno

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/17/13 04:21 PM

Actually it was Dex's food.
Posted By: MaxaLisa

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/17/13 06:40 PM

Originally Posted By: Deno
Originally Posted By: MaxaLisa
Originally Posted By: Deno
Leah, no need to get all worked up, ...

Perhaps a bit of an aside, but I always find this type of response offensive, trying dismiss a sound argument (in this case both logically and scientifically) by assigning it to an emotional outburst (which it was not). This is a technique often used by some males when addressing strong and asssertive women - that whole double standard thing.

Leah, just calm your pretty little self down wink Don't worry yourself with facts and logic smile


I would have said the same thing to a man. ...


We won't ever be able to determine that at this part. However, to whomever it's said, it's meant to discredit someone by avoiding the actual details of the argument.
Posted By: MaxaLisa

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/17/13 06:44 PM

I am more concerned about your reaction to her food guarding.

I won't allow food guarding in my house and I extinguish it fairly rapidly. Unlike jenn, in my house it's not their food, it's my food that I control and I control who gets what. My dogs make a lot of choices for themselves, and I teach them to do that. This is one choice I don't let them make.

You have two females in the house then?
Posted By: SunCzarina

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/17/13 07:42 PM

Lisa, you forget the chicken mc nugget box incident, the fridge problems and the sensory deprivation I had to practice with Otto. He was fine to have treats side by side with Morgan. He'd even learn to ask her if he could have the treat she'd just spit out. I just don't have time to be feeding 3 kids, cleaning up their mess while trying to break up a dogfight. Ain't nobody got time for that LOL
Posted By: Barb E

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/17/13 08:47 PM

Heck, Kaos is still leashed to the door at meal times and she's what...almost 17 months old now!!

I'm just not sure what Dante would do if she finished first and headed to his bowl and I really don't want to find out!!
smile

As to treats they learned it always goes one and then the other and had only a couple early snarks when Kaos was still quite young
Posted By: JakodaCD OA

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/17/13 08:48 PM

That wouldn't "fly" in my house..I agree with Lisa.

Quote:
Actually it was Dex's food.
Posted By: SunCzarina

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/17/13 09:14 PM

Eating someone else's dinner wouldn't fly in mine either, sorry if I gave that impression it would. I was way younger 10 years ago yanking 110lb Luther out of Morgan's food by the scruff of his neck while she was latched onto his head. In my galley kitchen that's 3' x 12' rofl the good ole days.
Posted By: Woodreb

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/17/13 09:54 PM

I don't allow behavior like that in my house either.

With mine all I've ever had to do is step between them and tell the offender "NO" to end it.
Posted By: Good_Karma

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/17/13 10:08 PM

It's funny, it's discussions like this that make me wonder if some of the people who say they have really, really well behaved dogs just have different (and possibly lower ) standards of what good behavior is. wink

I know I focus much of my attention on the things that I can't do with Niko or even Rosa, and I forget that some of the major, common issues are not a problem for either of them. While I would never set them up to fail by not supervising meals, at least I know that I can safely feed them together side by side in the kitchen and not have to worry about any tension between them. I don't even allow them to lick each other's empty bowls. I do let them wash the floor where they ate together afterwards though. smile
Posted By: LifeAsMe

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/17/13 10:08 PM

We have 3 dogs, now 4, all eating at the same time or close to it. They aren't allowed to bother each other while they are eating. Once they are done eating, they play rotational bowl to make sure the other didn't miss anything.
Posted By: SunCzarina

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/17/13 10:46 PM

LOL I never claimed to ever have really really well behaved dogs. Common thread in all the food agression issues here was Morgan. Uber bitch would give Otto the 'I can take that from you' look. Rules will be far stricter for him and Venus because I am NOT going through that again.

Otto was strong enough minded to not carry on Luther's legacy through Morgan of barking at people walking down the other side of the street. He doesn't even bark until someone comes up to the door or the gate. Good boy.
Posted By: LifeAsMe

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/17/13 10:51 PM

I should have added....I don't have dogs with strong personalities like Jenn does. That makes a huge difference. I have a resource guarder (Jax) who doesn't like the others to come right up in her face when she has a treat or when she's lying on the ottoman. But as far as their food, they rarely bother each other.
Posted By: Schnickle Fritz

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/17/13 10:59 PM

Quote:
It's funny, it's discussions like this that make me wonder if some of the people who say they have really, really well behaved dogs just have different (and possibly lower ) standards of what good behavior is.
- my exact thought!!! just like when someone says "my dog heels perfectly" meaning they dont run away from your general side area... and you discover that the whole time you thought they meant your own definition of "heeling" which is schH competition type ....
Posted By: JakodaCD OA

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/17/13 11:37 PM

Leah, I agree, mine certainly can be idiots:) Like someone comes to the door and everyone has to be the first to bowl ya over to see who it is and then bowl them over cause they have no good manners LOL..

There are things (behavior wise) that are important to me, and things that are no big deal to me, while it may be a big deal to someone else (like my MIL who isn't an animal lover and I let my dogs go wild when she's around, just "cuz")!

My two girls always eat right next to each other, no problems from either , never have had problems , male aussie has ALWAYS been in a crate when eating because he is a "poop stirrer' and would have no problem trying to get away with stealing their food and the girls would back right off and let him have it!..

Ok I'm rambling:) done:)
Posted By: Deno

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/18/13 01:43 AM

Originally Posted By: MaxaLisa
I am more concerned about your reaction to her food guarding.

I won't allow food guarding in my house and I extinguish it fairly rapidly. Unlike jenn, in my house it's not their food, it's my food that I control and I control who gets what. My dogs make a lot of choices for themselves, and I teach them to do that. This is one choice I don't let them make.

You have two females in the house then?


My old female Sabel stays in the garage at night and during bad weather.
Dex and Lexie are the only ones in the house.

I have never had any reason to be concerned about any of them guarding their
food. Whats the problem with it?
Posted By: Deno

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/18/13 01:51 AM

Originally Posted By: MaxaLisa
Originally Posted By: Deno
Originally Posted By: MaxaLisa
Originally Posted By: Deno
Leah, no need to get all worked up, ...

Perhaps a bit of an aside, but I always find this type of response offensive, trying dismiss a sound argument (in this case both logically and scientifically) by assigning it to an emotional outburst (which it was not). This is a technique often used by some males when addressing strong and asssertive women - that whole double standard thing.

Leah, just calm your pretty little self down wink Don't worry yourself with facts and logic smile


I would have said the same thing to a man. ...


We won't ever be able to determine that at this part. However, to whomever it's said, it's meant to discredit someone by avoiding the actual details of the argument.



Some people seem to seek to be offended.

You are making a mountain out of a mole hill.
Posted By: Good_Karma

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/18/13 10:50 AM

Jenn, Michelle, Diane - I hope you realize I was not referring to any of you! wink
Posted By: LifeAsMe

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/18/13 12:52 PM

Originally Posted By: Good_Karma
Jenn, Michelle, Diane - I hope you realize I was not referring to any of you! wink


I wish you would have told me that last night. I cried all night long! Or maybe that was at the idea of another snow storm.
Posted By: JeanKBBMMMAAN

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/18/13 01:12 PM

Back to the beginning - I am always surprised when people are surprised that dogs, selectively bred for years to do certain things (Labs carrying dead birds for people, Beagles helping people kill rabbits, Schipperkes hunting rodents, and even the repugnant dogs fighting other dogs) do those things. Labs turned in to shelters for grabbing the family bird, herding breeds nipping, all of those things that we created and then try to excuse and then, to compound it and make it worse, act as if we do a few things "right" these traits will magically disappear.

I find that a dangerous thing - denial of our animal's basic traits and instincts - and that is what I am getting at.

When I walk my Chow mixes, I know what I have. I know what they are capable of, and I know all the love and cookies - or corrections (if they worked) and firmness - will not change that very base of who they are. So I am aware and alert, and watchful for situations and things that will trip their triggers.

If I thought it was all in how I raised them, I would be blissfully ignorant of their capabilities - their innate, inherited tendencies. I might put them in situations where they are guaranteed to fail, and that failure might not just hurt them, but other people or animals. All because I felt that *I* could overcome hundreds (thousands really for the ancient breeds) years of genetics. And on top of that, the individual genetic makeup of that particular dog.

http://notesfromadogwalker.com/2012/11/20/its-not-how-theyre-raised/
Posted By: Chris Wild

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/18/13 01:31 PM

Good job getting the thread back on track, Jean.
I agree, different breed traits which run very strongly within breeds and are present with no human influence, in fact often present despite human attempts to squelch them, are some of the strongest and most obvious evidence for the impact of genetics.

Anyone who has spent significant time with a litter of young puppies cannot deny this either. Personality differences start emerging at just a few weeks old, and become even stronger and more divergent over the next few weeks despite all of the pups experiencing identical environmental factors.

Certainly no one is saying that environment has no effect and that good vs bad ownership won't impact the outcome. But the amount of effect it has is greatly misunderstood by many. No amount of environmental factors can turn gold to lead, or vice versa. Genetics are still in charge.

Take any temperament trait you wish, and genetics will provide a range of possiblity for that trait. Environment will only determine where within that range the final outcome falls. For ease of illustration, on trait X genetics will allow a range of say 6-8 on a 1-10 scale. One environment may produce a 6, and a different environment an 8, and there may be a measureable difference between the two. But no amount of environmental influence can make that dog a 5 or a 9. It simply isn't possible.
Posted By: JakodaCD OA

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/18/13 03:00 PM

This cracked me up
Quote:
I wish you would have told me that last night. I cried all night long! Or maybe that was at the idea of another snow storm.


no leah I didn't think you were talking about us:)

Jean SO RIGHT!!!! A little OT but to add to what you said, I am on a chicken forum (yep I have chickens),,it amazes me the amount of people who are shocked when their dog kills one because their chickens are free ranging..One poster was mortified and wanted to kill her mom's gsd because the dog has now killed 3-4 of her chickens (at different times).."Mom" doesn't want to lock up the dog..Well DUH lock up the chickens! LOL..
Posted By: Chris Wild

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/18/13 03:38 PM

I recently joined what's probably the same chicken forum, Diane, and I agree.
I think the worst case of that sort of thing I've ever heard was a pet obedience class client years ago who couldn't understand why their beagle was such a problem with their house rabbit. If you have a house rabbit, why of all of the dogs available did you pick a rabbit hunting breed????!!! Oh yeah, because it was small and cute and thus supposedly more manageable, with absolutely no consideration for the instincts that have been bred into it for a few hundred years!
Posted By: Schnickle Fritz

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/18/13 03:48 PM

Quote:
I recently joined what's probably the same chicken forum, Diane, and I agree.
I think the worst case of that sort of thing I've ever heard was a pet obedience class client years ago who couldn't understand why their beagle was such a problem with their house rabbit. If you have a house rabbit, why of all of the dogs available did you pick a rabbit hunting breed????!!! Oh yeah, because it was small and cute and thus supposedly more manageable, with absolutely no consideration for the instincts that have been bred into it for a few hundred years!
this kind of thing happens way too often... i met a very young couple like maybe 19 or so. first apt just married wanted to get into the "dog" thing before children. went to the pound... adopted a real cute (and it WAS ONe of the cutest i have ever seen) they were in the pet store with it and had it on a harness and they were letting it blow off steam by dragging them to every dog and human in the store... the reason for them picking this one was it's cuteness... they were told it was a schnauzer cattle dog mix and indeed it looked just that way. they had no idea what those two breeds were actually bredd to do... they though "watching" cattle meant just that not actaull y herding them... and they had no idea that a schnauuzer was a terrier!!
Posted By: SunCzarina

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/18/13 04:04 PM

It makes me so crazy when people get a shepherd for looks, I can't even talk about it makes me so crazy. Gives me flashbacks to when we used to rescue and foster.
Posted By: JakodaCD OA

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/18/13 10:22 PM

Chris backyard chickens? If not , check it out, the most comprehensive chicken forum I've found:)

Jenn, makes me even crazier when I hear, "I got him to protect me":(
Posted By: SunCzarina

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/19/13 12:53 AM

Otto steps right up growling when an adult, even a friend, is either yelling at his kids or doing something he thinks is inappropriate. Even people Otto really likes. Me? He'd probably let me get stabbed with a garden rake.
Posted By: aubie

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/23/13 02:44 PM

Chris, I agree with the breed specific traits. I hate when people bring dogs into their homes based on looks, then act shocked when their adorable wiener dog digs up their backyard or kills the family hamster.

Part of being a responsible pet owner is not only knowing your dogs individual limits, but the breeds' limits as well. Example, my sis/BIL's dog, Amos, is a pit they adopted. They know some of Amos' background, but due to his breed and not knowing his whole backstory, my BIL is very selective on where they take him. Amos himself is a giant sweetie/doofus, but he's more worried about other dog owners and their yappy beasts so he just doesn't put Amos in that situation.
Posted By: Wolfstraum

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/23/13 03:10 PM

Newstory here last night:

5 year old in hospital, mauled, mother bitten up as well.

Mother and child visiting friends...have been there before...apparently child has played with the dogs before. 5 loose with child...3 more in home (township law allows only 3 of this breed in one residence - roommates, had 8 between them - puppies maybe as well).

Child squeals, according to mother, and dogs start mauling him...skull wound long and to the bone, face bitten, face, arms and legs.....

Mother and dog's owners shocked, child knew dogs, had played with them often previously....

Unfortunately - this is a common news story - at least a couple of times a month here.

People just do NOT UNDERSTAND that dogs whose breed was specifically chosen for certain characteristics can and may display that characteristic...the Beagle for rabbits, the collie and GSD for herding, and the fighting breeds for fighting....

People can be so so so stupid!!!!!!!!!

Lee
Posted By: LifeAsMe

Re: It's all in how you raise them... - 03/23/13 04:21 PM

Wait...this child was left to play with FIVE loose dogs? Eight total dogs?

Morons...
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