A dog’s temperament. Why we do temperament testing in puppies.
With all puppies that are born with us, as well as with the puppies that we purchase from other breeders we do character tests directly from the day of birth. Unfortunately, very few breeders look at the behaviour of newborn puppies. As a rule, breeders give you the first indication about the character once the puppies are several weeks old and usually breeders find a character assessment of the ancestors sufficient. We don’t. During the first stages of life of a puppy, the character besides health is a crucial part for the combination of the dog and the new owner. For our breeding line, the puppy with the best character is preferred, no matter how beautiful the other puppies look. Why is that so?
Meanwhile, studies show that a dog’s temperament is 100% genetic. Although the behavior can be shaped by training and therapy, a dog in a stressful situation will always return to its genetically inherited temperament. The character of the puppy is therefore very important for choosing the new owner and vice versa. That’s why we work on the RAW dog™ principle, developed by the Dire Wolf Project.
For example, if we want to breed an open and friendly family dog, the ‘often unwanted’ character traits are dominantly inherited, therefore it is important to select the parents well. By means of a good selection, a breeder can easily breed dominant characteristics (in this case undesirable behavior). On the other hand, certain characteristics may be important for someone who wants to breed a driven and watchful dog (e.g. a police dog). Do you want to bring in a puppy that suits you? Then look for a breeder who can give you a good explanation about the character of each puppy from the litter and do not choose purely by appearance.
Different character types
In the boxes at the bottom you can see different traits, which we believe are inherited separately. On a scale of 1 to 10, the recessive characteristics are on the left side and the dominant properties are displayed on the right. Given the variations shown for each phenotype, a polygenic inheritance is very likely. Therefore, each of these attributes is displayed on a variable scale. So, although one trait is dominant over another, a heterozygous dog may tend to the dominant trait. This may also mean that the phenotypic dominant properties are incomplete, allowing the recessive properties of a heterozygous dog to tend to the other side in varying degrees.
Submissive ⇔ Dominant
A very submissive dog is usually easy to train, if he is enthusiastic he may take a pee or roll on his back. They bend easily to the will of another and have no need to take over the leadership. In contrast, dominant dogs are generally idiosyncratic and confident. They do not deteriorate easily and are not afraid, especially when faced with an incentive.
Friendly ⇔ Offensive
An friendly dog is open and willing to greet everyone. Cheerfully wagging and panting, he draws someone else’s attention. An introverted or distant dog is usually not interested in other people or dogs, only once he is approached, will he show with a slight wagging or staring that he has observed you. Although disinterested, he is not afraid and will accept one positively intended affection from another. An offensive dog will first stare and then lift his neck hairs when approached. Should the person or dog go on with his approach, he bares his teeth and eventually falls forward in an attempt to make another disappear. This type of aggression should not be equated with nervousness, although both can coexist.
Calm ⇔ Hyperactive
Relaxed dogs spend most of the time sleeping and resting or looking around the world. They don’t require much movement. Hyperactive dogs are physically always on the move, digging, chewing, running, hunting and discovering. Often it is difficult to separate the genetically based hyperactivity from the normal high energy that a dog can have. Because hyperactivity is an undesired trait and can be inherited, we exclude hyperactive and overly enthusiast dogs from the breeding program.
Inattentive ⇔ Alert
Inattentive dogs aren’t paying attention to their surroundings. They don’t look around and just take the events in their environment as it is. They can be impulsive and often cheerful to clueless. Watchdogs, on the other hand, are aware of everything that surrounds them. They can be described as a dog that is paying attention. They hear the smallest sound and see the slightest movement. Alert dogs are therefore good guard dogs.
Confident ⇔ Insecure
As a rule, a confident dog does not or barely respond to unexpected events. He stays calm in almost every situation. He investigates people or situations that are unknown. The insecure dog is usually afraid of unknown people, dogs and other stimuli and shows this in different ways (nose licking, yawning, turning away, falling out or fleeing). He is sensitive to sound and movement and does not take the initiative to investigate the stimulus but often reacts immediately without thinking (reflex and therefore does not take into account consequences. The larger the dog, the more intense the fear is shown. A dog with this genetically based insecure behavior cannot be cured by training or therapy and needs a confident boss. Even though this type of dog initially seems like an excellent watchdog, but excessive out-of-control behavior, coupled with a lack of trust, would always remain a nuisance to other people and dogs. The 2nd known type of uncertainty can arise from wrong socialization or bad experiences. This type of uncertainty can be reduced or fixed by the right training. In order to exclude the genetically based type of uncertainty in advance, insecure dogs are not included in our breeding program for family dogs. If a dog is still anxious or insecure during its development up to 18 months, we declare the dog as unsuitable for breeding.
Master-oriented ⇔ Independent
The master-oreinted type is a dog that wants to be celebrated, they want to meet everything their owners ask and are satisfied when they get the recognition for the task performed. One or the other would replace the word master-oriented for loyalty, although this characteristic is more than just loyalty, but also a genetically based desire to attach something or someone. An independent dog has its own representation of a territory and task such as a herd protection dog. He has nature’s desire to do what is most beneficial to the herd at that time. He doesn’t mind being out of sight of their owners and moves freely if allowed. They have no desire to please, but want to satisfy their instincts purely. They show no excessive interest in humans or other dogs and follow their own agenda.
Lazy ⇔ Driven
This category contains both play and prey, because they are closely related to each other. A lazy dog does not challenge to play, but must be persuaded. He doesn’t tend to pick up a ball or frisbee and doesn’t find active games interesting. The driven dog, on the other hand, easily chases moving objects. They swing, grab, shake and pull on toys. They can often spend a long time with a ball or toy until they get tired of it. In dog sport, driven dogs are ideal for agility, sleuthing or protection dog work.
Coarse ⇔ Sensitive
A coarse dog can put a lot of pressure on the line and exert a lot of force on his body without reacting. A dog of this type does not recognize a soft touch and prefers to be handled with deep pressure and a lot of manipulation such as lifting and rolling. Touch-sensitive dogs do not need much pressure to react and respond to a very light touch.
Not-soundsensitive ⇔ Noise-sensitive
Dogs that are not sound sensitive do not get nervous by loud noises of any kind. Sound-sensitive dogs can react anxiously to sounds by barking, crying, hiding, etc. Although nervousness is part of this category, a confident dog can easily be sound-sensitive and show fear of thunderstorms, gunshots and other sudden loud noises. This is a different story than a dog that reacts nervously to unknown situations.
High pain-threshold ⇔ Low pain-threshold
Dogs with a high pain threshold don’t seem to feel much pain. This type of dog may not show any outward signs that it is hurt or sick. When shots are fired, he stays calm. A dog with a low pain threshold, on the other hand, will quickly cry and yelp when in pain. After the cause of the pain.
The personality profile contains behaviour in the dogs daily life, a result of inherited traits and learned behaviour like raising, training and the environment the dog lives in. We have added the most interesting traits below into the profiles:
- Behaviour towards people
- Behaviour towards children
- Behaviour towards unknown dogs
- Behaviour towards other species of pets
- Behaviour in house
- Behaviour in new environment (City, parties, markets, high traffic streets, beach)
- Vocal behaviour
- Guarding tendencies
- Behaviour while being treated (vet, groomer, etc.)