Breed specifics

"Breeding to better the breed;" is a common phrase in the dog world. But what does it actually mean? I have the chance to meet breeders of just about all the breeds there are and I love learning about each, I find the little breed specific facts facinating. But as on onlooker and lover of all it sometimes makes me laugh when I hear people say things like "oh this breed should not be an outside dog," or "this breed must have training and socializing." Because that is a blanket statement.

Yes there are breed specific hardwired behaviors - “Hardwired” is often used loosely to refer to functions that are innate and unlearned in living systems: “The ability to perceive objects in a certain way appears to be hardwired into the brains of mammals.” Hardwired behaviors can be very breed specific; from herding, chasing, swimming etc. There are hardwired behaviors that are common in all dog breeds and mixes that are not breed specific like grooming, predation and communication.

Most breeds do well with other breeds, dogs speak dog. So although there are breed specific behaviors they are all much more similar than many "breed lovers" would like to admit. The breed specifics that makes us want a certain breed are more the external behaviors, surface stuff so to speak. Are they the relaxed type, high strung, retrieving maniacs, guard dog type or live to please guys?

I sort of look at hardwired behaviors as having two distinct levels or tiers, the all dog hardwired behaviors and then the breed specific hardwired behaviors. And the second tier hardwired behaviors are the ones we pick and choose from. Some of the toy breeds having had most of their predatory behaviors bred out; being bred strictly as companion dogs can happily coexist with birds and rodents. Where other breeds who have not been bred as strictly companion dogs have a hardwired reaction to rodents and birds which is very predatory.

Human intervention has made one species very different; what started out as one has become many indeed.

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