Don't even get me started #2 Temperament

I'm started now and continue on my 3 part series of Don't even get me started. Todays #2 part focuses on temperament and what should and should not be bred. Very recently I have been focusing on temperament alot; with the consideration of adding another dog to my pack it is of the utmost importance to add the right dog. My pack is a perfect one; it runs smoothly and I am not willing to give that up. That means that a huge amount of work is put into finding lines that I like in regards to temperament.

Temperament: the combination of mental, physical, and emotional traits, natural predisposition.

A dog is born with their temperament and that specific temperament will determine how they react to life experiences. That said there is a huge responsibility put onto a breeder and a new guardian with regards to what they offer the dog through early socialization. As most of you know I am a temperament tester; and feel that it is a very important part of raising a litter. Most temperament tests are similar so when I talk to a breeder and hear the numerical results of a test this gives me a good deal of information on a particular puppy.

But the recipe for this puppy is vastly important; what temperaments went into the creation of this temperament. Temperament is passed down from Dam and Sire; not in the form of being identical but if you start with good stuff there is a better chance that the resulting puppies will have good temperaments. Of course there is always the chance that someone might not have a good temperament; that happens with people to. But by taking out any temperament traits that are not desirable in your breeding stock; really helps to ensure great puppies.

Many breeds have been ruined by bad breeders; a bad breeder in this context being someone who bred a dog that should not have been bred. Being a breeder is serious work; you are creating dogs to offer to the general public and you have a big responsibility to offer the best possible puppies that you can. Often so much hope and anticipation is put onto one dog that temperament may be overlooked. Oh you may know that his/her temperament is not the greatest but "oh that head, that movement or that amazing coat," clouds your decision making capabilities.

Of course each breed have different types of temperaments; soft, hard, sharp etc. But if one of your breeding dog exhibits a temperament that you would not unquestionable choose yourself then your next step should be off to the vets with that dog to be altered. If breeders in general took a closer look and only bred amazing temperaments it would indeed cut down on "bad dog" numbers. Some of the breeds with notoriously bad temperaments use to be some of the great ones. But with over breeding and careless breeding too many bad temperaments got into the soup creating now a bad breed instead of a few bad individuals.

Some breeds that I see on a regular basis that need work in the temperament department are:

German Shepherds
Border Collies
Australian Shepherds
Cocker spaniels

These are just the ones I see on a regular basis with some really bad temperaments. Some breeds have been bred for specific purposes like herding or guarding. But while focusing on one aspect or trait other parts can be lost and the puppies that end up in a average family home cannot make it. These are the dogs that find themselves passed from one home to another finally ending up in a shelter. Dogs should be bred specifically for all; a dog can happily coexist in the average family home. Yes there are breeds with more specific traits; but even these dogs should have great temperaments.

One of the many great things about dogs is that they can adjust and they do that well. Even a dog who has been dealt with a bad temperament from a lack of good breeding can be turned around with the dedicated work of a new guardian. Temperament is what a dog is born with; temperament is how a dog reacts to life itself. With work the reactions can change and a dog born with a lack of confidence can learn to be confident, an over dominant dog can learn to "fit in" with the right guardian. So although you are who you are so to speak; a dog can change.

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