DOGS - Personalities Within A Breed


Expectations of Behavior

If you based your breed choice for a new dog on your neighbor’s well mannered pooch, you may be barking up the wrong tree.  Like children, dogs have their own personality and being of the same breed or even of the same litter doesn’t guarantee like behavior even though they may share traits of the breed.

Our Corgis are a prime example. Rattler came to us as a 6 week old pup. He “talked” incessantly as a puppy. If he was playing or running, he was making noise. It soon became apparent that he prefers the indoors. As long as a family member is outside, he will stay out. Otherwise he takes care of his business, plays a little and is back scratching at the door to come inside. Well mannered and very intelligent, Rattler obeys as if he understands everything you say. He doesn’t swim well and isn’t fond of being in water. Though timid with the family, he doesn’t seem to realize he is the smallest dog on the block. He won’t run from a scuffle with another animal. He investigates any unusual noise.

When my son was offered a second Corgi pup, there was no hesitation. Our experience with the first was excellent and we fully expected dealing with the new addition to the family would be similar, especially in light of the fact that the pups had the same father and their mothers were sisters. Wrong!


Mudder entered the picture and our expectations of behavior were quickly dispelled. We soon caught on that he marches to the beat of his own drummer. His name comes from his propensity for seeking out mud puddles. His favorite pastime is to catch frogs as they jump up from the puddles. He is a swimmer. Mudder prefers the outdoors, wanting inside only when the summer heat becomes too much or when he is ready to sleep. He lies out in the yard in the snow or rain. When he scratches at the door, more often than not he is trying to get Rattler or a family member to come outside with him. He will simply sit and look at the person opening the door, refusing to come inside. He may walk away, hoping you will follow. Any unusual noise will send him scurrying to the door to come inside.

They share the traits and physical characteristics of the breed – both are happy dogs; they have thick hair and shed like crazy. Both “talk” and are much alike in their physical appearance. When it comes to personality, the similarities end. They must be treated as if you have a shy child and an outgoing child in the same household, or an athletic and a studious child. Do not set your expectations of behavior on breed alone - personalities within a breed may differ considerably.

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Comments 5 comments

FishAreFriends profile image

FishAreFriends 6 years ago from Colorado

DO you ever find trouble with clipping their nails...?

Karen Ray profile image

Karen Ray 6 years ago from Oklahoma Author

We really don't have much trouble with their nails. They keep them worn down fairly well. We have the acid washed concrete floors that they are on a lot, seems to keep them down a bit. We also use the thing that has a filing wheel - Pedipaws I think it is called.

zesha profile image

zesha 6 years ago

very good work you done. i like it . keep it up.

billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

Well we have two and there is no doubt they both have different personalities....and I can say the same about our six chickens. :) Have a great weekend.

Karen Ray profile image

Karen Ray 2 years ago from Oklahoma Author

That's funny, billybuc - about the chickens. Guess I never thought about a chicken having a personality. Thanks for commenting.

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