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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.