You are probably wondering what nature and nurture have to do with your dog. It has everything to do with your dog’s behavior. Do dogs behave according to their instincts or do they learn behavior?
According to a study by American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation, “It is critical to remember that both genetics and environmental influences play an important role in the behavioral development of dogs. Through both responsible breeding and raising them will be possible to produce puppies that will successfully integrate into our lives.”
From this study, we learn that before adopting a puppy or an adult dog, you need to do a little background search, along with booking a force-free dog trainer to change your dog’s behavior.
The Role of Genetics
Has this ever happened to you? You go to purchase a dog, your friend advises you to meet the dog’s parents to know about his temperament. Or maybe you purchased a dog but were only able to meet one parent, but not the other. Now, you are noticing some troubling behavior in your dog. Genetics indeed play a huge role in a dog’s behavior. If a dog’s parents were aggressive or fearful, the adult dog is more prone to be aggressive or fearful. However, as said earlier, this doesn’t mean that his behavior cannot be modified.
Dogs, irrespective of their breed, can bite. Even a properly treated Golden Retriever has the possibility to exhibit behavioral problems. No matter what the reason, there’s one thing you can do to safely deal with the “nature vs. nurture” problem: a selective match.
For example, if you want a playful dog, ready to go on walks with you, a dog with higher energy, will be a better match for you. If you lead a sedentary life and want a lap dog, a better match for you would be a Maltese or Cocker Spaniel.
Every dog has a different personality, and that right there is nature for you. If a dog likes to play fetch, you can include such exercises in their daily routine to keep him active. This is nurture for you. If you spot your dog resource guarding, that could be either nature or nurture depending on the dog’s background. The good news is that this behavior can be modified with a few careful techniques by making your dog feel safe. Check out our blog “Resource Guarding in Dogs” to know more about it.
In short: it’s not always genes and breeds! Before adopting a dog, cover all your tracks by asking about the breeders and knowing the dog’s parents. Lastly, meet the dog in person so that you can experience how they react to you.
If you are struggling with your newly adopted dog, hire a force-free dog trainer to modify his behavior and teach him new tricks and cues. A professional will be better able to understand your dog and explain his temperament to you. For dog training in Miami, visit the website Dances with Dogs. They offer in-person and online dog training. To know more about their services or to schedule an appointment, call 786-299-1552.