Last Updated on October 9, 2022 by Pets Feed
The dog belongs to the Canidae family, along with such animals as the fox, jackal, wolf and coyote, which affects the behavioral characteristics of such a pet. The character of any dog directly depends on breed characteristics and heredity, but competent education and training is also important.
Genetics or parenting
All dogs are very different in character. And the individuality or typological characteristics of an animal are determined by three main components:
- hereditary traits;
- signs of individuality;
- the severity of typological features.
Note! According to experts, the combination of typological traits of a dog’s character largely depends on the characteristics of the animal selection strategy adopted in each breed, but in most cases all dogs are friendly and completely human-oriented.
These components are not directly dependent on each other, so shy dogs are not necessarily subdominant and sensitive to pain, and brave and independent pets are not always dominant and insensitive to pain. There are a large number of combinations of such components and their degrees of severity, so you can decide on the choice of a particular dog breed.
The choice of breed
When choosing a dog breed, it is advisable to focus on the function of such a pet in the family:
- guard and protector;
- companion for walking or sports activities;
- friend and helper for fishermen / hunters;
- moral support of the owner or just a pet.
The breeds of dogs that are used as a hobby are considered separately. Such pets participate in exhibitions, breeding and improvement of breed characteristics. It is important to remember that if ease of training is a priority, then it is advisable to opt for a collie or a German shepherd, and it is advisable for beginners to avoid acquiring dogs with a complex wayward character, including the Chow Chow or the Bernese Mountain Dog.
Hunting dog breeds
In the lists of the international register of FCI, hunting breeds occupy six groups out of ten available, and their total number exceeds four hundred, which indicates the popularity and demand. Specialized breeds are designed for catching burrowing and wild animals, as well as birds.
Note! As the practice of dog breeding shows, some breeds can fully combine in themselves, of course, not all, but a significant part of the main functions.
A hunting-type dog needs compulsory competent training and sufficient walks. As a rule, such breeds get along very hard in a small apartment, due to the need to maintain physical activity. Groups uniting hunting breeds are represented by:
- Greyhounds including the Afghan Hound, Azawak, Greyhound, Deerhound, Greyhound, Russian Hound, Whippet and Pharaoh Hound;
- Finnish Spitz, West Siberian, Russian-European, Karelian, Yakut and East Siberian Laika, as well as the Norwegian Elkhound or Elk Dog and Karelian Bear Dog;
- Spaniels including the English Cocker Spaniel, American Cocker Spaniel, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Erect-eared Papillon, Hanging-eared Phalena, Russian Hunting Spaniel, Tibetan Spaniel, Welsh Springer Spaniel, Epanyol Breton and Clare;
When choosing a hunting breed, it is necessary to take into account the characteristics of the dog’s temperament, as well as its purpose. Terriers and dachshunds are medium-sized dogs that are large enough to hunt burrowing animals. Hound dogs, along with large terriers, work on large and small animals, driving prey to hunters or catching up and killing it.
Hounds can be track and hound breeds. The second option belongs to the category of gun dogs, capable of tracking down and bringing a killed animal. Depending on the style of work, such dogs can be used in open areas or in dense growth, as well as on the water. There are all-purpose breeds that hunt on water and on land.
Dogs for a large family
As practice shows, a typical and absolutely “family” breed of dogs does not currently exist. However, according to experienced breeders and specialists, dogs of the following breeds are best suited for a large family:
- Newfoundlands are large and strong dogs, ideal for keeping in a family with small children. Advantages of the breed: good nature, boundless dedication and patience. Breed defects: thick coat and too large size;
- German Shepherds are considered vicious and aggressive. And this is true, but only when it comes to strangers. Shepherd dogs adore members of their family and become excellent nannies for kids. These dogs require a lot of walking and exercise, professional training is required from an early age;
- Boxer: Despite their intimidating appearance, boxers are known for their kindness and universal tolerance when it comes to children. Perhaps the fact is that boxers stay in the puppy age up to 3 years, and playfulness and mobility remain even longer, so, like no one else, understand children’s entertainment;
- Papillons are small-sized family city dogs that are undemanding to living conditions and are good for children. Advantages of the breed: energy and intelligence, as well as a cheerful disposition. Breed defects: fragile body, prone to getting quite severe injuries in the process of careless play with children;
- Golden Retrievers are rightfully one of the best family dog breeds, just perfect for toddlers and teens. Advantages of the breed: love and incredible devotion, an excellent combination of intelligence with physical activity. Breed shortcomings: complete lack of guard qualities;
- Pugs are reliable and loyal dogs. Such a family friend has a small size, as well as an unusual and funny face. Advantages of the breed: complaisance and calmness, as well as benevolence and sufficient activity. Breed disadvantages: exactingness in care and the correct choice of diet;
- Labrador Retrievers are the most popular family dogs in America. The breed gets along well with children of all ages and is currently one of the most popular working dogs in the world. Breed benefits: friendliness and loyalty, enthusiasm and hard work, and incredible dedication. Breed defects: almost completely absent;
- Despite the fact that the bulldog looks like a character from a criminal chronicle, a kind disposition is hidden behind a threatening and brutal appearance. And although this breed can show aggression towards other dogs, these dogs allow people everything. Bulldogs are quite lazy, do not like long walks and are ideal for keeping in an apartment;
- Maltese: This is a very ancient and noble breed. Maltese lapdogs were mentioned by Aristotle. For centuries they have been companions of the nobility and a sign of luxury. Miniature and playful, the Maltese lapdogs are some of the best indoor companion dogs. Although they have long hair, the animals almost do not shed, and therefore they can be recommended even for allergy sufferers;
- Dachshunds are incredibly popular dogs in Europe, distinguished by their lively mind and resourcefulness, as well as restrained behavior in unfamiliar surroundings. Advantages of the breed: original and attractive appearance, cheerful disposition and friendliness to others. Breed disadvantages: the need to provide proper care and feeding ration;
- Dogue de Bordeaux: Originally bred as a guard breed, the Dogue de Bordeaux have evolved over time into a family companion dog. Huge and terrifying in their appearance, mastiffs are guaranteed to scare off intruders from your home. At the same time, they remain good-natured and tolerant when it comes to the family.
These giants are not suitable for keeping in an apartment, unless, of course, you are ready to give them a separate room so that they can stretch out to their full height. But sitting on a chain or in an aviary is also not for them. Mastiffs are best suited to a private home with a fenced-in area to patrol.
This breed is not suitable for beginner breeders. Giants need a steady hand and early training. Although mastiffs will never intentionally hurt a child, they can accidentally knock over or step on a toddler, so they are not recommended for families with small children.
- Basset Hounds are imposing and incredibly kind “family dogs”, characterized by low physical activity, quick wit and incredible loyalty. Advantages of the breed: friendliness to others, no need to provide high and constant physical activity. Breed Disadvantages: Not suitable for families with a preference for an active lifestyle.
- Boston Terriers give the impression of a smaller copy of a German boxer. These dogs have a cheerful and playful disposition, but at the same time they are patient enough not to show aggression towards the child.
Due to its small size, good health and unpretentiousness, Boston is an excellent choice for both apartments and private homes.
No wonder the Boston Terrier is currently considered the most popular breed in the United States.
In recent years, family dogs such as the Border Collie have become extremely popular in many countries. However, Rough Collies are not well suited for families with too young children, so they are most often purchased for teenagers.
Most often, companion dogs are acquired by elderly and lonely people who need a devoted and reliable friend. In this case, a pet is a friend for the soul, as well as an attentive and undemanding listener, which has a very positive effect on the emotional background of a person. When choosing a companion dog breed, it is necessary to take into account the temperament and physical activity of not only the pet, but also the potential owner, as well as their level of emotionality:
- The Pug is a medium-sized breed, ideal for a small city apartment. Such dogs do not require complex care and are picky about food. Thanks to their good-natured and very open nature, pugs are able to get along well with people;
- The English Cocker Spaniel is a breed that will be the best choice for active retirees or single people who are committed to a healthy lifestyle. Such a pet with great pleasure accompanies its owner on walking and cycling trips. Spaniels are characterized by cheerfulness and a positive attitude, and are also able to charge their owner with extremely positive emotions, which is due to a subtle mood and attention;
- Collie dog is playful, positive and active; however, dogs of this breed retain similar qualities for life. Such a pet should be started for people who are active, as it needs regular physical activity and long walks.
This breed can be found in various ratings regarding beauty, high intelligence or other qualities. There are several breed types: Rough-haired, Wire-haired and Short-haired collies. They are all smart, stately and suitable for living with a person, however, the most spectacular of them are individuals with long, luxurious coats.
- Pomeranians love their master so much that they can be jealous, but they still get along well with all household members, including pets. It is not difficult for a pet to travel with its owner, it tolerates trips well and does not worry too much being in a carrying bag.
These funny kids with toy looks are great companions. Their compact size allows you to keep your baby even in a small apartment. The innate curiosity of “Pomeranians” does not allow them to stand aside when something happens in the house, they are cheerful, active and inquisitive.
Suitable companions for a sedentary owner who prefers slow walks will be the Pekingese, Shih Tzu and Lhasa Apso, which are medium-sized, independent and unobtrusive.
Note! According to the observations of experienced dog handlers, unpretentious and medium-sized breeds, including the Maltese lapdog, Pekingese, Boston Terrier and Scotch Terrier, can also be considered as ideal companion dogs.
Guard dog breeds
The watchdog characteristics of a dog are determined by two main factors: breed characteristics and training program. The most popular watchdog breeds include:
- Caucasian Shepherd Dog;
- South Russian Shepherd Dog;
- Central asian shepherd dog;
- Moscow Watchdog;
- Dogo Argentino;
- German Shepherd;
It should be noted that any watch breed has a rather aggressive character, therefore, it requires socialization and early training.
Where do dog habits come from?
If the owner of the dog does not “explain” acceptable behavior to his pet through training, then the dog tries to learn about the world around him on his own, through trial and error. Most of the behavioral problems go away as the pet grows up and assimilates a variety of rules or requirements. Good and bad habits largely depend on the type of temperament of the dog.
Sanguine dogs have the most comfortable type of temperament to keep. Such pets have a calm disposition, quickly adapt to any changes in the environment, and are also characterized by an equal attitude towards other animals and children. A sanguine dog is able to cope well with stress and has a very balanced nervous system.
Choleric dogs have a higher nervous excitability than sanguine pets. Such animals are extremely active, capable of almost instantly reacting to any external stimuli. As a rule, it is difficult to educate a choleric dog, which is due to irrepressible energy and an insufficiently high level of concentration. It is recommended to choose animals with a choleric temperament for very active people.
Phlegmatic dogs are calm and even-tempered, able to withstand significant loads and treat children well, but are difficult to learn and often have unwanted habits. Rare psychoemotional statuses include melancholic dogs, which are characterized by timidity and indecision, and also poorly adapt to external factors.
It should be noted that the culling of dogs with bad habits was, as a rule, carried out by specialists, including breeders and trainers, who excluded unsuitable individuals at a very early stage of development, in puppyhood.
Do you need dog training?
You can determine the need for training if you focus on the following indicators:
- a pet has strange behavior in the presence of a stranger;
- the dog is “naughty” when feeding, refusing a normal diet;
- the animal periodically shows disobedience;
- the pet expresses dissatisfaction with the behavior of the owner or family members;
- the dog is aggressive towards young and old family members or constantly requires increased attention.
According to experienced dog handlers, the character of a pet is formed exclusively with age, therefore, starting from puppyhood, it is necessary to start raising and training the dog.
Informal or amateur training is characterized by the absence of test rules, so each owner independently teaches his pet the skills that he considers necessary. Show training or the ability of a dog to show itself in the ring conditions, preparation for agility competitions, protection of the house and the owner can also be attributed to this group.
All training courses known today can be divided into the following forms:
- Adaptive training. Including the skills of non-attack on strangers or other people’s animals without a team, the absence of fear of city transport. In our country, various modifications have become especially widespread, including the course of general obedience or CPC;
- Special training. It is widely used in various departmental divisions and includes the skills of searching for drugs and explosives, guides for the blind, patrol and guard service;
- Test training. Presented by passing tests for the pet’s required traits, including SchH and IPO.
Note! Particularly popular is contrast training using elements of all three methods, including mechanical action, painful or non-painful, through which the desired action can be achieved from the dog.
Several areas are used, including mechanical training, taste-encouraging training according to the Durov method. And also, the method of limiting the possibilities of error and special repetitions or the police school of training.
How to understand your dog
To understand your dog’s desires, you need to learn to recognize the verbal cues given by your pet:
- in a confident and relaxed state, the dog stands upright, slowly wags its tail, the mouth is closed or slightly open, and the eyes have small pupils;
- a frightened or alarmed dog stand, slightly bent over, hides its tail under its belly, presses its ears and opens its eyes wide;
- in an aggressive state, the dog has a tense posture, lifts up or pulls back a very tense tail, and also raises the scruff of the neck.
- in an aggressively frightened state, the dog shrinks, completely hides its tail under the belly and presses its ears, opens its eyes wide.
Verbal cues from a dog include howling, growling, grunting or “mumbling”, whining and barking, which can be high or low.
Tips for choosing a dog
Attention should be paid to the most important parameters of choice, which are represented by the complexity of care and ease of training, attitude towards the elderly and young children. Among other things, it is necessary to take into account the breed characteristics of the dog:
- Mastiffs and St. Bernards, as well as other larger breeds, tend to have musculoskeletal problems;
- the English Bulldog snores loudly enough at night, and also has a hard time tolerating any climatic changes, including heat;
- Dachshunds in adulthood are characterized by an increased risk of developing hind limb paralysis;
- the presence of skin folds in Shar Pei and Mastino-Neapolitano is often the cause of the development of age-related blindness;
- Older German Shepherd Dogs are characterized by urinary problems and pelvic dysfunctions that arise as a result of the peculiarities of the body.
When choosing a puppy, it is important to remember that at the age of two months you can very approximately determine the temperament of the future pet, following its reaction to external stimuli.
Behavior of the owner and other family members
Often, illiterate actions of the owner of the dog and family members negatively affect the character of the pet and provoke the appearance of undesirable behavior in the animal. Cruel treatment, the use of rudeness or physical force during training or in the process of education can worsen the character of the dog.
Beating, as well as slaps and snaps on the nose, can turn an adequate animal into a fearful and vicious dog that poses a real threat to everyone around. Not only an inappropriate attitude towards a dog can spoil the character of a pet, but also excessive love, as well as permissiveness and connivance.
Important! A spoiled animal behaves inappropriately, therefore it is strictly forbidden to treat a pet from the table.
Among other things, it is imperative to explain to children the rules of behavior with a dog. Otherwise, even the most good-natured dog is able to show aggression and inflict bites. It is very difficult to control an improperly raised dog, and in some cases, it is absolutely impossible.