A key to understanding dog behavior is understanding dog temperaments. Dog temperament describes a canine’s natural disposition or tendencies. When we say that a particular dog has a ‘loyal’ temperament, for example, we mean that it’s naturally inclined to remain loyal to its owner. Other types of temperament describe a dog’s independence, friendliness, or aggressiveness while additional kinds cover a wide range of behaviors. When buying or adopting a dog, temperament should play an important role in your decision since it can influence the one you pick. Here’s how to pick a canine with the right temperament!
Look For Sociable Dog Temperaments
If you need a dog that’s friendly toward your family, neighbors, and friends, you’ll definitely want to seek one with a high sociable temperament. Dogs with a sociable temperament are less likely to bark, growl, or attack strangers. They’re also much more tolerant of children than others dogs, making them a premium choice for people who have full families or who live in close knit-communities.
Look For The Human Touch
A good sign of a lovable dog is its non-resistance to petting and hugs. A dog that shies away or retreats from physical attention is a dog that hasn’t been properly socialized. But don’t discount a shy dog right away. Adult dogs that have been abused exhibit this kind of behavior because they’ve lost whatever trust for humans they used to have. In due time, and with sufficient love and respect, you can turn even the shyest and timid dog into one that not only accepts your affection but one that requests the same from you as well.
Look For Composure
If you want to bring a dog into a home with small, young children – in particular, babies – you’ll definitely want to seek out a dog that has a naturally calm disposition. Does that excite easily may demonstrate aggressive behavior where none is needed? The high shrill of a baby’s cry, for example, may send an excitable dog into a wild frenzy, ready to bark, chase, or bite anything in its way. So will the loud thunder of children running through the hallway, or the screams of joy coming from video game players.
To see if a dog is excessively excitable, try to stimulate it by making some noise and moving about in a playful way. Most dogs will interpret this as an invitation to some sort of amusement and join in on the fun. What differentiates most dogs from excitable dogs, however, is that most dogs will calm down after they realize playtime is over. Excitable dogs will continue to vie for your attention even after you’ve indicated time play is over. They may even get a little aggressive too.
Look For Independence
Although you may not want a dog that’s aloof and/or unsociable, you won’t necessarily want a “cling-on” either! Some canines act as though they can’t stand the thought of leaving their owners, and they express this emotion with an undesirable dog temperament. Known as separation anxiety, this emotion is evident in canines that excessively pant or otherwise demonstrate signs of stress. Walk away from your dog of interest and observe the reaction you get. The ideal pet will occupy itself while you’re busy doing other things or simply wait for your return.
Look For Safety
It’s natural for animals to be curious. But by the time a dog grows to an adult, it should already know what cars look like, sound like, and do. It should already know about cats, birds, and squirrels, and it should already know that fences are boundaries. If your dog of interest doesn’t seem to know about these things, you’re looking at a canine that needs more training than usual, a high fenced yard, and a strong leash!