Understanding Your Dogs Temperament and Nature

The Resource for Everything About Dogs

Understanding Your Dogs Temperament and Nature

by Chan Kum Chee

It’s a well-known fact that dogs have descended from wolves but began domestic living with humans for more than 5,000 years ago. As a result, a dog’s nature and personality has as much to do with his environment as it does his breed.

By understanding why your dog’s temperament and nature can go a long way towards understanding why your dog does what he does, when he does it.

However, some general traits still stand out regardless of the dog’s breeds and environment.

Dogs are Predators

Dogs are said to be a better predator as they process acute hearing, wide range of vision and strong sense of smell.

With their acute hearing and head muscles that allow precise orientation of their ears, dogs can pick up a range of sounds and locate the source quickly and with high accuracy.

Also his field of vision is higher than that of humans. It is estimated that a dog's field view can be from 180-270 degrees, while in comparison, a human's vision range is only 100-150 degrees. This allow them to track events better and hence a better predator.

A dog's sense of smell is believed to have 25 times as many scent-receptor cells or being able to sense concentrations 100 million times smaller than humans.

Golden Retrievers, for example, can smell gophers through two feet of packed snow and a foot of frozen earth. And, they'll dig through it to get to the gopher. That's predatory behavior.

Dogs are Social Animals

As much as we acknowledge our dogs to be highly social in nature, very often this is being ignored. We find dog owners often lock a lone dog away in a garage or a crate or on a rope in the yard for long periods. This isolation from contact with humans and even other animals invariably leads to fear and/or aggression and other forms of maladjustment. Dogs need companionship in order to develop healthy behavior.

Isolating a dog for brief periods for purpose of training and behavior adjustment can be useful. Fear of expulsion from the pack can put overly assertive, alpha-status seeking dogs into alignment with the trainer's goals. In any human-dog pair, the human must be the alpha (leader). Otherwise, the consequences might be property destruction, human frustration and unsafe conditions for people (both adults and children) and dogs.

But excessive time devoid of social interaction with another dog, the human, or even a friendly cat can harm a dog's psychology and can lead to unwanted behavior.

Dogs are Exploratory

Dogs are like two-year-old humans, which learn by exploring their environment and may even engage in destructive behavior. Dogs are no respecters of property. Training and an appropriately selected set of objects and suitable area can channel that behavior into something acceptable to humans and healthy for the dog.

Providing toys with characteristics very distinct from human property, such as rawhide bones rather than rubber balls that are hard to tell from children's, leads to less confusion and misbehavior.

Like their ancestors, wolf, it is within the dogs' nature to dig as part of the dog's exploration. Be prepared to patch holes in lawn if the dog is unsupervised for very long. Plants can usually be protected with cayenne pepper paste, bitter apple and other preparations.

Dogs are Scavengers

Have you ever noticed that your dog will eat deer droppings, even when he already has a sumptous meal? Dogs may even chew on dead rats, eat grass and ingest a wide variety of things - and they'll repeat the behavior day after day, though such actions may eventually cause them stomach upsets.

This is because dogs do not understand the concept of cause and effect, especially when the two are separated in time. So as responsible owners, we have to minimise such happenings to keep our dogs healthy and safe.

Recognizing a dog's nature, and working within in it rather than against it leads to less frustration for both human and dog. Enjoying the beneficial aspects, such as spontaneous dog hugs (leaning into a leg), paw offering and a head laid on the lap are just a few of the rewards.

Want to learn more about training and caring for your dog, visit http://www.kumchee.com/dog-training-tips to get your FREE time-tested dog training and care tips.

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