"The All-Important Temperament in Dogs

"The All-Important Temperament in Dogs

Life As A Pet Parent

There's been a lot of focus on breeding good conformation into dogs and the same goes for their health and any inherited disorders associated with a breed. When it comes to a dogs' temperament, breeders hope the best traits will be inherited from both parent dogs, but this is never a very exact science which means it can be a bit “hit and miss” and this applies to all dogs whether they are pedigrees or not.

All dogs need to be nice natured with kind temperaments and to the credit of our canine friends, they remain calm and super kind even when they find themselves in noisy towns where there are rather nasty and unusual smells to cope with. Responsible breeders focus on using dogs and bitches with nice natures and tend to steer away from using any dogs scared of their own shadows, even when they've been well socialised and trained. A nervous dog through no fault of their own, can be a scary animal to be around in any situation.

What is good temperament in a Dog?

A dog with the right temperament means something different to different people, and as such there are breeds out there that fit in with many lifestyles. Some people enjoy the great outdoors and love to share their passion with their canine friends. Other people are looking more for a companion they can share a quieter kind of life with, and then there are people who adore dogs but who are allergic to them. The only option for them, is to adopt or buy a dog that sheds little or one that has no fur at all – and this does not guarantee they will not suffer from allergies.

However, a dog's temperament can be greatly influenced by their owners with a lot of bad behavioural traits resulting in poor control, and a lack of understanding when things go wrong. But with this said, good temperaments and nice natures should include the following traits from the word go, what happens to a dog's personality is then up to their owners:

  • A nice stable, laid back character
  • A happy, content disposition
  • Not at all neurotic, frightened or shy
  • Quiet natured and not hyperactive
  • Not aggressive in any way, shape or form in all situations
  • Confident by nature and tolerant when children are around
  • Not afraid of loud noises
  • Not dominant by nature
  • Being able to be handled by many different people without experiencing undue stress

Different Breeds Boast Different Temperaments

There's a reason why certain breeds are used as seeing eye dogs and hearing dogs and the same can be said of dogs that become part of the police force. Dogs that work in airports and others that work alongside the military, are chosen because of their breed's character traits, all of which are well suited to the sort of job they are asked and trained to do.

When it comes to choosing a family pet, a good natured dog will fit in well with a family's lifestyle but careful thought is still needed when choosing the right breed for your family environment. If you live in town, getting a collie or another very active breed would be a mistake, whereas choosing a breed known to have a quieter and more laid back disposition could work out that much better.

The First Few Weeks Are Important – The Next 12 Months Essential

The first few weeks of a puppy's life are very important but the following 12 months are crucial too. Guide dogs spend the first year of their lives in the safe hands of people who are known as their “puppy walkers” with other assistant dog groups doing the same thing when training young dogs. These 12 months are when puppies get “out there” so they find out about the world they live in, and the earlier they get to do this, the better the outcome of their final training to become valuable guide dogs.

The Importance of Dogs Being Handled By Strangers

Aside from a dog having a nice temperament and disposition when they are around the family they live with, dogs also need to be relaxed around strangers. A well balanced, happy dog should not be unduly stressed if a stranger takes hold of their lead or indeed of their collar. In an emergency like a car accident, it is really important to know a stranger will be able to rescue a dog from the vehicle without any difficulty. Dog owners need to appreciate this and do all they can to ensure their pets would not object to a stranger handling them, should the need arise.

Assessing your dog's temperament is important and there are certain reactions they have to certain things which you need to be aware of and note down. These reactions include the following:

  • How does your dog react to a friendly approach
  • How to they react to other dogs
  • How do they react when confined in a small space
  • How does your dog react to unusual noises and objects
  • How do they react to unusual obstacles
  • How do they react to crowd, heights and traffic
  • How do they react to people in uniform
  • How do they react when left in the car
  • How do they react when let off their leads in a safe park

Once you note down your dogs' reaction to certain situations, you then need to assess how safe you think they are, and you need to be honest with yourself. If there are areas that need improving, you should consider taking your pet to a dog training class and discuss the problem with an expert.


Looks and conformation in dogs are both important, but then so are temperament and disposition no matter what the breed of dog happens to be. It goes without saying that certain breeds are quieter than others but at the end of the day, it is very much up to breeders to establish a well socialised and well balanced puppy ready for new owners to take on. It is then up to the new owners to help form and develop a puppy's personality so they become lovely trustworthy personalities to have around.

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