How can you determine a dog's personality?


Quick Answer

Many times, canine personalities can be directly observed through behaviors. For example, If a dog consistently steals toys from other pets or plays rough, it may have a tendency towards bullying. Alternatively, dogs with more gentle, passive natures tend to absorb bullying, stick close to their parents or owners, and make ideal companions for doting masters rather than disciplinarians.

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Full Answer

If a dog appears overly timid, it may lack a strong sense of self. In some cases, this trait indicates prior abuse. These dogs are easily overwhelmed by other pets or young children, and may creep along on their bellies or arch their backs in a submissive fashion. Alternatively, more independent, self-assured dogs typically alternate successfully between play with others and healthy alone time.

Some researchers suggest specific tests to evaluate adult canine personalities. For instance, try rolling the dog onto his back. If the dog refuses, he may be exhibiting anything from a dominant will to tension or anxiety. Another option is to lift the dog from the floor, holding him either below the armpits or by the paws. A dog that allows such movement may be demonstrating compromise and submission, while resistance indicates a rebellious streak.

A dog's temperament is partly a reflection his genetic makeup, so it's advisable to research specific breeds before purchase or adoption.

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