Every Dog Has A Unique Personality! No Two Dogs Are Alike!
We know dogs are sentient beings, meaning they have feelings. But do dogs also have personalities?
I have found several researchers who have actually researched this question. Research on dog personality identified several dimensions to their personalities. Here are some:
- Reactivity (approach or avoidance of new objects, increased activity in novel situations)
- Fearfulness (shaking, avoiding novel situations)
- Sociability (initiating friendly interactions with people and other dogs)
- Responsiveness to Training (working with people, learning quickly)
A basic fact: Dogs do have a personality, and it can be described in very specific terms, just like those of humans.
These traits even have their equivalents in human personalities. For instance, reactivity and fearfulness are features of human openness to experience, Submissiveness and aggression are components of human agreeableness, sociability is a manifestation of extraversion-introversion in humans.
That is the research aspect. I also know any pet parent will tell me all about their dogs personality. If you have more than one dog like I do, you are able to see the different personality between the multiple dogs. It has also been determined that genetics also have influence on personality for dogs.
Considering all these facts and pet parent observations, let's discuss dogs personality in lay persons terms.
- Confident Dog - this is the dog who (if socialized well) loves people and other dogs. This is the dog who is comfortable in his surroundings and may be a bit of a challenge in training. This dog knows what he wants to do and will attempt tcommunicate this to you. Respecting this dogs confidence will help a pet parent enjoy being with this dog versus developing power struggles over who is the boss.
- Shy Dog - This is the dog who may physically move back from new people or other dogs. This is a dog who is timid about his environment and may even shake and demonstrate discomfort with new situations. This dog is sensitive to loud noises and harsh sounds. It’s important to give a shy/timid dog plenty of opportunities to succeed to help boost his self confidence, and daily exercise to stimulate his mind.
- Easy Going Dog - This dog is laid back and greets new situations and people with positive energy. This is a happy dog. This dog can be fun to train and always seems up for an adventure. Spending time training and playing with this dog will be fun for him and his pet parent.
- Adaptable Dog - This dog is eager to please and that makes him a candidate for being fun to train. This is a dog that can adapt to change in his environment. This dog is often co-operative and affectionate and may also be a candidate to be a Therapy dog.
Enjoying our dogs unique personality is important. Accepting or dog as he is, is just as important. Trying to make a dog behave differently than their personality dictates is not going to be successful. No one wants to be in a relationship where the goal is to change who they basically are.
Getting to know our dogs personality and enjoying this unique quality is part of our journey getting to know each other.
DOGS HAVE PERSONALITY!
WOOFS & SMILES!