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#236577 - 06/16/12 09:26 AM Re: It's all in how you raise them... [Re: Kayos]
debbieg Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/20/10
Posts: 1041
Loc: CA
Likes: 7
Anyone who has seriously raised more then one dog knows this is not true. Even from the same litter pups are genetically different.


It takes a lot to screw up good genetics, and it takes a lot of work to bring the best out of bad genetics ( and sometimes the best is still not very good)

The only way I agree with "It's all in how you raise them" is that Dogs of different temperaments need to be raised differently.One size does not fit all.

Dogs of different temperaments need to be raised differently. My Eli was a soft/ sensitive dog. He responded to positive training and very light corrections often just my voice. Anything harder would shut him down.

Benny on the other hand needs a much stronger hand, the occasional "come to Jesus" meeting just to get his attention.

We must raise each dog according to who the dog is.

Benedict GSD 4/13/09
Annie ABPT 4/11/09
Jake Borzoi 12/3/09

Waiting at the Bridge

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#236618 - 06/16/12 05:20 PM Re: It's all in how you raise them... [Re: debbieg]
Mary Jane Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/16/10
Posts: 2740
Likes: 129
Just to offer what I understand is the biology (I may be mistaken).

Dogs have been genetically engineered by people for centuries, selecting individuals for breeding for physical traits and for behavioral characteristics. From what I know, there is literally no other organism in which human intervention has created such diversity. For instance, dogs, on average, may weigh 35lb, but it would be a very unusual Yorkie or a very unusual Mastiff who weighed 35lb. In just the same way, dog breeds differ in their behaviors. Most livestock guardians are more independent than most herding dogs, so you can predict how many, not all, individuals will behave in some respects with no input from their owner at all. This is all easier to understand with regard to pure-bred dogs, but the same thing applies to any dog.

It's simply inconsistent with the facts that dog owners account for most of their dog's behaviors. Of course, owners have influence. But dogs start with a lot of hard-wired behaviors, that we might modify.

Mary Jane

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#236633 - 06/16/12 06:59 PM Re: It's all in how you raise them... [Re: Mary Jane]
SunCzarina Offline

Registered: 02/16/10
Posts: 2157
Loc: West Bay RI
Likes: 15
Since I don't want my head to pop off, I'm not reading it rofl

Nature vs nurture is the oldest argument in the dog world.

It's in Morgan's nature to be aggressive, not with her family because her nurture is NO WE DON"T DO THAT. Doesn't mean she won't come on too strong with people who aren't family.

My latest let's see what nature does case, the little shepherd girl who lives on the corner of the next block. Perhaps it sums it all up to say they're pick up the little dog when it acts up people.

Bella is the oldest son's pup, she's 9 months old. He's like 11. The only resource he has for raising this dog is ME when his little sister comes over to play with my daughter. The other day I was blowing Otto's coat out on the sidewalk and he was LOL blown away by the fur. I laughed because Otto's a close coat and maybe it's his DDR blood but he does not grow that much undercoat. Little Bella's a long coat.

She's a darling pup, of her own nature because the kid certainly has no clue. The mother is nice enough and loves the dog but she's a purse dog woman. The father passed away. The grandmother lives with them, she's country folk, let the dog run loose... So Bella's often on my front lawn visiting Otto (he hates that)

Bella, she's so beautiful. I think she's showline. They dont' know.

Otto von Hena-c 5/23/08
Penny the Pocket Panther 8/2/10
Venus of Crooked Creek 1/25/13 Vivacious V!!!

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#237020 - 06/18/12 02:36 PM Re: It's all in how you raise them... [Re: SunCzarina]
Liesje Offline

Registered: 02/10/10
Posts: 2022
Likes: 52
You cannot change the genetics. In Schutzhund we are always told that in a stressful situation (like a good trial with some real pressure from the helper) the dog will revert to it's genetics, it's foundation training, and it's later training and proofing, in that order. The way I see it is that genetics will determine where along a spectrum of a given trait that a dog might fall, but nurture/training/socialization can pin-point more precisely where within the confines of genetics the dog actually falls. However nurture/training/socialization cannot push a dog outside of the boundaries of their genetics. This means the same dog might end up differently depending on who owns it but never outside of the inherited genes.

I have witnessed enough anecdotal proof that I will not be convinced otherwise (and likewise, I used to believe that nurture had a lot more influence than I currently believe). For example, I've seen dogs that lived in a kennel from 6weeks to over a year old with no training, no socialization come out of that kennel and within days be very happy and stable, integrated with their human and dog pack. I've seen dogs that were neglected and abused act as though they've never known an enemy. I've also seen (and own) dogs that have had every advantage from birth act fearful and skittish or show inappropriate thresholds for aggression or flight/flight reaction.

Edited by Liesje (06/18/12 02:40 PM)
Lies & Nikon
Blue Horizon German Shepherd Dogs

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#237599 - 06/20/12 05:55 PM Re: It's all in how you raise them... [Re: Qyn]
Leesa Offline

Registered: 02/15/10
Posts: 427
Loc: Maryland
Likes: 6
I do believe that in a lot of dogs, people (owners) have screwed them up because of the way they've raised them, don't understand their behaviors, traits, etc.. Unfortunately I see it all to often and have lived with it first hand.. Yes, genetics also plays a part in this.. But, even dogs with good genetics if raised incorrectly can have problems and become nightmares..

Chaos v. Wildhaus, SchH2,OB3 (HOT) Forever in my heart ~ Bismark v. Wildhaus, SchH1, TR1 (HOT) ~ Kougar v. Wolfstraum, IPO 1, CGC (HOT) ~ Oberon v. Wildhaus, BH ~ starting to grow up!

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#238331 - 06/23/12 09:16 PM Re: It's all in how you raise them... [Re: Leesa]
chelle Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/08/12
Posts: 35
Loc: Iowa
Likes: 0
Interesting topic. I can't count how many times I've heard someone say, "It's all in how they're raised."

I used to believe that far more than I do now.

What made a believer out of me are the two littermates I have. One came home at 11 weeks. He showed fearful tendencies quickly. I worked so hard to socialize him. Went everywhere! Did every single thing I could -- outings several ++ times per week. Multiple classes, exposure, exposure, exposure. It did help tremendously but I'll never call him "cured." There's no curing! It's his baseline tendency. Had I not done all that? I think he'd be a real hot mess of a dog. frown (That's where I think nurture comes into play. That all that work helped, but only "helped." Didn't/can't change what the dog *is*.)

His littermate brother came here at 10 months. He'd been in a backyard all his life. He sure had wildman issues, as you can imagine, but he is such a different dog. He is more affectionate and has a far "sweeter" type of disposition, in spite of living outside and neglected of companionship for the majority of his life.

I would've expected the backyard dog to be the fearful dog, not the highly socialized one. I suppose it could be argued that he is now just thriving on getting the human contact he wasn't getting.

I don't know.. but I've found it very interesting. They are far more different than alike, and I don't credit that huge difference entirely to raising.

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#242397 - 07/12/12 06:27 PM Re: It's all in how you raise them... [Re: JeanKBBMMMAAN]
Oliver's mama Offline

Registered: 01/07/11
Posts: 75
Loc: Roseville, CA
Likes: 2
I FINALLY understand this rescue we adopted --- her parents were Jeffrey Dahmer & JANE Wayne Gacy!!!! That is the only explanation for this beautiful, BYB by-product that's physically beautiful but emotionally nutso.

And, if I ever find the WOMAN who abused her, well - she better run!
Ziva-2 yrs. Rescued 08-31-10
Feline Rescues (All Housecats):
Oliver-16 yrs
Egger-14 yrs
Sam-8 yrs
Hanna-6 yrs

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#242652 - 07/13/12 09:55 PM Re: It's all in how you raise them... [Re: Oliver's mama]
Rescues Rule Admin

Registered: 01/18/10
Posts: 4618
Likes: 165
Help People Help Pets!

Check Out the BDBH Howliday Blog

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#249624 - 08/26/12 10:01 PM Re: It's all in how you raise them... [Re: Qyn]
AllMyShepherds Offline

Registered: 11/29/11
Posts: 130
Likes: 5
Just like people, I think, that it's some of both.

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#249869 - 08/28/12 01:49 PM Re: It's all in how you raise them... [Re: Oliver's mama]
Kayos Offline

Can't Figure Tech Stuff Out

Registered: 02/18/10
Posts: 11662
Loc: McAlester, OK
Likes: 240
Originally Posted By: Oliver's mama
I FINALLY understand this rescue we adopted --- her parents were Jeffrey Dahmer & JANE Wayne Gacy!!!! That is the only explanation for this beautiful, BYB by-product that's physically beautiful but emotionally nutso.

And, if I ever find the WOMAN who abused her, well - she better run!

Or her head will pop off! rofl

I am happy to see this thread active again. Now I have Lydi home and at a week short of 5 months, she is a tick shy. Not bad, very workable. I realized this when we saw her at the breeders but it did not stop me from taking her home. Her brothers were not, they were very outgoing. Same genetics (nature).

With good socialization I believe we can turn the corner with her (nurture). That said, she will never be an outgoing dog I do not think, but she is a GSD, not a golden retriever.

I actually hope that when her adult teeth come in she may be a little less cautious.

I do believe our rearing of the dogs plays a large role in how they turn out but you have to start with good nerve which can vary from pup to pup within a litter.

PTE,AC,URO3,AG2,UCD Xtra!Xtra! v. TeMar CDX,GN,RE,CGC,TC,HIC, Bh "Havoc" 6/4/07
PAM, URO3, UCD, UACH Tidmores Rising Star Lydia "Mayhem" CD,BN,RE,AX,AJP,OFP,P1J,CA,DN,HT,TKN,TC,CGCA 4/4/12

Lucky, Wolf, Max, Kayos - gone not forgotten. gsdhalo

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