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Dogs, like humans, have their own individual personalities and quirks.
These little personality quirks are what make each animal special and individual. They are also shape how an animal reacts to various stimuli throughout the day.
The dog may do things that annoy us to no end or make us so proud we could burst the next moment. Learning about our petís personality works and how it shapes their actions will make our job as trainers easier. Thus for this article we will be discussing a bit of animal psychology and what makes our pets who they are.
The first thing to remember is that all living creatures have three basic needs. These three needs are food, water and shelter. When these needs are met, the being is satisfied and will be healthy. This is the basics.
However, animals of higher intelligences look for more. They have curiosity and even familial sensibilities. For these reasons, you will find a mother of any mammalian species will be protective of her young and will keep these young under vigilant watch until they are sufficiently matured to be safe away from her watchful gaze.
Being a pack or group animal, this sense is strong in the canine family. This domestic sense is what makes your dog protective of you when it senses danger. Your dog may exhibit the same behaviors that a mother dog would show if her pups were threatened and, if you are lucky enough to own several dogs, you may have the privilege of seeing them work together as a pack in your protection or in their misadventures for the sake of curiosity. This behavior would indicate that you have been accepted as part of their family and you are an official card carrying member of the canineís clan.
The Curious dog can be a pleasure to own or a nuisance depending on how their curiosity is directed. A dog that is always digging through the trash or chasing porcupines in his desire to learn can be quite taxing, whereas, a dog who is easily trainable and learns many new behaviors quickly is a joy to own. Curious dogs can be taught all manner of interesting behaviors, some of which will be discussed in future articles.
The Aggressive dog is also an interesting character. While these dogs are usually undesirable as house pets, they are perfect for a person who likes a sense of security and protection. If your pet bristles and growls every time a stranger or other animal approaches your house, then you have an aggressive pet.
The Friendly or Gregarious pet is always ready to make a new friend. This animal is amiable to strangers and other animals. The Friendly dog does well with veterinary visits and pooch parties.
For female dogs, she may have a strong maternal instinct and horde toys such as tennis balls or stuffed animals. This dog is a pleasure to own but may be a bit over friendly at times, jumping on guests and begging food.
The Shy or Reclusive dog is totally the opposite. This dog will shy away from contact by strangers and, perhaps, even from the owner. The shy dog is usually the product of prior mistreatment or abuse but there are a few naturally occurring animals, just as some humans are shy for no apparent reason.
The shy dog is an interesting character and it may take some time to train them as their personality makes them a bit hard to reach. With persistent effort and much patience, however, the shy pet can be an excellent animal.
The Nervous or Easily Frightened dog is also an interesting animal. Again the fear in these dogs is usually based upon some prior instance of abuse or mistreatment, but not in all cases. These animals tend to be a bit defensive of their personal space and should not be cornered, as they will respond to perceived threats with aggressive behaviors, such as nipping or biting.
Its incessant movement and body language can spot the nervous dog. They also tend to be hard to completely housebreak due to their nervous state causing them to urinate in moments of stress or excitement.
These five basic personality types may also include other traits of one or more of the other categories or even something entirely individual to the dog itself. Thus each dog becomes unique and an individual, requiring specialized training modeled to the animals needs. In the next article, we will discuss how to train an animal according to its personality traits.
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