Different personalities within a litter

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Aimeetess
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Different personalities within a litter

Post by Aimeetess » Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:41 am

When I visited the litter of cockers I had a choice of the litter, sat with them for a period of time, done some clapping, introduced them to our lab to see how they acted and only a couple were brave enough to come forwards and I decided on the boldest, most confident in the litter (not sure that was a good thing to do now!)

I still am in contact with the breeder, a keeper on 500 bird day estate (shooting multiple days a week) where the mother beat and occasionally picked up, very steady and chilled for a Cocker and dad was a bit more of a live wire but picked up on another local big estate.

The breeder kept one of the pups and often sends me videos which is lovely to see. They look alike, but his pup who has always been kennel kept is very calm, steady and placid (as well as a bit timid) whereas mine is the complete opposite and a total live wire, very bold and brave. You wouldn’t even think they were related!

It made me think, do pups have individual personalities no matter who owns them or does it change depending on the life experiences they face growing up?

Basically, Have I contributed to mine being a live wire..? :lol:

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ips
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Re: Different personalities within a litter

Post by ips » Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:53 am

Don't know but it sounds an interesting topic which I look forward to following 👍
Muddling along in the hope that one day it starts to make sense.

Judy
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Re: Different personalities within a litter

Post by Judy » Fri Mar 09, 2018 1:31 pm

From my limited experience of following litters on from 4 weeks or so, yes they have their own individual personalities and I personally think they tend to retain them beyond the litter. The good dog trainers can suppress the wild ones and bring out the shy ones though.
If in the process of winning, you have lost the respect of your competitors, you have won nothing. Paul Elvström.

Gundogs11
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Re: Different personalities within a litter

Post by Gundogs11 » Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:29 am

Definately a dose of both nature and nurture.
We kept 2 pups from our last litter and they couldn't be more different in personality despite having the same upbringing.
That said, I think either of them could have been complete headcases if brought up differently.
I would call this a difference between personality and behaviour.
So his personality is what it is, but in theory, yes, you could easily have contributed to him being a "live-wire" (assuming you mean his 'challanging behaviours') based on your other posts.

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Re: Different personalities within a litter

Post by CockerCanuck » Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:14 am

I have raised quite a few litters of pups from several breeds. While there is no doubt environment plays a big role in the development of a dogs personality it is also obvious that a lot is 'hard wired" into each individual. As early as ten days old you can start to see differences in nature and they get more pronounced as the pups mature. I always tried to pick for the people taking my pups as I felt I could better match them to the type of dog they were looking for then they could. When buying a pup I always make it clear to the breeder they type of personality I am looking for and take their advice seriously.

The problem with doing it yourself is, after all they are babies, and the half hour you watch them the high energy terror may just be sleepy and vise versa. However if you interact with them on a long term basis the different personality types become quite obvious and can be extreme within the same litter.

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Re: Different personalities within a litter

Post by Contender » Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:01 pm

I know a lot of very good breeders who no longer will sell puppies to pet homes and/or to people with children simply because they feel the risk of 'overstimulation' in such homes are considerably higher than in working homes. There really IS such a thing as Overstimulation and I see it fairly often and by the time the owner has understood this, it's hard work trying to change it.

I once had a client who put in some great work with his young springer spaniel but he had one problem: children and wife :whistle: Sometimes his dog made great progress but other times the dog had spent a bit 'too much' time with the children (they would play constantly with it) and the wife (she would take it for walks in the local park and let it run around like a mad hatter). He got very frustrated but came up with the ideal solution: a kennel! It was easier than trying to 'train' the rest of the family and they couldn't be asked to go to the kennel and take the dog out whenever he put it out there for it to have some peace!

I've also seen it with a puppy from one of my own litters I bred a few years back: there were 2 dog puppies which could have been clones that's how alike they were also in temperament. I kept one and the other went to a lovely couple with the usual advice and when it was 12 weeks old, they came back for a bit more training advice. Well, it was already starting to 'go wrong' in terms of steadiness and yes, of course it was a puppy but this puppy already acted as if it had ADHD! My first question was: "You've been throwing a lot of balls for him, haven't you? and you've been playing A LOT with him?" I then took the litter brother out who just sat there while looking at his 'mad' brother. It's pretty simple: if you want a calm dog you train for that 24 hours/day which means rewarding all calm behaviour and generally teach your puppy calm behaviour. As a breeder, I never let the boldest puppy go to an active pet home but only to someone whom I know will be working it and who is an experienced dog owner. I do let puppies go to what I call 'active pet homes' and to people with children but often I end up choosing the puppy for them based on temperament and it seems to work as I have so many repeat customers or even their children ( :o ) coming back for a puppy! Bottom line is: you can easily make the calmest puppy/dog wild and equally you can also keep the boldest puppy steady if you know how to train it :whistle: :whistle:

Natasha

Aimeetess
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Re: Different personalities within a litter

Post by Aimeetess » Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:09 pm

Gundogs11 wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:29 am
Definately a dose of both nature and nurture.
We kept 2 pups from our last litter and they couldn't be more different in personality despite having the same upbringing.
That said, I think either of them could have been complete headcases if brought up differently.
I would call this a difference between personality and behaviour.
So his personality is what it is, but in theory, yes, you could easily have contributed to him being a "live-wire" (assuming you mean his 'challanging behaviours') based on your other posts.

Even when he is behaving and doing a great job. Hes still a live wire, flat out into everything and has been since we picked him up, nothing phased him even from day one the big horses, he'd go right up to them. Where as his mother and brother are calm and much more inquisitive about things.

I suppose it could make a difference that mine lives indoors (brother and mother kenneled on the estate) and mine comes everywhere with me so is use to seeing things, he went to all the shooting shows since I've had him (as of work) so has seen alot compared to his siblings, so i suppose that could be why hes so confident and bold.

Cass
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Re: Different personalities within a litter

Post by Cass » Tue Mar 20, 2018 9:50 pm

My guy spends a fair amount of time outside on his chain. I plan on building a kennel this year. He is very calm while out and will literally lay stretched out all day long while on his line. In the house he cannot sit still - even after 5 years of spending literally 99% of his time indoors. I think you may feel that kennel dogs are calmer but I would hazard a guess that they just have less stimulation. As soon as I walk over to my guy to bring him in he kicks it up 10 gears and is more hyper than before I put him out. Some dogs are just more reactive to stimulus than others.
"If you train a young dog for momentum, precision will arrive. If you train for precision, demanding perfection, momentum will depart." - Rex Carr

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Gundogguy
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Re: Different personalities within a litter

Post by Gundogguy » Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:14 am

Contender wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:01 pm
I know a lot of very good breeders who no longer will sell puppies to pet homes and/or to people with children simply because they feel the risk of 'overstimulation' in such homes are considerably higher than in working homes. There really IS such a thing as Overstimulation and I see it fairly often and by the time the owner has understood this, it's hard work trying to change it.


Natasha
:brickwall: :brickwall:
I agree with this 100%. On of the mitigating factors in my decision to retire from training for others and breeding, was the pet dog syndrome that I was continually being confronted with by the public at large. :brickwall: As the brick wall indicates after 35+ yrs I was exhausted. Our last pup we made up as a 3X Field champ. Looking forward to our next project pup!

Hal
"In the end We all get the dog we deserve"

CockerCanuck
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Re: Different personalities within a litter

Post by CockerCanuck » Sat Mar 24, 2018 12:55 pm

I read this a few days ago and almost commented but restrained myself. However I can't hold back this morning. I really wonder if field trials can still claim to be "improving" our gundog breeds when they are encouraging the breeding of dogs which can't live with children??

Obviously you can breed whatever type of dog you want and if it takes this type of "firebreather" to win trials, go for it, but please only sell them to other trailers. 90% of people looking for a gundog also want it to be a companion and pet around their home. At least over here I see many people saddled with very high strung, very high drive field trial bred dogs they can't handle. They would have been much happier with a calm relaxed dog with normal basic hunting instinct. However, competitions select out the kind of dog most people want.

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