Hyper or Relaxed? Dog Breeds and Temperaments
So you want a dog. Well, not just any dog. A dog that goes with your family and fits into your life. You should be primarily considering dog breeds and temperaments.
Why? Well, the temperament of the dog is a big factor. If you choose a dog that's not at all aggressive, but you're looking for a guard dog, you've clearly made the wrong choice.
However, that is easily flipped - a naturally aggressive breed wouldn't be good in an environment where there are young children around. A calmer breed would be better.
When you're considering the temper of a dog, there are actually several factors you need to look at before you make the 'leap' and purchase a dog.
Aggression and Protectiveness: The Difference
Most people think that if a dog is aggressive, he's protective - but they're two very, very different things, and should be treated like that. What's the difference?
Remember, dog breeds and temperaments go hand in hand. Some dog breeds are naturally aggressive. Basically, they're going to bark, snarl, and scare anyone. They're simply not picky, and you certainly don't want to go anywhere near the food bowl during chow time.
However, a protective dog cannot only be extremely loving to its own, but is defensive if anyone tries to get near those it perceives to be 'family'.
As an example, a visitor was at a friend’s house. The family consisted of a couple and their very young daughter. The visitor was a family friend, but the dog had never met him before. While the dog allowed the visitor into the home, he wouldn't let the visitor anywhere near their young child. The dog was very protective, and saw the girl as family - and wanted to ensure she was not harmed.
Many dogs don't mean to be aggressive, but their energy can often get the best of them. Without an outlet, a dog can easily change from energetic to aggressive. If you're looking for a less aggressive dog, a lower energy level may be a good indicator.
Do you think that dogs are sensitive? Well, they are! How sensitive your dog is depends on a lot of things, but if your dog is overly sensitive, he's probably going to be more aggressive.
Changing this can include introducing different things into your home - his main environment - and spending plenty of bonding time with him. The more time that you spend with your dog, the less aggressive he's going to be.
The real test of aggression is how your dog behaves with other animals, including cats, squirrels, and more. There's no general indicator, but knowing how he reacts is important.
Until you know for sure, you should always keep your dog on the leash. Taking him out to the park, holding him tight, and seeing how he reacts to others is a good way to know for sure.
No General Indicator...
There's no stamp of the side of a puppy or dog telling you if he's aggressive or not. While breed is a good indicator, the only real way of knowing is to take your dog into the 'field' and watch how he reacts.
Some breeds are aggressive. While dog breeds and temperaments are usually linked, sometimes individual dogs are aggressive, while overall the breed is not. It all comes down to environment and nurturing. How you raise the dog really makes the difference between an aggressive dog and a calm pooch.