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Exploring Dog Characteristics, Dispositions and Temperaments: Get the right puppy!

Updated: Aug 24, 2023


Great Danes sometimes think their tiny.
Great Danes with super temperaments are a perfect fit in a big house!

Exploring Dog Characteristics, Dispositions and Temperaments:


Because little puppies can get very big. Understanding canine characteristics, disposition and temperaments is crucial when choosing which breed of puppy you should get. This knowledge can greatly impact your positive and balanced life together with your Best Mate. Anecdotally, it's believed that around 50% of people end up with a dog that may not be the best fit for their family. Different trainers, including those at our own training locations, may have varying opinions, with some suggesting that as many as 70% of people choose a puppy breed hoping it will be the right fit for life. One they fall in Love with. You know, love at first sight.


Being open to learning early learning, will help us in Exploring our Dog's Characteristics, Dispositions and Temperaments: Get the right puppy! Take your time selecting a breed by understanding each of the things that greatly influences what the puppy may become. All of these factors, may lead you to reconsider your initial choice of breed, or even open your eyes to a completely different breed, you hadn't considered before. So, why do people sometimes end up with the wrong dog? The reasons can be manifold, and it often depends on various factors. Many individuals select a breed based on their appearance, size, or for personal preferences, without considering if the breed is suitable for their lifestyle or if they are a good match for the dog's needs. They pick the puppy from the litter, but not the breed.


For instance, someone might choose a Terrier solely because they want a small dog, but they might not fully consider if the breed's temperament aligns with their family, lifestyle, and personal needs. Instead, a more effective approach would be to identify the right breed for their specific life and lifestyle requirements, and considering the breeds temperament, disposition, and characteristics.


When choosing a dog, it's essential to thoroughly research and understand the breed's temperament and traits, as this can have a significant impact on the relationship you develop with your mate. Finding a breed that matches your lifestyle, preferences, and abilities will ensure a more harmonious and fulfilling life together. It really helps to STOP bashing your head on the wall when our GSD wants to shepherd the kids.


Temperament, characteristics, and disposition are related terms that describe different aspects of an individual's behavior and nature, especially when referring to dogs or other animals. Here are the differences between these terms:

We love Border Collies when they work!
Working Dogs want to work. Energetic owners wanted!

Temperament:

Temperament refers to the innate and consistent behavioral and emotional traits that are inherent in an individual. It is an overall pattern of behavior and emotional responses that tend to remain relatively stable over time. A dog's temperament includes factors like their general attitude, sociability, energy level, adaptability, and reaction to various stimuli. It is a combination of genetic and environmental factors that shape a dog's personality and how they interact with the world around them.

Characteristics:

Characteristics typically refer to the distinctive features, qualities, or attributes that make an individual or a breed unique. In the context of dogs, breed characteristics describe the traits and physical attributes that are common to a specific breed. These characteristics can include size, coat type, color, body structure, and other breed-specific traits. While some characteristics are purely physical, others can also be related to a breed's behavior or purpose.

Disposition:

Disposition is another term used to describe a dog's overall nature and personality. It often overlaps with temperament, but it can also encompass a dog's attitude, behavior, and how they handle various situations. A dog's disposition can be influenced by early socialisation, training, and their environment. A dog with a good disposition is typically friendly, well-mannered, and easy to handle. We would say they are "Well Balanced".


In summary, temperament relates to the inherent and stable behavioral and emotional traits of an individual, characteristics and disposition refers to the distinct physical and behavioral traits of a breed, and disposition encompasses an individual's overall nature and how they handle various situations. Understanding these aspects can help in selecting a dog breed that aligns well with your lifestyle and preferences.


Please remember that even though we are writing about the dog, we should also be looking at our own personal Temperament and Disposition in order to balance ours with our new Best Mate.

Walking group of puppies at Bonnies
Choose a breed which is meant for you - Please don't take pot luck!

What does Temperament and Disposition include?

Energy Level:

Different breeds exhibit varying energy levels, with some being highly energetic and requiring ample exercise and mental stimulation, while others are more laid-back and content with less activity. Some are happy to lie around and then there are Working Dogs, Hunting and Retrieving dogs, Sporting Dogs,

Trainability:

The trainability of a dog breed varies; some breeds are known for their intelligence and ease of training, while others may be more independent or stubborn, making training a bit more challenging. Please don't underestimate the value of knowing this. Why? Match your dog to you - if you are the most chilled person who doesn't get frustrated easily, then dogs which may take more time and effort to train and educate, may suit your temperament - consistency then rules.

Social Behavior:

Dogs' social behavior can differ greatly among breeds. Some breeds are naturally friendly and sociable with people and other animals, while others may be more reserved or protective.

Affection and Bonding:

Breeds also differ in their affectionate nature and how strongly they bond with their human family members. Some breeds are highly affectionate and form close bonds, while others may be more reserved in displaying affection.

Prey Drive:

The presence of a prey drive is another aspect of temperament. Some breeds have a strong instinctual drive to chase and hunt, which may impact their interactions with smaller animals and pets. If you are not interested in running your puppy or introducing them, to different K9 sports like lure coursing then rethink your choice. Ask your breeder.


What do Characteristics Include?

Physical Appearance:

Different breeds have distinct physical features, coat types, colors, and sizes. Wow do they have different sizes. Pocket puppies to Great danes and Bull Mastiffs.


Purpose:

Breeds were historically developed for specific purposes, such as herding, guarding, hunting, sporting and retrieving, or companionship breeds.

Health Concerns:

Certain breeds may be prone to specific health issues due to their genetics or physical characteristics. These are breeds Like Pus and Bulldogs may have issues with their breathing.

Grooming Needs:

Some breeds require regular grooming and maintenance, while others have lower grooming requirements.

Lifespan:

Breeds can have varying lifespans, which is an important consideration for potential owners.



It's essential to research and understand the temperament, dispositions and characteristics of a breed to ensure that the chosen dog aligns well with the owner's lifestyle, expectations, and ability to meet the dog's needs. However, it's important to note that individual dogs may vary within a breed, and early socialisation, training, and proper care can significantly influence a dog's behavior and personality.

Below is a list of various dog breeds, including some newer ones. However, please note that this list is not exhaustive. As I have emphasised in my other Dog Blog articles, it's essential to engage with reputable breeders and ask all the questions you have. Conduct thorough research to determine the right breed for you and your lifestyle. See the links in this article:

Remember, choosing the perfect puppy is a significant decision, and each breed has unique characteristics and needs. Your breeder can provide valuable insights and guidance to help you make an informed choice. Take your time, explore your options, and find the best fit for your family and living situation. Happy dog hunting!

Providing a comprehensive list and detailed information about the top 25 dog breeds, including their temperaments, dispositions, and ideal human companions, along with their living preferences and activities, would be too extensive for a single response. However, I can give you a shortened list of popular dog breeds along with some brief information about each breed's general temperament and characteristics. Keep in mind that individual dogs may vary in temperament, and this list is a general overview.


Labrador Retriever:

  • Temperament: Friendly, outgoing, and eager to please.

  • Ideal Human: Active individuals or families who enjoy outdoor activities and exercise.

  • Living Preference: They can adapt well to various environments and make great companions for both city and rural living.

German Shepherd:

Val Bonney favourite breed?
A genuine favourite of the Bonney Family

  • Temperament: Intelligent, loyal, and protective.

  • Ideal Human: Experienced owners who can provide consistent training and socialisation.

  • Living Preference: They thrive in homes with space and regular physical and mental stimulation.

Golden Retriever:

  • Temperament: Gentle, friendly, and affectionate.

  • Ideal Human: Families, individuals, or active seniors who enjoy spending time outdoors and want a loving companion.

  • Living Preference: They are versatile and can adapt well to various living situations, including suburban and rural areas.

French Bulldog:

  • Temperament: Playful, affectionate, and well-suited for apartment living.

  • Ideal Human: Individuals or families who seek a loving and low-energy companion.

  • Living Preference: They are well-suited for apartment or small living spaces.

English Bulldog:

Bulldogs Rule
British Bulldogs Rule woof

  • Temperament: Calm, dignified, and gentle.

  • Ideal Human: Owners who appreciate a laid-back, indoor companion.

  • Living Preference: Bulldogs are content with indoor living and minimal exercise.

Poodle:

  • Temperament: Intelligent, trainable, and versatile.

  • Ideal Human: Families or individuals looking for a highly trainable and hypoallergenic companion.

  • Living Preference: Poodles can adapt to various living environments and excel in different activities like obedience and agility.

Rottweiler:

  • Temperament: Confident, loyal, and protective.

  • Ideal Human: Experienced owners who can provide firm leadership and socialisation.

  • Living Preference: They thrive in homes with ample space and a secure yard.

German Shorthaired Pointer:

  • Temperament: Energetic, intelligent, and versatile.

  • Ideal Human: Active individuals or families who enjoy outdoor activities and can provide mental and physical challenges.

  • Living Preference: They are best suited for homes with a yard and ample opportunities for exercise.

Siberian Husky:


Husky in Snow
Siberian Husky nare stunning dogs - Not for Hot Climates


  • Temperament: Independent, playful, and energetic.

  • Ideal Human: Active individuals who can meet their exercise and mental stimulation needs.

  • Living Preference: They prefer cooler climates and do well in homes with space for physical activities.

Please note that each dog is an individual, and their temperament can vary based on their genetics, socialisation, and training.




Before selecting a specific breed, research and meet with breeders, shelters, or rescue organisations to learn more about each breed's specific needs and characteristics. This will help you find the best match for your lifestyle and preferences.


Labradoodle (Labrador Retriever + Poodle):

  • Temperament: Friendly, intelligent, and affectionate.

  • Ideal Human: Families or individuals seeking a versatile, hypoallergenic companion.

  • Living Preference: They can adapt well to various living environments, including apartments, as long as they receive sufficient exercise

Cavapoo (Cavalier King Charles Spaniel + Poodle):

  • Temperament: Gentle, affectionate, and great with children.

  • Ideal Human: Families, seniors, or individuals looking for a small, loving companion.

  • Living Preference: Cavapoos do well in apartments or homes with a yard for playtime.

Bernedoodle (Bernese Mountain Dog + Poodle):

  • Temperament: Friendly, loyal, and gentle.

  • Ideal Human: Families or individuals seeking a large, affectionate, and low-shedding companion.

  • Living Preference: They do best in homes with space and a yard to roam.

Aussiedoodle (Australian Shepherd + Poodle):

  • Temperament: Energetic, intelligent, and highly trainable.

  • Ideal Human: Active individuals or families who can provide mental and physical stimulation.

  • Living Preference: They thrive in homes with a yard and enjoy outdoor activities.

Sheepadoodle (Old English Sheepdog + Poodle):

  • Temperament: Social, smart, and great with families.

  • Ideal Human: Families or individuals looking for a friendly and low-shedding companion.

  • Living Preference: Sheepadoodles do well in homes with space and regular grooming.

Labradoodle (Labrador Retriever + Poodle):

We love Alfred the Labradoodle
Alfred the Labradoodle - we love our dog.

  • Temperament: Friendly, intelligent, and affectionate.

  • Ideal Human: Families or individuals seeking a versatile, hypoallergenic companion.

  • Living Preference: They can adapt well to various living environments, including apartments, as long as they receive sufficient exercise.

Groodle (Golden Retriever + Poodle):

  • Temperament: Gentle, social, and highly trainable.

  • Ideal Human: Families or individuals seeking a loving and intelligent companion.

  • Living Preference: They thrive in homes with a yard and opportunities for play and exercise.


About the Author:

Peter Bonney is Director of the Multi award winning ‘Brisbane Dog Training’ groups – Bonnies Dog Obedience and Puppy School have one many National and International Awards for "Dog Training". To find us on the web type in “Bonnies Dog Obedience”.

Dog Trainer Peter Bonney
Peter Bonney Dog Trainer

Finally:

If you live in Brisbane Australia then come and join us for your puppy and dog training. If not then leave a comment and let me know what you would like me to Blog about in the future.

To get all 3 books. of Vab Bonneys exceptional books. Download 'Who's the Boss?' "Are you still the Boss"? and if you are having a baby or bringing home a puppy when you have a baby - then, "Hey Baby, Who's the Boss"?


2 則留言


訪客
2023年8月22日

We ended up getting a Groodle instead of a Border Collie. Happy with our revised choice. This was 1 year ago and couldn't be better.

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訪客
2023年8月07日

Just got a labradoodle. We think he will be perfect for us. I did get a blanket from the breeder thanks for your suggestion in the Breeder blog.

按讚
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