Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Where it all begins......

There's a lot of talk about genetics influencing behavior and yes behavior has something to do with genetics but if a behavior is not reinforced by the environment to occur or occur again and again then behavior is really less dependent on genetics. An example is this pup shown here... - Ted. He was brought into the shelter with a foxtail stuck in his mouth that swelled up quite a bit. He was an only pup at least from what we can tell. He's with Our Pack, literally, working on being a social little guy. During the first 12 weeks it's so very important to heavily socialize your pup with dogs, people, kids, etc. Of course don't stop after that, continue with socialziing. I have seen genetics be the blame for undersocialized dogs. While it's true that some dogs may be too damaged to be helped, in most cases we see our dogs turn around nicely with good socialization and training. And yes, sometimes even with good socialization and training dogs may still have some issues. I would however like to see prevention of dogs coming into shelters because of behavior problems. If folks work with their dogs early on in life we may see less dogs being surrendered to shelters and that would be a good thing!


  1. Actually, it's the same for humans. They've found that if children are denied those critical first years of love and support, then they have the same issues. It's called Reactive Attachment Disorder. It's very sad. I'm pretty sure it's a mammal thing, but I'm no expert.

  2. Wow, Ingrid, very interesting. Thanks for sharing that. Off to research!!

  3. Long live positive reinforcement!! Thanks for sharing this. Check out my blog if you get a chance http://www.arwenspack.blogspot.com/