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Do Different Dog Breeds Have Different Personalities?

Disabled dog takes wheelchair to the beach

Pay close attention to your dog’s behavior because it can make a big difference as you communicate with and train them in the long run. Also, it’s important to understand their unique personalities because this will help you appreciate the way they see the world. As a dog owner, wouldn’t that be such a wonderful experience?

If you’re still looking to adopt a dog, you may choose a dog whose personality type matches your need as a pet owner. For instance, guard dog personality types are perfect for pet owners who need help in looking after their house, whereas dogs with companion personality types are ideal for those who like to walk regularly in the streets, parks, or simply have a dog companion anywhere they go.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the different dog breeds and personality traits and determine whether their pedigree affects the personalities they develop.

What Makes Up A Dog’s Personality?

Similar to humans, a dog’s personality reflects its distinct characteristics and behavior, especially in perceiving and interacting with what surrounds them. To understand dogs deeper, educate yourself more about their traits by reading some tips and guides curated by pet experts such as Pets Roof.

So, what makes up a dog’s personality? A dog’s patterns of behavior and overall characteristics can be traced back to the following factors:

Genetic Attributes

Genes play a major role in a dog’s personality traits; distinct attributes typically depend on their specific breeds. Although the environment may impact your dog’s personality, his physical features and psychological behavior are mostly heritable.

Relationship With Owners

Albert from Lucky Dawg Rescue

According to a study, the nature of a pet owner’s relationship with their dogs can have a great impact on their pets’ learned behaviors.

For example, a purebred dog who receives more care will convey positive effects on their training. Which makes them less fearful compared to dogs that stay in cages for a long time. These dogs tend to show more aggressive behavior due to their upbringing.

Other Life Experiences

A dog’s personality is greatly influenced by their life experiences. More fearful and nervous dogs typically came from abusive places such as ‘puppy mills’ which are infamous for unethically breeding dogs in horrible environments. In such cases, a dog may display persistent fear, anxiety, and sensitivity to being touched. On the other hand, if your dog is happier and more sociable, it’s likely due to the love and care of their loving family.

Common Personalities Of Major Breed Groups

As mentioned earlier, dogs differ from each other and genetics define a large part of their personalities. To classify these common dog traits, here are the seven major dog breed groups:

Herding Personality

border collie wheelchair

The herding group is comprised of breeds that assist sheepherders. Herding dogs are naturally close with their owners. They’re naturally intelligent, highly energetic, and easy to train.

Dogs such as German Shepherds and Collies make up this group. Interestingly, there are different types of German Shepherd breeds that go beyond their herding instincts, becoming more suitable for the role they play at home. Companion German Shepherds are pets and have more playful and protective traits. Whereas working German Shepherds have great defense characteristics that make them perfect to act as police dogs.

Other breeds with herding personalities include Australian Shepherd, Belgian Sheepdog, Shetland Sheepdog, Pembroke Welsh Corgi, and Puli.

Working Dog Personality

Working dogs are known for their strength, intelligence, and protective nature. They’re reliable, very loyal, affectionate, and fearless dogs. As long as they’re properly socialized, these gentle giants can be super friendly too. Bred as work dogs, these dogs they like to be active all day and will require regular exercise and mental stimulation.

Dog breeds that belong to the working dog group include Saint Bernard, Boxer, Great Dane, Mastiff, Siberian Husky, and Akita.

Hound Personality

beagle wheelchair

Dog breeds of this personality group can be tricky to train since they’re a bit stubborn and may ignore you if they don’t think the training is in any way important. However, if trained professionally, hound dog personality types become very inquisitive and independent creatures. Their loving, happy, and loyal personalities make them great family dogs as well. 

Common hound dog breeds include Beagles, Dachshunds, Afghan Hounds, Greyhounds, Irish Wolfhounds, Whippets, and Bloodhounds.

Terrier Personality

The highlight of their personality type would be their versatility. These dogs are typically described as a do-anything family dog. Their high energy allows them to work for long hours because they feel like it’s always playtime. Terriers are known for being feisty and fun, which means they can be a little challenging for impatient pet parents. Terriers can be somewhat stubborn and may require more training than other dogs.

Some breeds that have a terrier personality include Scottish Terrier, Welsh Terrier, Rat Terrier, Jack Russel Terrier, Miniature Schnauzer, and Airedales.

Sporting Dog Personality

Sporting dog breeds have sweet and friendly personalities that make them very sociable. They’re active and alert at all times, affectionate, and highly trainable, which make them perfect companion dogs or service dogs for owners who can keep them exercised and entertained. Sporting breeds are natural athletes and will require lots of exercise.

The most popular sporting dog breed would either be Golden Retrievers or Labrador Retrievers. Other dog breeds that have a sporting dog personality include Cocker Spaniel, Irish Setter, Korean Jindo, Pointer, Chesapeake Bay Retriever, and Weimaraner.

Toy Personality

The smallest dog breed group comes with a package full of personalities. Toy dog types are very loyal, territorial, attentive, and affectionate companions. Also, they require much more care and attention compared to the other dog breeds. Bred to be companion dogs, they want to be with their owners at all times.

Perfect companions for city dwellers, they are becoming more and more popular. Common toy dog breeds include Pugs, Chihuahuas, Silky Terrier, Shih Tzu, Pomeranian, Yorkshire Terriers, and Maltese.

Non-Sporting Dog Personality

Initially bred as working dogs, non-sporting dog personalities are so diverse that dog breeds who don’t quite fit in the six categories above are classified here. Their personality characteristics may vary from one dog to another, but some of their distinctive traits include: being extremely determined, smart, playful, and friendly. All personality traits which make them great companions.

For non-sporting dog types, you must identify whether that particular dog breed will fit your lifestyle. Breeds of this group include Poodles, Dalmatian, Bulldog, Keeshond, Coton De Tulear, Bichon Frise, and Boston Terriers.

Different Breeds Do Have Distinct Personalities 

Dog personality traits are usually consistent in these seven main breeds. Before you purchase or adopt a dog, identify first which personality type your lifestyle and attitude can match perfectly. If you can, try to assess their level of playfulness, chase proneness, curiosity and fearlessness, sociability, and aggressiveness.

By now, it’s clear that dogs’ pedigree matters with regard to the personality types they develop, however, the way you communicate with them and your overall owner-pet relationship are also big factors. 

Take your time to observe signals and their bodily reactions to fully understand what they’re feeling. Plus, socialization and training also play important roles in the development of their personalities. Remember, every dog is trainable, even a stray pup can be house-trained by their new family.

What’s important at the end of the day is that you find your perfect pet match personality-wise and enjoy a long-term loving relationship with them!

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