Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Photo #260/365: Dog Questions

Since Winnie came to live with us, I've been thinking a lot about the way different breeds of dogs have certain personality traits.  Bailey is a Bichon Frise. Bichon's were bred as companion dogs, so Bailey is quite happy to sit on your lap or beside you.  He grumbles to get more petting.  Being loved is his main occupation.

Corgi's on the other hand were bred as herding dogs.  Now we don't have any sheep for Winnie to herd, so she tries really hard to herd us and keep us in line.  If I wake up during the night and look at the clock, Winnie leaps up, runs to the edge of the bed, and checks to see what's going on.  She runs up the stairs, stopping before she gets to the top and blocks the stairs.  She turns to monitor what I am doing.  If I get up to go to the bathroom, she gets up to check things out.

Before Winnie, I had Zoe.  Zoe was a German Shorthair, which are bred as hunting dogs.  Zoe was always on the lookout.  From a very early age, she would go into a point when she saw other animals.  She was always a hunter at heart, even though she had never officially been hunting.

So how do they do it?  How do they breed certain personality traits into different breeds of dogs?

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