Sunday, September 13, 2009

Character traits in German Shepherd Dogs - Psychological and Genetic Traits

Psychological and Genetic Traits traits in German Shepherd Dogs

Just as all breeds have their own respective characters German Shepherd Dog has its very unique character traits too. A German Shepherd lover would always describe the breed as royal, assertive, courageous, adaptable, intelligent and powerful and last but not the lest the most talked about dog breed in the world. Well, now it’s important to discus the character traits that have made German Shepherds the most popular of all dog breeds. Picking the right breed is of utmost importance for you if you are a first time owner. If you are in love with this breed, you need to know his character traits in advance so that you can handle him correctly as he grows.

Here are the details of the character traits of German Shepherd Dog breed:

Since the character traits of the dog depend of more than factors, they are grouped under heads such as Purely Psychological traits, Psychological + Genetic traits, Psychological + Physiological traits and Purely Genetic traits. This post is all about the character traits in German Shepherd Dogs that are purely Psychological and Psychological, but genetically based. My next post will talk about the Psychological + Physiological traits, followed by a post on Purely Genetic Traits in GSD.

Purely Psychological Traits in German Shepherd Dogs:

Trainability: GSD, by nature, is one of the most intelligent dog breeds that can be easily trained to work on a wide range of projects. This is a multi purpose dog breed that have been trained for war, guarding, guiding blinds, as companion dogs, working in movies, working in police and detective departments, working in drug detection departments, working as PAT (Pro Dogs Active Therapy) and shepherd dogs to herd cattle. His inquisitive to learn things helps him learn new tricks in short span of time, and this is what helps the trainers to train him easily.

Confidence: German Shepherd Dog, by nature, is highly confident. This psychological trait has been environmentally engineered into the breed. This is a by-product of the ability of the dog to bear more stress than many other dog breeds. German Shepherds have been bred to tolerate comparatively more stress than others. This means the break even level of bearing stress is higher than many other dog breeds. This makes the dog enhance his ability to struggle and win more stressful situations, which in turn makes him more confident as compared to many other dog breeds. Remember, as soon as he reaches the optimum stress point – that is the break even point he cannot accept more stress and in such situation he will normally respond back adversely due to lack of confidence like any other dog breed.

Psychological + Genetic Traits in German Shepherd Dogs:

Courage: Courage is a psychological trait that is defined as the absence of fear. German Shepherd Dogs are courageous, which means he doesn’t fear the danger. This trait can be viewed as a by-product of confidence trait. Courage this can also be viewed as one of the genetic traits, because this has been bred into the dogs by breeding out the fear, through selective breeding programs. Dogs in natural state are usually soft and not so courageous.

Fear: Fear is both psychological and genetic trait. Rather more of the Psychological trait than genetic. Many well breed German Shepherd Dogs that have been bred to discard out fear have still shown fearful behavior. Fearlessness is a natural psychological trait in German Shepherd Dog, but Fear, on the other hand also acts as the natural measure for protection form real danger. Excessive fear in German Shepherd Dogs is a serious fault. Proper socializing to sounds, strangers, and different situations is a must to nurture the dog’s natural fearless trait, although in few cases socializing doesn’t help to regain or nurture the fearless trait in German Shepherd Dogs. This happens due to incorrect breeding when fearfulness becomes a genetic trait.

Moodiness: Moodiness is also psychological trait, but also genetically inherited. Moodiness is a typical behavior, which should be viewed as the inclination or tendency for inconsistency in behavior. Moodiness leads the dog to work great one day and worst just the next day. This inconsistency does not imply that the dog is a worst working dog or suffering from under nutrition. Moodiness is just a psychological or sometimes genetic fault, which cannot be noticed until it reaches the extreme level.

Viciousness: Viciousness is again another psychological trait, but genetically based. It is an inclination to outburst with an unwarranted vicious aggression which deviates from the GSD standard as a behavioral fault. Though noticed not too often, such aggression is observed under unpredictable situations. When exhibited, such behavior may be quite detrimental to the pack members and owners.

Temperament: Temperament is a psychological trait, which can be significantly influenced by the environment, but at the same time can be observed as genetic trait too. Temperament is determined by three distinctive categories… full, moderate and poor. A GSD with full temperament will be full of zest and zeal, while moderate temperate means the dog has a moderate level of zesty attitude and a poor temperament is used to describe a sluggish dog that is lethargic.

Stay tuned for the up coming post on Psychological + Physiological Character traits in German Shepherds.

Meanwhile check out my post on basic instincts of German Shepherd Dog


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All you need to know about German Shepherd Dogs. Read out what I have to share with you regarding the amazing German Shepherd Dog breed. Are Alsatian dogs and German Shepherd Dogs same? Who was Max Von Stephanitz and What is SV? Also learn a bit more in depth on German Shepherd Dog training tips, German Shepherd puppy care tips, German Shepherd Dog behavior, German Shepherd instinct, German Shepherd Dog standard and history of German Shepherds.
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