What Makes a Good Temperament?

Sep 7, 2021

mother dog guarding puppy

The level of maternal care received by a puppy, as well as genetics, socialization during the critical period of development, training methods, and lifestyle all have an impact on his temperament © Can Stock Photo / Farinosa

It is a common misconception that “All a dog needs is love” or “It’s how you raise them” to increase the chances – or even “guarantee” – a dog will have a good temperament. And although these things are very important, there are a lot more factors that affect how a dog will behave at maturity.

A “good” temperament can mean different things for different people. For example, someone competing in dog sports is looking for one set of characteristics, while service dog trainers or working dog handlers may have an entirely different set of characteristics in mind.

For the purpose of this article, I’ll define a good temperament in terms of a pet dog, i.e. what the average person or family may be looking for in a dog they can share their life with. Commonly, this would probably be a dog who is friendly, sociable to people and other pets, playful, affectionate, attentive, and generally cooperative. But how do we get a pet dog with these characteristics?

(Issue 49, July 2021, pp.24-25). Read article