Baby vs Now personality/temperment - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
View Poll Results: Has their personality changed?
No (was calm/quiet before and still is now more or less or vice versa) 8 100.00%
Yes (was calm/quiet as a puppy and very active hyper now or vice versa) 0 0%
Voters: 8. You may not vote on this poll

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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 12:29 AM Thread Starter
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Baby vs Now personality/temperment

a question was brought up in a different thread about whether or not personality when their young is a good way to identify how they will be in the future. So figured i make this poll to actually see some data on this.

So please state the temperament/personality of the puppy when you first picked him from the litter/ or when he was very young (few months) and then let us know how they are now and if they have changed drastically. Be as detailed as possible on how exactly they changed and how they were before.

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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 09:58 AM
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Two of mine are exactly the way their temperament testing and the input of the breeder would have led me to believe when they were young puppies. Of course, One is a 7 year old now, and while he still plays, he's not the "busy boy" puppy he was. The other that hasn't changed much is my youngest girl, who at 14 months is still very much a puppy, very driven, very smart, needs to be "doing" things, but still VERY sweet and cuddly when she winds down too.

The middle girl is the one who changed, though looking back, there were signs of "who she would be". During temperament testing, and when I first spent time with her, she was the first to explore everything, very people oriented, very food motivated, lots of play drive, great natural retrieve. But there was also little to differentiate her from her sisters, who were also great puppies. She is STILL all that. She is, by far, the most athletic of my three and the smartest. That intelligence has been a two edged sword, however. She is what is known as a "single trial learner". She assesses things, figures them out and does them. Done in one. That also means she can learn the wrong thing very quickly too.

The PROBLEM is that a puppy like that can also learn the WRONG things during her "fear periods". Pixel got charged twice by large black pit bulls when she was a puppy. In both instances, I had no choice but to yank her off the ground by her harness to keep her from being eaten. The result is that we have gone through a VERY long period of her being terrified of big black dogs in particular, and large dogs in general. To the point that we couldn't even take her to our training center, because she couldn't work there. It has taken ALL my patience and over a year to get her back to where she is solid at the training center, and able to work through encounters with big dogs on walks. We are still VERY careful with orchestrating positive interactions for her, and we work EXTREMELY hard to make sure she doesn't experience any other big dog problems.

None of the above affects her much as a house pet. She has always been a darling, and gets along tremendously well with my other two. In fact, part of her "therapy" as been going on walks with dogs she knows well and who are solid around other dogs. In the late fall, we were at a campground on a weekend that was having a "Halloween theme", and there was trick-or-treating for the kids. Not only was the campground packed with kids running around in scary costumes, but many of them were walking large DOGS in scary costumes. We were out on a walk, and I had my three and my friend had her two whippets. Pixel moved herself into the middle of the group of dogs, then trotted along, as happy as could be, tail in the air. "Tail down" means she is frightened, and we've actually taught her to cheer up by saying, "Where's your tail!?!" Obviously this wouldn't work if it was something terrifying, but if she's just worried, she usually shakes it off, the tail come up and we're off again.

So this is where "nature" and "nurture" come together. I chose a puppy who SHOWED that she was an extremely quick learner, AND showed some signs of having trouble recovering from a startle. No puppy is perfect. She has a tremendous number of positive qualities. We were very unfortunate that she had two really scary incidents at very poor times in her development. Another puppy might have just brushed these encounters off, but because of her natural tendencies, it took a LOT of work for us to get through them. We love her to pieces, and were committed to putting that work in. For a lot of people who are not interested in performance sports, this wouldn't have made any difference at all. In my case, I have had to change course with her. Although "never say never", especially considering how smart she is, I am concentrating on the other two for competition, and she is our adorable house pet, who is the apple of her Daddy's eye. If she comes around to the point that she is comfortable enough around other dogs that she can compete, that would be great. But we won't push her.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 10:17 AM
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Zoe came from the breeder (at all of 2.5 lbs) a very outgoing, fearless, and super friendly dog to both people and other dogs. Early on she displayed some tendencies to be nippy and dominant. Today, at 2 1/2 , she is super sweet, hardly ever barks and is the exact opposite of nippy but she has been described by my/her trainer as a dominant dog, super smart and a very quick learner. She is so sweet and loving. We have had training sessions on the rail trail where she walks with a large black lab whom she ignores, as well as sessions in the Mall where she is supposed to ignore loud noises and other people and concentrate on me. We do not use any treats or any negative discipline and she is doing great!
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 10:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoe093014 View Post
Zoe came from the breeder (at all of 2.5 lbs) a very outgoing, fearless, and super friendly dog to both people and other dogs. Early on she displayed some tendencies to be nippy and dominant. Today, at 2 1/2 , she is super sweet, hardly ever barks and is the exact opposite of nippy but she has been described by my/her trainer as a dominant dog, super smart and a very quick learner. She is so sweet and loving. We have had training sessions on the rail trail where she walks with a large black lab whom she ignores, as well as sessions in the Mall where she is supposed to ignore loud noises and other people and concentrate on me. We do not use any treats or any negative discipline and she is doing great!
Well, nippiness is a stage most puppies go through, so that's definitely NOT a personality trait. And "dominance" is a very controversial concept in dog training. Few dogs are REALLY "dominant in all situations. I see that all the time with my three. The one who appears "dominant" at any particular time is the one who wants whatever he or she has most.

Also, please DO consider some reward-based training. There is nothing particularly nobel about training without treats, and you'll get much farther, much faster if you use them appropriately... Not "chumming the waters, going them out indiscriminately, but as well-placed reward to show the dog EXACTLY what s/he is doing right. Also, to be clear, we ALL do some "negative reinforcement" in training. It really can't be helped. The minute you withhold a reward, whether that is cookie, toy or praise, that becomes a negative reinforcer. What most positive trainers try try hard to avoid is punishment based training.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 01:11 PM
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yes to add to what Karen just said. There's nothing wrong witth using treats when training. When I hear a trainer that doesn't use them , a red flag pops up. Dominance in dogs is not a personality trait , but is a relationship between two DOGS ONLY. in a specific situation. Not sure Karen what you're referring to as negative reinforcement, but the problem with it is that quite often an aversive has to be intrroduced in order for it to be removed in order to increase a behavior. I will post an article on dominance because it is very misunderstood.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by davetgabby View Post
yes to add to what Karen just said. There's nothing wrong witth using treats when training. When I hear a trainer that doesn't use them , a red flag pops up. Dominance in dogs is not a personality trait , but is a relationship between two DOGS ONLY. in a specific situation. Not sure Karen what you're referring to as negative reinforcement, but the problem with it is that quite often an aversive has to be intrroduced in order for it to be removed in order to increase a behavior. I will post an article on dominance because it is very misunderstood.
I'm talking about the fact that once you withhold a treat, toy, personal play or praise when the dog is used to receiving those, The act of withholding becomes a negative reinforcement. (-R- not -P) In fact, it can be SO aversive to some dogs (without that being the intention) that we often give "consolation prize" cookies for trying hard, even if the dog doesn't quite get it. We just don't click. It keeps them in the game, and a clicker trained dog KNOWS the difference.


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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 02:38 PM
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Scout was independent, lovable, quiet and very sweet as a puppy. He is exactly the same now. Truffles as a puppy from day one had a little bit of an attitude and needed to have all the attention. She is the same now at 3 yrs. old. She growls at anything she doesn't like or if she doesn't want to be picked up. After growling she gives kisses. She's a funny girl and also very loveable. She follows both of us around the house. I would say she is more dominant. Scout is very quiet and Truffles more vocal. She will always steal Scout's treat even if she has the exact same treat. He's such a sweet boy that she gets away with it! 😊

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 03:22 PM
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Leo came to us as a 10.5 week old puppy that loved the world and ALL it offered and still does. He is vocal not barky but will definitely sing/talk when we get home or a visitor comes by or when he and Rex get rowdy. Leo owns any room he's in with a sunny "I know you love me" attitude. He is a cuddle bunny and though he clearly prefers me and my DH he won't turn down a snuggle from anybody. He's been this way from day one!
Rexy is a very active pup. He is much quieter vocally than Leo and really only vocalizes when I get home or when I am preparing his meals. He is very affectionate with all people but a bit cautious around big dogs even his doggy sibs. Not fearful but mindful of where their feet and mouths are. Leo on the other hand has no notion that the 2 big dogs are bigger than he. Rexy has begun to have moments where he will settled down beside my leg or close by at the end of the day. He is now 16 months old so it has taken awhile. Leo would settle in anyone's arms, belly up and go to sleep from the time he came home. Rexy has never done this. He sleeps belly up but not in arms. Rexy though very active can completely entertain himself if he can't get Leo or one of us to play with him. He just finds toys and entertains himself. Leo has never gotten carsick. Rexy did get carsick or really drooly when younger. He is better about it now but he still gets a bit drooly. This really is more in response to being anxious about being in the car than it is about motion sickness I think. Leo has always been cuddly and confident. Rexy is busy, lovable and a tad less willing to take on the world without backup. Both puppies temperaments were evident early on and they have remained true to their basic nature.


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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 04:40 PM
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Scout was independent, lovable, quiet and very sweet as a puppy. He is exactly the same now. Truffles as a puppy from day one had a little bit of an attitude and needed to have all the attention. She is the same now at 3 yrs. old. She growls at anything she doesn't like or if she doesn't want to be picked up. After growling she gives kisses. She's a funny girl and also very loveable. She follows both of us around the house. I would say she is more dominant. Scout is very quiet and Truffles more vocal. She will always steal Scout's treat even if she has the exact same treat. He's such a sweet boy that she gets away with it! 😊
Oh boy, the vocal part. I don't know if yours and mine are typical, but my girls are DEFINITELY more into alarm barking than Kodi is... Although Kodi can be a demand barker, and they NEVER do that.


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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 05:31 PM
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Scout and Truffles only bark if someone is outside that they don't know or if deers are in the front yard. Truffles is very vocal with different growls and whimpers. Sometimes she will carry around a toy growling. I think it is her way of trying communicate.

Heather, Scout, Truffles & Sparky
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