Join Date: Nov 2013
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When I first visited Archer I was quite concerned because he seemed fearful and less curious than the other puppies. Thanks to the advice on the forum I got him anyway and I wouldn't change a thing. He is the sweetest little guy. I knew since he was a bit less outgoing than the other pups I would work on confidence building exercises and a lot of socialization with him, and it has worked great. He loves people and is pretty good with most dogs except rambunctious large ones (fair enough, I'd be scared too if I weighed 12 lbs!)
I think whatever temperament your puppy has you can just work with it- if Archer were more spunky and rambunctious I might practice more of relaxing in distracting environments with him, for example. But the breeders definitely know and our breeder did find us a good match in Archer as I did want a cuddlebug and he is. He was the only puppy that would sit still with us and the only one who would relax in your arms- all the others were kind of too crazy! But again they change so much so he could have just been sleepy when we first met him. To this day Archer will melt in my arms and relax and he is more relaxed on a picnic or outdoor setting than my friend's 6 yr old lab who has NO off switch! That was demonstrated yesterday at our Canada day picnic!
On the other hand Archer is quite the smart little guy and does love to train but he really does not get into much mischief around the house, aside from emptying my pockets of kleenex to shred and playing joyfully with socks. As two "bad" habits I find those things pretty cute so it's no problem. Other people I know deal with a lot more in terms of troublemaker pups who chew and investigate things they ought not to!
Training can make such a huge difference though. You can take a rambunctious and curious puppy and make them fearful by using old fashioned training methods, and you can take a shy and uncertain puppy and help them become more bold and curious by rewarding them and helping them gently overcome their fears. So the dog you end up with will be a combo of his or her innate personality and temperament, then some of the socialization you do (or don't do) as well as the training methods you use and what you introduce your pup to.
Bit of rambling, hope it helps a little anyway. And Kudos Karen for mentioning the bit about the old fashioned concepts that Cesar Millan uses. There are much more effective, kind and scientifically-backed methods to use with your puppy, and many folks here on the forum are very skilled with those so you will have lots of help if you need it.