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Breed Standards and Individuality in Dogs. It’s not one or the other:

 From Patricia McConnell, Ph.D. in this month’s Bark Magazine, discussing lessons learned from two Border Collies, one of which loved herding sheep in an open field, the other not so much: “It is a cautionary tale with two parts: One, dog breeds were created not for looks but for behavior, and we need to do a better job of matching a dog’s needs with the environment in which he or she will ultimately live. Two, all dogs, no matter how pure or eclectic their breeding, are individuals…Two Border Collies, two individuals.” Good advice whether you’re an adoption counselor or a policy maker: Reference breed standards, be honest about what you know for sure, but ultimately respect the dog that’s right in front of us, knowing that many dogs never got the memo about how they’re “supposed” to act based on their looks or breed

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2 Comments
  1. Oh so true – the number of times I hear in the vet clinic, “I’ve had this breed for years and never struck anything like…….” it really doesn’t give the dog credit for having an individual personality!

    December 8, 2011
    • Exactly! Dogs are individuals too! I often meet dogs that “didn’t get the memo” about how they’re “supposed” to act based on breed. Someone just posted on our Facebook page that they have a Lab who was very afraid to swim and everyone kept saying, “But he’s a Lab!” : )

      December 9, 2011

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