Dog Personalities

August 01

By, Julie Morrill

Canine temperaments are fascinating. Although you might have some idea of what a dog’s personality will be based on the parents, even in a single litter you’ll find an array of variations in disposition.

When Labs are puppies, we see a lot of happy, goofy silliness. Puppies grow so fast that they are often clumsy and have to learn to adjust to their changing bodies. They are also fun to watch as they try new things and learn from their experiences of success and failure. Most are resilient and setbacks here and there don’t faze them at all. A few express what looks like genuine embarrassment when they make a mistake and must be comforted with lots of love and petting to build up their confidence again. Some possess early maturity and an eagerness to learn that is more common in older pups. Some are a little developmentally delayed before things start to click for them. Some have fears that appear out of nowhere and must be gently, lovingly and patiently trained to coax them out of those fears. Some have funny quirks and obsessions with things for no apparent reason. Dogs are a lot like humans in that they are distinctly unique in their own special ways.

Most Labs you might meet at our kennel are outgoing, sociable extroverts that need other dogs and humans to pump them up with energy. Most have an “off switch” for relaxing down times, but they also have that unmistakable “on switch,” as well. They thrive on the excitement of meal times, exercise outings, meeting other dogs, and visiting humans, creating their own entertainment by barking and jumping around enthusiastically. Even their sociable personalities are not all alike, though. Some would rather hang out with other dogs; others choose human companionship.

In the midst of all our extroverts, we have a handful of introverted gals that require their alone time, in order to relax and recharge themselves. These more subdued, peaceful dogs include Missy, Aspen, Bailey, Rose, and Eagle. They shy away from the noise and chaos of all the other dogs and hang out together in their own separate group. They seem to understand each other. In fact, these particular dogs are so quiet, they seldom bark at all, except for Eagle who will give an occasional quick, sharp warning to other dogs that might try to sneak morsels from her food bowl. All of these gals are also especially calm and reserved overall. Missy is a bit of an exception. She’s calm and peaceful until she has a reenergizing nap or meal, after which she comes alive by noiselessly, yet animatedly hopping about with a happy smile on her face.

We have a few dogs that never stopped acting like kids. These dogs include Goliath, Sugar, Bridger, and Betty. They're always happy and bouncy and full of fun. We have our mischief-making party dogs, like Kate, Aspen and Tanana. And we have our more serious, no-nonsense dogs, like Joey, Denali, Kate and River. We also have our super affectionate, people-focused dogs that like to walk closely by your side or roll over onto their backs the second you touch them. These dogs include Coho, Valdez and Trojan. We have dogs that are in love with the motorcycle and going for long morning runs. These dogs include C.J., Yukon and Mission.

Dogs truly possess very distinct personalities and I can honestly say that each one I know is an exceptionally unique individual.


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