There are no two identical dogs. Each animal has its own temperament, habits, and tricks. A dog is individuality. Therefore even an experienced dog-breeder when thoroughly chooses a puppy and predetermines aims and methods of training, can't predict all the peculiarities in the behavior of his future pet. Let alone those who are about to take this exciting but thorny path of raising and fostering the four-footed friend.
Owners often complain of their pets and ask for advice. Most complaints include problems of young dog disobedience, chewing the owner's things, tearing wall-paper, howling, running away when outdoors, jumping at family members. Unfortunately very few of them ask why this happens. They usually want to know what to do with this dog.
Is it easy to give a good advice, if you don't know the owner and the dog? No. You have to pump much and much to explain. The first question I'm interested in such case is the dog's age. Then I ask about sex, breed, owner's family and habits of relationship. ON the basis of this I make a preliminary diagnose.
The point is that the individual development of the organism is under the general laws of dog behavior formation. But the regular process of ontogenesis is exposed to the environmental conditions the dog lives in, as well as temperament and requirements of the owner. Only when you understand why the dog behaves like this or that you may try to remove or improve the drawbacks.
In order to raise the dog properly one should know the manner its behavior and character develop. This article was written about very item.
There is a parable of young parents who came to the wise man to ask: "How we should foster a child?" When he found out that a child was three months old, the wise man replied: "You should come 1 year before".
This parable fits a dog owner too. But since a question about whether the egg or a hen appears first is still unsettled, I'd rather start my story about dog's behavior at different life periods and begin from the puppy birth.
Normally a puppy is delivered in a sac. Mother licks the newborn, snatches the sac with her teeth, tears it and eats together with placenta. In response to a dam's vigorous massage the pup starts breathing, moving and squeaking. If the puppy is stillborn and doesn't squeaks under the mother's belly she usually eats him together with the sac. This is natural for an animal. Dead puppies can't stay with the alive ones in the nest. Cases when a dam eats her alive babies are very rare and are most often provoked by something that makes her very anxious. This should be regarded only as pathology.
A so-called "maternal instinct" displayed as a form of the dam's behavior is very closely connected to the development stages of the puppies. As their behavior change, her behavior changes too.
 During the first stage of the nursing period - from 4 to 5 days of his life a puppy is helpless: he is blind, deaf, his movements are chaotic, he is guided only by a contact reception, i.e. orients by touches of his mother and littermates, temperature and taste. He is still unable to find the dam at a distance. He totally depends on his mother and she spends almost all her time with them. All breeders know how difficult it is to take a dam for a walk in the first 4-5 days of pups' life. At a mere squeak from the puppies' side she leaves the food and rushes there. These days many bitches growl even at their owners and don't allow strangers to approach. But a week is enough for the dam to get easier.
At this stage puppies display only one universal behavioral form as a response to any discomfort (hunger, cold, pain, a need for eliminating, etc.) - they move actively and squeak. The dam in her turn rushes to him in a moment, sniffs and begins to lick and sometimes pushes him towards nipples.
In these days a puppy can't urinate and defecate without his mother's help: he is too weak to crawl away from the nest or bedding to do his business. The dam cleans puppies and eats their feces - thus she keeps the nest clean. The reason why many hand raising newborn puppies die is that the owner doesn't fulfill some necessary procedures. Every time before and after feeding one should massage the puppy's belly until the cub eliminates. When puppies lie calm and quiet the dam almost doesn't notice them. She seeks for them only if they begin to squeak or when she accumulates enough milk.
 In the period from 5th to 11-13th day of age open the ear ducts (by 8 to 10 day) and eyes (11 to 13 day). Puppies reveal attempts to stand up, curl when sleep, scratch, yawn, stretch and lick themselves. Now they can eliminate on their own and actively compete for nipples. After 4th to 5th day the dam leaves them more easily. From now the initiative for contacts gradually passes to the puppies. By 11-13 day of age puppies recognize their mother at a distance of 1-1.5 meters and purposefully crawl to her.
This is the second phase of nursing. At this period the puppy behavior develops directly to provide essential needs.
 The next phase includes the period from 12 to 20 day of age. With puppies the motion activity increases. They begin to walk, sit down and react on loud sounds. By two weeks of age the babies that are hand raising can lick watery food, but when puppies have a possibility, they prefer to nurse mother's milk. By this time they make efforts to leave the nest to do their business and the dam gradually ceases to eat their feces. A passive investigatory behavior appears: the puppies begin to explore ambient territory along the radiuses of little by little expanding circumference with the bedding in the center. If there is some object on their way - a bowl, a towel, a chair, an owner's leg - they sniff it but doesn't touch and go back to the nest. This is the period when the first elements of defense behavior, i.e. reaction onto probable danger, appear: the puppies begin to growl and be frightened of strong odors. At a loud sound they freeze and try to stay away from pungent smells.
The main distinguishing feature of this phase is a display of unilateral contacts [contacts with no response from other puppies]. Perhaps, this phase should be called as the phase of pre-group behavior.
 At three weeks the first milk teeth erupt, the cubs begin to see. They willingly lick the suggested supplementary food, but still continue nursing with the dam's milk. The investigatory behavior turns into active form: every new object attracts puppies. So they seize them, pull with paws, begin to chew slippers, rags, furniture, snatch the owner's fingers, trousers, keep on getting right into the places where they shouldn't. At the same time a manifest passive defense reaction onto loud sounds, jerky movements and falling things develops. The formation of the defense behavior comes together with the development of distant analyzers - smell, hearing and vision - onto odors first, then - onto noise and at last - onto jerky movements. A puppy gets scared, freezes, tries to hide or run away. More active puppies jump back, run away, while less active sit down or walk away. This time the active defense reaction is displayed only during a game - as barking, growling, attacks - and is no real defense but a playing behavior.
By the beginning of this phase bilateral contacts appear, which are elements of group behavior. From this moment the dam begins to play with the litter and foster them: drives away from her food and nipples when she doesn't have milk, etc. Thus the puppies acquire the first notion about the ban. This goes in the following way: at first the bitch growls quiet, then - louder, stronger. If a pup doesn't stop to do what he must not, the mother snatches him (usually the head). When all the puppies felt the mother's grip they begin to understand the meaning of growling and if one of them catches it, others get quiet. At this very time the puppies begin to comprehend other signals like knocking at the bowl as a signal of supplementary feeding and a prohibition, if it was reinforced with a smack.
By four weeks of age puppies begin to tell the owner from strangers and the reaction on to the owner coming home appears: puppies rush to him. Note that they bark when running to the dam, but meet people silently.
The fourth phase lasts till about one and a half months of age - till the end of the lactation period. It can be characterized by an active investigatory behavior, passive defense behavior and, what is the main, by the initiation of the group behavior. From this moment a human may enter the sphere of a puppy's contacts and start control its behavior and further development. With the puppy a human gets imprinted.
Imprinting - is a phenomenon, revealed by Konrad Lorenz in 1935. He found out that there is a comparatively brief time in an animal's life that is called "critical period" or "imprinting period", during which a baby memorizes the image of its species. If in this period a cub communicates with its mother and the congeners then later it will never confuse the specimens of its own species with other animals. Being mature the animal mates only with the congeners. But if during the critical period the cub imprints the image of some other species, such animal will never be able to naturally communicate with congeners.
If a puppy is isolated from other dogs during the puppyhood, it will imprint a human solely. So when it will grow old it won't be able to normally contact to other dogs, won't be able to mate with them. Thus you get a mentally abnormal dog, which will take people as congeners to the point of looking at them as at sexual partners.
Unfortunately today a notion is current among some "specialists" who diligently pass it to dog owners, that puppies should not be allowed to alien dogs because of infection hazard. As a result the owners raise mentally abnormal animals. Such dogs prefer to make seta on people's legs, leaving females in a season aside, while females do not admit normal males. With this morally invalid dog the usual communication with congeners is also damaged. Inadequate behavior often provokes aggression with a normal dog. This entails fights. Owners take the dog away, resent other owners and finally doom their unlucky pet to a lifelong isolation. Thus a mere ethological incompetence can result in irretrievable consequences.
When a puppy gets information about outside ambient and other creatures' behavior, he begins to adapt, i.e. modulates his behavior according to reactions of animals and people as well as characteristics of inanimate objects. This is the way how he accumulates the individual life experience that together with inborn forms of behavior determines his reactions in different situations.
Observations on the development of a puppy behavior have revealed that functional systems [the systems of the organism that work to provide the animal with beneficial (=adaptive) results, which help adapt to the environment] shape gradually as the adaptive results get more and more complicated. This means that the phases of development reflect the sequence of certain levels.
At the prime level the adaptive reactions [reactions the organism is able to display while he gets more and more adapted] are aimed to provide normal metabolism and vital needs, at first - indirectly via the mother, and later - independently. At the next level, the group behavior appears and later on takes part in providing social needs.
As the development goes on the single behavioral reactions gradually merge in the "behavioral blocks". These are complexes of behavioral reactions that come one by one in a definite order and finally lead to satisfaction of a given necessity, i.e. a beneficial result. These blocks later form a species-specific as well as an individual behavior.
Observations on the behavior of nursing puppies evidently show that single elements of "blocks" are established within the elements of previous "blocks", and often are not associated with the functions, they fulfill later.
Thus, a newborn puppy has a functional and full ready nursing system. He is unable to get food in some other way. BUT in the presence of the working nursing system the new elements appear that later enter the system of feeding, as well as playing, comfort and group behavior. On the third day a puppy begins to lick the littermate's noses, on the fourth - nip them, on the fifth - spit out, on the ninth - lick the siblings, and by the twelfth day chewing movements develop. Here we can state that a functional licking system establishes when the first milk teeth erupt. Though chewing movements appear early, the puppy can chew food only when he is one-and-half months.
In such a way, the elements of future licking and chewing systems appear within the working nursing system and long before the puppy begins to use these systems properly. You see that after the end of the nursing period the suction disappear and the dog never again goes back to this type of feeding: a mature animal can't roll the tongue longwise.
The first element of active defense behavior - growling - appears at the twelfth day while inspection of a wall, at sleep, during playing on its own, etc., i.e. irrespective of the defense behavior system and long before the true defense reaction is formed.
The defense behavior is displayed during the fourth phase of nursing period. But this time active and passive defense reactions shape independently of one another. A passive defense form at this stage is in fact a true defense behavior because at a possible danger a puppy freezes or runs away, while an active defense reaction is just an element of playing behavior: the pup attacks, barks, growls and fights only during romping with mother and other puppies.
This is what a person who gets a dog for protection work should remember. On no account one should ever try to "make" an angry puppy and make him bite. Such an owner's behavior very quickly evokes stress and hysteric drive in a puppy. A true active defense behavior develops much later along with maturity, at an establishment of a territorial behavior. Attempts of "training malice" at an early age lead only to development of hysteria, i.e. a mental disorder.
As the time goes, the new elements and forms of behavior appear. This process is connected with the development of nervous and endocrine systems. And naturally, the new forms of behavior are also bonded with the development of other behavioral reactions. At each next phase the qualitative change of the whole complex of behavior happens. And the group behavior is very important here: at first contacts activate puppies and later help actively exchange information.
Thus, on the one hand, the behavior gets more complicated due to a physical development. On the other hand, the establishment of a behavior in the course of the interaction with the ambience - mother, littermates, humans - stimulates physical development.
By the end of a nursing period the environment has more and more influence on a puppy. The time from 1 to 1.5 months is the very age when puppies are weaned from the dam and passed to their next owners. This stimulates different reactions in different puppies, but despite the circumstances, this procedure results in stress.
Some puppies look alright when changing the ambience, others -whimper, seek for the dam and worry, especially at nights. After day or two the puppies get used to the new environment, especially since the owner takes the function of mother: feeds, raises and protects. A puppy very quickly begins to treat the owner as a dam. By this time he is already able to understand what is "No" and easily adopts that he should look for food, help and protection with a human. If the owner is attentive enough and from the beginning regulates the puppy's behavior, the latter learns very fast to correct his behavior according to the human's reaction.
This is the very reason why the owner should begin raising from the very first moment the charge enters the new house.
The time of 1.5 to 3 months of age is a "childhood" period. Moving functions and coordination of movements develop. Adaptation to the environment begins. The puppy can already react onto his name when the owner calls him, understands "Off" or "No" commands as prohibition, adopts "Come", "Sit" and "Give paw". During his explorations of the surround territory, animals and people, the puppy accumulates a specific experience and behavioral "blocks" take shape in each given case. In a familiar ambience, in a tried situation the puppy feels confident, but any alteration confuses and even frightens him.
In this period a puppy uses cut-and-try method, e.g. when hungry the pup walks around the flat, sniffs the floor, furniture, picks up and spits out things, he meets on the way, and some times whimpers. If the food still doesn't appear, he goes on looking and after some time stumbles upon the owner, begins to whimper louder and tries to scratch his leg. If after this he gets food or a tidbit, such behavior will reinforce and next time the puppy will come right to the owner in the situation like this to whimper, bark and scratch him with the paw. An experienced and attentive owner will of course try to avoid such thing. When you see a hungry puppy it is better to call him, adding the command "Come". When to puppy comes feed him or, if the time hasn't come, give a dainty.
At this age a puppy is still unable to concentrate long on one object. Its attention easily switches. The pup all the time looks aside. The differentiation [ability to see difference between similar stimuli] and inhibition[opposite to stimulation] processes are still weak, so one can't expect a good self-control from him.
Training during this period implies regulation and reinforcement of the desired behavior. The time for purposeful adjustment of some skills should not last longer than 5 to 10 min.
Many owners meet problems concerning walking with the puppy. Yes, he is already able to tell his people from strangers, but in natural conditions mature dogs don't make harm to cubs. Therefore people around excite curiosity with the pup rather than the caution. With a baby-dog the instinct of following is very expressed. It readily goes after legs that move in front of his head. Staring at something else the puppy may lose sight of the owner and easily ties to the stranger. In the same way it may follow the dog passing nearby, especially if the latter sniffs the pup. This is a natural puppy behavior. Useless to punish the pup for this. It's better to run for him and switch his attention to you, stamping legs in front of his muzzle and then going away from him in small steps.
The dog learns gestures and tones better than words. Therefore one is recommended to add movements to words. Choose some gesture for calling the puppy. Do it and step back along with a verbal command. Command "Off" should be given with a threat in voice - very seriously. A puppy doesn't understand jokes - everything he does, he does in earnest. The pup will learn to "make fun" later. The commands "Sit", "Down", "Give A Paw" - are strongly advised to be combined with the appropriate gestures.
A young puppy is yet unable to generalize. If he chews a chair leg or a book and is punished for this, he simply switches to another leg or a book. The puppy just understands that THIS TIME HE MUST NOT CHEW THIS GIVEN BOOK. But this prohibition doesn't spread on another book or another piece of time.
In my practice I always used to introduce the command "No" along with the command "Yes". I do so because this, first of all, develops differentiation in a puppy, and second, helps much later during "explanation of the lesson". For example, due to this kind of fostering, Roger, my Caucasian Shepherd Dog, when walking on the waste ground always brought and showed me all things he found to be interesting - from sticks and cones to bottles and sausage tips. He brings, gives it in my hands and stays waiting. Sticks and cones were "Yes" and we took them home. Bottles were "No" and we through them away and as for sausage tips, which were also "No", they were exchanged onto tidbits from the owner's pocket.
It is very important for the puppy during first three months to get used to the family's life rhythm. Thus there'll be no troubles with being alone. No howling, no scratched doors when you try to leave for a work, no neighbors' complain. He should learn the commands "Come" and "No" thoroughly because this will later make your life very much easier.
My own experience shows that you have time only till the dog is three months of age when you can break it of the habit to pick stuff of the ground. Each time the puppy tries to grab a piece of food from the soil you must cut the attempt right off. Once or twice you admit, this will be enough that none of your prohibitions would guarantee your dog's safety later on.
Our pets have a perfect memory and are surprisingly sensitive to all the master's reactions. The dog turns away from the slice of food when you look at him and certainly comes back and gobbles it when you are out of his sight. In such cases even the electronic training collar is helpless. As many as one attempt was enough for my Dobermann Bianka to snatch a piece of meet, to which a wire under voltage was attached, and to learn this lesson. She swiftly grasped how to tell the meat with a wire (from which she dashed aside at once) from the "clean" pieces, which she swallowed straightaway before the eyes of amazed trainers.
Neither bits of meat wrapped over cayenne, mustard and the like spices can help. Most of dogs regard them as a delicacy, the more so as they almost don't chew meat before swallowing.
At three months of age milk teeth change onto second dentition. This coincides with the beginning of the next period in the dog's life - "youth" - that lasts till maturity. The maturity may start at different age with different dogs. This depends on the animal's body type, individual heritable time of physiological development and environmental conditions.
During the "teens" period the moving activity keeps on developing. Differentiation, self-control, an ability to forecast, as well as feedforward generalization[making predictions using results of previous experience] and generalization in essence - go on shaping.
Puppy's behavior becomes more various. His life experience forms and grows. He is very nimble and inquisitive. He doesn't avoid unknown situations anymore, quite the contrary - actively looks for them. At each new case he demonstrates all the trained forms of behavior and develops new behavioral reactions. While running through the variants of behavior he possesses the puppy on the one hand determines the limits of what he may do, on the other hand - what he is able to do. This is the manner how he works out the best way to get the useful result.
Sometimes a puppy himself provokes the new situation and himself searches for a probable decisions set. For instance, Rodger, mentioned above, at the age of three and a half months of age was tall enough to reach the biscuits laid on the small table. When he tried, a prohibitive command followed. After some time he tried to filch a pair of gloves from their. And again a prohibitive command followed. For several seconds Rodger shifted his gaze from the master to the gloves and back and then went aside, took a rubber toy, approached to the table and put it there. Then he, squinting at the owner, carefully pulled the toy leaving it on the table surface. As he heard the command "Yes", Rodger took the toy, held it for a moment, threw down and went for his ball. The situation repeated: the ball was allowed to be taken from the table. After this Rodger, keeping his eye at the owner, reached out for the gloves. And, obviously, heard the prohibiting command. Yet, it was evident that the puppy expected such result. Thus he on his own provoked the situation to check if he expected right.
At the age of 4 to 5 months puppies often try to snap some of the owner's pieces of clothing - a cap or gloves and start rush about, holding it in their teeth, keeping the distance to the owner. A puppy may throw the thing, snatch it again, toss up, catch, tousle. But all the time he keeps an eye on the master and watches his reaction. Despite the funny side of the situation, the latter is very complicated. One can scarcely catch the adult puppy, while prohibiting command almost ineffective. But such a "scoff" is nothing but a moment when the puppy clears up the owner's abilities and limits of what is allowable.
You can choose between different ways to save your dignity. The only thing what you must not do is to chase the puppy and to "make the game more fascinating". You can ignore him and wait till the puppy is being "uninterested". Or switch his attention, pretending that you strike other dog or have found something attractive on the ground. Or, if the puppy knows the command "Bring It!", convert the situation into work. Several solutions possible and they depend on the puppy's nature. Never forget that contact between a dog and a man needs much intellectual effort from the owner too.
Juvenile period is one of the most difficult for the owner. Each day brings new surprises. Dog's body and mind develop simultaneously. This is the very time when a dog most actively perceives the environment and most variously reacts on it. All the puppy's potential possibilities can be realized. And the more diverse is the ambience, the more adequate will be the dog's adult reactions later on.
The sexual maturity means reconstruction of the hormone system that takes place in a dog's organism. His behavior changes too.
Elements of sexual and territorial behavior appear as early as at 2 to 3 months of age, but these should be referred only as playing behavior, which reveals both in males and females. Mounts (the element of real sexual behavior) and the so-called "dominant mounts" (a part of demonstration behavior) can be displayed by females too and appear at the onset of sexual maturity. The same is to the territorial behavior. A puppy may bark when somebody comes to the house, but this is not guarding of the territory. It is at best a reaction on the owner's appeal or the imitation of an adult dog behavior.
The sign of the sexual maturity is that a dog begins to mark territory. Males start to mark elevated objects, especially if there are markings of other dogs. Females usually show the marking activity during the estrus period. Beside this, a female may mark her way in an unfamiliar area. If to permit her looking for the way back, she will strictly follow her marking. Some females leave markings in the "public accommodations" like males do. With adult dogs this is one of the modes to exchange information.
One more typical feature is how mature dogs alter their attitude towards the juvenile. Adults don't touch the small puppy. When the puppy is in between 4 to 5 months of age, mature dogs may growl at him, and even attack or bite a cub when to their opinion he behaves incorrectly. If a dog-in-a-conflict is sane, the owners should better stay away from the "process of fosterage". Such an adult behavior is taken as a punishment, so the puppy doesn't snarl and demonstrates the submission posture, which induces the inhibition of aggression.
N. Tinbergen mentions that immature Husky do not defend their territory and are unable to comprehend there are alien territories, while mature Husky allow them to go everywhere. But as the young dogs obtain the territorial behavior they choose their own pack and start to avoid others territories, since when mature, they can be killed but more powerful rivals.
The period till 1.5 to 2 years of age is the time between sexual maturity and physical maturity. The dog's muscles and bones take the final development and all the forms of social behavior are shaped as well as the temperament.
On reaching sexual maturity a young dog begins sorting out the relationship with the dogs and people around, searching for its place in the group and in group-to-group interactions. By this, each "winning" in a conflict situation promotes the young dog and each "defeat" reduces its rank. This is especially typical for the behavior of young males. If a "fellow" manages to beat even a small doggy, he becomes "saucier" with big ones as well. If, on the contrary, he caught it from a stronger animal, he feels less self-confident in front of the weaker opponent.
Unbalanced temper and cocky behavior of young dogs should be explained as attempts to determine their state in the social structure of mature animals. The same concerns their relationship with people.
Many owners, especially females, often take offence of that: "Do I not feed and keep him, comb his coat, walk with him? But he simply doesn't care, doesn't obey at all!" This is natural. A juvenile dog ceases to regard a human like a mother. With him "soul-searching" begins. The dog begins to treat the man like a "member of pack" and looks for its place in this group, estimates physical and moral superiority. The one who is stronger and more self-confident gets the highest rank in a group to be obeyed implicitly. This is the reason why the young dog begins to "play up", stops to obey, may growl and attack his owners. Such attempts of reorganization with the purpose of gaining the leadership in the group may happen from time to time till 2 to 3 years. This can be especially prominent with big and strong males, whose "moral" and physical abilities answer a higher rank in the group. If the owner is unable to cope with such dog, then the dog subordinates him, i.e. shows that he "doesn't care". In this case there's only one consolation: such dog won't obey but will protect and guard the owners as "weaker members of pack".
Not that with all dogs the socialization proceeds in such an acute manner. There are some who regard an owner as a mother all lifelong. They do not try to change relationship, do not have pretensions of a higher rank in a group, eagerly submit to people and dogs. There are no big problems with them. But a dog with such temper does not guard neither the territory, nor the owner or his property. The maximum they can do is barking, i.e. calling for owners in situations that assume any danger. These cute, playful creatures get everything they need from people or congeners by means of their weakness and often achieve this with surprisingly refined methods.
Many people call this behavior as "spoilt", but this is not quite correct. Just think how much trouble and intellectual effort a beggar needs. Much exertion and "ingenuity" should be spent to obtain an owner's permission (despite of his mood) to sleep only on a sofa or to get that very slice, which took the dog's fancy at a first sight.
My small pooch Kilka spent more than a month or so to prove another dog - Newfoundland Karma - she has a right to sleep on Karma's tail. And what a refined ingenuity should have been used to bluff faint-hearted Shepherd Stella into attack, when Kilka almost drove her wild, and then, as Stella was absolutely sure Kilka was in her mouth, she led Stella right to the muzzle of Karma, which was immediately leashed to avoid fighting. One should have seen the Stella's face when instead of tiny Kilka she saw the big black Karma, she was very frightened of. That very Kilka managed to steal food from the table in such a way that big dogs, not she, were punished. Of course she had to share tidbits but, I think, not so much the result as the process was important.
One more thing to note here is that young dogs prefer to carry out a complete ceremony of demonstrative behavior before mature animals. They possess the most expressive form of behavior among other ages. As the dog grows older and finds its place in the group, some behavioral "blocks" shorten or get lost. The behavior becomes balanced and by 2 to 3 years of age turns into a stereotype.
Stability and stereotype nature of the dog's behavior in customary conditions are exactly typical for the physical maturity. This period on average lasts till 8 years of age.
The dog's actions depend on its temper and experience, gathered during the previous periods. Critical situations or abrupt change of ambience are hard for the animal. Reconstruction of the behavior requires very much effort. This is why change of owners is so heavy for an adult dog.
With many mature dogs a so-called "unwanted associations" appear, which work within the confines of usual stereotype situations. For example, the nursling of one of the Moscow kennels, a South Russian Shepherd Dog female Chapa was very spiteful within the territory of the kennel or standing sentry. But she gave in when being used for catching real hooligans in an unfamiliar environment. Chapa was scared because all her life she spent in the kennel and never had been out of it.
Dogs living in the house have a greater life experience and are able to work in a wider variety of conditions. Though trainers know well that such dogs often have an "unwanted association" with the training ground. Being able to detain to assistant, dressed in special clothing, they may get confused when being ordered to detain a man in an everyday suit on the street.
The situation is reverse in kennel. Thus, the formal testing of working qualities of guard dogs in one of Moscow breeding houses showed that their wards do not display any aggression towards the assistant dressed in a training suit. The stuff stopped panic only after several days when a "teaser" was playing with a young Caucasian Shepherd Dog to check its working qualities and a wireman entered the kennel without warning. The dog attacked him and tore his quilted jacket. It turned out that trainers used training suits also in a cold weather and put them on the overalls. Therefore dogs took a man dressed like this as a good fellow but were aggressive towards people dressed in usual cloths.
An interesting story was told in the periodical "Dog-breeding And Training" issued 1926. A dog was trained a skill of disarming the man in the moment of shooting. The result was unexpected: while detaining the real criminal the dog heard the shot made by the guide, turned around and in a well trained manner disarmed the policeman before the amazed delinquent's eyes.
With age the dog becomes wiser. Its' behavior changes. By about 8 years of age some more reduction of behavioral "blocks" happens. A kind of "foreseeing" of situation appears. The dog passes ahead of the events: it begins to act without waiting for the command and using the minimum of operations. The behavior is subjected both to quantitative and qualitative alterations. To reach the desired result the dog may choose forms of behavior, which are not in its nature, but are always based on its previous experience and combine the elements of different "blocks".
So was with Newfoundland Iola-Beck, when she was 8 and a half years and act the program of general training course before the pupils. She worked without any dainty but knew it was in the bag on the table.
She knew that commands followed each other in a definite order. After the trick with returning back to the place, which was marked by some object, went the command "Bring It" which meant to bring that very object. That time the "place" was marked with the slipper but instead of "Bring It" the command "Guard" was given. The dog carried the latter out, then... took the slipper and brought it to the owner. The children laughed. Indeed it was funny - just as if the dog brought the slipper to make the owner guard it by herself. The next time the "place" was marked with the handbag. At a command "Place" the dog brought the handbag. After this the handbag was put on a table near the dainty and the owner pointed at the empty floor marking the "place" (in such cases the dog usually returned back to the place she lay on). The command "Come" was given and then - "Place". The dog came back to the place where she had lain, sniffed the floor, looked around, approached to the table, took the handbag and brought it to the owner. As the owner accepted the bag, the dog without a command ran to the table and wagged her tail looking at the dainty. The behavior was so expressive that no comment needed.
This case is very vivid. Of course the dog broke the rules of obeying but she as well showed certain logic: combining the execution of two commands, which were in the end of the performance, she tried to shorten the way to the aim - the tidbit she deserved.
The dog's behavior is an endless theme and none of the fanciers can be indifferent to it. Everybody can remember some personal examples or stories heard from the friends. Everybody is ready to give some advice to the beginner. But the point is that the advice of the Newfoundland owner can hardly be of use for the Hound keeper. Just like the ration of a Caucasian Shepherd dog could scarcely seem tasty to a Toy Poodle.
During many centuries people breed dogs, create new varieties trying to catch the ideal. But, as everybody knows, "tastes differ". Some like Bulldog appearance, others - Italian Greyhound, the third - Saint Bernard. The same is to the behavior. Some people consider absolute obedience to be perfect, others prefer furious malice. Some like a calm phlegmatic, others - agile and unbalanced character.
With specialized breeds, like guard and hound dogs, people used many generations of animals to stabilize the definite behavioral complexes. In other words, they were carrying out the selection for the reinforcement of the desired working qualities and reduction of unwanted reactions at the same time. Therefore today none of trainings can help the Borzoi to sit at a sentry post and guard the storehouse, or a Saint Bernard to catch rabbits.
Fosterage and training are, in fact, the regulation of the behavior while it shapes, and are directed to the best usage of hereditary stabilized working qualities.
When choosing a pedigree dog and thinking over its raising you can't but consider its hereditary traits.
Aside for the specialized varieties there are some generalized breeds: Laika and Husky, most of Shepherd dogs, etc. These dogs have the most expressive forms of behavior typical for the species as a whole. The hereditary features of these dogs are closest to the wild ancestors. Naturally they usually have a self-independent temperament.
The widest range of behavioral complexes can be seen with the pooches. This doesn't mean each mutt possesses all the qualities of the best breed representatives, but this very mass of outbred dogs include the total set of behavioral features typical for Canis species. They, per se, are the keepers of the species gene pool, which was partially lost with the specialized breeds.
Any dog can be well-brought-up. This means it is able to learn good manners of people society. But the mistakes of the teacher can spoilt even a best puppy.
We hope the laws of dog behavior shaping represented in this article will help the owners to avoid some drawbacks during fosterage of their charges. After all, this is the owner who is responsible for the dog's behavior.
By N. M. Domanova
"The things dogs barks about" (composed by E.V. Kotenkova, A.V. Surov)
Translated by Tatiana Karpova (Moscow)
(MSU, Biology faculture, Dep. zoology and ecology).