By Nan Talleno
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Your dog is as unique as you are so when it comes to breed specific information, don’t choose a dog based on generalizations as every dog is different and will display different traits.
Breed specific traits are more physical in nature, meaning size, coats, colors, and in some breeds, sometimes, genetic proclivity to illness. Other than that, behaviorally, they should all be seen as individuals with some breed info used just as a guide.
As a canine behavior specialist, I see dogs of all breeds every day. When I assess information, I may occasionally refer to some breed specific information for help, but generally discount the rest so as to help the individual dog.
For example, a Border Collie is physically and genetically an active herding dog, due to their agility, displaying a natural herding mentality such as nipping at ankles, but although they are all physically agile, not all Border Collies display this behavior.
Terriers and Sighthounds predominantly seem to have a higher prey drive but my Greyhound among many others has absolutely no interest in prey.
Every dog is different. Use breed specific information to help you with matching lifestyle such as the amount of exercise required, the space a dog requires, how much time could be spent with your dog, but do not generalize overall behavior due to breeds or you might miss the opportunity to adopting a great dog.