Discovering and knowing your puppy

The Puppy's Character: To train a dog means molding his character to fit our demands and needs. But, what is really the dog's character? We can't go further without answering first this question.As in man, the word character has a double meaning. The first defines a whole of psychological qualities of the dog (courage, temper, aggressiveness, curiosity, etc). A dog having these qualities in a high level, is one with "strong character", while that with less proportions or without some of them, is considered as "not much character". The second meaning has a more similar sense to that attached to men, though with a substantial difference. When we say a person has "good character", we mean he is cute, kind, and with great moral values; on the contrary, we say he has a "bad temper". In a dog's case it is different: one with good character is, in fact, cute, sociable and good, but a bad temper dog is not one lacking moral values, because they simply don't have them. Contrary to human beings, no dog is bad, because they don't follow ethic rules or laws. The dog has only two conduct schemes: that of nature (we call it instinct), and the one imposed by man. Think, for instance, of a biting dog: from where does his bad temper come? From nature obviously not. Thousands of domestication years have not altered the dog's mind. Though externally they have adopted very different shapes, measures and colors, internally they are still the same animal they were twelve thousands years ago. The dog's brain, at least at birth, is exactly the same as that of a wolf. Man intervenes afterwards, modifying their psychological development making them believe bipeds are their congeners, and teaching them to respect and obey the tailless leader of the pack that walks erect. This process receives the name of imprinting, which we will talk about more later on. For the time being, please know that without imprinting, dogs feel no relation at all with human beings, considering them strangers and unknown, like a tiger or elephant. Therefore, dogs have no natural instinct that could induce them to be aggressive towards man, and also has no natural instincts to induce him to be docile and tender. These attitudes are due to man's intervention during the imprinting process. Without it, the only instinctive reaction of a dog, would be: self defense, usually running away. Everyone should know that the Little Red Riding Hood's wolf is a tale: if a real wolf finds the "grandmother" in the woods, he will not eat her, but will run away, just the same a dog without imprinting will do. A wolf or a wild dog, can only choose to attack instead of running away in two cases: when the female defends her litter, and when threatened without tyhe ability to escape. In his natural state, wolves will always find a way to escape. In contrast, within human context, there are more possibilities for a dog to feel threatened and trapped. When talking about aggressive dogs, keep this is mind. For the time being, we can conclude that: if the dog lacks moral, and the only "natural instinct" is to run away from men to avoid harm, it's obvious that aggressive dogs are not "natural", but their reactions are caused by men.

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