"It's all in how you raise them!" Or is it?
"It's all in how you raise them!"
This is something dog owners hear a lot. As a dog trainer I admit that the influence of the dog's owner and its environment can have a huge impact on their dog's behaviour. This can be in terms of the amount of training they do together as well as the socialisation and positive exposure they provide their dog. In fact, a huge part of your dog's personality is developed between birth and maturity at 2-3 years old. This is why training and positive experiences are so important, especially at this young age.
However, to say it is "ALL" in how you raise them is misleading and can be harmful to our training and ultimately our bond with our dogs; particularly when we are trying so hard to extinguish these natural behaviours completely (and often fail to do so).
Genetics play a huge role in our dog's behaviour and a lot of what we see in our domestic dogs has been selectively bred for many years: collies have a natural herding instinct, pointers can point, spaniels are instinctively scent driven etc.. This is part of their genetic make up and although training may alter this slightly, this drive will still be there.
So it is important to recognise what our dogs are bred for and work with this, especially when it comes to their training.