Just like people; dogs have different personality types. The type of personality your dog has will determine the types of traits and behaviours you might expect from them. I have identified six main ones, which one is yours?
The nanny dog is caring and sensitive to their fellow pack members. She quickly attunes to her family and is particularly sensitive to their emotions. The nanny dog knows how to make everyone feel better and will be the first to snuggle and offer support when its needed. She loves to take care of the younger and the sick pack members, and nurse the pups.
The nanny will make a great support dog. But, because of the strong bond she can form, she may not always cope well when alone, especially she lacks her own confidence. She looks forward to the end of the day when everyone settles down together!
The defender is loyal and protective of the people he loves. He’ll gladly fight for his family, and values security very highly. He’ll be out front of his pack at any sign of trouble. Whilst the watchdog will alert the defender to threats, the defender will soon takeover, and will be the last to settle once the threat has passed.
In the absence of a watchdog he’ll also stay alert and monitor boundaries, otherwise he’ll wait confidentially for his call! Just like the watchdog, he’ll be most relaxed on walks away from his normal territory where there is no competition.
He’ll do best in a home with a strong routine when it comes to doors and greetings. The confident defender will fight for his pack and territory if necessary. But if he lacks confidence he’ll really struggle with visitors, and especially strangers, and he might get stressed when visitors get up, even after apparently accepting them into your home.
The watchdog is alert and ready to bark at all times. She likes to monitor fences, windows and doors, and will often be found patrolling between them all. She will readily bark at random noises to alert the defender, but once she’s done her job she will be everyone’s best friend. She’ll regularly maintain her boundaries with fresh scent and will have the best lookout spot in the house. Your watchdog will always be glad to get home after a walk, she can’t wait to zoom round the house and garden re-checking for anything she’s missed while she’s been gone! She’ll be most relaxed on walks well away from her territory.
The watchdog is not necessarily a fighter, although she will defend the territory if needed. She’ll be happiest stepping back once she’s said her piece and letting everyone else handle the drama. Her personal mantra is “bark first, ask questions later!”
Keep her happy by quietly thanking her for doing her job her and letting her relax. She’ll do best in a detached house set back from civilisation as she’ll bark at every passer-by. Definitely don’t “bark” along with her otherwise she’ll never stop! And don’t trap her behind a door or gate as she’ll try to chew her way free!
The hunter keeps everyone well fed. He’s in his element when he’s chasing a scent trail or returning with dinner. He loves to be up front indulging in retrieving behaviour, scattering birds, or scent trailing. He loves his walks more than anyone and can’t wait to get his nose to the ground or practise his stalking and chasing moves on his friends!
He’ll do best when indulged in activities that allow him to practise hunting behaviours. The hunter will need to be well socialised so he can wrestle with and “stalk” his friends in the park. He’ll also need a strong, predictable feeding routine so he never worries about tea time – don’t let him pick and choose at meal times!
He’ll be easily motivated by food, but his recall might suffer if you don’t keep him close and focus on distractions. Also work on releasing tension so he doesn’t teach himself to pull on the lead. Without extra training he’ll be at risk of ranging out and losing himself on a trail or dragging you from one scent to the next!
The peacemaker likes things calm and friendly. He’s a diplomat and quickly gets upset if arguments break out. He will always try to get between people and dogs if things get rowdy. Even in the park, he’ll be the first one into the middle of a row if he thinks he can calm tensions.
He can easily get stressed by too much barking, laughing or shouting, and can be protective between affectionate couples! He’s happiest sitting quietly on the sofa in the middle of all his favourite people.
The peacemaker will do best in a calm and quiet household. He’ll hate a rowdy football match, warring siblings, or noisy building work. An anxious peacemaker might be quick to redirect his frustration when things get out of hand.
Similar to the peacemaker, the disciplinarian likes things calm, she also likes rules and will make sure they are followed. She is controlling, and will want to keep everyone together. She’ll especially get stressed when the kids run off to play in the park, or when a family member walks ahead.
The disciplinarian needs a strong and predictable routine otherwise she’ll become easily frustrated. When stressed she’ll be quick to snap, nip or grab at hands and clothes. And she might not cope well when her pack leave the house, despite having company.
She’ll have boundaries too, especially when it comes to greetings and strangers. She’ll struggle with people and dogs she doesn’t know that are over friendly. And she’ll especially hate other dogs sniffing her behind, or people petting her, until she’s given her permission, of course!
Which dog personality type do you have?
Or maybe you have a mixture of two! Tell me your dogs personality type in the comments!
How can I help you with your dogs behaviour?
Private Dog Behaviour Consultations are currently available in the Dundee area and beyond. If you are looking for help solving your dogs behaviour and training problems, then please get in touch!