A dog’s breed gives us an outline of what genomic traits a dog has been selectively bred for. Typically for hundreds of years.
Knowing a dog’s breed helps us get an understanding of a dog’s “typical” morphology, personality, and genotype. However, a dog’s breed does not define a dog.
The dog’s personality and temperament are always the final say about a dog’s uniqueness. The dog breed is simply a suggestion or likelihood of a dog looking, behaving, and having certain traits, however, the environment, and learning makeup just as much, if not more of the dog.
While detecting what breed a dog is might be helpful before buying or adopting a dog, each dog is an individual and must be evaluated as such.
It wouldn’t be wise to adopt a dog based on a breed “standard” unless you were only concerned about how the dog looked and not the health, behavior, personality, temperament of the dog.
If the dog was ethically bred, which most aren’t, they might have a more similar aesthetic to other dogs in that breed line, however, a dog’s behavior is not so linear and easy to breed for.
Breeding may influence behavior and trainability but it certainly doesn’t dictate behavior. There is a tremendous amount of behavioral, temperament, and personality variability within any breed line.
As a certified dog behaviorist, trainer, and nutritionist, I highlight some of the most popular breed misconceptions and real-life behavior and training of these unique dogs.