“It’s all how you raise them?”

If it’s about temperament in dogs I’m all ears.

Nothing has my interest more as soundness in a dogs temperament.Within many purebreds as the Dobermann it is becoming rare. Temperament is one of my prior subjects as a owner, within many shared posts, last but not least it is crucial for the well being of the individual, bloodline aswell the population as a whole.

I’m not a believer in the saying” it’s all how you raise them”. I have enough experience with many of my dogs that has proven the opposite.

Genetics Matter and it plays such a important role in behavior!

It’s so underestimated and still many breeders or even trainers want to make you believe that it’s all about you, you as being a poor so called “pack leader”. Shame on them because it’s not true but it’s so easy as a excuse because of their own unawareness or poor breeding stock.

Through this blog I like to share with you some blogpost and articles what is worth the reading. The authors are very outspoken, have much experience and knowledge within their own field. They give so much good and proper information about this important topic. They shared it in their own words but for me their common theme was very clear. Truly hope that it will be appreciated and that it gives you some food for thought. If you always have had the believe that it’s not about “how you raise them”, so good for you and your beloved Canine. This said it’s of course possible that you as a owner can not deal with the temperament from a certain breed but this is a other topic. Not everyone needs or knows how to live and build a relationship with for example a Dobermann. If you as a owner don’t have a idea about the breed ( origin), didn’t get informed well or just buy a Dobermann out of the blue you can experience some unpleasent surprises.

Those 3 little ones all have a package full with inherited traits from birth.
They are not a blank page, their breed steward is the one who had to select for traits and drives what suited to a authentic Dobermann.
You can breed for those but you can also bred them out as for example the skill to protect.

I like to share a personal comment I have given to a blogpost from februari 2018. The blog was written by Maria Gkinala and has as title Canis Familiaris. It was for me so great to read and the post is full with knowledge and reality.

During my years of studying and collecting information about this theme I have learned that I was not alone in my thought. Not only that but it’s still a very common thought .One thing is for me clear that genes also in relation to behavior matters regard what the majority thinks or try to make you believe.

I dare to say that in relation to temperament, it’s foundation, is 100 % inherited. It’s in the genes !

First I share a quote from the blog so you can get a impression.

If you need aromatherapy or Xanax to keep your dog under control, if you need to shake a tin filled with pebbles to stop your companion attacking you (as I was told by the neurotic “mom” of a neurotic Bull Terrier who had decorated her arms with bruises and cuts from hand to elbow – and as soon as I opened the kennel door to let it out the next morning at the boarding kennel I was managing at the time, it flung at me, closed its jaws around my arm and hang there, squeezing tighter and tighter and pulling, as if I was an exercise rope), if your dog needs a shrink or a calming coat, if it’s a shrinking violet, there’s something very wrong there; there’s something very wrong with the way we’re breeding dogs, if such dogs are produced and reproduced and, especially, allowed to co-exist with children. If a dog behaves like a baby-faced homicidal maniac, a nervous wreck, an anxiety sufferer, who made him that way ?

End Quote


Reading this blog has made me cry and brings me back to all the years in the past I lived with many dogs/breeds who were not sound from nature. I share this not to get any sympathy but it’s so close to my heart. Temperament in breeds have been always my main interest it’s the reason why I’m a doglover the first place. The bond between our Canines and ourselves is been through all ages so strong and maybe sometimes crucial for surviving in certain circumstances.

The words you wrote and how you formulate them are the essence in what we see, read and experience with many dogs around us, if it’s the neighbours dog, a dog on a show, or at the field, by the vet or just our owns. We can not speak about incidents it is almost rare to get a sound and stable puppy from birth. I’m not a believer in the theory that all puppies from nature are equal ‘ Tabula Rasa ‘ and you as a owner could fill in all the temperament qualities by nurture. So not true, so unfair to claim this, these are excuses and such a lack of knowledge. So many dogs and owners get the blame and sure there are also enough who deserve that and maybe even more but during my years with dogs I have seen so much changes in behaviour, around me from many different breeds. It is a business and exactly what you mention about aromtherapy etc…..it’s the world upside down!

During many years I have detailed a report of the many events in relation to my search for help, names, datas, diagnosis, observations, therapist, vets, behaviour judges (osteopathy, crania scral, traditional chinese medicine, homeopathic supplements, massage, spiritual healers )…..you name it I have try to find everywere the answer. Maybe against one’s better judgement.

Ruben was and is my main reason for my passion to learn more about the Dobermann breed.
Life is a learning curve and through my experience I try to do better.
I’ll truly hope that this ones so noble breed get the attention it deserves !

My latest struggle was with the breed Dobermann and can only say that it’s criminal what we as owners have experience with his breeder, the so called Friends Association and all who I have contact to ask to visit us and observe my boy…..doors being closed only by naming the breeders kennel name. And not only from other Dobermann breeders or owners no also from some board members from the umbrella association in the Netherlands. Fear and certain benefits are the main grounds I believe because if you love a breed what is the problem to talk, visit and try to help. We don’t have to be friends but I will never understand and have respect for a member and lover from a the Dobermann breed and it’s club if you don’t want to help or share advice. For me you are a follower and deserves no dog around you.

To go further into detail is to complex and not fair because my boy deserves that I share it in a conversation face to face. Was I blind and didn’t I notice it from the start or did I not get any signals in beginning, no I was not blind and yes the signs were there, my fault is to believe that by love,understanding and patience we could turn around his mental well being. I failed and have to deal with this all my life but god knows I did all what was in my power. There comes a point when things also are not manageable anymore than it’s decision time and there is no room for ego or emotional matters. It’s about love and peace although that is for me the importance and time will show me if I have done the right thing.

I’m truly a believer that a breeder must cull puppies if they notice that someting is wrong, many times the female shows you and please don’t pamper and try cost what cost to keep them in life. If there are temperament problems in a line, generation after generation you can only by selllection and elimination get rid of it, although that is my idea. It’s so easy to destroy good temperament in breeds, it cost a effort to bring it back and behold.

The Dobermann must never fear children. Curiosity from nature must be one of their motivations to make contact but it needs a eye for breeding with a sound breeding stock, generation after generation.
This portrait shared from pinterest says enough, could be the girl has something to eat in her hands.

Dogs and children, I have my own theory and based on experience, if a puppy from beginning isn’t curious or wants not to get close or involved in a certain way with little children or doesn’t no how to behave, bells are going to ring. And if they show fear, or being to reactive or bark like crazy…..that is not good and I believe with nurture you can not fix it….it’s a problem in their brains by breeding with unsound dogs. I don’t have the quality and skills to write down my feeling as you did Maria but I can share it and use my own words ad feelings.
This was one of the best blogs for me to read and not to reply wasn’t a option.

Back to Basics & Common Sense must become the new normal again.

The next blog is from The Collared Scholar written by Megan Karnes. Although the title suggest that it’s about what is called the Pit Bull for me the article isn’t breed specific and that is my reason for the share it. It’s about the essence from this post what caught my attention.

I’ll quote a little line from the post for a impression.

Socialization is the Key – This one is one of my favorites. If you haven’t read my take on socialization, you can do so here. But the prevalent argument says something like, “if you socialize a dog early on with other dogs, they won’t develop aggression. And if you socialize them with people, the same holds true.”

Remember, genetics matter. And aggression doesn’t always come from fear or trauma.

I’ve trained predominantly aggressive dogs for over a decade. And in fact, over-socialization with other dogs in an uncontrolled setting, like the dog park or at doggy daycare, was the leading cause for dog aggression and reactivity, popping up in dogs who were predisposed to it. Perhaps it was a bad experience, perhaps it was too much of the wrong energy, perhaps it was pack mentality, perhaps it was creating too much desire to play, perhaps it was just a ticking time bomb waiting to go off. Whatever the cause, it was nearly always the dogs who frequented the dog park or daycare that came to me for help.

I’m going to tell you something that may not win me any fans. But here’s a bit of tough love. Dogs don’t need help learning how to be dogs. If they had any time with their littermates and mom, even if you don’t think it was enough, your dog doesn’t need to learn how to be a dog and how to interact with dogs. In fact, I hate to break it to you, but even if they don’t have much exposure, they know how to “speak dog” better than you do anyways.

End Quote.

A Dobermann with a lack of realism can overreact in a excessive way.
Breeding for intelligence must be a prior, a authentic Dobermann can not function without it.
It is been bred out in many lines or types for personal reasons .
To bring it back is impossible !

Search for the word temperament and you will get all kind of meanings of the word. This is one of them and although it’s about humans the same we can experiense in the Canine species. If you have read for example Frans de Waal’s latest book Mama’s last Hug you know why I mention this.

Temperament refers to the characteristics and aspects of personality that we are born with. For that reason, they are similar to traits in that they are both innate (born with these things) and enduring. Infants who are anxious and nervous tend to be the same way when they are older. One difference though is that temperament more often relates to emotionality…the specific emotional characteristics such as calm, anxious, or nervous.

Companion Animals: It’s in the genes.

Some days ago I came across above title with a article what was written for The Goldendale Centenial (July 10, 2019) by Diane Jessup. It triggerd me because of my appreciation towards Diane Jessup’s knowledge. She is very well known within the American Pit Bull Dog Community. A outspoken women and I’m thankful that she answered in the past some of my questions in relation to the Dobermann and temperament. Again a great read !

I also like to quote some tekst and will share the link for the full read with you.

“It’s all How you raise them !”

If you own an American pit bull, German shepherd, Rottweiler, Doberman or any other breed labeled “aggressive” by the media and public, no doubt you have received this widely held but utterly false piece of guidance many times. Of the many myths surrounding dog ownership, “It’s all how you raise them,” is the most well-intentioned yet ultimately detrimental concept concerning dog ownership.

End Quote.


The last share about this theme is from Dr. Jen’s Dog Blog. It’s a older post from 2016 but still a valuable read.

It’s Not “All In How You Raise Them”: The Role Of Genetics In Behavior.

Again I share first a quote.

If you’re a dog owner, I’m sure you’ve heard this refrain.

Conventional wisdom says that young puppies come to us as blank slates.  Full of promise and limitless potential, ready to be molded into your ideal companion as long as you do your part – provide lots of love, the right amount of discipline, and appropriate training along the way.  If you’re a caring, responsible pet owner, there’s no reason that your puppy should not grow up to be a model canine citizen.

“Bad” dogs are the fault of bad owners, right?  After all, it’s all in how you raise them.

If you are thinking about breeding your dog, or if you already have an active breeding program, please carefully consider temperament in your breeding decisions!  Most good breeders know this already and are very selective about which dogs they choose to breed, but this idea can be surprising to many owners who are new to the process and aren’t aware that personality traits can be inherited.  Excessively fearful or aggressive dogs should not be bred – period. 

End Quote.

MH Test.

This is a Swedish Working Dog Mentality Test. It’s a good test to observe your Dobermann mental state. It can give you some insight and help you with further plans in regard to further training and developing. I’ve been corresponding with the SBK since febrauri 2018 to be informed about new videos and future plans for this test in the Netherlands. I see some value to introduce this MH test in the Netherlands. This said I’m aware of the moment and state of the individual when a certain test is been taken. It can also be very beneficial to find someone who knows the breed for many years and can read their language. Let him or her also observe and test your Dobermann, it can never harm such a second opinion.

Feel free to share thoughts in relation to this topic.



some comments are very interesting.


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