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SuperG 06-30-2014 10:49 PM

Is it possible ?
A neighbor lady had to say goodbye to her shepherd/great pyrenees a couple of months ago and is most likely going to get a WGSL puppy. We were having a conversation today and she was curious if it is at all possible to be able to tell if a pup will exhibit dog aggression at an older age. What type of characteristics would a person look for when getting a puppy to best prevent the possibility of DA ? Or is DA mostly a factor of socialization, dominance, weak nerves, genetics, exposure etc??

Thanks for any and all input,


misslesleedavis1 06-30-2014 11:06 PM

Good question, my guess would be that its all in the socialization with a hint of genetic disposition.

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blackshep 06-30-2014 11:20 PM

No, it's not all socialization! Genetics definitely are the bigger piece if the puzzle IMO. Good socialization and training can bring out the best in the dog, but ultimately you can only do so much with what you're given genetically.

Honestly, it can be tough, because some qualities come out as the dog hits maturity.

My suggestion would be to look for a repeat breeding, and look at the offspring from the previous litter, unless you know your bloodlines really well.

ETA: would they consider adopting? Then you know exactly what you're getting. Win/win :)

Sunflowers 06-30-2014 11:28 PM

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Originally Posted by misslesleedavis1 (Post 5713241)
Good question, my guess would be that its all in the socialization with a hint of genetic disposition.

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Other way around.

Baillif 06-30-2014 11:34 PM

You can notice edgy play behavior in puppies at very young ages and know which ones would develop DA if proper socialization doesn't take place. It's pretty much a genetic/socialization issue.

Merciel 07-01-2014 12:08 AM

IME/IMO, it's mostly genetics.

I've seen any number of pitties come out of the shelters around here that are socialized like crazy with other dogs from day one (sometimes appropriately, sometimes less so, but it doesn't seem to matter that much, tbh). They hit social maturity around age two, two and a half, it's like a switch gets flipped and bam!, suddenly that is most definitely not a dog park dog anymore.

(For the sake of clarity, I want to note that I'm not saying all pitties are like that, not by a long shot. Many of them stay fine with other dogs for their whole lives. But our city shelters do get a lot of others that aren't, and that's not always evident in baby puppies of unknown lineage.)

As with a lot of other things, the genetic influence is what Patricia McConnell has called a "blueprint written in pencil" -- how the dog is raised, early socialization, pleasant or unpleasant experiences with other dogs, etc., can and will have a very strong influence.

But if the dog comes from parents and a long line of other ancestors who were not DA, then that definitely stacks the deck in your favor.

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