What about a puppy from a genetically sound pedigree. Good breeder, good genetics, the whole nine yards. The puppy is full of potential, but has been locked up in someones backyard for the first year of it's life.
Wouldn't the dogs temperament be affected by this? I do feel temperament is a very big part genetic, but I definitely wouldn't say 100%.
Good question, and I think I have a shining example right here in my house that illustrates that temperament is mostly, maybe 90%?, genetic. (I made that number up on the spot.
Keeta was a one year old stray I adopted from the pound. From much of her behaviour, I've come to believe that she had spent her previous life tied on a short line and isolated in a back yard. Though she loved people and was very friendly, there were so many issues! Afraid of everything! Didn't know so much as how to jump over a log on the ground. Was scared of stairs, pulled like a Clydesdale on leash, fought my authority tooth and nail. Did not tolerate handling and growled and snapped at being brushed or groomed. Touching her tail or her feet was a high risk activity. Her reaction to anything novel, if not fear, was suspicion: growling and barking.
Well, it took some time and some work, but a whole different dog emerged. Not much fazes her any more. She went from shying away from men, to doing bitework. According to others, she could title in Schutzhund, but she is getting on in age, had a past injury, and we have too many issues with the retrieves (mostly because of the jump) for me to feel confortable pushing her on in the training. Despite all that, quite a turnaround, but no amount of training and socialization would have made her into what she is if she did not have some decent nerve to help her overcome her past.
If of poor genetic nerve, all the training and socialization could have helped some
, but her fearfulness and lack of confidence would have always been an issue, and the excuse of how she must have been previously abused would have been used all the time to explain a skittish and nervous temperament.