Dog temperament characteristics

Picture taken from

Picture taken from

Today we will talk about dog temperament characteristics!


When a dog shows aggression, he is using a means of defense. There are two types of defense,attack and retreat. A dog with an attack aggression assumes all people, excluding his owner, is an enemy.

A dog who retreats will withdraw from the situation. It is ideal for a dog to be in the middle of the range one that will never attack or retreat, but will be even tempered with everyone.

Animal Aggression

Animal aggression is not a good trait for your dog and it is hard to correct once it has been established. Dogs will fight over food, social status, and sexual rivalry.

They also love to chase other animals. These situations surface the instinctive animal aggression of dogs that lived in the wild.

There are two very common reasons for animal aggression. The first is reason is when a dog was not given the opportunity for plenty of socialization as a puppy.

The second reason is that he was not corrected and handled properly by his owner when the aggression first started.


This is a fear that a dog exhibits when he becomes extremely concerned about something. You will notice this if your dog begins to pant very rapidly. A dog will demonstrate this anxiety when he has an unpleasant or shocking experience.


All dogs possess this natural characteristic, but some have more of it than others. Attentiveness needs to be developed and this can be done through regular and disciplined training.

Apprehensive Aggression

Dogs with this trait are usually suspicious or nervous. They also exhibit aggression, sometimes protective aggression. They are oftentimes referred to as fear biters but are only likely to bite when they are frightened or cornered.

Body Sensitivity

This is a very important characteristic to be aware of when you are training your dog to walk on a leash. Some dogs have are highly sensitive and a light tug on the leash is all they need to respond.

Capacity to Learn

Some breeds have a greater capacity to learn than others. However, if a dog has a good temperament, no matter what breed he belongs to, he will usually have a good capacity to learn.

Even dogs in the breeds with a high capacity to learn will learn at different rates some will learn quickly and some learn slowly.


This characteristic develops gradually over time after the dog has participated in training for a few weeks. Before dog training, he has nothing to really focus on, so it would be unfair to say my dog can’t concentrate if he has not had any training.

A dog with good concentration will focus on the task at hand whether it is training, walking on a leash, or playing. A dog with poor concentration looks around with no specific purpose or focus.

With professional dog training, a dog’s concentration can be developed to an extent, but the dog also needs to have a willingness to concentrate.


A curious dog is one that can more easily conquer his fears. If a dog shows signs of curiosity, over time he will become braver as you encourage him to approach things that cause him fear.

Dominance & Submissiveness

The dominance characteristic goes back to dogs living in large packs and their position on the social status ladder. The most dominant dog was always the leader.

If you are going to have more than one dog in your house, it is best if you have two dogs that are not on the same step of the ladder. For example, fights are more likely to develop between two leader-type dogs or two very submissive dogs.


Every dog has his own mental and physical energy level. Some dogs have so much energy that it is almost impossible for the owner to control him. Other dogs have very little energy, so they need a lot of motivation.


Puppies are usually very excitable and this is perfectly normal. If a puppy never shows signs of excitement, there could be something seriously wrong.

Older dogs show excitability when they have been indoors for a long period of time or if there is a lot of tension in the home. For dogs that show excessive excitability, make sure that he is taken out often for walks.

Hearing Sensitivity

Hearing sensitivity is similar to body sensitivity in that it can fall anywhere between low and high. Most dogs have a hearing sensibility that is in the medium to high range.

Therefore, dogs are quite receptive to your voice tone. If you use too harsh of tone and volume on a highly sensitive dog, then he could be heartbroken. This makes it a real challenge to train.


The jealousy trait was also discussed back in Chapter One. Jealously usually rises when the owner is giving their attention to another dog. Jealously can eventually lead to aggression

Protective Aggression

It is very natural for a dog to become protective of their owners and their home. They can become protective of other possessions inside and outside of the house too.

Some owners unintentionally allow their dogs to become too protective, or even encourage the behaviour. However, too much protection can actually be quite dangerous.


A stubborn dog is one that will just sit there and not do anything that you want him to. This can make training exercises very difficult. As an owner you need to exercise your authority and when your dog participates in the training, reward him.