Monday, November 10, 2008

Of Dogs and Folk

Just thinking ... about dogs and people and temperament.

The retriever down the street, loves to walk around with things in her mouth; some breeds like to shepherd you. Some are yappy; some are friendly; others are aggressive.

I have often wondered how breeders manage to breed for temperament as well as looks (size, colour etc). I think I can understand looks, but I've often wondered about temperament. Lately, however, I've been thinking that maybe breeding for temperament isn't really all that strange.

In humans too.

When I look at the five generations of the family tree with which am familiar, I think I see that it's possible that at least one behavioral characteristic may be being passed on. My paternal grandmother, for example, seemed to become agitated and frustrated easily, and that trait seemed to pass onto my dad. To some degree I and Thesha have seem to have inherited it as well. For example: when Thesha was younger, I remember Cuppa remarking how it was so funny and ironical that and I would sometimes be heard to yell at her to be patient over this or that. Don't get me wrong; it's not that we are a clan of berserkers running frantically amok all of the time; it's just that certain stimuli, often apparently minor, may tend to get us going more than the average person.

Now I wonder if Nikki Dee is a bit like that too. She does tend to become easily frustrated. Of course, she's probably just being eighteen months old, so one doesn't want to jump to conclusions. However, she still causes me wonder when she becomes easily agitated about not getting something to work to her satisfaction immediately if not sooner. (And you should see both me and her fuss and fume when I'm vainly struggling to put on those damnable mitts and hats on her.)

If I'm right, that's five generations that exhibit a similar pattern. Mind you me, there's a whole of of other genes thrown into the mix as well as environmental factors, so perhaps I'm all wrong. It doesn't matter because I'm just observing and musing.

Let me state for the record, however, that I no longer think it so strange that certain canine breeds tend to consistently exhibit certain particular temperaments and behavioral traits.

9 comments:

Mary said...

I had a bit of catching up to do here. You are a super Grandpa for being so patient with ND. There are so many rewards to spending time with our grandchildren. Kudos to you!

Your new look is great. And yes, we just had our Indian Summer. I enjoyed it. Such nice weather for being out and about.

Now for the dogs. I do believe that traits in both dogs and humans are handed down from one generation to the next. I've seen it in my own family as well. I have a bit of that Irish temperment that my father and his ancestors had. Slow burn, slight boil and then the volcano.

Nice to visit with you again and thanks for dropping by and commenting on my Nursing Sisters post.

Blessings,
Mary

Amanda said...

I love this post! It's an interesting thought ~ thanks for sharing.

Janet said...

Both my kids are perfectionists. They did NOT get this from me. Their Daddy is one as are all 3 of his sisters. And their mother. And I think her mother, given the stories I've heard about her. Not sure about any further back, but I think you're right.

However, I can trace my packrattery back at least 5 generations on my mother's side, because I have a couple of things from my great-great-great grandmother. The kids are already both exhibiting dragon tendencies. They are both highly attracted to anything shiny and like to hide such items in various obscure locations in the house. I find a lot of odd things in their Daddy's sock drawer.

Lorna said...

Ah, at last I can account for my granddaughters all having a love for all things rhinestoney.

daffy said...

Wow, it look sever so lovely in here! *looks around* Very pretty AC. :o)
I love hunting out family traits in my kids. My daughter is her mother in looks but she is my mother in personality. Gentle, patient, sweet. My son is his father in looks and tmeper but in every other way he is me. Poor kid can't get away with anything! I'm sure he thinks I have a phycic gift!
Really thoughtful post AC.

PBS said...

Love the leaves, very pretty!

That's quite interesting how traits are passed along from generation to generation. It's true in my family too, my son has many traits like his father--even though he barely knew him (divorced before he was a year old)and some like my brothers. He doesn't have many of my traits but that's probably why we've always gotten along so well!

Dora said...

My take is 70% her age and 30% of her personality (which is developing at full speed). The older she gets, the more the %'s will change in the opposite direction.

You probably would enjoy any of the following:
http://books.google.com/books?q=birth+order&source=bll&sa=X&oi=book_group&resnum=11&ct=title&cad=bottom-3results

Simply Coll said...

Having raised both kids and dogs, I certainly believe in the gene theory.

womaninawindow said...

I can assure you we haven't bred with our dog, so how is that he's an idiot like the rest of us?