Showsight Spring Edition, February/March 2021


make sure that our pups are handled and socialized from the moment of birth. If we breed for good temperament, regardless of the breed, then our pups can go anywhere with anyone and live a long, happy life. This doesn’t mean that we breed out the essence of the breed. A guard dog should be willing and able to guard and the Terrier should be able to eradicate rats, but they must be educated on proper public behavior as well. By understanding your dog’s personality as well as his energy level (is he high drive or does she want to live in the house and loll around all day?) you will be able to recommend the appropriate amount of exercise that individuals will need to maintain a balance in energy. By doing all of this, you

will be able to choose the correct home for each puppy. In this day of the fabulous “Puppy Culture” way of doing things, every pup can be equipped to take their rightful place in society. It is up to the breeder to give them the best start they can—in the right direc- tion. We should also encourage them to attend Star Puppy classes and add a CGC behind the pup’s name. If you want to go even further, a dog can be tested and pass the AKC Temperament Test. I know when I started breeding Pembroke Welsh Corgis, I found that many of them were sharp in temperament with other dogs, and that running them together as a pack wasn’t a good idea. It seemed they ALL wanted to be alphas! Forty-five years later, all of my dogs enjoy each other’s company and get along very well. I did learn rather quickly that my short-legged dogs were not like my German Shepherd Dogs. All the Shepherds wanted to do was please me, with a “What can I do for you now?” kind of attitude. The Pembrokes, on the other hand, would often give me a number and tell me that they would get back to me—whenever they had completed what they were doing at the moment. Scootie Sherlock, of Caralon German Shepherds and Pembroke Welsh Corgi fame, summed it up by saying, “Sometimes, Corgis simply have other fish to fry.” The moral of the story here is that you can cover up a bad tem- perament in the show ring, but should you? You cannot change the genetic makeup of the dog, and temperament is included in that makeup. A judge has little recourse to take action other than dismissing a dog they cannot physically examine or disqualify the dog in a situation where the dog actually tries to attack the judge. As far as I am concerned, temperament should be the number one priority for every breeder of every breed. Because, without a good temperament, how can a dog be a good pet for anyone, much less a good show dog? As always, any questions, comments or to schedule a seminar, contact me via

1. Amanda C.Jones, Samuel D.Gosling. “Temperament and Personality In Dogs (Canis Familiaris): A Review and Evaluation of Past Research.” 2. “Dogwise Classics.” Dogwise Publishing. 3. Linda Cole. “What Does Dog Temperament Really Mean?”


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