"Psychologists use the word “personality” to mean those characteristics a person displays that allow us to predict how they will behave, react and feel in various situations. Some scientists, however, are uncomfortable about using the word personality when talking about non-human animals. They use the word “temperament” instead. Although the average person will see little difference between the two terms, using a different label allows the scientist to suggest that there are still significant qualitative differences between the behaviours of people and animals.
But what is personality? What leads to personality differences among breeds? What leads to differences in personality even among individuals within the same breed? Biology teaches us that there are two main ingredients that contribute to making all of us what we are: genetics (“nature”) and the environment (“nurture”). In dogs a large proportion of their personality is due to their inherited genes."
This is the start of a fascinating article titled, "Does Genetics Determine Dog's Personality?" on Psychology Today. I believe in the human-animal bond and often wonder how much of my dog's personality is due to nature rather than nurture. We spend so much time together each day that I believe much of how she is today comes from her environment, more than the average dog in the average American household.
Do you think you can influence your dog's personality significantly? Does nature always win out over nurture when it comes to dogs? Share your experiences and thoughts in the comments!