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Q: Do you think "ALL" behavior problems in animals are caused by people?

February 2, 2009 | By Pia S. | 7 answers | Expired: 2135 days ago

Pia S.

I've seen several posts throughout this site where people are always to blame and it is never the pet's fault. Do you agree with that? If so, do you know agree with nature/nurture?

Readers' Answers (7)
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Jay T.
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Feb 02, 2009

No. Like humans dogs are born with certain genetics and are hard wired for some things--instincts--prey drive etc. So it is definitely a combination of factors affecting our animal's behaviors.
I do think we can train and manage a lot of the basic instincts in most dogs. Some dogs we are unsuccessful with.

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Andrea D.
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Feb 02, 2009

I agree with nature/nurture, but more times than not, it's the nurture part that really messes up the dog.

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Marta J.
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Feb 02, 2009

Yes! If you have a problem pet that may not be changed I think it's up to the owner to be responsible. Yeah some pets can be born bad. If you own one it's your responiblity to make sure it never harms anything. If you can't then you should not own it. If your not sure about your pet then I think it should be evaluated by a pro. I've met people through my job that are in total denial about their pets. How many time I've heard " He never bites" right before he went to take a chunk out of me.

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Marty T.
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Feb 02, 2009

I totally believe in the nature/nurture theory. Genetics are powerful and certain drive behavior. We cannot 'always' blame it on people.

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Kavykeeper
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Feb 02, 2009

I know very little about dog behavior. But, I would guess, that there are dogs (and other species) that have a small percent with a mental disorder that causes aggression. It might be a brain disorder, hormonal, due to inbreeding or whatever. As far as whether it's treatable, I can't say. We see behavior in guinea pigs, occasionally, that can't be explained. Walking in circles, biting, etc. I think genetics and environment both play a role in development. But, I do think there are genetic "flukes" which defy nature that can lead to an aggressive animal.

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Judy T.
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Feb 02, 2009

I believe that it can be both. I think that each animal has personality traits which put them at a certain level of behavior, but that people and training can influence these.

For example, I was 21 years old when I adopted my first dog. I knew nothing about dogs, training, anything. She was a 90 lb lab mix. By the time that she was 1 year old, she was agressive (barked) at kids, barked at strangers, wouldn't walk on a leash, didn't know any commands, would run away when I called her name, etc.

BUT, I was really lucky. I started obedience training, clicker training w positive reinforcement and turned it around. Her underlying personality was very sweet and loyal and by the time she was 4 years old, she was under complete voice command - didn't need a leash at all - but we still used one. We did competitive obedience and agility later in life. I can tell you right now, it was not my superior training skills that did it. It was all her.

So again, I think it is a combo of personality and training, because you really can improve the behavior of any dog with training and modifying YOUR behavior, but some can go farther than others.

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Kadiquilts
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Feb 02, 2009

I definitely think it's a bit of both. HOWEVER, I do firmly believe that all animals love us humans and want nothing more than to please us. How can you show a bad hand to that? All dogs can bite if provoked..no matter how much they are loved and trained.

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