One of the things that’s really fun to do with our dogs is compare their personalities…although Kasper always comes off worse 😀
Kasper – Kasper is…obnoxious. There really is no other way to say it.
He’s rude, pushy, unpleasant and annoying. He steals anything he can, and when he has something that is edible (or smells of edible-ness) he refuses to swap it, despite extensive work on this.
Many years ago I taught him to bring things to me, and this has been wonderful for when he steals items and helps prevent Kasper resource guarding…and oh boy did / does he resource guard!
Today he barged open a kibble bin and pulled out a bag of puppy kibble, that was 1/4 full. Despite waving giant full slices of ham around him (literally slapping them against his head!) all he cared about was the low value kibble.
Later the dogs had some old, boring toys out and Zoey had a ball in her mouth. She wasn’t even really playing with it. Kasper walked over – not particularly pushy, but not ‘oh wow you have a toy, that’s nice’ either – Zoey dropped the toy and Kasper snatched it up and walked off. Zoey got handfuls of treats and praise, Kasper dropped his toy and came, and he got nothing 😉
There is a lot of management involved with having Kasper.
Kasper is a sensitive dog, and has issues with strangers dating back to before we adopted him. If strangers (especially men) were to simply come in our house, Kasper would be terrifed, and there would be barking and growling.
We have a system for bringing new people home now, and Kasper can manage well. He’s also much improved with people he meets outside on walks, eg. if they ask for directions or such, and can sit nicely whilst they talk and often doesn’t mind a brief hello.
He can still be sensitive and can be fearful.
Kasper enjoys training, but he is not as ‘good’ at it as the other two – maybe because he wasn’t trained much until nine or ten months old? He does learn quickly and retains knowledge, but he waits to be told what to do instead of trying to work it out.
He really loves his walks, but he was allowed off lead too young, and was allowed to chase anything. This means his recall has always been hit and miss, and whilst we got it to the point where he could be off lead (in very secure areas far, far from livestock!) he is a jerk outside. It is very rare he would check in or choose to pay attention to us off lead, and his recall was about 65% reliable.
Kasper is motivated by food, walks and games. Tug of war is his favourite game, and was helpful in teaching him ‘drop it’ and impulse control.
Zoey – Zoey is sweet and lovable and gentle and giving. She gets sad when you’re sad, and she’s stressed if you’re stressed. If you sound angry, or disappointed, or even tired with her (I’m not talking about shouting at all, just an “Oh Zoey…”) she is heartbroken.
She accepts being the bottom of the pecking order. Other dogs can growl at her, snap at her and chase her off, and she is very understanding. She never thinks of resource guarding anything, and she’s very much flight over fight.
She’s highly excitable and really struggles to concentrate around ANYTHING, although in the house with us she excels at calming herself down when excited.
Zoey can be oddly sensitive, but overall she’s pretty durable. She hates things falling…this can be paper bags from shelves, or a book falling over on a book shelf. She HATES it! She’s terrified of her harness, but is fine once it’s on. And she’s odd with stuffed objects that have eyes, but not all of them…she didn’t like a Mario plushie or a Christmas stocking that had a cartoon dog’s face sewn onto it. Much cowering, shivering and grumbling. Once you bring the scary thing down, she sniffs it and promptly tries to play with it.
Zoey’s most rewarding thing is meeting new people, or attention. Nothing is as exciting for Zoey as people, and she is happiest when leaping at them, circling them, kissing their faces and chewing their sleeves. We have discovered teaching her to hold a toy in her mouth whilst excitedly greeting people is very helpful 😉
She’s amazingly intelligent, and something I really love about her is that she thinks for herself and will offer completely new behaviours unasked. This makes teaching her new tricks VERY easy, and is probably why I enjoy training her so much – it’s *fun*!
Raiden – Rey is still young, so I have no idea how his personality will change as he matures. For now he is energetic, impatient, adaptable and confident. He is wonderful.
He is exceptionally loving, and even when excitable he really appreciates cuddles and kisses. He’s quite active in that once he is awake he is always on the go, be it in the house or on walks, but once tired he will sleep for hours.
He loves his walks and is confident with new things or experiences, be it other dogs, new vehicles, strange things in the environment (traffic cones, large paper bags blowing, fallen trees) and new locations. It is so rare he is fearful of anything, and when he is a little Look At That has him bouncing back and playing with the thing he was scared of (usually weird litter).
He is fantastic at training and loves to learn, but boy is he impatient! Getting him to wait for anything or teaching him ‘stay’ is tricky and needs to be done s-l-o-o-o-w-l-y…otherwise he will revert to yapping!
He is good around distractions, even things he finds *really* exciting, and I hope he keeps his wonderful personality into adulthood…only maybe with a little more patience 😉
And here’s a recent pic of the little dude – bad hair day or what?! 🙂