Why do we need a character judgment?
Society as a whole is being increasingly critical and applying significant pressure on dog breeders, handlers and pedigree dog breeding societies. Bans on dangerous dogs, and unscrupulous dog breeders and trainers are being more and more widely discussed. And the discussion always returns to devastating bite incidents involving dogs. The fear, which is largely the trigger and cause of these discussions and requirements, that is at the heart of this issue must be taken seriously. Meaningful measures need to be taken to show that we are taking the situation seriously, and want to find solutions and foster a feeling of good will.
Even-tempered dogs who have strong nerves yet are not excessively aggressive are in demand nowadays. The dogs must be able to adequately deal with the constantly changing demands of their social environment. By introducing the concept behind the character judgment, the society is implementing its wish to place our dogs’ nature and its fundamental importance at the forefront, and to make it possible to assess its influecing factors.
And this is therefore important to later align canine efforts and work, to understand the reasons behind unwanted behavior traits and disorders – also known as character deficiences – and to help prevent these emerging further in the world of dog ownership in a way that is appropriate both for the animal and for society as a whole. We are responsible for using the knowledge arising from biological behavioral research on the nature of dogs available to us presently and for considering the knowledge gleaned from cynology.
The key guiding principles are therefore using knowledge gained from biological behavioral research to better understand the dog, its behavior and its behavior development. In doing so, it is important to consider the interplay between inherited and acquired behavior control traits, and between fear and aggression. There is no doubt today that a dog’s nature is not predominantly determined by genetics. Instead, it is the combined result of countless interactions between hereditary dispositions and natural, social and civilizing environmental conditions. Therefore, only the foundations of nature are inherited. Nature itself is not inherited, but rather it develops as a result of environmental conditions on the basis of genetic dispositions. Hereditary dispositions are not based on specifi nature or behavior genes, but rather on genes that when combined have an effect on the organism’s development and behavior foundations. This means that one and the same gene influences the inheritance of physical and behavioral traits.