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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-24-2020, 10:29 AM Thread Starter
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Temperament Genetics

Do you guys believe the female has more of a contribution to her offspring with respect to temperament and nerve?
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-24-2020, 11:08 AM
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No more genetic contribution than the father, but she is the one around the young pups, after all. So the part of temperament that comes from learned experiences starts there (which is also why what the breeder provides for an enriched environment and good socialization as the puppies develop and grow is so important.)
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-24-2020, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by melbrod View Post
Not more genetic contribution, but she is the one around the young pups, after all. So the part of temperament that comes from learned experiences starts there (which is also why what the breeder provides for an enriched environment and good socialization as the puppies develop and grow is so important.)
Ditto to what Mel says. If you have a bitch with an iffy temperament --say freaky about new people--I know a couple of breeders who will breed the bitch for her physical attributes but keep all possible situations that might trigger fears and bizarre behavior from occuring until the puppies are old enough to engage in those situations with people the puppies know and their dam away from them.

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-24-2020, 06:23 PM
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Genetics is ENDLESSLY fascinating!

There have been some really interesting studies that show that what happens to a bitch during her pregnancy can affect the puppies. Trauma to her can almost certainly alter their temperaments.

There are SO many factors that go into producing temperament. More and more studies show that genetics play a huge role but so do early learning experiences, and it's what happens before 8 weeks. It really, really matters what your breeder does with your puppy before you get it, what they expose your puppy to, because those early experiences can really shape the genetics, too.


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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-25-2020, 09:37 AM
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Genetically, not necessarily.
However, in terms of life experience and learned behaviour yes the dam has much more influence on the pups than the sire just by virtue of association and direct interaction.
There's also a science called epigenetics. This is neither directly inherited DNA or environmental imprint. It's a combination of both things - certain genes can be switched "on" and "off" according to certain environmental influences.

In addition to this, trauma and experiences of any kind can permanently alter the DNA code and the new altered code will be the one the offspring inherit. Starvation for example has been shown to have an impact, 2 and 3 generations after the starvation event. When we talk about ancestral and collective trauma in certain human populations that have suffered, it's not just a psycho-social phenomenon, it's hardwired into their DNA.

And on top of that, as Meadowcat says, some studies have shown that what happens to a dam during her pregnancy as well as what she does has an influence on the offspring. For example there used to be an old saying from hunters that if you wanted good hunting dogs, you had to hunt with your bitch while she was pregnant. Well, studies have actually demonstrated that whatever activities the bitch does while she is pregnant, her offspring will be better at, than a bitch who has the same DNA and has been trained to do those same things, but didn't do anything while pregnant.

The health and fitness of the dame prior to breeding, during breeding, during whelp and afterwards also has an impact on the puppies. Too much negative stress experienced by a dam during that same period can permanently rase the cortisol levels in the puppies (cortisol is the stress hormone).

In a less direct manner, it stands to reason that the person raising the puppies will generally be whoever the dam is living with after breeding, or at the very least who she is living with after whelping. The environment this person provides will shape the early life experiences of those puppies.

So while the genetic contribution of a dam isn't necessarily more to the temperament, the dam (and thus the breeder) has a lot more to contribute, directly and indirectly than the sire does.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-25-2020, 09:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Artemis View Post
Genetically, not necessarily.
However, in terms of life experience and learned behaviour yes the dam has much more influence on the pups than the sire just by virtue of association and direct interaction.
There's also a science called epigenetics. This is neither directly inherited DNA or environmental imprint. It's a combination of both things - certain genes can be switched "on" and "off" according to certain environmental influences.

In addition to this, trauma and experiences of any kind can permanently alter the DNA code and the new altered code will be the one the offspring inherit. Starvation for example has been shown to have an impact, 2 and 3 generations after the starvation event. When we talk about ancestral and collective trauma in certain human populations that have suffered, it's not just a psycho-social phenomenon, it's hardwired into their DNA.

And on top of that, as Meadowcat says, some studies have shown that what happens to a dam during her pregnancy as well as what she does has an influence on the offspring. For example there used to be an old saying from hunters that if you wanted good hunting dogs, you had to hunt with your bitch while she was pregnant. Well, studies have actually demonstrated that whatever activities the bitch does while she is pregnant, her offspring will be better at, than a bitch who has the same DNA and has been trained to do those same things, but didn't do anything while pregnant.

The health and fitness of the dame prior to breeding, during breeding, during whelp and afterwards also has an impact on the puppies. Too much negative stress experienced by a dam during that same period can permanently rase the cortisol levels in the puppies (cortisol is the stress hormone).

In a less direct manner, it stands to reason that the person raising the puppies will generally be whoever the dam is living with after breeding, or at the very least who she is living with after whelping. The environment this person provides will shape the early life experiences of those puppies.

So while the genetic contribution of a dam isn't necessarily more to the temperament, the dam (and thus the breeder) has a lot more to contribute, directly and indirectly than the sire does.

Oh my gosh, I was going to post about epigenetics! It's a rabbit hole of interesting stuff!

It makes me wonder about things like...if a bitch is sent off to whelp elsewhere, what does that do?? That could be stressful for her if she's not terribly familiar with the environment....

I could go on and on...I find this SOOOOO fascinating! It also makes me want to ask so so so many questions when I start looking for eventual next puppy in a few years. So completely interesting!

(It also just makes me laugh when people seem to look at sires so hard...)
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-25-2020, 01:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Artemis View Post
Genetically, not necessarily.
However, in terms of life experience and learned behaviour yes the dam has much more influence on the pups than the sire just by virtue of association and direct interaction.
There's also a science called epigenetics. This is neither directly inherited DNA or environmental imprint. It's a combination of both things - certain genes can be switched "on" and "off" according to certain environmental influences.

In addition to this, trauma and experiences of any kind can permanently alter the DNA code and the new altered code will be the one the offspring inherit. Starvation for example has been shown to have an impact, 2 and 3 generations after the starvation event. When we talk about ancestral and collective trauma in certain human populations that have suffered, it's not just a psycho-social phenomenon, it's hardwired into their DNA.

And on top of that, as Meadowcat says, some studies have shown that what happens to a dam during her pregnancy as well as what she does has an influence on the offspring. For example there used to be an old saying from hunters that if you wanted good hunting dogs, you had to hunt with your bitch while she was pregnant. Well, studies have actually demonstrated that whatever activities the bitch does while she is pregnant, her offspring will be better at, than a bitch who has the same DNA and has been trained to do those same things, but didn't do anything while pregnant.

The health and fitness of the dame prior to breeding, during breeding, during whelp and afterwards also has an impact on the puppies. Too much negative stress experienced by a dam during that same period can permanently rase the cortisol levels in the puppies (cortisol is the stress hormone).

In a less direct manner, it stands to reason that the person raising the puppies will generally be whoever the dam is living with after breeding, or at the very least who she is living with after whelping. The environment this person provides will shape the early life experiences of those puppies.

So while the genetic contribution of a dam isn't necessarily more to the temperament, the dam (and thus the breeder) has a lot more to contribute, directly and indirectly than the sire does.
I should have thought more about this when playing fetch with Kya 3x a day lol. If the pups are more annoying than momma re: playing fetch, I might not be able to handle it lol.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-25-2020, 02:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Artemis View Post
Genetically, not necessarily.
However, in terms of life experience and learned behaviour yes the dam has much more influence on the pups than the sire just by virtue of association and direct interaction.
There's also a science called epigenetics. This is neither directly inherited DNA or environmental imprint. It's a combination of both things - certain genes can be switched "on" and "off" according to certain environmental influences.

In addition to this, trauma and experiences of any kind can permanently alter the DNA code and the new altered code will be the one the offspring inherit. Starvation for example has been shown to have an impact, 2 and 3 generations after the starvation event. When we talk about ancestral and collective trauma in certain human populations that have suffered, it's not just a psycho-social phenomenon, it's hardwired into their DNA.

And on top of that, as Meadowcat says, some studies have shown that what happens to a dam during her pregnancy as well as what she does has an influence on the offspring. For example there used to be an old saying from hunters that if you wanted good hunting dogs, you had to hunt with your bitch while she was pregnant. Well, studies have actually demonstrated that whatever activities the bitch does while she is pregnant, her offspring will be better at, than a bitch who has the same DNA and has been trained to do those same things, but didn't do anything while pregnant.

The health and fitness of the dame prior to breeding, during breeding, during whelp and afterwards also has an impact on the puppies. Too much negative stress experienced by a dam during that same period can permanently rase the cortisol levels in the puppies (cortisol is the stress hormone).

In a less direct manner, it stands to reason that the person raising the puppies will generally be whoever the dam is living with after breeding, or at the very least who she is living with after whelping. The environment this person provides will shape the early life experiences of those puppies.

So while the genetic contribution of a dam isn't necessarily more to the temperament, the dam (and thus the breeder) has a lot more to contribute, directly and indirectly than the sire does.
Artie -- Just wanted to say that I think your post was outstanding - very informative AND for once - nobody blamed the male ROTFLOL

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-25-2020, 03:31 PM
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Quote:
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I should have thought more about this when playing fetch with Kya 3x a day lol. If the pups are more annoying than momma re: playing fetch, I might not be able to handle it lol.
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Artie -- Just wanted to say that I think your post was outstanding - very informative AND for once - nobody blamed the male ROTFLOL

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LOL we gotta give the boys a break sometimes!

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Oh my gosh, I was going to post about epigenetics! It's a rabbit hole of interesting stuff!

It makes me wonder about things like...if a bitch is sent off to whelp elsewhere, what does that do?? That could be stressful for her if she's not terribly familiar with the environment....

I could go on and on...I find this SOOOOO fascinating! It also makes me want to ask so so so many questions when I start looking for eventual next puppy in a few years. So completely interesting!

(It also just makes me laugh when people seem to look at sires so hard...)
It definitely makes me wonder about all those bitches that are imported/exported while pregnant, or those back during the world wars that got smuggled across borders and had to survive on little food. You have to wonder about those puppies and if, their temperaments and health would've been different had they been born under ideal conditions.

And a part of me now also wonders if the fact the breed endured such extreme pressure early on in its creation from being nearly wiped out during WWI and WWII might not have had some sort of epigenetic effect on its health? Could it be one of the pieces in the DCM puzzle? It's such an exciting field!
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-25-2020, 03:46 PM
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Quote:
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It definitely makes me wonder about all those bitches that are imported/exported while pregnant, or those back during the world wars that got smuggled across borders and had to survive on little food. You have to wonder about those puppies and if, their temperaments and health would've been different had they been born under ideal conditions.

And a part of me now also wonders if the fact the breed endured such extreme pressure early on in its creation from being nearly wiped out during WWI and WWII might not have had some sort of epigenetic effect on its health? Could it be one of the pieces in the DCM puzzle? It's such an exciting field!
Even now, bitches are sent to their breeder to whelp. It's one thing if they are familiar with their breeder, but if they haven't seen them for years, that's a level of stress. It has certainly given me pause.

There are so many interesting things about epigenetics that make me ask a lot more questions for the future. Just knowing what has gone on during pregnancy is a lot more interesting to me.


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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-25-2020, 06:22 PM
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-27-2020, 06:21 PM
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Certainly the epigenome of the dam also contributes to traits inherited by the pups, in addition to genetically based traits.

However, factors from the sire's epigenome are also heritable, in addition to genetically based traits, and these factors have also been evidenced to regulate gene expression in offspring.

Also, the title of this thread is "temperament genetics," which is...broad. There's no reason to think that something like temperament isn't complex and a quantitative trait, i.e., a continuously varying number of genes under variable regulation. Its not like we can find *the gene* for temperament or the two genes, or, or, or. There might be (probably, at least) hundreds of genes that turn off and on under different conditions. I mean, the genes of behavior... Wow. I think it expands far beyond being able to just know that currently.

Suffice to say, its complicated. When you account for all heritable (not just genetics) and environmental factors, I'm not entirely sure what the split really is on dam vs sire contribution. I'm not even sure its the exact same for every single pup or litter.



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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-27-2020, 07:17 PM
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Good food for thought. We have a Doberman, several in fact but I wanted to comment because of the temperament of our Cojack. Dad is a Corgi who generally are pretty mellow. Mom is a Jack Russell and where this breed is generally hyper, this mom is not, so consequently our boy is so laid back you'd think he might be low thyroid or something. That is until he sees a squirrel, then he has tons of energy. I don't know if any of this is relative but I wanted to share.
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