Our expert says:
In the past we were very quick to stereotype dogs according to their breed as the genetic lines used in breeding were fairly limited resulting in rather predictable outcomes. These days we have a much wider genetic pool to breed from allowing greater diversity in the traits produced in each breed line. It is therefore not as easy to predict a dog’s behaviour based on its breed – and this applies to both a dogs positive and negative behavioural traits. If you do want to get an idea as to your puppy’s genetic tendency towards aggression it is best to look at the temperaments’ of its immediate parents rather than the breed in general.
It is important to note however that genetics are only partially responsible for a dog’s temperament. The way your puppy is reared during the first few months of his life will have great impact on his adult temperament, and as the puppy’s owner, this responsibility falls on your shoulders.
A well run puppy school is an excellent place to start as it will encourage your puppy to become familiar and comfortable around different people, animals and situations, and so I am glad you have enrolled him in one. I would suggest that in addition to this you ask your vet to refer you to a behaviourist. A behaviourist will give you practical advice on how to manage the interactions between your toddler and puppy, how to avoid negative situations from arising, and how to best ensure the relationship between the two of them has maximum chance of success.
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