Like their human counterparts, dogs have their own personalities, characteristics, and are born with natural tendencies. Their natural responses are shaped by what they are exposed to in puppyhood. It is a combination of their natural tendencies and early puppy experiences that shapes how they will interact socially.
Distinctions in character
The science for dog emotions is very scarce. Until recently, it was thought that dogs are only motivated by survival and reproduction. A book called The Emotional Lives of Animals, published in 2008 by Mark Berkoff, is a significant work based on many years of studying social communication in different species. It helped us realize the richness of the emotional lives of animals and changed how we see and treat them.
So, now that science has determined that dogs have personalities, it is safe to say that dogs can be introverts and extroverts. Though most dogs, having descended from wolves, are social pack animals, it doesn’t mean that some dogs can’t be introverts.
Signs of an introvert
According to an article by Dr. Jacqui Ley, a veterinary behaviorist, a dog can be introverted if they are quiet around unfamiliar people but can be playful with people they know. They tend to tire faster than extroverted dogs in a busy environment and they avoid noisy situations. Introverted dogs stick to their owners in social situations, they seek solitude and find it hard to interact with extroverted dogs. If your dog prefers routine and is soothed by the familiar, they may be an introvert!
Signs of an extrovert
On the flip side, an extroverted dog’s signs are that they adore being around other dogs and humans. They enjoy new experiences. Extroverted dogs excel at being introduced to different people, dogs, and environments. They often are vocal and don’t tire easily. These extroverted pups may need help refining their manners since they can get over-excited with strangers. If your dog has been labeled hyperactive, they may be an extrovert!
Nurturing your introverted or extroverted pup
If you think your dog is extroverted there are ways to help nurture their outgoing personality. Make sure you take them on lots of trips to the park or walks to get some energy out and to meet new friends. Taking them frequently will help your extroverted dog feel fulfilled.
For introverted dogs, nurture them by giving them some time to run around or play with you in the privacy of your own home. You can use snuffle mats to get their nose working. And of course, don’t forget to give them lots of praise and cuddles!
Whether your dog is extroverted, introverted, or even a little bit of both, all dogs have their own personality. All we can do is make everyday fun and rewarding for our pups!
All proceeds from Thousand Hills Pet Resort support New Life K9s. New Life K9s provides service dogs to veterans and first responders with PTSD at no cost to them.