Thursday, 21 June 2018

Nature Or Nurture?

A Young Idol 
A really interesting conversation with a friend at Cheshire made me think a lot about these and their family ties. No doubt they are a combination of their genetics and the environment they are bought up in and live in. Weak/soft characters can be improved but also I feel made worse in a poor environment.
The conversation was about Ross, Ivylene commented that Ross has taken so much from his maternal grandfather, Idol, whom she knew .. well knows .. the old man is still alive I gather. Strangely I had thought of using Idol on Asha all those years ago, but felt at the time that Suffolk was out of my reach. Idol Vom Haus Am Lerchenweg was an import and is now dominant in the pedigrees of sables in this country. It is said that as well as producing colour and type that a lot of the strong mischievous characters come from him. Looking at photos of Idol as a young dog I sure can see a young Ross, though Idol has a profuse coat and unfortunately Ross has followed in his father footsteps on the coat front. Here's hoping when this horrible junior moult is over that his next coat will be thicker. Ross' coat has never been his fortune but I have seen worse and he will have enough to get by in the show ring.
So let's go back to the beginning of the Blanik bitch line and be honest about who they were ..
Seffe, Blade, Dexi and Nikki
Nikki was confident, reasonably calm and affectionate, but with a slight intensity and a toy/grass obsession that I've not seen again here till Ross.
The young Seffe was a little more unsure of herself, and could react nervously in unfamiliar situations, particularly around children .. but I do think being a more sensitive bitch she picked up on my  dislikes. (Well I'm just being honest) As an adult her character became stronger .. I think a lot of Seffe strength of character was environmental and came from living within a strong confident pack. Had she lived with a weaker pack, maybe a mother with a different character I think she may have not developed into the bitch she became .. so nurture not nature?
Louis, Krizzie, Jay, Seffe and Nikki
Krizzie - OMG - the clown, the joker in the pack. Miss Crazy, full of her own self important with a huge love for life, she adored everyone, especially men. Never nervous, nor shy and a huge eye opener for me. I never knew a dog could be that naturally funny, clever or devious ..
Tali - another culture shock, full of her own self importance, aloof and strong willed. Never nervous or shy, she sometimes made you feel she didn't even need you, being so confident in her own skin without you she would have got by just fine.
Asha - calm, gentle, affectionate but focused .. never nervous or shy. Possibly the ideal character?
Mikey, Ziva, Tali and Asha
Ziva and Jezi - The sisters. Hmmm - a product of their unfortunate environment. Four sisters together for too long sure did affect their character. The young pups were as outgoing as any others but they were truly affected by our circumstances and the facts that same sex siblings should not be together for so long. Ziva was bred from so her character was more important, the sweeter of the 2 sisters but still with the hangups of her earlier years she surprised us all by becoming one of the best Blanik mothers ever. Ziva is generally affectionate and kind but does lack a little self confidence and can be a little spiteful!
Nico and Jezi 
Sammi - Perfect! lol.. No I'll be serious. In all circumstances the young Sammi has been confident bordering on cocky, like Tali self assured in her own skin which did cause earlier obedience problems. She always seemed to consider what was in it for her to listen .. as she's got older she's got very obedient, affectionate and loving. But and there is always a but .. she did not take charge of her daughter as she should have done and Kaiah now bullies her which I find hard to accept or understand.
Kaiah - Confident, cocky, vocal, pushy and spiteful (like Ziva). Ridiculously jealous of my attention, but equally a sweetheart who affectionate and obedient and bubbly. Like Krizzie I guess a bit too clever for her own good!
So that's the bitch line .. nature and nurture has affected them all .. and the boys ...
Blade - I always thought he had a strong character, but knowing what I know now I consider some of his behaviour to be down to being just a little unsure of himself. Though the pack was well ordered, I think Nikki was really the strength behind it's order. He was my everything, but he could be odd and did dislike some people .. and their dogs.
Asha, Kai and Tali 
Dexi - what a goof. Without doubt a super character, but a dog who was happy to be in his place in the pack and though he did challenge a weak Sultan he never pushed his luck with Blade or his mother. Super super dog
Jay - What do I say? What a friggin idiot. Confident, loud, OTT, funny, pretty obedient .. never nervous or shy but a proper handful.
Louis - the love of my life. A combination of his parents, the extroverted Krizzie and the loopy Jay. A happy bubbly individual who loved life and everyone and everything in it. Not a lot more I can say .. he was a dream come true.
Kai - Now there a character - Strong, intense, authoritative and confident - the strongest character ever to live here. His sheer presence filled up a room .. I'm sure you could have stopped a fight in a rowdy bar just by walking in with him. Kai was huge .. in very way.
Kaiah, Ross, Loki and Sammi 
Mikey - Asha brother, Kai and Tali's son, but as a youngster he lack the confidence of his parents and sibling. To be honest he lived in Asha's shadow for years, but as Asha started to stay home for maternal duties a huge change came about him. All of a sudden, he was the star, he grew in confidence and demeanor .. nurture not nature? I don't know maybe the nature was always there, just over shadowed by his sister in the early years.
Nico's past has been well documented. Dogs in rescue centres have often suffered less mental abuse than he has. It's a credit to the dogs true character that he has recovered so quickly to be who he is. In my opinion Nico has the perfect pet dog character. He's affectionate, obedient, ridiculously cuddly and sweet, but territorial and protective.. what more do you need?
Loki is generally a sweet sensitive dog within his family, but he is aloof with strangers and makes no effort to interact with anyone he doesn't know. His confidence level has grown tremendously but I still see shadows of his former nervous self in him, especially now as Ross is growing up.  Loki lacks the confidence he needs to be the dominate male in a pack and is resorting to growling  instead of controlling. Other than his natural puppy nervousness I think loosing Mikey affected Loki tremendously, he lost his way and was no way ready at his young age to have a pack of 5 bitches in his care.
Ross  .. hmm.. another eye opener. Determined, head strong and loud, pushy and mostly confident. A combination of Kai's will and intensity with a little of Jay's madness about him. Great fun dog, but not the ideal first time GSD for anyone. Breaking his spirit is not what I'm about .. but getting discipline and order itself on such a strong willed individual has been a challenge, but we are almost there. I love his spark of naughtiness and mischief, but I also love the cuddle bum who he's now growing into.
A family, but they are all so different, no mother and daughter alike .. but I often see grandparents in their traits. We breed the best we can and hope for better .. we do ask a lot of our dogs don't we!

1 comment:

Lin said...

That was wonderful to read especially as I know and knew them all , as I was reading about each one I could picture them allxx