In his blog, the mermaid’s tale, Ken Weiss wonders if the characteristic behaviors of different dog breeds are inculcated, rather than inborn:
“Which raises the general question of just how built-in strain-specific temperaments and the like really are. To what, if any, extent is it that given breeds are raised in particular ways that make it seem as if the resulting behaviors are ‘genetic’? Are breed behavior characteristics being overstated?”
Of course this question has already been answered years ago by Dan Freedman, who had puppies of various breeds raised by raised by bitches of another breed. As I noted earlier, breed personality looks to be inborn: Little beagles were irrepressibly friendly. Shetland sheepdogs were most sensitive to a loud voice or the slightest punishment. Wire-haired terriers were so tough and aggressive that Dan had to wear gloves when playing with puppies that were only three weeks old. Basenjis were aloof and independent.
Freedman went on to find similar personality differences in newborn babies of different races, as seen here. I sure hope that Ken Weiss watches it. Could be funny.