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Do Tell: Do Your Pups Behave Like Their Ancestors?

Although I've got pets on the brain almost nonstop, sometimes new ideas strike me when chatting with pals. Take yesterday, when my friend (who moved to southwest London with her rescued Cocker Spaniel) complained to me that Lola loves the Thames but constantly tries to edge closer to get the birdies. Not only is she worried her dog will jump in, but it's hard to walk because it seems like Lola forgot all her training and now has a mind of her own.
I've seen a sheepdog try to "herd" passersby on the sidewalk in Pacific Heights and other working dogs like these retrievers that seem to instinctively want to perform the jobs they were bred to do . . . like fetching for hours on end!

What's even more interesting is how another friend's shepherd/retriever mix exhibits behaviors from both the herding and the working groups . . . do your furry friends act like this as well? Share in the comments below.


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missyd missyd 8 years
my sheltie cahses me around the backyard 'nipping' at my heels. she actually drew blood once a little bit! She was trying to herd me. Twas all in good fun. I just ADORE her.
alba1 alba1 8 years
My husky thinks im a sled...he loves to pull and run. His prey Instincts are pretty high too; my poor cat can confirm that!
kscincotta kscincotta 8 years
My collie/lab mix definitely is reflective of her breeds. Her strongest drive is to fetch and fetch and fetch... the first day we brought her home as a puppy, she was fetching chew toys from the other end of the kitchen. Now, not a day goes by when we don't end up with toys in our labs because she wants us to toss them for her to fetch. She's the craziest about tennis balls - we had to make them outside only toys because she was driving us nuts with them. When people see us in the yard, they always ask how we taught her to fetch so well and I joke that the program came "factory installed". She doesn't have quite as strong a herding instinct, but when she gets really keyed up, she just takes off running in large circles around the yard or even the living room like she's possessed or something. It's bonkers!
Smacks83 Smacks83 8 years
This is why people need to understand breeds. I feel so bad for some dogs who are super athletic and have tons of energy egtting saddles with a human whos a big lazy couch potato because they thought the dog was "cute". On a funny note: My cousin once had a herding mix that used to herd all the baby chicks into her crate at night and sleep in the doorway of the crate so that they would be safe. She was never taught this she just one day began to "roundup" the chicks. Funniest thing ever.
Happsmjc Happsmjc 8 years
Love this! I've seen traits in my goldens, obviously--but my little mutt just sniffs--so that's how I realized he def. had a hound in him! He's not sure yet what he is supposed to do!
starangel82 starangel82 8 years
My dad's heeler tries to herd anything and everything. It's hilarious watching him in the backyard with a new toy. I keep telling my dad he needs to throw some cows or sheep in the backyard and he'd be the happiest dog ever.
karina2244 karina2244 8 years
My border collie mix dog seriously tries to herd other dogs! She will run up next to them and try to lead them where she wants them to go (usually outside away from her!). So funny.
Ellenora Ellenora 8 years
Oh yes, Zena does what Zena is bred to do--hunter, watchdog and faithful companion (seriously, that's what they're bred for). Her breed was used to hunt down leopards in South America before the leopard was endangered! She's fearless, confident and regal along with being a cuddler and a watchdog. She isn't just exhibiting the behavior, she is the behavior of a Decker Rat Terrier.
grammiel grammiel 8 years
I've had 3 that exhibited their unique breed traits. Juliet was a border collie/golden retriever and had the best of both breeds. She helped me bring in the groceries, picked up her toys from the lawn when I got ready to mow, and loved to fetch and swim. SMART! I had her 11 years before she died. Mocha was a foster, Australian shepherd. When we went for walks he would tap and nudge the outside of our knees if we started to walk too far apart (herding us). Freckles is a foster, heeler mix. He has a definite tennis ball obsession! He could fetch and bring back and drop it for you to throw again for HOURS (I think, we haven't gone that long yet).
Renees3 Renees3 8 years
Totally. My dachshund and dachshund mix just about died from excitement when they found the gopher (or mole or whatever it was) holes in our backyard. Rocksy especially loves to dig in there all crazy. Dig dig dig, sniff, bark, dig dig dig. She loves it. I'm actually thinking about looking into seeing if she'd like to do Earthdog trials since she seems to have a knack for that sort of thing. Should be fun!
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