Different strokes for different dogs

Share Button

dog_personalityI was thinking today about how different our dogs personalities are. As you know if you follow our Blog, we’ve had five of our own dogs and numerous fosters over the years. We’ve learned a lot and experienced many different behaviors. What fascinates me is how different each of our dogs personalities are. Here’s a few examples:

1. Food. We have had mostly Labs in our household so the fixation on food is pretty constant. They have all been able to tell time and would let us know loud and clear when it is dinner or breakfast time. Where they’ve displayed their differences is in prized treat behavior.  Jack stands practically in the spot where you gave it to him and devours it. Maggie walks around with it in her mouth for 5 minutes pondering a safe spot to sit and eat it. Tino would bury it. Each dealt with the treat differently.

2. Noise. None of our dogs have been fearful of noises, but reactions to different stimuli has been quite interesting. When I would vacuum, Sally would quietly leave the room – Tino would completely leave the house. But Jack…he stands right next to me and follows me around as I vacuum. Becca had a very heavy coat and would let me use one of those vacuum brushes on her – she loved it! Sirens didn’t create any reaction from any of the dogs except Tino. He would launch into a long mournful howl whenever he heard the faintest wail of a siren or even the ice cream truck.

3. Digging. We’ve had just two diggers, Tino and Maggie. It was funny to watch Tino dig. When we first got him, he had a badly injured ACL and could not walk on his back leg. His ‘digging’ consisted of pushing dirt on top of something with his nose. Even after his injury was repaired and healed he never dug with his paws, only with his nose. Maggie digs very daintily, with one paw and tosses the dirt off to the side. Neither Sally or Becca ever dug and Jack, who supposedly was a big digger at the shelter, nary a dig.

4. Heights. An odd one I don’t now if anyone else has encountered. If Steve or I had to climb a ladder to get on the roof for whatever reason, put up Xmas lights, retrieve a frisbee that went astray, our dog Sally would freak out. She’d run around, barking (something she hardly ever did) and try to climb the ladder. None of our other dogs ever paid any attention to us on a ladder, why did it upset her so much?

5. Belly Rubs. Here’s another one – all dogs love belly rubs – right? Nope, at least not mine. Jack will drop and roll on his back in a heartbeat if you give any indication that you are going to pet him. Sally was our snuggler and would snuggle up close to me whenever I sat down, but rarely did she ask for belly rubs. Becca’s spinal issues prevented her from rolling over with any ease and Maggie is still too fearful to ask for any attention, much less belly rubs. Tino was too “macho” to ask for petting of any kind, if you started to pet him, he would stand there and allow it for hours on end, but he would rarely initiate it.

6. Goofiness: In this situation, the makes seem to allow for the goofiness much more than the females. While Sally liked having her picture taken, she wouldn’t tolerate any costumes or adornments. Tino would let us dress him up in all sorts of silly get-ups and Jack seems to be the same. Becca, much to solemn and Maggie still much to fearful.

I posted a picture on Facebook the other day of Jack on his morning rounds. He walks the perimeter of the yard usually at least twice a day, in the morning and the late afternoon.  Not sure what he’s doing, just checking. All of our dogs have done that, some more often then others, but they’ve all monitored that property line front & back.

Dogs have such wonderfully quirky personalities, their likes and dislikes, their habits and routines so varied and unique. What is pretty standard, at least in my experience with dogs is their ‘unconditional love’. No matter what time I get up to feed them, they still love me. No matter how often I rub their belly, they still love me. Even when I’m busy and forget to take time to play with them their love is right there whenever I need it, that’s a constant.

How about you – how have the dogs in your life differed from each other?



I think the other thing we can agree on, all dogs are mischievous…so we’re joining the Monday Mischief  Blog Hop.


Share Button


  1. Great post. We’ve had many different personalities, like you. One Lab climbed ladders. We discovered it one day when Gary had been on the roof checking storm damage. He came in the house for something and when he went out, Spanky was on the roof! Not so easy getting a Lab off a roof 😉
    Sue at Talking Dogs recently posted…Mischief Monday: Party Photos and KONG WinnersMy Profile

    • Oh that’s too funny. Sally would try, but she was never brave enough to go past that first step. How DID you get him down? Fire department?

  2. Wow, they all have their own personalities, ways of doing things, everything. Just like people, only nicer.
    Roxy the traveling dog recently posted…Fresh grass and fresh kittensMy Profile

    • So true…

  3. What a sweet post – pets are each so different in their own unique ways. Right now I have three cats and they all continue to amaze and surprise me each day with their unique traits.

  4. Hi Guys,

    That was so fun to read! 🙂

    Mum says I’m way more mischievous than her previous dogs, I take that as a complement!! 🙂

    As for the vacuum, I sure don’t react like any of your dogs, when Mum gets it out I go nuts and try to eat the front of it, when Dad is using it, then I just ignore it as I know he’s got proper control of the monster!! 🙂

    Big wags,

    Your pal Snoopy 🙂
    snoopy recently posted…Monday Mischief – I’m 3 – Yep, 3 years of mischief completed! 🙂My Profile

    • Good job Snoopy – don’t let that vacuum get away with anything!

  5. Bawaahhaaaaawa I do the same as my buddie Snoops, I try to eat the front of the hoover, I’m the only dog in the house which I have to share with a furball xx00xx

    Mollie and Alfie

  6. Our first Aussie wanted to chew everything in sight when there was noise. She was a great dog, but with a bit of a nervous disposition. The pair we have now are pretty laid back. Flash and Jimmy the Duck squabble, but that’s about it.
    Flea recently posted…Funny Bone Monday, 19My Profile

  7. What a question to ask.That would take an entire post like yours…Each has been different, each has quirks and each is totally wonderful in his or her own way…I have learned something from each one.
    GizmoGeodog recently posted…Misaki Visits for Monday MischiefMy Profile

    • That’s true – they are each wonderful in their own way. I guess if they all had the same quirks life would be pretty boring!

  8. Woof! Woof! it’s just ME in my house. I have to check the backyard for sure, from any furry creatures. I react very well on FOOD (as I do know many food words) and a lot more … Definitely this is a good ?. Happy MM. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar
    SUGAR: Golden Woofs recently posted…Looking For My Furry Friend + Surprise GiveawayMy Profile

  9. Yes our dogs are different from one another. Sally and her reaction to the ladder is very interesting. I have never heard of that reaction.
    2 brown dawgs recently posted…Fun With FreighterMy Profile

    • It was so weird – she seemed afraid for him…like barking “get down, get down”

  10. This is so great! You’re right, no two dogs are alike – they’re all quirky in their very own marvelous ways 🙂
    Danielle at Life In The Dog Lane recently posted…Advice From A DogMy Profile

    • All the more reason we love them I guess.

  11. Love this post!

    Food: Sydney eats everything, Blue eats when he’s hungry, sometimes Rigo needs to be prompted to eat.

    Belly Rubs: They all love belly rubs

    Toys: Rodrigo and Blue love toys; Sydney will take one to lay with, but she’s more into something she can chew on.

    Digging: we have moles on our property and sleeping creatures in the winter – our dogs dig a lot, but not so much that they destroy the yard

    Sleeping: they sleep on the floor mostly, Sydney returns to the sofa and Blue likes to sleep on me at times

    Noise: Sydney is quiet – the other two – LOL
    Kimberly, The Fur Mom recently posted…50 Things I Wish I Knew About Dog Care When We Adopted Our DogsMy Profile

  12. It is amazing the different personalities that dogs have. I have two doggie sisters, and each of us are unique. Mommy loves that I have learned so many tricks & commands, that I “know” when someone needs tending to, and that I always seem to find the joy in the littlest thing.
    I just followed you on Twitter! I would have signed up to follow your blog, but did not see a “Join this Site” button or email sign up like I have on mine. I’d love to have you follow mine too so I can share my adventures with you.
    So happy to be connected with you now!
    ~Pixel & Mommy Jenny
    Pixel Blue Eyes recently posted…Pixel’s “Blog Paw” – Mostly Wordless WednesdayMy Profile

    • We have been remiss in adding that to our blog. Thanks for the reminder! Hope you join our FitDog Friday Blog Hop!

Comments are now closed on this post.