SisMorphine wrote:Now what Alison is focused on is the possibility of the heavy socialization masking inherent temperament flaws. But personally I feel that anything you do with a dog that young is going to go into the building of the dog's temperament since I don't believe that the dog's temperament is set only by genetics.
As noted by the two people in this thread who work in the field of genetics research, it is scientifically proven that environment affects genetics.
Also, though I have not raised a litter of puppies, every person I know who has done so says that there are fear periods to puppy development. Therefore, it is impossible
to evaluate puppy temperament on Tuesday, January 18, 2011. You must
look at the temperament over a period of weeks or months so unless someone is evaluating them daily or weekly there is no way to gauge the temperament of that puppy.
You absolutely can
screw up a puppy through mistakes in early socialization, and those screw ups may not be fixable. But just like you can "ruin" a puppy, the opposite is also true - you can make it a much better puppy.
It's also important to note that MANY studies have been done on animal interaction with infants of the species. Babies of any species that get no interaction fail to thrive and often die. The more they interact, the better they do - mentally and physically. Though no one
here is saying that puppies that don't get comprehensive socialization are being put in a black box and ignored, there is also TONS of scientific evidence that an enriching environment during infancy creates better coping skills in about every aspect of life regardless of species.
Like has been mentioned - if a dog is fantastic with no socialization then how much better would it have been if it had been worked with at even a basic level? Of course, there is no way to know... because once those formative weeks are gone there is no going back.