Jump to content
BC Boards

Physical affection: Nature or nurture?


Recommended Posts

Just adding a side note

I have to remind myself to love on Mick at least every few days. He, on rare occasions comes over for a few pets or a face scritch but otherwise he is content to lie by our feet.

I've found without the automatic love button I tend to miss things like ticks or sores or whatevers as I'm not putting my hands on him everyday.

Just thought I'd throw that one out there to remind those of us with the nonlovebug type dogs to check them over even if they aren't asking for it!

btw......

Happy Holidays to all

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it's mostly nature. My herders have for the most part been dogs who want to stick with me and keep one eye on me at all times but in general aren't very overly affectionate. The papillons on the other hand are ridiculously doting.

 

I had one sheltie who really did not like petting at all and while I did teach him to tolerate it a bit better, he was never 'affectionate'. He was ironically probably the most devoted dog I've ever had. You could tell by the way he'd look at you that he just thought the world revolved around you. It was one of those bonds that total strangers would even comment on. But he didn't enjoy pets or cuddles ever. He did learn to not be quite so stiff if I tried to cuddle though. But he really did prefer his space bubble and I don't think anything I could have done would have changed that.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with nature as well, but think nurture can play a role. Timber came home at 8.5 weeks and happily curled up in the other downstairs room by himself to nap and hang out, I was devastated, where was my cuddly puppy?

 

It wasn't until he was about 6 months that he started regularly crawling up on the couch or bed for short cuddle sessions. He has grown into a cuddle bug, but I almost think it is as much to piss the other dogs off who are very cuddly and don't like taking turns.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I am wondering if displays of affection are a constant personality trait?

 

Those of you that have bred litters or had many dogs from puppyhood, do you find that the pups that were snugglers at 8 weeks become snuggly adults (generally)? Do they go through shifts at puberty?

 

And is it possible for reserved pups to eventually crave physical affection?

 

I would imagine that if a reserved pup was paired with an owner that really craved physical affection, the pup would sense that pressure and might become even more reserved as a result. So nurture could actually be re-enforcing nature but not the way that a human is intending.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Zoey is extremely affectionate. She loves cuddling, hugs, kisses ears, leans into petting and scratching, lays her head into my lap, sleeps nearby me, snuggles.... We got her at 4 months old from a wonderful long-time BC breeder, who thought she wanted to keep her, until Zoey "picked" me by not wanting to leave my lap during a visit, lol....she is by far the cuddliest and sweetest BC I have ever been around-- my first BC, a male, was a serious watchdog with little interest in anything other than play or security detail with a little viciousness thrown in; my Ringo (male) and Disney (female) were both uninterested in affection and were unfriendly with most people until they got older; and now I am shocked by how lovey-dovey Zoey is! I am told her litter mates (all boys) have very sweet dispositions too.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it's a combination of nature and nuture. I raised a border collie from a young age and she was never a snuggler despite my love of snuggling. But I've also gotten in rescues that were afraid of the world- once they got past some of their fears they turned into the biggest snugglers around. Rosie was a rescue who used to be afraid of people. Now she loves to snuggle and squeals with happiness at the sight of people.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know why I'd want to bother training a dog to cuddle. I'm not a big hugger, and I see no need to become a hugger just to make my friends who like to hug happier. I'll occasionally hug close friends, but no one expects it from me and that's find by me. That's how I feel about my animals too. They all get affection, but I don't require the non-cuddlers to become cuddlers just to satisfy my own desires.

 

J.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know why I'd want to bother training a dog to cuddle. I'm not a big hugger, and I see no need to become a hugger just to make my friends who like to hug happier. I'll occasionally hug close friends, but no one expects it from me and that's find by me. That's how I feel about my animals too. They all get affection, but I don't require the non-cuddlers to become cuddlers just to satisfy my own desires.

 

J.

 

 

This.

 

I'm happy to cuddle the dogs that enjoy it as long as they don't pester too much and I'm happy for those that are more self contained to do their own thing. If anything I get more pleasure from the second sort who comes to me for a quick fuss on a rare occasion than I do from the ones that want attention a lot of the time as it's a more significant event.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I got two of my three Border collies as puppies - raised them both the same way, with them generally at my feet or crated in an adjacent room or in an X-pen when I wanted them to "chill", also coming into the office with me every day. The older male is not a cuddler and never really has been one (though he was perfectly happy to play with me as a puppy). Just didn't particularly seem to enjoy being held or having his belly rubbed even as a puppy (though he'd put up with it if you insisted). He will come to me (or the person we train with, or a clinician) for affection, but will usually only initiate it when he wants something out of one of us. ("If I make nice to you, will you reward me by letting me work the sheep?". Or he'll bring me a toy, and when I say "good dog!" will bolt to the back door to be let out - "OK, I did something for you by bringing you a toy, now do something for me by letting me Outside"). He would happily spend all his time Outside if I let him. (Our back yard is wooded, about a third of an acre, with deer that come in and out, so it's a fun place for dogs). I'm with Julie - I'm not into trying to make him into something he isn't. I'm happy to accept his affection when he offers it, and as mum24dog says, that makes it more special, but I don't feel the need to make him a cuddler.

 

The younger male, nine months old, still LOVES every person and every dog he's ever met. He's quite cuddly (relative to the older male) but not Golden Retriever cuddly. Will sit in my lap while we're spectating at a sheepdog trial or clinic, but only for so long. Happy to go Outside to play but after a while will let me know he wants to come back in to spend time with me. Although I'm sure he could lose some of his cuddliness when he's fully grown, I think he's always going to retain his outgoing personality.

 

The female, a 6.5-year-old working/trialing sheepdog, is the biggest cuddler of all of them. She does a little happy dance when I approach her, with her total body a'wriggle. And I've only had her five days.

 

I've had male and female Border collies in the past who were very affectionate - would come up and insist on petting or belly rubs. All in all I've seen a great deal of variation in the desire of Border collies to demonstrate affection. (And all of these, by the way, were working-bred).

 

The person I train with is apt to tell one of her dogs (affectionately) if they come up for attention: "You know, (dog's name), if I'd wanted a Golden Retriever, I'd have gotten a Golden Retriever". (This usually said as she scoops them into her lap). She's also said that her more overtly affectionate dogs tended to be her less confident dogs.

 

If you want an affectionate Border collie, your best bet is to acquire an adult from rescue. If you get a puppy, you should make sure you meet both parents. And if you want a cuddly dog - you may be better off with a Golden retriever.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, and I would say this cuddling thing definitely runs in Feist's family, as far as nature goes. When I met them, both her parents were totally and complete love muffins, snuggling up to me as if I'd known them for ages. Fleet, her sire, sidled right up to me and sat on my foot, leaning against me and looking up into my eyes as if we were soulmates. Feist does this to me and her favorite people she meets-funny to see how characteristics like this pass down. :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

The person I train with is apt to tell one of her dogs (affectionately) if they come up for attention: "You know, (dog's name), if I'd wanted a Golden Retriever, I'd have gotten a Golden Retriever". (This usually said as she scoops them into her lap). She's also said that her more overtly affectionate dogs tended to be her less confident dogs.

 

If you want an affectionate Border collie, your best bet is to acquire an adult from rescue. If you get a puppy, you should make sure you meet both parents. And if you want a cuddly dog - you may be better off with a Golden retriever.

This doesn't always work, our late Brody was often described by others as a golden retriever, out in public he loved nothing better than to get belly rubs and pets, complete social butterfly but at home he was much more aloof, did not lie close to us, he picked his spot, and occasionally would come up to my husband when he was watching Telly or working on the computer and ask for lap time which he always got as others have said the rare occasions are special times.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I got two of my three Border collies as puppies - raised them both the same way, with them generally at my feet or crated in an adjacent room or in an X-pen when I wanted them to "chill", also coming into the office with me every day. The older male is not a cuddler and never really has been one (though he was perfectly happy to play with me as a puppy). Just didn't particularly seem to enjoy being held or having his belly rubbed even as a puppy (though he'd put up with it if you insisted). He will come to me (or the person we train with, or a clinician) for affection, but will usually only initiate it when he wants something out of one of us. ("If I make nice to you, will you reward me by letting me work the sheep?". Or he'll bring me a toy, and when I say "good dog!" will bolt to the back door to be let out - "OK, I did something for you by bringing you a toy, now do something for me by letting me Outside"). He would happily spend all his time Outside if I let him. (Our back yard is wooded, about a third of an acre, with deer that come in and out, so it's a fun place for dogs). I'm with Julie - I'm not into trying to make him into something he isn't. I'm happy to accept his affection when he offers it, and as mum24dog says, that makes it more special, but I don't feel the need to make him a cuddler.

 

The younger male, nine months old, still LOVES every person and every dog he's ever met. He's quite cuddly (relative to the older male) but not Golden Retriever cuddly. Will sit in my lap while we're spectating at a sheepdog trial or clinic, but only for so long. Happy to go Outside to play but after a while will let me know he wants to come back in to spend time with me. Although I'm sure he could lose some of his cuddliness when he's fully grown, I think he's always going to retain his outgoing personality.

 

The female, a 6.5-year-old working/trialing sheepdog, is the biggest cuddler of all of them. She does a little happy dance when I approach her, with her total body a'wriggle. And I've only had her five days.

 

I've had male and female Border collies in the past who were very affectionate - would come up and insist on petting or belly rubs. All in all I've seen a great deal of variation in the desire of Border collies to demonstrate affection. (And all of these, by the way, were working-bred).

 

The person I train with is apt to tell one of her dogs (affectionately) if they come up for attention: "You know, (dog's name), if I'd wanted a Golden Retriever, I'd have gotten a Golden Retriever". (This usually said as she scoops them into her lap). She's also said that her more overtly affectionate dogs tended to be her less confident dogs.

 

If you want an affectionate Border collie, your best bet is to acquire an adult from rescue. If you get a puppy, you should make sure you meet both parents. And if you want a cuddly dog - you may be better off with a Golden retriever.

 

 

 

Not so fast. lol. I have a female golden who can do anything - she's certified as an adult therapy dog, recertified as a kids' therapy dog, agility, brings back birds, does tricks on cue from distances, walks, talks and dances...but she rolls her eyes and pulls away in annoyance if you try to physically cuddle her, and she's always been that way. pats, sure, tummy, sure, but if you put your arms around her you can almost hear her grit her teeth. She's been with me from seven weeks old and she's totally a soft dog with beautiful, tragic eyes but she ain't huggy.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Umm, third Border Collie?? I think we need pictures Lynn!

 

 

I've been waiting for your announcement. :D

 

It's been a kind of a crazy week. I gave a final on Friday, picked up the new pack member on Saturday - and had all of the next three days to get ready for Xmas (most of which were spent madly baking). Thursday I had to go into the office so that they could (finally, after six weeks of being unable to send email from home!) complete the migration of my email system. And today I played - a hike in the woods followed by a lesson on sheep with all three dogs (combined with a trip to see my FIL in the nursing home in the next state).

 

As soon as I finish reviewing the rest of the 30 proposals I'd promised NSF I'd have done by Dec. 30, I'll process and upload some recent photos of the pack. The new member is a bit camera shy, so at present I only have photos of her by herself or with Ross, nothing with all three dogs. Something to work on during the new year!!!

 

She and Ross are lying at my feet as I type, hoping for cuddles and handouts, while Duncan sulks in the next room because I tormented him when we got home by treating his torn pad, when everyone knows "real" Border collies tough it out! (Except when it suits them to get babied).

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...