People like different dogs: some prefer dogs with a serious nature and formidable appearance, the other - with a friendly and cheerful disposition. But they all want their dog's behavior to fit the "frame" of normal. This framework is quite difficult to define, and very often we notice, that the dog's behavior is not right, when it is already formed.
The so-called "kennel syndrome" is mainly associated with some gaps in the development of puppies, as a result of rising them up in a poor or restricted environment of a large kennels. In fact, this problem is much broader than just some personal problems of the dog breeders and dog trainers - we are talking about the general patterns of psychobiological development of mammals. And people here, by the way, are not an exception.
Genes and environment
Everyone knows that the external signs of purebred dogs, and the behaviors characteristic of a particular breed are fixed genetically. We also know that the qualities of the producers can be transmitted by inheritance to their descendants. But somehow in the shadow of His Majesty Gene, Her Majesty Environment often remains neglected. Meanwhile, the effect of the environment is a prerequisite for the normal development of the offspring of any mammal - be it a puppy or a human child.
The fact is that the powerful genes do not determine directly the habits of the animal - the genetic matrix is providing only a foundation, where later will be build a variety of behavioral programs, peculiar to a certain species, breed or individual. These programs are usually brought to action by a variety of external inducements. This is one of the greatest mysteries of nature - "messages" from the outside world are deploying the recorded information in the genes, and giving an impetus to the development of behavioral programs, which determines a certain set of the actual behaviors of the animal.
The most striking example of biological action of this law are, oddly enough, people. It is no accident, that this is reflected in the literature - we mean the story of Mowgli. However, the great writer just told us the story about a boy's life in a pack of wolves. The real "Mowgli", which were found in the jungle, have not been able to learn a human language, in spite of all efforts for their education. They did not have an opportunity to learn the human speech in their early childhood, and therefore they could not become humans in the fullest sense of this word. This is the consequences of the limitation of the environment influence. Genetically programmed ability to speak like a human can not develop in the child without enough contact with the other people. Moreover, the child will be able to learn the human language only if he was acquainted with it in the first years of his life. This is happening due to the fact that for the development of the ability to talk, there is needed some certain level of the brain development. And in many mammals, including humans and dogs, development of the brain structures continues after birth. And a crucial role in this development is played by the external environment.
Compared to humans, a dog is organized much simpler, but the patterns of development are the same: genetic programs can not be properly realized in the behavior, that is characteristic for the species, without the influence of the external environment. The world around the dog to a large extent is determined by people and it has a significant impact on the development of the dog's behavioral characteristics. On how well we organize the environment, where our dog will be raised up, depends it's whole future behavior.