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You guys remember when I was afraid for some reason that she wouldn't grow? (Where are my laughing emojis?!) 

The funny part is that she's only 45 pounds, but I feel like she looks bigger. She takes up the whole bed! She's going to shrink next week though, when she goes for her first big girl haircut. I'm ready/not ready for this. I think she's going to come back looking like a totally different dog. She's so much lighter underneath. And I know her hair is never going to be like this puppy hair again, but I'm really excited to see what it will look like when she's a big girl. And she needs the hair on her chin trimmed. I've never seen a dog with such a drippy face. Someone is not a neat drinker.

I think I accidentally turned her nocturnal. She takes these long naps during the day and then she wakes me up 5 times in the middle of the night. We really need to work on that. And she's definitely turning into a teenager. She thinks she's so big, barking out the window. But she's such a sweet little girl. I just marvel looking at the pictures at how little she was. They grow so fast!

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I feel like any dog living in the wrong house for them is a disaster but it's magnified with a large dog like a bully breed/pitbull type dog.  

Luna used to get picked on ALL the time by bully breed dogs at the dog park.  She was super submissive and they would pin her down and their owners would be like "oh he/she is just playing".... so I'd have to step in and relieve poor Luna from the situation.  Clearly my dog is not having a good time and your dog is taking advantage of her shyness.  If you can't control your large, strong dog... don't OWN a large, strong dog or train them to behave more politely.  Drives me nuts.

Riley gets picked on a bit at the dog park too because she is a bit timid, I don't think she realizes just how big she is lol.  She loves tiny dogs and people are always pleasantly surprised about how nicely she greets them.  Bigger dogs however.. if they approach in too forward a manner she becomes very shy and some dogs see that as a signal to pick on her (and if it's a herding dog, to herd her around).  

I don't know I joked with DH maybe it's the way we raise our dogs that makes them shy.  We take them out lots as puppies, socialize them with dogs we know are vaccinated... maybe we just got two shy dogs in a row :p

Sometimes I think about nature vs. nurture and how much influence we have on who our dogs turn out to be. I feel like all of my dogs have had similar personalities. Laid back, not afraid of much, moderate energy... I've never had a dog with separation anxiety or thunderstorm anxiety (though Maggie thinks it's terrible when the battery is dying on the smoke alarm) or one who freaked out about having toenails clipped. I didn't specifically pick any of my dogs. Did I just get lucky? Or is there something about my personality or perhaps the environment that influences that. 

I will say I break a lot of the rules about dogs. New dog introductions are a perfect example. There are these great prescribed was to introduce new dogs to one another. I bring a new dog home and plop her right in the middle and tell them, "I got you a sister. You *will* love them. And they always have so far.

I personally think it's heavily weighted on the nature side. Although Jasper's breeder thinks he is more mellow than his littermates because of me. I disagree. I was attracted to him because he WAS more chill than his littermates, at least during the few hours I spent with him prior to choosing him, lol. 
I've had one dog out of 4 that was terrified of fireworks, and I got that dog at the youngest age and probably had the most influence developmentally. 

None of my dogs has ever had issues with nail clipping, grooming, vet visits, etc. 
Both of my Poodle mixes were more obedient and biddable than either of my purebred Poodles. Both purebred Poodles were 100 times smarter, though. :)
None of these examples proves nature over nurture; however, it's pretty darned clear that with humans, nature trumps nurture every single time, and why would dogs be different?

Oh, and two with the outstanding show line pedigrees are/were absolutely fearless, whereas the two mixes from not-health-tested-or-very-well-bred parents both had significant fear issues. 

We are the same about doggy introductions.  "Here you go!" And watch the crazy unfold.  

Rosco (mellow breeder pup) did not have separation anxiety--he was an "added" dog.
Boca (bad breeder dump rescue) did not have separation anxiety--she was an added dog.
Thule (rehome, probably backyard breeder) had submissive peeing and separation anxiety, but only initially.  She more-or-less outgrew it.  She was an added dog.

None of my doodles were brought home as only-doodles!  Our next doodle will also probably join while Boca is still around.

I always enjoy these conversations because they make me think about what I think.

I think it's both - nature and nurture both contribute to who people and dogs become. Nature and nurture don't exist in a vacuum. You never get one without the other. So how can you determine if something is truly genetic vs environmental?

I think there are certain stereotypes that are probably just genetic. Shelties bark a lot. Do all shelties bark? Of course not. But enough of them do that it's probably safe to say that it's hardwired into their genome. But I'm not sure that I would say that separation anxiety is something that is genetic instead of a learned behavior, or even something specific to that one dog.

However, I did recently read an article that makes a correlation between joint hyper mobility and anxiety (in humans) that I found fascinating. I think we are a long way from understanding all the way our genes influence who we are. But if we just say "we are who we are" then what's the point in trying to change? If nurture doesn't influence our behavior, and we are just the product of our genes there are a lot of wasted therapy sessions in the world! 

Another thing that I think about sometimes (human again) is the difference between introverts and extroverts. I'm an introvert born and raised by an introvert. But is that genetic or learned? (probably both.) But would I have been different if I'd been raised by an extrovert, given a different social setting? I kind of think I would be the exact same person, but who really knows. It would be so interesting to split your life off and go down a different path and see what happened. 

She is adorable.  You won the rescue lottery.

I really really did

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