Dogs come in all shapes and sizes. A dachshund looks nothing like a golden retriever, and a golden retriever looks nothing like an English bulldog. But all of these different dog breeds started from a few ancestors, and only after a considerable amount of breeding did they go on to obtain the physical traits you see today.
Part of that breeding involved looking for behavioral traits. Many dog breeds were bred for very specific behaviors. Some dog breeds were bred for herding behaviors. Other dog breeds were bred to guard homes. Other dog breeds were bred for manual labor. Each of these breeds has their own breed traits that make them perform certain behaviors more than other dogs.
Yet breed traits are often misunderstood. For example, pit bulls have a reputation of being one of the most dangerous dog breeds on the planet, because they were bred for fighting. Yet pit bulls are not by their nature aggressive. They simply have a tendency to become more aggressive when not properly trained.
So while breed traits certainly play a role in behavior, pet owners play a much larger role. Herding breeds can easily be trained out of most herding behavior. So called “aggressive” breeds can easily be trained out of any sign of aggression. Breed traits exist, but they are simply predilections, not guarantees.
Buying a Pet for Its Traits
Some prospective pet owners may need a pet that herds or can do work around the farm, but most simply want a loving pet for their home. If that’s you, don’t worry too much about what the breed’s “traits” are. As long as you are willing to put in the time to train your pet, and you have the time to give your pet the proper upbringing, ALL pets can become loving family members, no matter what their “breed traits” are.