Dear Daisy Dog
We’re thinking about breeding our English setter, Maggie, because she’s beautiful. However, she’s afraid of most people. Will her puppies inherit her fearfulness?
Undoubtedly, so I don’t recommend breeding her.
Going through life with fear as a constant companion is painful, and I wouldn’t wish it on others of my species.
Studies of canine temperament and personality have shown that shyness and fearfulness have high heritability. That’s the scientist’s way of saying the behaviors are passed through the dog’s genes to future generations.
Aggression and boldness also are inherited.
Reputable breeders strive to improve the breed by mating only those dogs with excellent health and outstanding temperaments.
Maggie doesn’t fit that description, so it’s best for the breed if she doesn’t reproduce.
It’s also best for her health. Mom spayed me, and now I don’t have to worry about uterine infection or various kinds of cancers. Give Maggie the same gift.