As you already know, breed matters – but your dog’s relatives matters as well!
If you have the option to get in touch with the owners of your dog’s parents, littermates, or any other relatives I highly recommend you do so.
Every dog has individual, specific behaviors (that are not always tied to the breed). These are often found in close family members as well. It’s going to be really beneficial to chat with the owners of your dog’s relatives.
After yourself, they most likely are the ones who understand your individual dog and his behaviors the best (because the have one with similar genetic makeup and have been in many situations similar to you!)
If you got your puppy from a breeder: Ask the breeder about both parents, and (if possible) aunts and uncles and grandparents … you will learn a lot about your own dog.
But also if you got your puppy from a rescue, chances are he or she was rescued with littermates. See if you can get in touch with the families that adopted the siblings. It’s so interesting to watch them grow and compare specific behaviors and training struggles or successes.
At the time of this writing, Shine is now 16 months old. Just this past weekend we met up with his aunt and cousin.
And earlier this summer we saw his big extended family – his littermates, mom and dad, and a whole bunch of aunties and uncles and more cousins.