Much of our presumptions when talking dogs, and talking breed, is that their genes (nature) ultimately inform their behaviors -- which then a proper education (nurture) may correct, redirect, or inflect. The thorny and problematic question of nature vs. culture has no easy answer. Yet, to what extent do our expectations actually shape our individual understanding of an animal's behavior? Knowing what we think we know, we may thus focus on these traits we identify with our animal's genealogy, while discarding others which don't fit (we do the same with astrology!)
Many of us have probably heard of people who thought their mutt was XY (and therefore was stubborn, intelligent, wary of strangers, etc.) only to learn that it was in fact a ZEE (and then re-adapt their description, now sticking to the new genetic scenario ... "Oh that explains it!"). And I sure do not want to go into the "Pit Bull" debate and breed exclusion / mass euthanasia consequences of the belief in genetic ineluctability (http://globalnews.ca/news/2527882/torontos-pit-bulls-are-almost-gone-so-why-are-there-more-dog-bites-than-ever/).
So, as I submitted my data for my two dogs ... as I wonder why it is that my mutt, rescue dog without a past, struggles with anxiety and aggression (genes? cage craze after 7 months behind bars at young age? guard dog training and little socialization?) ... as I wonder why my "uncle" who is a pure breed Lhasa seems so true to his "breed" in temper and in health... I just wonder how we might complicate the genetic question ... How social but also other environments (food, exercise, owner's temper, etc.) actually might shape our make-up, and even induce different genetic programmings (Linda in another forum on Darwin's Dogs evokes the question of "epigenetic modifications, or “tags,” such as DNA methylation and histone modifications" and receives an answer).. How our reliance on genes might affect our ability to fully comprehend and understand social behavior and psychological .