Nature vs Nurture In French Bulldogs

There was a study done where twins and triplets that have been separated at birth or brought back together for observation and it was fascinating to note that the results of this study indicated that the nature of the person, in other words who you were born as, was much more what you turned out to be then that the environment that you were brought up in had an influence on who you turned out to be. So another words if you were brought up in a poor impoverished part of the world with very little food and parents that were not very educated you might turn out just the same as if you were brought up in Beverly Hills mansion with nannies and everything that you ever wanted was at your dispose. Some of the results of the study showed so many similarities, that it was actually shocking, to the details of preferred names and physical attributes of the wives both been named Linda when neither twin new the other and that they smoked the same brand of cigarettes and wore the same style of clothing and had the same favorite foods and wore the same perfume and styled their hair in a similar way all contrary to examples that we’ve heard of or seen whereby actually twins being brought up together sometimes strive radically to be different.


So how does this relate to animals? Well it seems that animals have an awful lot in common with humans and that’s why most studies for medicines and all kinds of things actually are tested on animals first and then transfer to humans. It works the other way around though too. Sometimes things are tested on humans first and those medications are given to animals on good faith that if it works for people it will work for my dog or any dog and I speak from experience because I have a dog with a congenital heart disease that’s being treated with human heart medication. This medication has never actually been tested on animals but merely by just a collection of facts passed between veterinarians the word got around that it seems to be working and so therefore it’s used on animals. Point being once again that animals and humans do have many similarities. So this is the inspiration for my discussion here which is that specific breeds of dogs, purebred dogs, one can say for certain that certain things are to be true for their nature. In a bad way this is being applied to pit bulls that are supposedly known for fighting. Although I’m not a pit bull owner I would beg to challenge this statement with one that says that pit bulls may be more inclined to bite and hold down there strong jaw’s but whether or not their nature is to be an aggressive dog breed, that’s something else to be said. This opinion is based on my experience with anger in humans which it has long since been proven is not inherited. In other words if you are Italian this will not mean that you have a temper. What it means is that someone in your family may have a temper and throughout generations an example has been set by observation that when something bothers you, you scream and yell and hit and so therefore people learn these behaviors. Likewise dogs can also learn behaviors such as to be aggressive with a certain command. Dog behaviour problems are learned and can be unlearned. All these things being said the point here is to simply point out that if the kind of dog that you want is one that loves to go swimming in the pool with you then a Labrador or golden retriever should be your choice. However if you like a dog that is extremely social with everybody and who will make you laugh because it contorts its body in funny ways or who snores like a human then a French bulldog would fit the bill. I can safely say that most French Bulldogs make snoring kinds of sounds to varying degrees and most French Bulldogs make me laugh at certain times of the day. But I can also say that most friends bulldogs are lazy and like to lay around a bit more than I used to know a dog would. Most certainly, for physical reasons being that their bones are very heavy compared to their size, a bet for a French bulldog to be a great swimmer is going to be a very rare occurrence.


So when choosing a dog for yourself don’t just react to the way it looks. Pay close attention to its nature and know that the way that the dog behaves much of those tendencies are inherited and anything that seems bad about the dog can probably be taught to be otherwise using positive reinforcement training techniques.


Author: Dr. Marika Zoll is a clinical psychologist and breeder of French Bulldogs. Her site is She practices alternative medicine healing along with traditional preventive medicine