Dogs That Changed the World
Video: Hard-Wired?

Genetics and brain physiology can affect a dog’s personality and behavior. (Video limited to U.S. & Territories.)

  • phillip goodwin

    It’s truly sad to know and finally realize,just how important getting your animal fixed,could save thousands more lives.

  • Sonya

    We all learn from our mistakes. When I was a teenager I purchased a 5 week old yorkie puppy from a pet shop during the Christmas season (a bad time to bring a pet into your family). I’m certain he was from a puppy mill. At the time I had no idea what I was supporting. The yorkie is now 14 and a beloved member of the family. However, I shed tears when I think of his parents. They most likely suffered along with others for years for the sole purpose of reproduction. Unlike my dog, they never experienced a comfortable loving home. I’m sure they didn’t receive humane treatment and basic veterinary care. It has become a mission of mine to educate others and prevent them from making the mistake I made. Sadly, due to the poor health and temperment of pet shop, website and newspaper ad puppies many end up at our shelters to face another grim reality. One out of every four dogs in shelters are purebred dogs. Also, there are purebred rescue groups for almost every breed. I have since adopted all of my pets from shelters. They all were older mixed breed dogs. The small adoption fee covered the vaccines, a microchip id and the spay and neuter procedures. They were healthy, affectionate and loving towards all people and other animals. I gave them a chance to be a part of my family and they spent the remainder of their lives showing me their gratitude. What more could you ask for? If you are set on going to a breeder take the time to find a good one. A good breeder wants only the best homes for their puppies. A good breeder is not in it for profit and should not have litters available at all times. A good breeder will not sell to the first person who shows up with cash, instead they’ll want to interview you and talk to your vet. They will have the dogs in their homes as part of the family not out in kennels or cages. A good breeder will allow you to see the parents and provide any medical records you may need …go to to find out more!

  • Amy

    My shepherd mix, whom I adore, is a rescued pup and she is an absolute handful. She is territorial, suspicious, sometimes aloof, furry as hell and a big goofball.

    I adore her, but I really wish I’d had her from the time she was a puppy.

  • K

    Cats make pretty good mousers! (It’s kind of interesting the prejudice against cats that people must have had back when terriers were being developed.) It’s interesting to see that although terriers are “hard wired” for certain behavior, early socialization plays an important role in the education of a dog. What’s a shame is that the dog relies on the person to be a good teacher, but the person who wants to own a dog may not see themselves in that role. Even if you get a shelter dog, from day one, you can teach it what your rules are, and they can be good pets.

  • David Rosecrants

    I am the proud owner of two pure bred heelers ,one blue female,and one red male . i also have two more heeler mixes ,one aussie shepherd\blue heeler , and one coyote\blue heeler . so when talking about “hard wired” i know first hand what your talking about and it can get pretty crazy around my farm . Between herding anything that moves to aggresive fighting each other and other dogs its a full time job but i would not trade them for the world .

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