Kid personalities - inherited traits or not? : LUSENET : Dairygoats : One Thread

Have you found any correlation between the personalitites/temperments of kids and their parents? Just curious because so far I have found this to be true, but more with the moms than dads. It's probably just coincidence but most of my kids definitely take after their mother's, which can be good and bad! And they're all different.

-- Lynn (, April 14, 2002


Hmmmmm I was going to say probably, however, I had to stop and think. I wonder if the behaviors the kids learn are learned rather than inherited. I recall from my days studying psychology in college behavior was learned. I have found that goats develop their own unique personalities. and amazingly, many like ours. I have sweet loving, shy, overbearing, whinny, mean, eccentric, and i could go on and on with all 70+ goats. I have discovered that my Jackie's line is much like her, the does are anyways in personality, especially her granddaughter this year, Jackie's Dream lives On, she is reserved, almost stuck up and has the makings of a future glamour queen. Jackie would be proud I'm sure.

I really love the personalities of the goats, they are so unique, they really do communicate what they think. I also have one who is very opionated.

-- Bernice (, April 14, 2002.

I absolutly believe that temperment is inherited! I got two doelings back, on a doe kid back program I do with yearlings. My daughter Joni who is in college did lambar feedings for me, and coming in the house with 5 doelings in the pen, she commented "Are the two biggest does out of Gidget?" Now Gidget was a mouth, do who as a kid always acted like she was afraid of us, very head shy, and her kids are exactly the same way as are these 2 doelings, who are her Granddaughters! Poptarts 2, infant doelings already boss the other 3 does around in the infant pen, all the kids are at least 2 weeks older than they are! And none of these kids have ever even seen their dams! Vicki

-- Vicki McGaugh TX (, April 15, 2002.

I think it's a combination of genetics and environment. Just look at human offspring; there is some correlation between the children and parents, but the personality is also influenced by their peers and upbringing. I do have a bloodline in my herd that is very gentle, very quiet, and mellow. Needless to say, I love this line. :-) But one of the does from this line, Sprite, just had twin doelings. One is extremely laid back and quiet. The other is a ball of energy and liveliness!! They could not be more different in personality! But they're both quiet like mom.

I think they are born with a tendency, and that they can be molded if you are careful and start young- to some extent. I had a line that was extremely skittish and nervous, hard to tame down. I was able to tame them alright, with time and care, but this same line had an awful habit of jumping and climbing, that the others did not. They would jump right into the hay feeder and then be stuck there, jump into where the hay was stored and make a mess, leap out of the milking parlor, guess what- I got rid of every single doe from that line. They were just too high strung to be good producers anyway.

-- Rebekah (, April 15, 2002.

I believe it's a combination, with it leaning considerably more to inherited than learned behavior. I used to believe you could overcome anything with proper training but have long ago changed my opinion on that issue! I have limited experience with goats but have raised/trained horses for 30 years. For the last dozen or so years we've had 60 or more horses to work with. You can make some personalities easier to work with through proper training but only to a point.

As a rule, a mare that is hard to deal with, aggressive with other horses, etc. will produce a foal with similar personality. This has been true even with orphan foals who obviously had no opportunity to learn from their dams. In most cases, I can pick foals out of our herd and tell you with a reasonable amount of certainty what their adult temperament will be like and what use they might be suitable for, based primarily on the dam's temperament. We have found when a foal has an unsuitable temperament, no amount of early training totally overcomes this. We do not sell foals as weanlings, and keep many permanently, so we have them around long enough to do plenty of amateur research on personalities. Most of the time, it tends to lean toward the dam, although some of that might be attributed to learned behaviors. There are always exceptions. One of my all time favorites is a 6 yr. old mare who is an absolute delight to work with and loves people. Her dam has the worst temperament on the place and the daughter has had plenty of opportunity to learn from her. However, she seems to have inherited her sire's sweet personality.

I don't have near the experience with goats, but have so far found things to be much the same. I bottle feed the babies from birth so they don't have any opportunity to learn behavior from their dams, yet their personalities are much like mom's for the most part.

I'm pretty crippled up and can't afford to work with obnoxious animals anymore. I am so convinced of the inherited aspect of personalities that now when I buy any livestock, I want to know what the parents are like!

-- Lenette (, April 15, 2002.

Hi! I've had goats such a short time I couldn't tell you from experiance wether thier personalities are inheriited or not.However I can tell you that Cookie's daughter Dazzle is nothing like her mom.Cookie is a very private sort of goat and is good mannered for the most part. Dazzle is a mischievious clown.She picks locks, opens doors, and worst of all loves to sneak up behind me and pinch me when I least expect it. Cookie just looks at her as if she just cannot believe what this child is doing

-- VickiP. (, April 15, 2002.

I would have to say that some goats inherit the "stupid" gene too. Must be from dad because mom is a smarty. I've noticed temperment and personalities carry through generations. Some good and some not so good. They've also learned bad habits from watching the other goats. Just like people:)

-- Charleen with Obies in WNY (, April 17, 2002.

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