They may look the same but they are not the same dog.
Dogs like to go to dog parks, dogs love to ride in the car, dogs love to run, dogs love to chew bones. Well, maybe some do but not all. Probably the biggest misconception about dogs is the generalization of the species. As a highly intelligent, often scary level of intelligence species they are all very, very different. What one may like, another may hate and vice versa.
Recently I sat talking dogs to a couple of women at the airport. They said that they both take their dogs to the dog park regularly; and the both dogs seem to hate it. Hmmmmmmm, I wondered, why do they keep going back? Probably because they, like many others think that dogs love the dog park. A blanket generalization. Obviously both of their dogs do not enjoy it and would be happier on a nice quiet walk with their guardians.
Even within the same breed there are huge differences in each individual. If we take the time to see these differences; we will better understand our dogs and dogs in general. Being able to see the differences can take time; especially if you see them all as one group of dogs. Dogs have their own preference for taste in foods; some more than others. Dogs like to play different things, with different dogs and at different times.
Some dogs are emotional while others are not. Luke was a very emotionally sensitive dog; he was forever running to tell me things that had happened. He was also time and place sensitive. Meaning that if I tried to give him a snack at a different time and place he was upset by it. I would be in the middle of cooking and think that he might like a bite. I'd bring it into the living room where he was resting and offer it. Even the best morsel of food could throw him for a loop if it was out of the ordinary for him. He might even have to leave the comfort of the couch because of such a disruption in routine. He was a funny, funny man.
Elsa is a much more, go with the flow girl; although she does like familiarity as many dogs do. She likes almost all foods but definitely has her preferences. She loves activity and playing with her friends. She must be touching if we are sitting, sleeping or chilling. None of my other dogs had to be touching all the time. Luke enjoyed being right beside me; Tilley like me in sight and little Jessie liked me in sight as well.
Dogs are not just dogs. Dogs are all an individual dog who are different from all others. The difference may be hard to understand at times. A retriever who does not like to retriever; a German Shepherd who will help a stranger into the house and show them where the goods are. I've seen new guardians with a Labrador who will not go in the water no matter how hard they try.
Like us, they are all very different. Seeing those differences can take practice, patience, a keen eye and desire to get to know the dog inside your dog. They do not always turn out to be the dog you thought you were getting. But take a look at us; how different we humans are. I am one of five and very, very different from all my brothers and sisters. So are our dogs. Take the time to get to know your dog.