Civil Dogs and Civil Work - Page 1

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by Centurian on 23 March 2018 - 20:03

After reviewing many threads, I have found much confusion about the topic centered around the word " Civil ".

For the sake of the people interested in this topic that visit the PDB , I would like to hear from the PDB members share their viewpoints on :

What is the definition of the word ' Civil ' as used in the dog world .

What determines whether a dog is civil and what traits and attributes best makes a civil dog ? What are the advantages of having a civil verses a non civil dog.

How do you train and interact with a civil dog as opposed to a dog that is not civil ? Where and when is a civil dog best suited and needed . When is best to have a dog that is not civil ?

What say you all ? PS- let's have a constructive discussion


by susie on 23 March 2018 - 20:03

Constructive discussion...we had a long discussion about this topic before 😀

For me ( and the German trainers around me ) a civil dog is a dog genetically willing to bite a human - not because of prey training ( body suit, hidden sleeve ) but because of the will to do so.
The ( positive ) genetic traits: self confidence, natural aggression, the will to defend, healthy suspicion.
( not going to discuss fearbiters at this point )

The advantage to own a civil dog: You feel safer than without.

A no go for me: to buy an adult dog of this kind and to think it will adapt to a family without major problems.

A dog of this kind always will be a liability - the teenager climbing the fence trying to get the ball will be an intruder for this kind of dog, same with guests, the postman, the neighbour visiting...

Dogs of this kind need perfect obedience, and they need perfect supervision.

Again: this kind of dog is a big liability, and when we think about modern life a no go for 99% of households.

I love them, but I am realistic enough to not breed them...

by yogidog on 23 March 2018 - 21:03

For me a civil dog wants to bite is not taught to do so. but needs teaching in control and when are where to direct it's aggressive nature.
Advantage you know he will bite so safety.
A dog like this i would need to raise as a pup that way we both have an understanding
With a dog that is truly civil the responsibility is much higher as an owner it is your responsibility to make sure the public is safe and the dog is safe. And that brings me back to only owing a dog like this as a pup rules need to be well and fairly inforced obedience needs to be very good

by Centurian on 23 March 2018 - 21:03

Susie ... nice comment

In English , a person that is civil, means that person has manners and treats other people with respect. I often thought that use of the word in the dog world was peculiar . Susie .... I agree with you .. a civil dog is one that genetically has a predisposition and is ready , willing and quite capable to bite a person . However I see, from conversations on the PDB people talking about civilness , but I think that would expand the dialogue to state that there at least are two categories : good civil aggression and bad civil aggression .

by ValK on 24 March 2018 - 00:03

"civil dog" - not sure why majority does bind this to ability of dog to bite human. in fact every dog can do it.
does this mean every dog "civil" or has capability to become "civil" in context of how such dog's action seen and understood by dog's handlers?
IMO as "civil" dog can be described the dog, who do not have doubt/second thought in engaging in confronting against human-adversary and does hold such fight to the end, even if losing in process.

by duke1965 on 24 March 2018 - 05:03

would agree with susie and yogi , except the part that you cannot get a dog like that on older age, I rehomed multiple dogs like that and that is no problem.


by Centurian on 24 March 2018 - 11:03

Yes Valk All dogs , all animals bite. And even a rat will bite a human if cornered. This is not the same as civil. A dog does not become civil . it is either by it's nature civil or not. A civil GS is one that is a sound dog that had the bent , the proclivity having those behavioral and genetic traits that allows it to encounter humans with little environmental / training input . A tiger does not need to be trained to 'hunt and kill ' a human . It has the bent by nature to kill and eat humans. There have to be certain genetic traits within the dog to have this bent. Not all dogs sound , normal dogs have this inclination , bent , proclivity, And not all GS have this. There is within normalcy quantitative and qualitative difference in the genetics, CORRECT TEMPERAMENT , of civil dogs compared to non civil dogs. They have the genetic behavioral traits that others dogs , whether they inappropriately bite or whether they do not bite , lack.
Because a dog bites someone does not make that dog civil . Because we have to not only look at the circumstance in which a dog bites, but also ,and what is most important , we have to look at the soundness of the dog , i.e it's Temperament. Those are the distinguishing factors .
My experience : I have seen a number of so called civil dogs that in essence are made up of incorrect , faulty , unsound temperament . Yes they bite .. but in inappropriate contexts and in faulty mental and physiological states. I wish Susie would have expounded on 'fear biters'. Yes they bite , for the wrong reason and for the wrong mental and emotional state. Enough people have GSs that they think are civil but they are not. They are unsound dogs that bite.
This is why I started this thread.. I have seen professionals deal with dogs terming them 'civil' , but they don't realize what that dog they have is. I want people to understand the difference when they see a a true civil canine and when they don't see one. Just because a dog responds and bites someone does not make that a civil dog. For example , a dog that bites with little provocation and very reactively , that dog may very very well be an unsound dog and not necessarily a civil dog. I will add , I civil of should have traits that allow it to be Courageous , Discernible, copes with stress . environmentally sound, a minimum degree at least of sociableness , a healthy /normal suspicion level , be able to respond as opposed to be reactive , perseverance . There is an aspect of normality to being 'civil' and what makes some dogs deemed civil as being not normal .
So , the key question : how do we determine and access , which dogs are civil and which dogs that appear civil but truly are not .... That is what I want to clear up and have people on the PDB understand.

by duke1965 on 24 March 2018 - 12:03

centurian, unfortunately, the ability to "read"a dog is not for everybody, and as long as there are still people in dogjobs, so to speak that that dont even know the difference between prey bite and civil bite it will be hard to discuss the matter on internet.
one guy that trains dogs for police stated on internet that it is all the same,as long as the dog bites, hhmmm

good civil agression is genetic, cannot be trained in, or trained out of a dog, and unfortunately it is harder to find every day

by Centurian on 24 March 2018 - 13:03


That is what needs to be understood :

.........good civil agression is genetic, cannot be trained in, or trained out of a dog, and unfortunately it is harder to find every day........

And I will add ... in the dog world it is getting harder for people either to admit or recognize what civil is and is not . But their should be no reason for anyone not to understand ...

Aside from all the canine terminology .... reminds me of Lawyers that have established their own legal jargon that only serves to confuse people but not the Lawyer themselves. To understand canines and to understand what constitutes a civil canine and a not so civil canine is not all that difficult . What I will say to to those interested whether amateur or professional , put aside the dog lingo and just simply think .and put what you see about the dog in human terms because the reality it is in behavioral terms not all that different. I don't mean the difference between the two definitions in human terms civil meaning mannered . I mean what constitutes and what is normal behavior in the canine world , civil normal behavior and abnormal behavior deemed civil , is in essence no different than how you in like see a human in it's behavior. There is normal aggression , normal temperament , normal behavior in a human and that is not so different between dog and human alike . It's not all that complicated .... You can't make a person a 'fighter' , you can't make a person what is it not. If a dog bites a person without contextual reason or provocation .. most would agree this is not normal , if a person hits someone in the face or shoots someone without contextual reason or provocation , that is not normal ... neither the person nor the dog is sound. Again ... just because their is the canine lingo ,, that does not mean there should be la ck of understanding.. Again's not all that complicated ....

by susie on 24 March 2018 - 22:03

Good civil aggression / bad civil aggression -
Civil aggression ( or not ) is one part of the overall character of a dog only.
The sum of a lot of single traits decides about "good" or "bad" ( always according to our personal goals ).

A civil dog with a very low threshold is not suitable in a family surrounding, but may be great for property protection.

Civility in itself is neither positive nor negative, it's about the degree of the sum of

Self confidence
The ability to bond
and a lot more,

once again, always according to personal goals.

The perfect junk yard dog: very suspicious, low threshold ...

Fearbiters - no self confidence, very suspicious, low threshold, nothing anybody wants to own

The perfect family protector - social, medium to high threshold, medium to low suspicion, very self confident....
This dog may react a little late, but hopefully won't eat the neighbours children.

A lot of possibilities...

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