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by apple on 06 March 2019 - 14:03

My understanding of Dick's Dutch Shepherds are that they are dry dogs, meaning they don't have much drive for a tug or a ball. My understanding is that he also breeds for dominance, hardness and a low threshold for defense. I would consider his dogs on the extreme end of the spectrum. I have read him say even if his dogs did have an interest in a toy, he would not use one because there would be a fight for the toy between the dog and the handler. I have also reads his wife saying she would not allow children around their dogs.
I can hear your bias when you use words like cookie and clicker, implying these are approaches used on less serious dogs. I don't think there is a correlation between dogs with good food and prey drive and their effectiveness as a police dog. I train with some people who have non FCI KNPV line Mals and they are social and driven. Some will be police dog caliber and some won't. They train for sport because that is what they enjoy and use clickers and toys and end up with very intense dogs. They are top level trainers and have trained police dogs and dogs for PP purchased for large sums of money. I know you are familiar with Mike Suttle and he told me he only wants dogs that are very social, not dominant, with very high prey and hunt drive and a high threshold for defense. He does not want defensive/civil dogs and says most of the people in Holland he knows prefer the same type of dog and this is the type of dog that is in demand by his clients, mostly the police and military. Some of the dogs will be used for detection and some for apprehension.
I am not saying dogs like Dick produces are inferior, and in some ways, they might be superior in certain roles. The reason, IMO, the type of dog being bred has changed does have to do with modern training approaches, which I think are an improvement over hitting a hard, dominant dog over the head with a shovel. One of Mike's top stud dogs can't be worked because his former handler crushed his larynx and the dog is not even dominant. Some of the old school Dutch trainers are actually abusive IMO. The market drives the demand.

by BlackMalinois on 06 March 2019 - 14:03

Have trained with the Leeuwen bloodlines as decoy and as handler IMO this are not extreme dogs
but this dogs were breed not for the sport points but for LE street situations, for SPORT people
who go for the points this dog mostly is too much and cost more time for certification,they need a more easy to please dog not dogs with more characar and hardness .

Sport people dominate the K9 world and all this modern training methods will pay a big price in working properties for the K9 world in can,t breed some properties anymore what is already lost.

by apple on 06 March 2019 - 16:03

I am confused. You started out saying two people had to put their dogs down because the dogs were too hard and dominant. Then you say the type of dog you are referring to is too much dog for sport people looking to get on the podium. And you say having decoyed and handled some Leeuwen DS's, you don't see them as extreme dogs. Maybe by extreme, you mean extreme in prey. I don't know. My impression is that they are selecting for very aggressive, dominant dogs, with not so much prey, and to me, that sounds more extreme than balanced. I'm not at all knocking their dogs. I think it comes down to a preference of what type of dog someone prefers to work with. I don't think I would like to work with one of their dogs because of their lower prey drive and high dominance, where the dog would be less motivated to learn, which would require more compulsion, which would likely lead to more conflict and possibly handler aggression. I don't think handlers want to be bit by their dogs any more than bad guys. I train as a hobby and to have fun, but I also want a dog with enough character to fight a man for real due to genetics and trainer. I don't think it would be enjoyable top train a dog that I am always fighting, or having to give severe corrections to, or getting bit by my own dog. I do agree that these old style dogs are being selected away from and I see the reason for that. I don't think the traits they bring should be totally selected out of the breed, as there are some jobs for such dogs and as I said before, they can be used to keep bloodlines from becoming too diluted.

by ValK on 06 March 2019 - 17:03

dog's dominance quite often misunderstood by dog's owners.
in some cases it could be result of incorrect handling, in which not really dominant dog can become rotten spoiled and shows dominating behavior toward certain person(s).
on other hands dominance can be innate trait in particular breeding program. in that case dogs attempt to gain alpha rank, regardless of with whom they are dealing. in such type of dogs just absent mental taboo to see humans as something superior. they will explode that urge against anyone if in their mind such necessity arise.
as for methods of training - from own experience i know, when dominant dog won't be hesitant in accepting from handler the food or toy reward, the food or toy wouldn't become deciding factor in taking full control over dog. particularly not yet experienced young adult. harsh and cruel response on dog's behavior, on few occasions will be unavoidable.
but it's true - market trend does dictate "nice doggy" pet type of german shepherds, among whom almost impossible to find today strong dogs.

by BlackMalinois on 06 March 2019 - 17:03


Don,t have much time for long discussion I think you don,t understand what I write maybe the bad english

The different between you and me you only heard stories blah blah blah I have worked with them for real and with real good trainers I have never talked about extreme becase they are not, Many van Leeuwen dogs are LE street dogs in Holland and KNPV certified without good prey drive it is very difficult to get a KNPV certfication.

Van Leeuwen dogs low prey drive one of stupiest thing what I have read last time( prey drive is not only ball or toys), most of them need strong capable handlers and most trainers handlers think they are world class trainers but they aren,t . Conflict in training can have different causes ,weak handlers with strong dominant dogs is a bad match,. But that worldclass trainers ahum ... blame it always on the dogs.

Come back later go training



by apple on 06 March 2019 - 18:03

The dogs BlackMalinois is referring to are genetically dominant. Again, this sounds like macho talk. Just because a dog isn't genetically dominant, or is willing/able to learn by using food or a toy, doesn't have anything to do with whether the dog is strong or "pet type, nice doggy." A genetically dominant dog is simply that. That is not the gold standard for the breed and is only one of many traits that can contribute to a dog being a strong dog. Too much dominance, like too much drive, interferes with a dog's ability to focus and learn. There are plenty of strong dogs out there. I do believe the sport of schutzhund, due to becoming a sport rather than an assessment of breed worthiness, has contributed to a loss of genetics in the GSD that has led to fewer strong dogs. But that is about breeders and money.

by Centurian on 06 March 2019 - 18:03

I think the opposite ....
IMOp it is irrelevent if you use a cookie /clicker as opposed to teaching a different way . The clicker is just a substitute for your voice , no more or less [ a noin verbal cue ] and it does not lesson or add to your rank or authority , nor does the abscence of a clicker either . Just because a clicker/cookie is utilized that does not imply that WHEN a dog has learned, that you do not discipline when called for . Cookie or no cookie use , whether one realizes this or not we are always reinforcing behavior . THAT is what is important. The 'HOW' we reinforce [ approve ] behavior ' or the 'HOW' we discipline [ disapprove] . Even the act of not addressing behavior, is addressing the behavior in and of itself. By not doing anything is essentially telling [ie reinforcing] the dog that it is OK to do what it is doing. Also because one so called ' corrects' a dog , that in and of itself mpst often is not adequate communication to the dog that you disapprove. [ most of the time the timing is way way way off for correct communication] . One does not even always have to use a leash to discipline a dog. There are many ways to discipline a dog , even a dominant hard dog... to develop felationship , rank and teach lessons. One is not better ideally than another.
When we talk about temperament and training methodologies they are two completely different topics. The fact of the matter is that if you have a very hard dominant assertive dog , you can opt to teach withn a cookie/clicker or not , and get the same results. When I learned to teach dogs .... we never ever were permitted to say one word , not one word to the dog . Becaue , every little movment you make , every gesture you make [ or not] communicates to the dog. So , for me to hear that a clikcer is or is not this or that .. that is just plum foolishness.
So there are different ways to teach** .. and BTW that is what we do, or should be doing . We do not train a dog [ most people do not know what in the world that truly means ] . Rather we teach a dog and teaching implies being precise in communication . There is a very very big distinction between the two . And not one way is better than another in teaching . As a matter fact , a dog that would challenge you or try to dominate you : the clicker is an ideal way to change that dog's thinking and it's outlook- without force ,or a battle of the wills . Either way , one can teach correctly or incorrectly , get resuts desired or not the desired results . That has nothing to do if you use a cicker or not or if the dog is dominant / hard or not. Teaching a lesson is not dependent on the method but more on the teacher and the capability of the student . A good teacher can use a clicker on a hard , aggressive , dominate dog or not decide not to use one. But because you choose to use a clicker that does not mean one lessens the possibility of a great result in learning.
If one fails using a clicker , aside from the teachr's skill in it's usage , we get into another dimension here , which I will forgo discussing[ and arguing about ] .. and that is: assuming the dog is SOUND - meaning it has appropriate genetic traits.. I end on that note ....

by duke1965 on 06 March 2019 - 18:03

if one looks past the podium dogs and internet/fame dogs, there are enough strong dogs to be found, look and you will find Wink Smile


by Jessejones on 06 March 2019 - 18:03

No world class trainer will blame anything on a dog.
If they do, they are not world class.
Simple as that.

Always the same stuff here...some folks are constantly condescending towards marker training/reinforcement training, operant conditioning, by calling it cookies and clickers, positive training.

The only people that dis this training method as being sissy, not possible to use on strong dogs, only good for pet dogs, blah blah blah...IMO, must not know how to do it, or ever even looked into it with a real desire to learn. Stick with using ONLY the old crank and yank and confrontational methods. See where that gets you in your relationship with your dog.

Reinforcement based teaching is the fastest and best way to build your foundation with any SOUND dog. I don’t care how tough, strong or dominant the dog is. The key word here is a “sound dog”....Not a crazy biting machine.

Does a method of teaching create a whole new breed of dog? No, not in itself. Market demands create these dogs. Who wants a liability today? Who has the time and money to work these dogs? Surely not the factories churning out LE dogs. Time is money. There are niches for tough dogs and there will always be breeders that will fill that if there is a market for it.

Personally, and I ask this without malice...I don’t quite understand what some folks go on about with their perceived need of such “strong dominant dogs”? Even LE dogs, special forces need for massively overly, hard to handle dominant dogs...what kind of dog would you rather strap on to your parachute harness? A dog that follows your commands, that looks into your eyes and wants to work with you and is courageous non the less...or a dog that constantly wants to fight you for no reason?

Apple and Centurian....good posts. As always.

Added: Duke...I agree with your last post as well.

by apple on 06 March 2019 - 19:03

To some extent, I think the methods used influence certain breeds. For example, schutzhund changed to a performance sport and is essentially obedience in all three phases. To get the level of precision to win at the higher levels, certain traits are selected for or against that are not necessarily the traits that make for the best police or military dog.

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