200 % on the mark Helmut Raiser quote - Page 4

Pedigree Database


by apple on 12 February 2020 - 14:02

I agree with Duke that fight is not a natural drive or instinct. It is counter to survival for a dog to be highly motivated to pick a fight because he might pick the wrong dog to fight with. In nature with domesticated dogs' ancestors, choosing to fight for no reason could lead to death or injury leading to death. To me, what people call fight drive is a combination of traits and drives such as prey, defense, frustration aggression, social aggression and dominance. Not all dogs have all these traits and for those traits they do possess, there are varying degrees of prominence. The best dogs possess all the traits I mentioned and to a high degree of intensity and confidence. Such dogs are not common. You also have to consider how well these traits and drives are promoted and developed which means how well the dog is trained by the handler and decoy. Access to highly skilled decoys is not that common either. What Duke refers to as prey/possession/ frustration are components of what is referred to fight "drive", but a dog with just those traits being prominent have what Michael Ellis refers to a competitive aggression, which is similar to fight, but lacking traits/drives like defense, social aggression and sometimes dominance. Such dogs tend to have extreme prey drive as in many Mals.

by GSCat on 12 February 2020 - 15:02

by Klossbruhe on 11 February 2020 - 12:02

As for dogs with very extreme prey drive out of the box, dogs that will bite tree trunks and leaves moving on the ground, do they make good police dogs...

Yes, they do.  It depends on the specific role(s) the department needs and the handler ;)

In addition to prey, defense and fight are absolutely essential if the dog is to be used for apprehension.  Too many departments get a dog for odor detection, tracking, and/or article location, and then later decide it wants/needs dual purpose that includes apprehension and/or handler protection, but the dog that is very good at finding drugs, articles,etc. makes a lousy dual purpose patrol dog.  I wish departments would just go the whole 9 yards from the get-go, instead of making dogs and handlers miserable (or the K9 program fail) when the dog is expected to be trainable later for something he or she is not suited for by temperament.  [rant over] 

by Rik on 12 February 2020 - 18:02

maybe that is true in smaller departments, but the mid- larger cities have specialized LE departments. Drug enforcement units, homicide units, patrol units, etc.

the LE officers specialize and to say it is a failure for LE specialists to have specialized dogs is ridiculous.

Quite a few of the specialized dogs are not even GSD or Mals and were never intended to be dual purpose, unless dual purpose is meant to be drug/explosion and they serve a very valuable purpose.

by GSCat on 12 February 2020 - 18:02

Rik-- thanks for the info... my experience was with smaller departments in areas most people try to avoid, day and night :-)

Did something change with K9 training and certification? When we certified, odor could only be drug or explosive/accellerant. Dual purpose was odor detection plus patrol (tracking, article, search, apprehension, and handler protection). Some were also SWAT or SAR.


by GK1 on 13 February 2020 - 06:02

@apple - selective breeding can influence a dog’s behavior to be highly motivated as you say to pick a fight...with willingness to continue - even with the “wrong” dog.  There are dogs bred for generations with such characteristics: fighting, some guardian breeds.  If such cases, would not then the fighting instinct be a natural drive for those specific dogs (regardless of unnaturalness in comparison to the wild ancestor)?

by apple on 13 February 2020 - 07:02

I would say guardian breeds fight due to their defense drive being selected for. Defense drive is about stress and the perception the dog has to defend something and chase the threat away or defeat the threat if necessary. So they don't seek a fight. Game pit bulls were selected to fight other dogs, but when bred correctly, aggression toward humans was selected away from. It is the trait of gameness that motivates them to fight other dogs. Gameness is not so much about aggression as it is the motivation to never give up, regardless of the task, such a weight pulling. When pit bulls are fighting, they are not in defense. So I think it goes against survival for dogs to have a so called fight drive where they look for a fight just for the sake of a fight. If aggression is triggered in a breed like the GSD, it is a combination of traits and drives as I mentioned before. A dog with a complete drive/trait package and good training will fight, but for motivations other than simply picking a fight due a drive to do so. True genetic social aggression is the trait closest to a drive to fight, but it has practically been eliminated from the gene pool because misinformed breeders think it is a temperament fault and a litigious society limits the market for such dogs.

by duke1965 on 13 February 2020 - 08:02

GK1, if something is geneticly inherited, doesnot dirctly make it a "drive ", dominance is inherited as well, but is no drive,

another tought (sarcasm) if two dogs fight over food, would that be fooddrive, and fight for female in heat, sexdrive LOL

by apple on 13 February 2020 - 09:02

I agree that dominance is not a drive, and is a behavior/trait. There is genetic dominance and learned dominance and they differ. It is not automatically aggression, but has more to do with social interaction and can lead to aggression. I would consider dogs fighting over food being related to defense drive and guarding of resources. I see fighting over a female in heat as being related to social aggression with the biological significance being even distribution across a given territory (in its undomesticated form) by repelling equally strong individuals.

by ValK on 13 February 2020 - 13:02

Hired Dog
For sure, he hated all humans equally and the hatred was real.

it's not like these border dogs did hated the people. i would say it's rather attitude of indifference toward those, who isn't included in close circle of dog's master.

Valk, its kind of hard to eat when you are dead, so, if your food is stronger then you, I would recommend that you find something else to eat that will not eat you first

well you pretty much confirmed what i said earlier.
before to conduct attack in non artificial environment, the dog makes assessment of own chances to success. 
training the dog to attack the bigger and stronger oponent, without previous evaluation of true potential for such purpose, is nothing but embedding into dog's mind false confidence in own strength/superiority... which will fall apart upon the first real fight experience.

One last thing you mentioned that I am very curious about....the dogs you speak of, you said they lacked prey drive, is that correct?

if those behavior, manifested in strong desire to chase everything moving iregardless of reasons and necessity just for sake of chase and catch it as a winning prize, is considered the prey drive, then sure - they lacked such trait.

at least if your household has chikens or rabbits or you're walk with your dog in place filled by wildlife or you're near play ground with throwed around balls - in any such case dog will stay calm and wouldn't go into the hunt mode.
b.t.w. last my dog was the first for whom i was in needs to oppress through the training this impulsive urge to chase.

by Hired Dog on 13 February 2020 - 16:02


"well you pretty much confirmed what i said earlier.
before to conduct attack in non artificial environment, the dog makes assessment of own chances to success.
training the dog to attack the bigger and stronger oponent, without previous evaluation of true potential for such purpose, is nothing but embedding into dog's mind false confidence in own strength/superiority... which will fall apart upon the first real fight experience."

Can you please explain the previous evaluation of true potential, how was this test conducted?
I cannot embed something in a dog's head that is not there genetically, not my training style, either you have it or you dont. Yep, it may fall apart during a real life experience, which is why we dont embed, but, I am still very curious to see how you tested dogs for real life apprehensions to see potential in a non artificial environment.

Lucky for me, and the chickens and rabbits, I live in the middle of a big city, I am a city boy, born and raised in one and as a result, I have never had any dog chase any chickens or rabbits. The only wild life here is in the water or a few miles South of here on the weekends where parking is non existent, but, I digress....
I have had to redirect prey drive or cap it with a couple of dogs, but, nothing so bad that it would get on my nerves.


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