by Hundmutter on 24 September 2018 - 18:09
by Jessejones on 24 September 2018 - 19:09
I wanted to highlight something that Prager said a few posts up...for people following this thread that may be new to the GSD breed and maybe recently have gotten one, or just want to learn about them. It was a sentence buried in the text and is easy to miss.
“The GSD is a command dog and he needs to be told what to do or not to do.”
This is really important. The gsd breed has been bred to be this way, and important always to keep this in mind. A good gsd will always look at you, waiting for the next “command” or ‘cue’ of what to do next. And/or he needs to have an understanding of what is expected in a series of events and what he is to do. If you don’t guide him, he will try to solve the problem on his own.
A gsd left to his own devices, young or old, will not be happy and will start having behavioral issues more often than not. They thrive on a structured life, clear expectations, and an organized schedule. Meditate on this too, if you are having behavioral issues.
by Western Rider on 24 September 2018 - 20:09
by Prager on 25 September 2018 - 16:09
Yes, you can train a dog with nerve issues, but you are just essentially masking the nerve issues and under pressure, the dog will either shut down or go into avoidance.
Prager Hans says:
many times calling a dog weak is an excuse of the trainer who does not know what to do. That does not mean that there are no weak dogs. But we must realize that every dog under enough pressure will shut down or go into avoidance. So how is that measure of week nerves? IMO weak nerves are defined as an inability of a dog to recover from a stress.
Also some dogs with so-called weak nerves before they shut down or go into avoidance will increase their counter pressure and that is good. One then can work with it and increase the counter-pressure of a dog by training to very high levels. So I have a hard time to just say: "This dog has weak nerves." When I test or rather when I observe a dog ( I do not do much testing per se. Instead I observe a dog for a period of time in training ond when not trained ) I push the stress onto the dog to the point that I start to see an avoidance or I see dog even choosing flight. Then I stop the stress and watch him how fast he will recover. The point is that I want to see the sequence of startle and recover. The ability to recover is what I am after. I do not care that much that the dog will get perturbed with even mild stress as long as he can recover and preferably recover fast. It is no problem then train the dog by increments or other techniques ( like mutiple stress exposure), to get used to ever higher stress of specific type and then I( most importantly) of any stress at all = a stress of generic type ( stress per se/any type of stress) to the point that they are dogs which now do not have weak nerves so to speak anymore.
There is more to it than that.
When one trains a dog he needs to ask not just where the weaknesses are but most importantly where the strengths of the dog are. When one trains a dog he must not repeat stress in hope that the dog will get used to it but he needs to build on a strength while at first avoiding dog's weakness. Then dog's weakness can be piggybacked on its strength. The dog then learns how to deal with stress and that he can win and overcome what before put him into the avoidance or caused him to shut down. As a matter of fact, the stress may be then a motivator for the dog to fight harder. As a matter of fact, in the end of the training, such dogs are often better dogs than dog which so-called had no issues. The reason for that is that the dog knows that he does not want to go into the unpleasant feeling of losing. Such dogs can be fierce.
Of course, there are traits which we can not overcome by training. Like a lack of prey for example where there may be no point to beat a dead horse. But even there patience pays off and if we do the right thing we can bring out in a dog much more prey then they initially showed us. The prey may be there but it is "hidden" I have seen this many times.
Of course, I am not talking about breeding but I am talking about training. We always want to breed the best dogs who we do not have to labor to get them where we want them.
by Western Rider on 25 September 2018 - 17:09
by duke1965 on 25 September 2018 - 17:09
weak nerves are weak nerves, you can hide them, but they will allways be there, ready to pop up in the next untrained situation, and JJ you say weak nerved dog can be at club level, no they go higher these days without proplems as long as environment and program stays the same
In my profession, same story, test a dog in its own safe place with owner, or take out of comfort zone, makes a world of difference, I tested a larger number of offspring of one famous high drive, much breeding male, who all did great on field and in drive, where out of drive, walking with me, away from handler and field, just on the street close to the field, they fell apart, even so much where you wouldnot believe it is same dog
by Gustav on 25 September 2018 - 18:09
by Prager on 25 September 2018 - 18:09
Weak nerves are weak nerves? What does it mean? You can not just say :"Weak nerves are weak nerves" and be taken seriously. That is like saying the car is a car. What does it mean? Nothing!
by susie on 25 September 2018 - 18:09
I tend to differ about "they go higher these days ( higher than club level ) " - some may, but most won´t; although at least in IPO the pattern is still the same, environment ( local, regional, national ), smells, noises, distractions as a whole, do change. There are "one day wonders" but it´s almost impossible to compete on a high level on regular basis in case the dog has genetical temperament flaws.
"Away from field and drive" - a dog falling apart because of just being away from trained environment is useless in case of real work, but a dog "away from its owner" at least in my book is a different story...( dogs are pack animals, they are not made to mimic Arnold Schwarzenegger, they function best in a grown, stable surrounding = they need a leader they are used to.
Prager is right when he differs between "successful training" and "worth breeding" - too many dogs are weeded out of sport or low PP training without reason - but most dogs that are not worth breeding will fail sooner or later during training/doing a trained job = weak nerves will always be there...the stable dog will fail later, not sooner.
Doesn´t matter for the pet dog owner ( for the pet dog owner a barking dog is more than good enough in 99,5% of all cases ), but for sure does matter for the police officer who is dependant of his dog.
by Koots on 25 September 2018 - 18:09
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