German Shepherd Dog > possible for a dog to have high defense drive yet be quiet? (27 replies)
possible for a dog to have high defense drive yet be quiet?
by troubles on 27 March 2011 - 06:43
was just talking to a police officer who said his k9 had a lot of defense drive but around the house and uusually his dog is very quiet and only barks if he has a real need to which is hard never at home not even at the doorbell. Was just curious how common is this?
by Siantha on 27 March 2011 - 06:48
it is very common my sister has 2 retired k9s and they are the most wonderful house dogs. just beacause a dog can be very defencive when his drives are active and he is working dosent mean he cannot calm down. please correct me if i am wrong but most schutzhund dogs have to be very social outside of working thats how my group does it anyways.
by ziegenfarm on 27 March 2011 - 15:55
absolutely. it has to do with thresholds......how much or how little stimulation is required to set off the drive. personally, i like dogs with higher thresholds - meaning it requires more to set them off. they don't go off on every little thing.
by darylehret on 27 March 2011 - 18:01
A dog with low thresholds needn't be without the ability to quickly and soundly discriminate threat from non-threat, without ability to switch out of drive, or be antisocial. By grouping characteristics to understand them better, we're in effect creating stereotypes that become less accurate portrayals of the complex dynamics of behavior. It's "safer" to utilize producers with higher thresholds, because they aren't so likely to produce an uncomfortable mix of low-threshold/high-aggression/no-off-switch offspring.
by desert dog on 27 March 2011 - 18:31
I have dogs with very strong defence drive and are the quietest dogs on the place. Simply because of their confidence. A lot of high prey drive dogs are the ones that are usually more vocal or a dog with less confidence will bark at everything simply because of nerves. And all dogs should have a on- off switch .
by destiny4u on 27 March 2011 - 21:06
high defense + high defense thresholds + high confidence = quiet tough serious k9
by VKGSDs on 27 March 2011 - 21:48
There is drive and then there is threshold. My 2yo boy is high defense, but has a higher threshold as well, so normally he acts like any other house dog when he's in the house. My dad, brother, husband's friends can just walk in. If he barks, it is often more like "hey, I know that guy!" than aggression at someone coming in the house. There was a birthday party behind us and a bunch of little girls appeared hanging over my back fance, calling to my dog and he just ignored them.
by ggturner on 27 March 2011 - 22:17
My male was bred to be a police dog and green trained before we bought him (we're his 2nd owners). He is very protective, but very calm and quiet in the house.
by Vikram on 27 March 2011 - 22:45
by Vikram on 27 March 2011 - 22:45
by Vikram on 27 March 2011 - 22:46
this is a test
by Nans gsd on 27 March 2011 - 22:59
OK this is great to know; however, how do you teach this? In otherwards; how do you teach to have high threshold with moderate drive? Just curious; what type of foundation training needs to be done or are they born like that? Thx Nan
And how do you train to have an ON/OFF switch??
by destiny4u on 27 March 2011 - 23:26
i dont know if u can teach its genetics why proper breeding is so important why these guys are so pedigree obessed!
I assume you can test a dogs defense drive by using civil agatation and a good helper with an object
by desert dog on 27 March 2011 - 23:33
Because so much has been mentioned about police dogs having high defence . Most I've been around have been alot higher in prey than defence. Not all but a big majority.
by Ruger1 on 28 March 2011 - 01:11
Can I get a couple examples of ..." high defense threshold"...
by desert dog on 28 March 2011 - 02:22
Is able to handle a little more pressure before exploding.
by VKGSDs on 28 March 2011 - 02:23
Nan, drive, threshold, and off switch are genetic, you can't really "teach" these things. You buy a dog that fits what you want with respect to each trait, and then you encourage and channel the dog to mold it from there.
Ruger, I gave a few examples from my own home. If I'm home with my dog, my dad or brother can walk in without me having to do an "introduction" and tell my dog to allow them in. Little kids can lean over my fence and call to my dogs without getting barked at (I do not like this or encourage it, but apparently they can as we moved one week ago and I caught some kids doing it yesterday). When genuinely provoked, the dog works in defense and not in prey, but the dog sees a "threat" as someone who is, you know, actually acting in a threatening manner and not just any person that approaches the house or property. When we do protection training the dog works mainly in defense but has a higher "threshold" meaning normal people doing normal things in a nonthreatening manner do not get any reaction out of the dog. A good example from training off the top of my head would be the greeting and re-greeting exercises we have to do. The decoy comes out, all suited up. The prey dogs are already barking and frothing at the mouth just at the sight of the equipment. The handler stands with a dog sitting and the decoy approaches, comes right up to the handler and dog (in a way that I would consider an invasion of my space if it were a person on the street) and shakes hands. The dog must demonstrate that it is not provoked by a "friendly" greeting and under control. After we do the protection work, we have to do this exercise AGAIN to show that the dog can be switched "off" and is not going to carry on or bite the decoy during the re-greeting. Today at Schutzhund training my helper did this several times, in the context of Schutzhund. Often I would pause, have my dog sit, and he would come and press into me or the dog with this sleeve, like an invasion of "space", but I am not reacting or telling the dog to act and the dog needs to remain alert but sit under control until he's actually provoked or I give a command to alert or bite. Of course you can manufactur this obedience with heavy compulsion but for me it's fairly easy to see which dogs have a higher threshold and do this naturally and which ones are still twitching and ready to explode into the helper.
by Ruger1 on 28 March 2011 - 03:19
desert dog and VKGSD....Thank for your posts...: )
Dog provoked by...
Stranger moving towards handler in aggressive manner = high threshold....
Stranger walking up and shaking hands = low threshold.....
Also, In your opinion is the difference in threshold levels related to confidence?
by desert dog on 28 March 2011 - 03:34
A qwick answer would be yes, But I've had to many dogs I know well that has proven me wrong.
So to say a 100% of the time, I couldn't. You could I guess measure it as sharpness but not any
way connected to that dogs measure of hardness.
But a good question
by darylehret on 28 March 2011 - 03:53
I would not agree that there's a direct correlation between threshold levels and confidence or courage.
Thresholds are however cross-affected by it's ability to assess whether or not a threat is present, a discriminatory suspicion sense.
And also a clear head, maintaining suitable composure prior to acting on impulse.
A low threshold dog can be equally confident, calculating, have a clear head, and good sense of suspicion. A lower threshold dog can react in a lesser response time, and be as deliberately committed to action.