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by duke1965 on 05 September 2018 - 12:09

ball drive is passed by already by fooddrive as being the most important for training, seen plenty of new age trainers already that can not train a dog that has no or low fooddrive

by joanro on 05 September 2018 - 15:09

Aggree with you there, but I was using ' ball drive' as an example of genetic selection for easy training .
Food drive is just an extension of the obsessive behaviors that are genetic and selected for with today's training methods.

by joanro on 05 September 2018 - 15:09


Don't intend to go off topic, but...

This is an example of dogs *not* selected for genetic motivational training ...

The ' new age trainers' would never be able to train dogs like this to perform complex behavior such as jumping rope with me....then jumping up and landing on my shoulder to finish the behavior! A 70 pound husky/ wolf hybred, no less! And zero food motivation because there are six intact males performing ...motivational objects would have resulted in a massive pile up fight!

The ' new age' trainers would not be able to train dogs like these ( all entire males) to perform relatively complex behaviors like this...after jumping rope with me, Duster, jumps up and lands on my shoulder, 70 pounds....while teammate, Maverick, waits to show off his ' shoe shine' . All the males waiting their turn are loose, and paying attention!

An image

An image

Maverick doing ' shoe shine'

An image

There is ZERO genetic trainability in these dogs 

( They are all natural, with individuality...not cookie cutter selectively bred. I selected each of these dogs as eight week old puppies, different ages. Selected for boldness and inquisitive self confident attitudes...Notice the big male on the end, Stetson, who is youngest by two years, lifting his leg on Stampede! Who is the main lead dog in the team!)

I select my gsd puppies the same way, today....I don't ever make a selection based on ' ball drive'  nor   'food drive'...but on character, confidence and nerves....not which number the ''line' designated for the 

 ' foundation' male 30 generations removed!


by Jessejones on 05 September 2018 - 19:09

I like seeing all of your performance pics Joan.
I can’t imagine my 70 pounder jumping on my shoulders, ouch! Much less jumping rope with him.
So I have to ask...even though a bit off topic, but I hope admin will allow it.

What would you say is the most important feature or theory, if you had to choose one, of your training style over the years, to teach this - and most of all how to keep 5 male husky/wolf mixes in line and performing like this? Quite amazing really!

by joanro on 05 September 2018 - 20:09

Jesse, my answer could fill a book.
Short answer is: I can think like a dog ( or horse) and am able to communicate what I want them to do.
These guys also rode a pony, or really, jumped on him while he was on a longe line loping around me, and the next dog jumped on to knock that guy off, and then the next....each dog landing to the outside of the circle, running to catch up on the inside to repeat....
The most challenging part of that behavior with those dogs was to teach them not to attack the pony from behind or while they were on his back grabbing him by the top of his neck, or running up under the pony's head and going for his muzzle or face!
After all the training, they got to the point where they became very possessive of the pony and occasionally got into a fight over who was going to stand next to him! But they all became very affectionate towards him, and in their advanced age of fifteen and sixteen, would turn inside out with joy when I would bring the pony up to the dog yards so they all could visit with him...that pony, Splash, is now 34 years old and looks ten, but he is blind. Sad to say his pasture companion, a black and white Shetland pony mare, passed away four days ago at 33 years old. So Splash is heart broken...his dogs are all long gone and now his seeing eye pony/ companion has passed on.

Back to your question, I train my gsd the same way I train any other dogs or hoofed them what you want and how to do it. Respect for me as leader prevented them from fighting.
Although, when we were performing in Philadelphia Sports complex about 1999, I tore my right knee up at 7am on Fri morning when the pickup man's horse ran into me as he lead him past the racing camels and the horse got boogered....had go to crutches and we had a performance that night.....riding on the wheeled rig behind the team wasn't too bad, we were only making a run into the arena make a full circle then figure eight, come to the center and stop to salute the audience...the dogs knew I was handicapped and the two lead dogs got into a fight.. by the time I got to the leaders, the whole team was getting involved...all six of them! I was able to break it up with some choice language and some heavy blows that were harder than the dog each was fighting...broke it up before it was full blown. I'll say the crowd was big into hocky at that arena, so the fight was up their alley....they were cheering it on!!!
So being crippled up is picked up on by dogs like this and they tried me, but were stopped before any hurt feelings or damaged relationships within the team members.


by Jessejones on 05 September 2018 - 23:09

I am so sorry to read about the loss of the black and white pony, being only 4 days ago! It must be heart breaking after 33 years. Is there another pal for Splash anywhere?
What a sight that must have been with the dogs jumping on Splashes back!

Excellent points...Joan
Being able to think like a dog/horse, and showing them what you want. I think that’s it in a nutshell. Sounds easy, but can trip you up. For that reason, I would add, according to my experience, don’t give up, don’t get emotional and never let sloppiness creep into the training. You will get exactly what you train. Good or bad. I just had an issue with the formal heel with my dog. Somehow, I got just minutely sloppy in my expectations, and what did I get? And it served me right?...a constant 3” forge.
Luckily with the help of a real friend that helped troubleshoot the issue, I started all over again, from the beginning baby steps...cleaned up MY work...and now I have a really solid heel. Moral of the story that I had to learn all over again....Expect no less than what you are satisfied with!
Yes, those dogs will take advantage of any weakness! Can sniff it a mile away. Great story.

by joanro on 06 September 2018 - 14:09

Jesse, I put a pen up for Splash under some big poplar trees next to the pasture where my two old horses are (my performing dancing appaloosa gelding, 31 yr old, and breeding stock paint gelding, 21 yr old)

Since Splash is blind he would not be safe, in with the full size horses, he would end up getting kicked and broken leg is result of ponies in with full size horses too often. He is inclined to panic when he gets disoriented and the horses would be influenced negatively not knowing the origen of another equine's panic.....herd animals are one brain with multiple legs.

Note, when Splash was able to see, he was as steady and with rock solid nerves ( "bomb proof" is the cliche), so it's unsettling for him, to get put into a panic....I must avoid causing that for his sake.

Sorry for off topic.


by susie on 06 September 2018 - 19:09

Joanro, I really love to read about your life.
It's more than amazing...

I feel sorry for Splash-but I am glad you feel responsible for your "oldtimers"-not that common at all ...I am sure you are giving the best care available.

For me someone able to "train" / "understand" animals like you is able to select according to genetic working abilities, no matter if it's dogs, horses, or brahmans...

It's about feelings and understanding, and you got it...


by Jessejones on 06 September 2018 - 20:09

I second everything Susie said.

You know...we think we have our hands full with dogs sometimes...but when dealing with horses that live 30 plus years, can weigh a few tons...and are sensitive herd animals, it shows the amount of commitment needed to give them useful and spieces appropriate surroundings. And makes dogs seem easy in comparison.

Hats off Joan.
PS: give Splash a carrot and an ear scratch from me.

by joanro on 06 September 2018 - 20:09

Thank you, Susie and Jesse...I'll give Splash a hug from you both. He has not eaten since he ate only half his ration on Sunday night after Beryl's passing. He is mourning deeply.
I'm trying to get him to eat, he chews grass and spits it out. I gave him his salt block just now and he is taking some salt...he just walks endlessly.
Feeding the two big horses next to the fence closest to him ( only about four feet away so no squealing and kicking) he's not calling out while they stay close to him all day and most of the night. He can hear me when I step out of the house onto the porch and he calls to me...I speak to him and that goes back and forth. He is down on the bottom ( of our little valley) where my sch training field used to be set up, about 500 feet away.

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