Confusion about identifying nerviness - Page 3

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by VomWangen on 18 September 2020 - 12:09

I mostly agree with what Hired Dog was saying- except for the chase thing-Prey drive is not just chasing things. If trained properly, accompanied with fight drive- it can be activated from any distance. Ever watch a dog hunt a raccon and fight with it to the death? It's scary. Thats what is being braught out when training in prey drive if done properly. I was referring to bad breeders and trainers that revert to scaring dogs into biting things because they have little drives. It is sad an unfortunately it exists. At the end of the day in live situations- the dog comes through, even if it has no training what so ever in any drives. As far as the high defense in the yard thing- im not sure how that would be displayed because that's getting into territorial behavior and Im not sure how that works into defense/prey/fight, because dogs that seem to display zero drives will be territorial and act aggressive. I would also like to know someone's interpretation of this behavior and if it can judge defense levels.

Hired Dog

by Hired Dog on 18 September 2020 - 13:09

Vom Wangen, I am not sure what you mean by "at the end of the day the dog comes through with no training and no drives".
A dog that acts aggressively in his own yard may indeed show territorial behavior, but, it does not mean that it will actually protect if its brought out of his own, familiar area nor does it mean that it will engage if the threat jumps the fence. Most dogs will run, I have seen it.
Defense, based on solid nerves and not pushed too hard, is genetic, its also the only drive that is not subject to exhaustion, but, again, the dog must be mature in order to be pushed into that territory without adverse effects.

Fight drive is like the Holy Ghost, everyone speaks of it, not that many people have seen it. I have yet to hear a good explanation of it, so, I will give you mine. Genetic social aggression combined with dominance and some defense.
Prey drive has not very much to do with a dog's desire to engage a human that is standing still and willing to fight the dog, I have also seen it many times, mostly because someone is either drunk or high.
When I spoke of proper training, I was not talking about idiots who have no idea how to promote drives and are able to swing dogs from one drive to the other, provided those drives are again, genetically present.
Finally, I looked for, asked and got a puppy 3 months ago with minimal prey drive, good suspicion level and what I hope will be civil aggression when he is older.
At 5 months of age, he will charge the fence when he hears something on the other side, is very willing to stand his ground when the "threat" approaches and shows great willingness to engage that "threat", all without any prey drive.
Since he is only 5 months old, we have a way to go to see how he turns out, he has zero training right now, I mean NONE, but, I love watching his genetics at work and seeing which way I want to take him.

by ValK on 18 September 2020 - 14:09


that's a common mistake when people confusing prey with fight.
actually that separate traits with a different motivation behind it.
prey is based on hunt instinct and involves catch and kill if possible but easily give up if contact with object have led to disadvantage due to size, strength or furiosity of resistance.
base of the fight have two main motives - necessity for surviving (passive defense motive, available in every dog) and desire to submit/kill opponent (active offence motive, mostly extinct in present breeding). in neither of cases prey need to be present.

by VomWangen on 18 September 2020 - 17:09

ValK, very interesting. You have pointed out a term very useful to me---the drives I am discussing when training in prey/fight are actually building the "Active offense motive", because the dogs are built up to the point of believing they are indestructible and will not give up when engaged in a fight regardless of how much pain/external stimuli is present. Example of this I gave earlier when I mentioned the dog that is trying to kill the racoon and it turns into a fight to the death and the dog doesn't give up until it is dead, ignoring the bites, scratches and horrific sounds the racoon makes. They want to kill, and they will not give up the engagement until they have won the fight. Seeing that come out of a dog-that is amazing. Thankyou for sharing, I am enjoying all of this information and perspectives and very clearly/obviously different training styles.

Hired Dog- earlier when I said at the end of a day the dog will come through in a live situation at home- is that a shepherd has a natural born instinct-is naturally protective of their family regardless of training unless it has mental problems or has been abused... Its the beauty of the breed I would hope we can all agree on-something that does not need to be trained-it's natural instincts it is born with...because that's all we are really doing when we are training is building up and shaping the projection of the natural instincts they already have into how we want them and when we want them to come out. There's no way to simulate a live situation in the home because the emotions, stress, fear and aggression that are present in a live situation with humans cannot be simulated no matter how hard we try. They have the ability to operate off the tenseness and emotions of the people in the situation. Unless you all are taking real hostages in a dogs home without the dogs owners knowing about it, and even then the ill intent-emotions of the aggressor cannot be fabricated.

Also, I'm still wondering-as (I can't remember who questioned it earlier) if the dog's display of territorial behavior in a yard is in any way a way to judge level of defensiveness in a dog, because I've seen even 9 week old puppies charge a fence at a perceived threat in their yard with willingness to engage. Even chihuahua's and cocker spaniels display this behavior. I don't see how this can be the judging factor of the nerviness of a dog "going beast mode" in their own yard(bringing this question back around for whoever posted it earlier multiple times, I'm sorry we went so off topic).

Hired Dog

by Hired Dog on 18 September 2020 - 18:09

Vom Wangen, I cannot disagree with you more on the GSD having the proper temperament in place to defend its home and owners naturally. Of course, there are always a few exceptions, but, I assure you, these dogs dont.
Personally, I would not depend on a dog to protect me or my loved ones without me choosing that dog and making absolutely sure it does bite, under any and all circumstances in the real world.
Today's dogs are bred to be pets and sport dogs at the most, neither make what I call a good candidate as a PPD.

I answered the yard question earlier, please take a look at it again, but, like I told the OP, without a video to see the dog doing it, there is no real way to judge.

by ValK on 18 September 2020 - 18:09

Von Wangen
you can't build up dog through the training to be truly active offensive type. it must be innate.
what people achieve artificially through complacency of dog in comfy for that dog sporty protection training is just that - a fake confidence, which will fell apart at first encounter of hardship, unavoidable in real confrontation.


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