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Old 11-29-2012, 09:04 AM   #161 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Liesje View Post
Still trying to sort this out. I know very few GSDs that *won't* bark, lunge, snap, etc when someone approaches their vehicle, kennel, fence, front door, etc but I'm guessing the vast majority of these aren't all that socially aggressive, at least not in the more confident, assertive/forward way that we are talking about?
Karlo doesn't react when people walk by my van. IF they stick their hands inside, or try to pet him(he's crated with the back hatch open), then he will warning growl/snap at them. When people come to the door he'll investigate before going off....which is good for me because my other two dogs go off at a scent, car pulling in that they don't recognize or someone knocking.
As far as social aggression with Karlo, I believe he has it in him, but won't 'act' on it unless he is provoked(which could mean someone he doesn't know coming up and putting hands on him)His 'acting' would be a warning growl first.
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Old 11-29-2012, 09:18 AM   #162 (permalink)
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What is the difference between a dog that is socially aggressive and a dog that is aloof and doesn't want to be handled/touched by a stranger? From Armin's definition I get that a socially aggressive dog is going to act unless someone commands him not to? For me a GSD should act on provocation, just as a general breed trait, but if the breed is lacking in social aggression there must be more to it?
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Old 11-29-2012, 10:34 AM   #163 (permalink)
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I'm not going to debate whether dogs have a certain level of social aggression, or if it is "appropriate " social aggression and so on. I think if something is deemed as a positive, people decide their dog has it, but then make sure to add the socially acceptable behaviors as well. I am just trying to be clear and honest because more and more, I think people need to hear the reality and not so much of the rest.

There are different types that make up the breed and of course, not all GSDs are socially aggressive...period. The dogs I am talking about were not mauling everyone in sight but I did have to learn how to handle the first one I owned, that's for sure. I entered SchH trials where, ( yes even back then, but with more sense), they tested for unprovoked aggression. We still had a loose leash temperament test before tracking, groups to heel through, judges right there on the field etc. I traveled all over the place with my first dog, who was certainly SA. He went to the WUSV twice, requiring two trips to Europe, not to mention, there were very few local trials for me back then.

The reason that was possible was because of me and the relationship I had with my dogs. Not to mention the people who taught me how to handle him. I made it clear what I did, and did not, want these dogs to do. It's that simple. They were not unreasonable, serve themselves kind of dogs, ( more of those now), they were very willing and had a strong desire to work with me. A strong desire to please and the bond was intense.

Never would view the helper as a playmate ...ever....always vigilant against outsiders and I had to manage them when people came to my house. They were ALWAYS watching what visitors were up to and no, there was absolutely no "fear" involved in how these dogs behaved. Once you became a part of the household, you were accepted by these dogs.

Never aggressive with children, they had a real sense about that. If the situation called for it, there was no hesitation to act and this wasn't about growling or snapping at someone. These dogs were not indecisive. Most now have no understanding of these types of dogs. I am sure more than a few have read this thread and are going down their list of definitions of what Anne is "really " talking about and thinking these were unstable, nasty dogs. Nasty is not a term I would ever use to describe them. They were so above that kind of behavior but yes, it is something you have to see.
I have decided that trying to describe some of these things on boards is maybe not the best idea due to what people already have installed in their heads. Especially nowadays. You really have to experience GSDs, all kinds of them, to understand clearly what you are seeing. I simply know that these were dogs I will never forget, they were really very special dogs and not at all like another breed.
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Old 11-29-2012, 10:36 AM   #164 (permalink)
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They will counter. Since touch is near the end of the process of posturing and aggression, contact back (nipping), or fighting is the logical response.

If that is the case, wonder what happened to the behavior specified in the GSD standard - "ALOOF but APPROACHABLE".

Glad that my GSD is not one to nip or fight just because someone innocently touches them.

It does seem a bit extreme for a dog to nip/bite/even growl JUST because someone touches them. Some of the most defensive, aggressive (when needed) ScH and K9 dogs that I have met were perfectivly fine with even strangers petting them when ok by the owner.

That to me is a much better representative of our breed and something to be bred for and trained for.
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Old 11-29-2012, 10:41 AM   #165 (permalink)
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I'm not going to debate whether dogs have a certain level of social aggression, or if it is "appropriate " social aggression and so on. I think if something is deemed as a positive, people decide their dog has it, but then make sure to add the socially acceptable behaviors as well. I am just trying to be clear and honest because more and more, I think people need to hear the reality and not so much of the rest.

There are different types that make up the breed and of course, not all GSDs are socially aggressive...period. The dogs I am talking about were not mauling everyone in sight but I did have to learn how to handle the first one I owned, that's for sure. I entered SchH trials where, ( yes even back then, but with more sense), they tested for unprovoked aggression. We still had a loose leash temperament test before tracking, groups to heel through, judges right there on the field etc. I traveled all over the place with my first dog, who was certainly SA. He went to the WUSV twice, requiring two trips to Europe, not to mention, there were very few local trials for me back then.

The reason that was possible was because of me and the relationship I had with my dogs. Not to mention the people who taught me how to handle him. I made it clear what I did, and did not, want these dogs to do. It's that simple. They were not unreasonable, serve themselves kind of dogs, ( more of those now), they were very willing and had a strong desire to work with me. A strong desire to please and the bond was intense.

Never would view the helper as a playmate ...ever....always vigilant against outsiders and I had to manage them when people came to my house. They were ALWAYS watching what visitors were up to and no, there was absolutely no "fear" involved in how these dogs behaved. Once you became a part of the household, you were accepted by these dogs.

Never aggressive with children, they had a real sense about that. If the situation called for it, there was no hesitation to act and this wasn't about growling or snapping at someone. These dogs were not indecisive. Most now have no understanding of these types of dogs. I am sure more than a few have read this thread and are going down their list of definitions of what Anne is "really " talking about and thinking these were unstable, nasty dogs. Nasty is not a term I would ever use to describe them. They were so above that kind of behavior but yes, it is something you have to see.
I have decided that trying to describe some of these things on boards is maybe not the best idea due to what people already have installed in their heads. Especially nowadays. You really have to experience GSDs, all kinds of them, to understand clearly what you are seeing. I simply know that these were dogs I will never forget, they were really very special dogs and not at all like another breed.

Very well said!

One question - what age did a person stop being a "child" with your dog(s)?

The ones that I have had similar it seemed to be about 13-14 where the dog saw them as people and not a "child'.

Sort of similar to when a puppy loses the "puppy exsemption" for their behavior with an adult dog.
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Old 11-29-2012, 10:47 AM   #166 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by codmaster View Post
If that is the case, wonder what happened to the behavior specified in the GSD standard - "ALOOF but APPROACHABLE".

Glad that my GSD is not one to nip or fight just because someone innocently touches them.

It does seem a bit extreme for a dog to nip/bite/even growl JUST because someone touches them. Some of the most defensive, aggressive (when needed) ScH and K9 dogs that I have met were perfectivly fine with even strangers petting them when ok by the owner.

That to me is a much better representative of our breed and something to be bred for and trained for.
You added "when the owner is ok". When a stranger approaches my dog he looks to me for my validation I'm ok with it. If i am fine with the stranger, he doesnt respond to their petting... probably prefers they just leave him he anyway, but doesnt posture. If they come up to him without me around or if I am uncomfortable/on guard and he sees this, he will growl and posture.

Most SchH dogs now are stupidly high prey and not as balanced anyway. They prey overpowers the aggression in these dogs
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Old 11-29-2012, 10:59 AM   #167 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Vandal View Post
I'm not going to debate whether dogs have a certain level of social aggression, or if it is "appropriate " social aggression and so on. I think if something is deemed as a positive, people decide their dog has it, but then make sure to add the socially acceptable behaviors as well. I am just trying to be clear and honest because more and more, I think people need to hear the reality and not so much of the rest.

There are different types that make up the breed and of course, not all GSDs are socially aggressive...period. The dogs I am talking about were not mauling everyone in sight but I did have to learn how to handle the first one I owned, that's for sure. I entered SchH trials where, ( yes even back then, but with more sense), they tested for unprovoked aggression. We still had a loose leash temperament test before tracking, groups to heel through, judges right there on the field etc. I traveled all over the place with my first dog, who was certainly SA. He went to the WUSV twice, requiring two trips to Europe, not to mention, there were very few local trials for me back then.

The reason that was possible was because of me and the relationship I had with my dogs. Not to mention the people who taught me how to handle him. I made it clear what I did, and did not, want these dogs to do. It's that simple. They were not unreasonable, serve themselves kind of dogs, ( more of those now), they were very willing and had a strong desire to work with me. A strong desire to please and the bond was intense.

Never would view the helper as a playmate ...ever....always vigilant against outsiders and I had to manage them when people came to my house. They were ALWAYS watching what visitors were up to and no, there was absolutely no "fear" involved in how these dogs behaved. Once you became a part of the household, you were accepted by these dogs.

Never aggressive with children, they had a real sense about that. If the situation called for it, there was no hesitation to act and this wasn't about growling or snapping at someone. These dogs were not indecisive.
Most now have no understanding of these types of dogs. I am sure more than a few have read this thread and are going down their list of definitions of what Anne is "really " talking about and thinking these were unstable, nasty dogs. Nasty is not a term I would ever use to describe them. They were so above that kind of behavior but yes, it is something you have to see.
I have decided that trying to describe some of these things on boards is maybe not the best idea due to what people already have installed in their heads. Especially nowadays. You really have to experience GSDs, all kinds of them, to understand clearly what you are seeing. I simply know that these were dogs I will never forget, they were really very special dogs and not at all like another breed.

Actually, you are describing what I have always rather thought the GSD to be. 22 years ago when I was first investigating them, this is what I came to understand--and what I didn't realize was missing so much today. Not that I am in ANY way what I would consider knowledgeable about the breed, just simply relaying what I always thought. This is why I love reading these threads. It helps to clarify there is so much more to this breed and learning about the breed.
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Old 11-29-2012, 11:10 AM   #168 (permalink)
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I will just add this in response to the last couple of posts. The dogs I am talking about taught me quite a bit about myself. Like I said already, dogs feel what we feel. People talk about nerves going down the leash but then seem to not accept that a dog would want to protect them, without being verbally told to.
A dog's first language is body language. English, ( or German etc), is their second language. The dogs I discussed were QUITE in tune with me. They felt what I did and if my behavior told them something was wrong, they started looking for the source of it. I had to learn to be confident and in control of my emotions, so I did not confuse my own dog.
Dogs watch us constantly, they don't have computers and TV to distract them. Our body language tells them things and you cannot be nervous or tense and hide it from your dog. I tell my dogs people are ok more with what I am thinking, and the resulting body language, than what I am saying to them. Might remind them to sit but the rest of what I am doing is saying much more to them than that command.
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Old 11-29-2012, 11:16 AM   #169 (permalink)
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Anne and I have been discussing this in emails too. She was asking me what dogs I have known with SA. Here is a description of a dog owned by a friend (whose dam is from Anne). This dog has SA.

Quote:
Very confident, some what aloof. Would definitely stop an intruder, but once he has been told someone is welcome he is fine. He knows me now and will come over for pets and actually is very accepting of people once Jeff invites them into the house. He isn't that accepting of other people handling him (Jeff was a bit worried about this for the breed survey/conformation thing), but he will give a definite warning and not just go off on someone. He is a bit scary to be in front of in the blind the first time. The biggest thing I notice about Fella is his confidence. In that respect he reminds me a lot of Belschik. These are dogs that just know their place in the world and it is at the top.
Add to this is he has NO handler aggression and can run with other dogs (males and females).

Nike was interesting when she was in my truck. In a crate or in the house she was rather vocal about someone approaching. When she was loose in my truck you would not even know she was there (maybe if you had tried to break in). She would let people in and then would lean forward from the back seat and give them a little growl just to let them know she was there and she was watching. The first time she did this sort of surprised me. After that I would just let her know the person was allowed. Deja is another one who is actually pretty quiet and doesn't tend to make a fuss (maybe she figures everyone else is doing a good enough job), but she lets her presence known once I open the door. Even then she is quite and will put her feet on the storm door and just stare the person in the face. That almost makes people step back more quickly than the raging barking monsters because they are not expecting it.
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Old 11-29-2012, 11:21 AM   #170 (permalink)
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Dogs learning to read us is an excellent point. I learned a lot from Nike, but maybe more so from my husband despite his not being a dog trainer/handler. I always worried about her and would be right on her anytime we were in a group of people. Having had, previously, a nervy dog with reactive aggression probably didn't help me not worry. I came home one day and there Nike was outside with my husband, a group of his friends and their kids. She was fine. My husband didn't worry. He just treated things as matter of fact and because of that so did Nike.
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