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Old 07-03-2014, 05:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Nerves and thresholds. Protection training and aggression

First of all, from the other thread, is it true that for a dog to bite he has to have a low threshold and I think that means be a nerve bag?

To me this doesn't sound right. But I don't have experience, all I know is what I read and no one is saying that their ipo dogs are nerve bags.

So which is it?

Also, I gathered from things I read and heard that dogs with bite training are a little more dangerous (bad choice of words but you get the idea).

Leerburg, for example, says somewhere on his website that if your dog has at least a tiny bit of protection training then it's your responsibility to make sure he's not around kids or something like that. Like to say that once the dog is protection trained he needs more management than a dog that hasn't been.

So is this true? I believed that the dogs stay the same, that they only bite when told but now I'm not sure.

Can someone be honest about this? I sometimes get the impression that people don't tell the entire truth about the level of control they have over their dogs. If I'm wrong then I apologize in advance
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Old 07-03-2014, 06:10 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I don't think low threshold=nerve bag.
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Old 07-03-2014, 06:20 PM   #3 (permalink)
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My male has a fairly high threshold, he thinks before he acts or reacts in most all situations. When it comes to protection, though, his threshold is not as high. He comes onto the field barking and ready.
I see dogs with lower thresholds and they are far from being a nerve bag! I also see lower threshold dogs that would be considered timid and not really confident, but age and good training will bring more confidence.

If the dog has balance and knows the rules(control), they are not a liability(as long as the handler is setting the dog up for success). Control comes with maturity, not many young dogs are versed in such self control, they need to rely on their handler for the discernment to act appropriately.

My females are more reactive, lower threshold, yet there is no way they'd ever be able to do IPO, they don't have 'it'. And honestly, without management they are a liability...I can't/won't have them around children whatsoever. They want to attack kids because they've never been around the smaller ones. They're fine with around the ten and above age though.

I'd rather see a dog that will engage without having alot of help to be turned on...the really high threshold dogs are a challenge to work.
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Old 07-03-2014, 06:28 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lalachka View Post
First of all, from the other thread, is it true that for a dog to bite he has to have a low threshold and I think that means be a nerve bag?

To me this doesn't sound right. But I don't have experience, all I know is what I read and no one is saying that their ipo dogs are nerve bags.

So which is it?

Also, I gathered from things I read and heard that dogs with bite training are a little more dangerous (bad choice of words but you get the idea).

Leerburg, for example, says somewhere on his website that if your dog has at least a tiny bit of protection training then it's your responsibility to make sure he's not around kids or something like that. Like to say that once the dog is protection trained he needs more management than a dog that hasn't been.

So is this true? I believed that the dogs stay the same, that they only bite when told but now I'm not sure.

Can someone be honest about this? I sometimes get the impression that people don't tell the entire truth about the level of control they have over their dogs. If I'm wrong then I apologize in advance
This is something you will only learn clearly when actually in the field getting experience through training, watching, experiencing. Only reading posts will not provide true understanding. That being said, both my dogs have put helpers in ER requiring surgery. Yet both are extremely reliable around children and in other social/non-threat environments.
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Old 07-03-2014, 06:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Here is a favorite article about nerves, temperament, thresholds, and bite-work. A bit long, but well worth the read, and in my opinion, should be required reading for all GSD owners, not to mention breeders!

Elements of Temperament - Scratch My Butt

When I set out to get a GSD for SchH/IPO, I did NOT want a nerve bag, or a reactive low-threshold dog. I wanted a solid, high-threshold dog, friendly and outgoing with people, safe with kids and cats, good out in public, versatile in different activities, a joy to own and train, but also kick-butt serious in the protection field. My choice and preference came from being involved in Schutzhund with my rescue mixed-breed, and training and working with a variety of different GSDs in my SchH club. Some dogs were low-threshold and quick to react and bite, some were serious in the fight, but bidabble and sane and solid, some where all prey-drive with not a serious bone in their body, some were nicely balanced, being successful in trials, and great, all-around pets.

I love to talk about Gryff and people may be getting bored of hearing about him, but he is exactly what I wanted. At club, in seminars, police-dog trainers, world-level competitors love working him - he kicks butt! But he is one of the nicest, most even-tempered, well-rounded dogs that I can take anywhere. High threshold, safe in public, from weirdos in town pretending that they are superheros and air-lazering him as we come around a corner (I just laughed, Gryff cued off my reaction and ignored the person), or little kids running up behind him to pet him (he loves it!). He comes to work with me on most days, has to stay in the car, but breaks and lunch time, we hang out with his work buddies.

Vet is not a problem - shots, examinations, micro-chip implant, he puts up with it with no complaint.

Many others on this forum have bite-trained dog with similar good temperaments and balance as Gryff - in my opinion, this is more the norm than the exception when looking at breeders who understand the true essence of a GSD.
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Old 07-03-2014, 06:48 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Packen View Post
This is something you will only learn clearly when actually in the field getting experience through training, watching, experiencing. Only reading posts will not provide true understanding. That being said, both my dogs have put helpers in ER requiring surgery. Yet both are extremely reliable around children and in other social/non-threat environments.

I'm going to reply to everything a little later but packen, find me a club within 60 or so miles from NYC that answers emails or picks up the phone. I will be forever grateful. Have been trying for a while

Even 90 miles would do
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Old 07-03-2014, 06:52 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Castlemaid that is what I want in a GSD!


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Old 07-03-2014, 07:17 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lalachka View Post
I'm going to reply to everything a little later but packen, find me a club within 60 or so miles from NYC that answers emails or picks up the phone. I will be forever grateful. Have been trying for a while

Even 90 miles would do
Have you tried this one? If you're in queens, you shouldn't be too far from this club.

New York Schutzhund & Police Dog Club | Schutzhund / IPO Club in Long Island New York
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Old 07-03-2014, 07:27 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Lol yeap this is my latest try. I got a prewritten email back saying it's 1k a year to join. My friend said too expensive for their level (like that they don't have any top competitors and whatever else) but to check it out. I'd probably pay anyway. But they haven't replied since. 4 emails and 6 phone calls.

I will keep trying lol
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Old 07-03-2014, 07:35 PM   #10 (permalink)
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1K a yr broken down to training 2x's per week isn't all that bad, IMO. Especially for a newb that will need one on one in all phases. What would you spend on classes with a local obedience type club in the area?
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