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Old 01-03-2013, 11:54 AM   #11 (permalink)
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High drive does NOT necessarily equal hyper! A working dog with an "off" switch is a wonderful thing. Just because a dog is calm in the house, or when there's nothing going on, it doesn't mean the dog doesn't have drive. My Luka is drivey dog--but when she's in the house, she mostly just holds her bed down. As soon as I open the back door, though, she's up and ready. She'll play ball until you stop, or she drops dead, whichever comes first. And then she'll come back inside and hold her bed down again.

Also, some pups are sleepers. They appear to be low to moderate in drive and activity level at 8 weeks of age, but as they grow and mature, their drives will kick in, and by 9-12 months of age you may find yourself with a VERY drivey dog.
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:02 PM   #12 (permalink)
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The worst thing you can do at this point is get a dog that won't be able to do the things you *might* want to do in the future. I'm not saying you "have" to get a dog out of SchH lines, but it sounds like you're going to be supporting a breeder that might not be doing things the best way possible. No trialing in any venue, just breeding their two good house dogs (which might have fabulous lines) but not testing them against other dogs.

I also understand your perspective...you want a good house dog that you then might try to do some sport with. So since your goal is to have a good house dog, why not get one from two that you have seen be good house dogs. The reason that's not the best way to look at things is two fold. One is that you're supporting someone that isn't really worried about the future of the breed, the second is that you might get into SchH or agility and then see that your dog just isn't cut out for it. If you go to a good breeder...that works their dogs in Schutzhund or in anything...those dogs will still be calm in the house but will more than likely be able to do those things you talk about.

You need to look at "drive" as the thing that motivates dogs. That...self fulfillment that makes them want to do things. So when it comes to tracking...a dog needs a lot of drive to keep going on a scent. It needs to have it inside them to keep going down a track for miles and miles to get to the end. And yes...food drive is used to teach them how to control that skill and how we as humans can take advantage of it, but really, a dog needs to keep going (once the food is out of the picture) for its own good. I can also compare it to prey drive...and throwing/hiding a tennis ball, there are dogs that will not give up until they find that ball no matter where it is. Nothing to do with you or me, just that they want THAT ball. They have the drive to keep searching no matter how long it takes or what they have to tear through.

Maybe you're looking at all these SchH threads, and equating drive to that want to tug, or fight, or bite. But that's not quite it. If you get out and watch different dogs, and especially different breeds (that's why I love AKC obedience trials) you'll understand what drive is. There is just no training a St. Bernard to do obedience quite like a GSD.
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Old 01-03-2013, 09:39 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Well, I'd like a dog with a good food drive. The breeder is not a BYB (my first shepherd when I was naive was) but it's moreso a calmer GSD. She has had puppies FROM these dogs who have went on and done agility, SAR, and tracking, but she herself has not done this with her dogs as she promotes them as calm demeanor dogs. But apparently the ability is there. As of right now, I'd be happy with therapy work, and just working on obedience. Maybe in about 10 years I will be doing Sch. or the like, but not yet.
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Old 01-03-2013, 09:43 PM   #14 (permalink)
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get the pup and train it to be the type of dog you want.
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Old 01-03-2013, 09:55 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doggiedad View Post
get the pup and train it to be the type of dog you want.
If only it were that easy! Not every pup can be trained for what you want to do.

Higher thresholds is good, better than low with a reactive personality...especially when you are into doing therapy work.
If this breeder has produced dogs that do what you say, then they obviously have a fair amount of drive and good temperament. Go interact with the pups, choose one that is more pack driven, and confident...of course have the breeder give you input on this, because one visit isn't going to tell you what each individual puppy is.
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Old 01-03-2013, 10:12 PM   #16 (permalink)
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i'm thinking the OP is getting caught up in terminology.
it's easy to say "not every pup can be trained for what
you want to do". what percentage of pups can be trained
for what you need them to do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by doggiedad View Post
get the pup and train it to be the type of dog you want.
Quote:
Originally Posted by onyx'girl View Post
If only it were that easy! Not every pup can be trained for what you want to do.

Higher thresholds is good, better than low with a reactive personality...especially when you are into doing therapy work.
If this breeder has produced dogs that do what you say, then they obviously have a fair amount of drive and good temperament. Go interact with the pups, choose one that is more pack driven, and confident...of course have the breeder give you input on this, because one visit isn't going to tell you what each individual puppy is.
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Old 01-03-2013, 10:37 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doggiedad View Post
i'm thinking the OP is getting caught up in terminology.
it's easy to say "not every pup can be trained for what
you want to do". what percentage of pups can be trained
for what you need them to do?
I guess it depends on if your pup is a pet or expected to be a working dog.
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:39 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Okay now y'all are confusing me LOL!
I cannot see these puppies because they are a 19 hour drive away, one way. The breeder said she has one that she thinks will fit my needs well, but I've never given someone the responsibility to pick a puppy for me so it's kind of frightening.
It's one of some choices I have been looking at, but this whole thing just raised a lot of questions for me. And made me make up some questions as well :P

So what exactly are you guys talking about, making a dog a certain way or not being able to make it a certain way?
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:04 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I think the answer has been pretty consistent that you can bring a dog up to its genetic potential but cannot exceed it. Nature + Nurture.

If you are looking for a puppy who will excel in a certain discipline, your best bet is to find an experienced breeder whose own dogs excel in that discipline, and one who has the ability to select a puppy meeting your needs.
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Old 01-04-2013, 03:50 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Okay then I will keep it at that Thank you everyone!
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