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Old 11-16-2012, 11:48 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by elisabeth_00117 View Post

Zefra is a HIGH HIGH energy, HIGH drive female with low-medium thresholds. She also has superb nerve and as she matures, she is able to cap (just a tad!) that with consistent training/corrections/redirection.

One thing to note is that this dog is EXTREMELY biddable and has IMPECCABLE focus - always has. She is also very versitile and can do anything I ask - and does it well! She is pretty much my dream dog.

She does have her issues, she is pretty sharp and if in protection, can be handler hard as well. She is also super friendly to a fault...lol. She acts more like a golden with people on the street and especially kids (I like it though). But she is a jumper and it's not something I have been able to correct (trust me, we have tried).

She is also SUPER quick and extremely agile.

She is worked everyday in some capacity, but we regularly train (Schutzhund) twice per week. This helps, but she is still unable to really settle in the house. Her 'settle' is laying with a ball chewing, or grabbing an antler or something), she has to be "doing something" while "relaxing".
This describes the Czech/WGWL female I used to have, except that she did not have the focus and the biddability. She was pretty pig-headed. She had strong nerves, low-medium thresholds, very friendly with people and other dogs, super super energy, agility and athleticism, could jump like she was spring-loaded. She was a really neat dog in some ways, but could not settle in the house, and was obsessed with my cats in an unhealthy way.

She wasn't a good fit for my household, so I placed her with a SchH enthusiast with four other dogs and no cats.
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Old 11-16-2012, 12:02 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Actually, the experience I have made with Czech dogs is that they took longer to mature than west german working lines and they didn't have that crazy high prey drive but were much more serious and had more defense than anything else. They also were more reactive and had a much lower threshhold and only when they matured they became calmer.
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Old 11-16-2012, 01:52 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Mrs. K do you think their slow maturing is part because you don't see the high prey drive so there isn't a lot to "see" in the dog when it's young (so next to a WGWL appears immature), and also part because defense takes a while to develop in any dog? Curious to hear your thoughts

I have found some Czech dogs lack that high prey. Do you think this is a bad thing? Or is this a personal preference?

I have a Czech female with Grim, Cordon, & Tom up close and she has pretty high prey. I didn't get her until she was about 17 months and had to fix some terrible mistakes her previous handlers made on her. But her prey is very high and she produces that. She also has medium to high thresholds. Really nothing phases this dog. Gunfire, a construction loader dropping a bucket right next to her, among many other very loud and even ground shaking things and it doesn't phase her. I will say her son (1/2 Czech / 1/2 WGWL) is a little more reactive and seems to have lower thresholds. But he is only 1/2 so part of that could be from his sire.

Also I wanted clarification because everyone seems to have different descriptions. When you say "reactive" do you mean "sharp" and quick to growl at something that appears threatening. Or do you mean reactive as in handler sensitive (quick to respond to handlers needs and commands, flashy obedience etc.)
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Old 11-16-2012, 05:07 PM   #14 (permalink)
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My male is a WG/Czechmix and he has a higher threshold, decent prey drive and an off switch. He isn't a super high drive sport dog, carries some suspicion, not dog aggressive. He is biddable and a bit handler sensitive, depending on what is asked of him! Slow to mature.
As far as energy level, I don't crate him during the day(inside loose), he gets to run with my other dogs when I'm home and does get his energy out. IF I did crate him daily and limited his time with my other dogs, I don't think he would be as balanced as he is.
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Old 11-16-2012, 09:48 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Activity - how much the dog likes to be moving, how much the dog naturally moves around. Even when nothing is going on, these dogs will be moving. They might patrol the yard or the house or just like to move. Think of a human who is always tapping a pencil or foot or pacing.

Energy - how long the dog can go, how much stamina and oomph to their actions. So, a very energetic dog might be completely calm in the house or in the kennel, but when something is going on, they will go and go and go. This type of dog needs a regular "burn" of energy to stay sane, but they don't necessarily pace or fiddle or patrol or move around just to be moving.

Drive (high drive/low drive): A dog that needs to do something in response to an outside influence. A high activity and high drive dog might discover that he can play hockey with his food bowl or water bucket and will toss it into the air and bat it around and start a game going that meets his need to be active and to use drive.

A high activity dog with low drive is just sort of pointlessly in motion. A high drive dog is more likely to find some way to channel that activity--so they will be active with a purpose or target for their activity--this might be the dog that decides to dig up the sprinkler system in the yard. They make up games to serve as outlets for their need to be active and their need to be express their drive.

A dog with lots of energy and lots of drive but maybe not so much activity is not as common. I have a girl like this--if she's loose in the house, she watches the cats. She's incredibly calm and quiet and intense. But if she sees a cat out of place, she immediately goes into motion, almost explosively. I know from the training and playing with her how this applies in obedience and herding. She is intensely focused and has the energy to stay "on" for long periods of time, she doesn't have to take action just because she is in drive--but she can be explosive when she does take action.

A low drive, low activity but moderate+ energy dog might be a total couch potato in the house. He may be hard to motivate for training but you want to go for a 10 mile hike--that dog will be right with you

There is, obviously, some correlation between high drive and high energy and high activity--you're not going to have many high activity and high drive dogs who are low energy--so possibly energy is a result of drive + health + conditioning + something innate. And most active dogs are going to be pretty high energy, but you can have an active dog who just is sort of a flash of activity without any staying power--not common in GSDs, I think.

Quote:
I have a Czech female with Grim, Cordon, & Tom up close and she has pretty high prey.
I understand that Grim brings a lot of prey. Cordon and Tom are going to bring some prey, but more seriousness.

Quote:
When you say "reactive" do you mean "sharp" and quick to growl at something that appears threatening. Or do you mean reactive as in handler sensitive (quick to respond to handlers needs and commands, flashy obedience etc.)
I think of reactivity as how quick a dog triggers or responds to something. Thinking of an actual trigger on a gun--how much pressure does it take to make that gun go off. If only a little bit of input from your finger, that is very low threshold and very reactive. If it takes a lot of finger pressure to pull the trigger, that is very high threshold, very low reactivity. Reactivity is widespread and not just in one area of life (not just prey or defense) -- so, how fast does your puppy stimulate and decide to chase your pants cuff, a rag on a string, a grasshopper in the yard? How fast does your dog trigger to a cat beginning to walk through the room? What does it take for your dog in the car to begin to bark at that passerby?
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Old 11-17-2012, 12:52 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackthornGSD View Post
Activity - how much the dog likes to be moving, how much the dog naturally moves around. Even when nothing is going on, these dogs will be moving. They might patrol the yard or the house or just like to move. Think of a human who is always tapping a pencil or foot or pacing.

Energy - how long the dog can go, how much stamina and oomph to their actions. So, a very energetic dog might be completely calm in the house or in the kennel, but when something is going on, they will go and go and go. This type of dog needs a regular "burn" of energy to stay sane, but they don't necessarily pace or fiddle or patrol or move around just to be moving.

Drive (high drive/low drive): A dog that needs to do something in response to an outside influence. A high activity and high drive dog might discover that he can play hockey with his food bowl or water bucket and will toss it into the air and bat it around and start a game going that meets his need to be active and to use drive.

A high activity dog with low drive is just sort of pointlessly in motion. A high drive dog is more likely to find some way to channel that activity--so they will be active with a purpose or target for their activity--this might be the dog that decides to dig up the sprinkler system in the yard. They make up games to serve as outlets for their need to be active and their need to be express their drive.

A dog with lots of energy and lots of drive but maybe not so much activity is not as common. I have a girl like this--if she's loose in the house, she watches the cats. She's incredibly calm and quiet and intense. But if she sees a cat out of place, she immediately goes into motion, almost explosively. I know from the training and playing with her how this applies in obedience and herding. She is intensely focused and has the energy to stay "on" for long periods of time, she doesn't have to take action just because she is in drive--but she can be explosive when she does take action.

A low drive, low activity but moderate+ energy dog might be a total couch potato in the house. He may be hard to motivate for training but you want to go for a 10 mile hike--that dog will be right with you

There is, obviously, some correlation between high drive and high energy and high activity--you're not going to have many high activity and high drive dogs who are low energy--so possibly energy is a result of drive + health + conditioning + something innate. And most active dogs are going to be pretty high energy, but you can have an active dog who just is sort of a flash of activity without any staying power--not common in GSDs, I think.



I understand that Grim brings a lot of prey. Cordon and Tom are going to bring some prey, but more seriousness.



I think of reactivity as how quick a dog triggers or responds to something. Thinking of an actual trigger on a gun--how much pressure does it take to make that gun go off. If only a little bit of input from your finger, that is very low threshold and very reactive. If it takes a lot of finger pressure to pull the trigger, that is very high threshold, very low reactivity. Reactivity is widespread and not just in one area of life (not just prey or defense) -- so, how fast does your puppy stimulate and decide to chase your pants cuff, a rag on a string, a grasshopper in the yard? How fast does your dog trigger to a cat beginning to walk through the room? What does it take for your dog in the car to begin to bark at that passerby?
Wonderful explanation Christine thank you so much for your input!
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Old 11-17-2012, 06:48 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Oh and I would agree then. Czech dogs (at least my dogs and the ones I meet) are more reactive.
Although mine all settle nicely and calm down as soon as I bring them inside or load them on a crate.
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Old 11-17-2012, 10:00 PM   #18 (permalink)
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This describes the Czech/WGWL female I used to have, except that she did not have the focus and the biddability. She was pretty pig-headed. She had strong nerves, low-medium thresholds, very friendly with people and other dogs, super super energy, agility and athleticism, could jump like she was spring-loaded. She was a really neat dog in some ways, but could not settle in the house, and was obsessed with my cats in an unhealthy way.

She wasn't a good fit for my household, so I placed her with a SchH enthusiast with four other dogs and no cats.
Yeah, I can't see Zefra just being a pet in some medium active pet home. I mean, don't get me wrong, she is a great dog and if the family had a understanding of her needs, it may work - but she definitely needs to be worked in some capacity.

For example, only doing walks at night because of my work schedule and the dog who has NEVER destroyed anything in my house, chewed my couch and my comforter set...... she needs more than playing ball and nightly walks.. lol.

She is a fun dog but not a dog for everyone.
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Old 11-17-2012, 10:04 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Mrs.K View Post
Actually, the experience I have made with Czech dogs is that they took longer to mature than west german working lines and they didn't have that crazy high prey drive but were much more serious and had more defense than anything else. They also were more reactive and had a much lower threshhold and only when they matured they became calmer.
I am finding this to be true with Zefra.

She jumps (always has) into defense first, but she unlike some Czech dogs I have met, also has good prey drive, so she is able to work out of both. She can switch very nicely. Don't piss her off though because it will be hard to bring her back into prey once you REALLY made her mad... LMAO!

She is 18 months old and is just now showing signs of maturity.. not every often, but I can see stints of it now.. lol.

She is reactive, and what I mean by this is that she reacts very quickly to things - good and bad. She is not dog reactive, or people reactive AT ALL. But if she sees a rabbit or squirrel, BOOM! She is at the end of the leash. Helper with a sleeve - BOOM barking and doing her thing, it is just now that we have been able to put some obedience on her during protection because she was just jumping into drive too strongly. She can now actually work with the decoy present. Low threshold but like I said, as she matures I noticed a slight difference.
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Old 11-17-2012, 10:09 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackthornGSD View Post
Activity - how much the dog likes to be moving, how much the dog naturally moves around. Even when nothing is going on, these dogs will be moving. They might patrol the yard or the house or just like to move. Think of a human who is always tapping a pencil or foot or pacing.

Energy - how long the dog can go, how much stamina and oomph to their actions. So, a very energetic dog might be completely calm in the house or in the kennel, but when something is going on, they will go and go and go. This type of dog needs a regular "burn" of energy to stay sane, but they don't necessarily pace or fiddle or patrol or move around just to be moving.

Drive (high drive/low drive): A dog that needs to do something in response to an outside influence. A high activity and high drive dog might discover that he can play hockey with his food bowl or water bucket and will toss it into the air and bat it around and start a game going that meets his need to be active and to use drive.

A high activity dog with low drive is just sort of pointlessly in motion. A high drive dog is more likely to find some way to channel that activity--so they will be active with a purpose or target for their activity--this might be the dog that decides to dig up the sprinkler system in the yard. They make up games to serve as outlets for their need to be active and their need to be express their drive.

A dog with lots of energy and lots of drive but maybe not so much activity is not as common. I have a girl like this--if she's loose in the house, she watches the cats. She's incredibly calm and quiet and intense. But if she sees a cat out of place, she immediately goes into motion, almost explosively. I know from the training and playing with her how this applies in obedience and herding. She is intensely focused and has the energy to stay "on" for long periods of time, she doesn't have to take action just because she is in drive--but she can be explosive when she does take action.

A low drive, low activity but moderate+ energy dog might be a total couch potato in the house. He may be hard to motivate for training but you want to go for a 10 mile hike--that dog will be right with you

There is, obviously, some correlation between high drive and high energy and high activity--you're not going to have many high activity and high drive dogs who are low energy--so possibly energy is a result of drive + health + conditioning + something innate. And most active dogs are going to be pretty high energy, but you can have an active dog who just is sort of a flash of activity without any staying power--not common in GSDs, I think.



I understand that Grim brings a lot of prey. Cordon and Tom are going to bring some prey, but more seriousness.



I think of reactivity as how quick a dog triggers or responds to something. Thinking of an actual trigger on a gun--how much pressure does it take to make that gun go off. If only a little bit of input from your finger, that is very low threshold and very reactive. If it takes a lot of finger pressure to pull the trigger, that is very high threshold, very low reactivity. Reactivity is widespread and not just in one area of life (not just prey or defense) -- so, how fast does your puppy stimulate and decide to chase your pants cuff, a rag on a string, a grasshopper in the yard? How fast does your dog trigger to a cat beginning to walk through the room? What does it take for your dog in the car to begin to bark at that passerby?
Very, very interesting. Very easy to read and understand. Thanks for posting this.
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