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Old 12-21-2012, 04:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Can a WL GSD have more than one master?

Hi there,
We have decided that we were adding a dog to our family and the WL GSD is pretty high on our list.
I am currently reading as much as possible on the topic.
It would seem obvious that if possible, some sort of genetic obedience and coldness to strangers/other distractions would be desirable.
But this leads to the following questions: Can the dog have more than one master? Would the dog listen and act the same with both myself and my girlfriend, or would he try to dominate/ignore her?
Regards,
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Old 12-21-2012, 06:56 PM   #2 (permalink)
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In my experience GSDs will choose one special person as "theirs", but that doesn't mean they won't obey anyone else. Your dog should be able to distinguish between other pack members, including you and your girlfriend, and strangers. I am Keefer's special person and my husband is Halo's. Keefer and Tom adore each other, and Halo and I adore each other too. Both dogs will seek out attention and affection from each of us, and I race Halo in flyball. Tom can't be there at tournaments or she'd leave me in a heartbeat to go say hi to DADDY DADDY DADDY!!! But without him there as a distraction she works very well for me.

Who that special favorite person is will be chosen by the dog, and you may not have much say in the process. If you're both involved in the training, and are consistent about your expectations of behavior you shouldn't have a problem. But if she's lax and doesn't enforce the rules or lets him/her get away with stuff, then it's possible that the dog will learn s/he can blow her off without consequences.

Tom is much less strict about enforcing rules, so the dogs know that they don't always have to do what he says. For example, he'll put them in a down while we eat dinner and not notice that they got up and wandered off after a few minutes. I find myself prompting him often: "Did you release them?" And then he'll yell at them to come back and lay down again, lol!
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Old 12-21-2012, 07:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
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It's impossible to say because all dogs are different It depends on lots of things, how much time one spends with puppy, training , temperament..I will say most dogs do gravitate towards one person in the family more than others, doesn't mean they will ignore or dominate others.

It's not about being a "master" it's about creating a good bond and relationship.

I have always had wl gsd's. They all have been much more bonded to me than my husband or anyone else. They have all tended to be dogs that ignore strangers, aloof (as they are supposed to be), tolerant, they all have/had made me the center of their universe, quite flattering, and makes for easy training.

I do have the luxury of being able to spend alot of time with my dogs.
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Old 12-21-2012, 08:17 PM   #4 (permalink)
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(What's a WL GSD?)
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Old 12-21-2012, 08:25 PM   #5 (permalink)
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(What's a WL GSD?)
working line
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Old 12-21-2012, 08:44 PM   #6 (permalink)
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My GSD favors me but will work with my son too. She definitely works better with him if I'm not around. If she so much thinks I'm there, she spends more time trying to find me. We are pretty consistent and use the same commands so we don't confuse her. I probably let her get away with more, because she is so darn cute...that hasn't made a difference in our relationship(she obeys and watches over me), she is my little snuggler..I love her more then words can say
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Old 12-21-2012, 09:15 PM   #7 (permalink)
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My shepherds have always been 'mine'. My previous pair would listen to my wife most of the time... but my male liked to try to yank her chain a lot. Grim she didn't even really try to bond to. Just left me to him. He's bonded very strongly to me, and reacts to things differently if it's her or me with him. I wouldn't say he 'ignores' her (then again, he's still very young) but he isn't as quick to obey. He seeks me out every single time. It is a great feeling. She likes shepherds... I really don't know why she's taken such a back seat with Grim, but she's OK with it. IMO, there's no love and dedication like a GSD.
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Old 12-21-2012, 10:05 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I don't know if my dog is a WL dog or not since she is a rescue, but for the longest time whenever my girlfriend would tell her to do something she would always turn her head to me with this "do I have to look" lol. But she eventually got over it and now she listens to her pretty good.
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Old 12-22-2012, 12:11 AM   #9 (permalink)
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how do you know he won't try to dominate or ignore you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RushGSD View Post
Hi there,
We have decided that we were adding a dog to our family and the WL GSD is pretty high on our list.
I am currently reading as much as possible on the topic.
It would seem obvious that if possible, some sort of genetic obedience and coldness to strangers/other distractions would be desirable.
But this leads to the following questions: Can the dog have more than one master?

>>>> Would the dog listen and act the same with both myself and my girlfriend, or would he try to dominate/ignore her?<<<<

Regards,
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Old 12-22-2012, 07:55 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by doggiedad View Post
how do you know he won't try to dominate or ignore you?
I assume that the dog would probably bond first and foremost with the person who will do most of the training/working/running with him.

But who knows, it could very well happen.

One way or the other, the question remains the same, though.

Thanks all for the replies.
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