Which is the best GSD Line for Dog Intelligence? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 144 (permalink) Old 01-07-2017, 06:16 PM Thread Starter
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Which is the best GSD Line for Dog Intelligence?

Hi, I am wondering if there is a difference in intelligence between all GSD lines?
Has the original intelligence been bred out of certain lines? Does it still exist?
Does intelligence equal easy to train?
So many questions, sorry, and thank you!
Please only speak from experience and not what you think or heard.
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post #2 of 144 (permalink) Old 01-07-2017, 06:30 PM
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Just an FYI, trainability does not necessarily equate to intelligence.

Trainability which is what I think most people really want is a combination of factors and intelligence is only one factor. Food drive, playfulness, sociability, sensitivity to averse stimuli, bounce up rates from said averse stimuli, and other factors I am probably blanking on play a big role. Smart helps but isn't everything.

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post #3 of 144 (permalink) Old 01-07-2017, 07:05 PM
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I second that intelligence =/= trainability. Intelligence is more so the ability to learn complex tasks, or learn quickly. Trainability is a willingness to obey. Siberian Huskies, in example, are extremely intelligent, constantly learning how to escape or find cold spaces, but they aren't common in obedience rings. Now, with that said, what exactly are you looking for? Working lines are bred to, well, work. They'll go insane without a job, and are very handler-focused, so they're easy to train. However that doesn't mean show lines are dumber than a pile of bricks. They can still learn manners and obedience. It just depends on what type of job you're looking at. In example, a show line would be better for therapy work because they aren't as drivey, but if you want a high level protection dog, a working line would be better because they have the drive and energy for it. That doesn't necessarily mean that the intelligence is different, it's just channeled differently. Working lines are more intense, and show lines are more mellow.

In addition, these are just (typically very accurate) stereotypes. You could find a very mellow working line or an intense show line. VERY unlikely, but point applies.

I noticed you attached a picture of Rin Tin Tin. You should be aware that today's GSD is VERY different from Rin Tin Tin's time. I don't believe then, the lines were segregated at all (?) Or at least not as intensely as today.

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post #4 of 144 (permalink) Old 01-07-2017, 07:29 PM
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IME the more intelligent the dog the LESS easy it is to train for the typical dog owner

Smart dogs get bored quickly. You cant just drill them over and over, you have to change things up more often and work multiple things at once. They have better memories, meaning any mistake you as the handler makes - the dog is going to remember that and expect it again.

That boredom that the more intelligent dogs are prone to often also translates into destructive or nuisance behavior as well. They can actually be a bit of a nightmare.

What is it you are looking for in a dog exactly? And why?
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post #5 of 144 (permalink) Old 01-07-2017, 11:14 PM
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Bidability can run in lines, as does hunt drive, prey drive as well as fight drive in a balance. To me, that is a dog with a brain/intelligence. I have one that is a mix of WG/Czech so it isn't so much THE line, but the pedigree match that balanced out the dog(and all the litter was consistent).
I do believe a thinking dog can be a great challenge for some trainers. Most want a dog that reacts to whatever stimulates or engages them for best results...a thinker takes more time to work/get results because they don't just 'do'. Even though they are biddable and intelligent, they aren't doing it for cookies or a ball toss...they assess the end result and the goals just as much as the handler.

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post #6 of 144 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 12:51 AM
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Well without throwing for me ... "my" usual suspects under the bus.

I can say aside from the Labs and Golden's and I don't know any Poodles?? The top dogs on the IQ chart are the most misbehaved I see around here?? I guess one acceptation was a Dobbie, on a flex lead. Super sweet dog on a flexi at the vet office, the dog did pretty much whatever she wanted?? Great dog nonetheless and no way did that guy train her???

But "out thing your dog" is something I advocate and depending on where your dog falls on the scale ... some owners could have a hard time doing that.

But if a dog ranks pretty high on that list and depending on what the breed is good at ... one could find themselves playing "catch up!" The first indication that I saw that my first WL GSD was different??? Was "thresholds" all my dogs respect the front door ... don't step out until I say so! But the back door with a fenced in back yard ... I don't care, slider opens and they were outta here ... whatever.


But "Rocky" my first OS WL GSD, once he got the front door thing ... he did something that the other dogs did not do with the back door??? I noted it at the time, because it was "unusual??" Once he understood the front door rules ... the first time I opened the back door for him ... I'm expecting him to freaking move ...it's cold outside and I want my coffee but ... I open the door and he stands there?? I'm getting ready to "shout ... "get the heck out???" But I stop and think and instead of shouting get out!!! I say ... OK??? And out he goes??? My other guys saw front and and back doors as different, worked for me. Rocky however saw front and back as "thresholds" and if it's a "threshold" I wait for permission! I was ... stunned!


That was interesting?? I had no clue ... I was going to be heading for big time troubles 7 months down the road ... he was pretty good at laying low also (I saw no apparent sighs of issues) and then it was game on! But it worked out fine in the long road. That was about 8 years ago and to this day ... it's still "OK" for out the back and "OK" to come back in??? Good or bad the "little things add up" some of them I noticed others not so much??


As they say ...be careful what you wish for.
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post #7 of 144 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 12:55 AM
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That is the wrong question to get the answer you are looking for. Decide what you want to do with your dog, then choose the line. My WL has been the most difficult for me to train but the results when I get them are great.
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post #8 of 144 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 02:50 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin.Medellin View Post
I second that intelligence =/= trainability. Intelligence is more so the ability to learn complex tasks, or learn quickly. Trainability is a willingness to obey. Siberian Huskies, in example, are extremely intelligent, constantly learning how to escape or find cold spaces, but they aren't common in obedience rings. Now, with that said, what exactly are you looking for? Working lines are bred to, well, work. They'll go insane without a job, and are very handler-focused, so they're easy to train. However that doesn't mean show lines are dumber than a pile of bricks. They can still learn manners and obedience. It just depends on what type of job you're looking at. In example, a show line would be better for therapy work because they aren't as drivey, but if you want a high level protection dog, a working line would be better because they have the drive and energy for it. That doesn't necessarily mean that the intelligence is different, it's just channeled differently. Working lines are more intense, and show lines are more mellow.

In addition, these are just (typically very accurate) stereotypes. You could find a very mellow working line or an intense show line. VERY unlikely, but point applies.

I noticed you attached a picture of Rin Tin Tin. You should be aware that today's GSD is VERY different from Rin Tin Tin's time. I don't believe then, the lines were segregated at all (?) Or at least not as intensely as today.

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I attached the picture of Rin Tin Tin because he was the GSD that was used to represent the intelligence of the breed. I wonder if he was working, american, or show.
I am not picky when it comes to what line, I am more interested in the breed in general. I guess I would say in a wishful thinking I would love a dog with supreme intelligence, beautiful looks, with no hip problems, and with sound character, not nervous, good drive but not a drive that seems crazy or annoying, or too much..
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post #9 of 144 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 02:59 PM Thread Starter
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@[MENTION][MENTION];[/MENTION][/MENTION]
Quote:
Originally Posted by LuvShepherds View Post
That is the wrong question to get the answer you are looking for. Decide what you want to do with your dog, then choose the line. My WL has been the most difficult for me to train but the results when I get them are great.
So what I've learned so far is; working lines = difficult dog to train, strong willed type. It sounds like It takes a calm collected trainer to train WL's.
Is there working line dogs that can be easy going, calm, not hard headed in training, yet turn the switch on when needed?
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post #10 of 144 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 03:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heroshepherds View Post
I attached the picture of Rin Tin Tin because he was the GSD that was used to represent the intelligence of the breed. I wonder if he was working, american, or show.
I am not picky when it comes to what line, I am more interested in the breed in general. I guess I would say in a wishful thinking I would love a dog with supreme intelligence, beautiful looks, with no hip problems, and with sound character, not nervous, good drive but not a drive that seems crazy or annoying, or too much..
Are you adamant about a GSD? It might be in your best interest to go back to the drawing board and REALLY assess what you want. Also, what do you define as "too much"? At your request I can help you find your breed via PM, should that be a GSD or otherwise.

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