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Old 12-07-2012, 01:21 AM   #31 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Freestep View Post
It's not that they're necessarily "missing out" on anything. If your dog never leaves the property, doesn't bother anyone, and has plenty of room to exercise, is fed and safe and vetted, there's nothing wrong with a dog being "doggy" and not particularly bonded to any human. In fact, some dogs work better when they are not too bonded to humans (Livestock Guardians, etc).

But some of us want more than that from our dogs, we want a stronger bond, a dog we know will trust and respect us. A dog we can take anywhere, anytime, and we know it will behave itself. To say nothing of the dogs that have real-life jobs like SAR, Law Enforcement, guide work, etc. That takes work, and if there is little to no bond between the dog and the person, it takes a lot MORE work, if it works at all.

In fact I remember reading about one of the guide-dog organizations, early on in their experimental raising and training of guide dog puppies. Pups that were raised with another dog, either their littermate, parent, or other dog close in age, consistently failed the guide tests. They simply didn't care about humans enough to work for them.

If you don't need or expect that from a dog, then you can get away with letting them be more dog-oriented than human-oriented.
Well I'm out on acres so my dogs don't bother anyone, but they do leave the property for vet visits or camping trips etc. They have in the past done 4-h obedience and agility and worked just fine. I expect them to be well mannered (no jumping on people, no begging and that type of stuff) and leash trained and the ones that wanted to play (i.e. agility/obedience) got to. Kids are all grown so no more 4-h but am thinking of what I can do to keep Ivan occupied as my shepherds are older and more reserved.
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Old 12-07-2012, 02:46 AM   #32 (permalink)
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Household manners, vet visits, 4-H, that sort of thing, can be acheived even with a "doggy" dog, as long as that dog is of a good, safe, and biddable temperament, and well socialized. A lot depends on breed, too.

When you get into higher levels of competition or real-life work, the subtle differences between a dog-oriented dog and a human-oriented dog become more apparent.

The thing you have to be aware of with multiple dogs raising each other and running together, is that they have a pack mentality. If they are more dog-bonded than human-bonded, if it ever comes down to a human vs. pack worst case scenario, they're going to go with the pack. Meaning, if they all decide to go through a hole in the fence and attack the neighbor's sheep, you can yell and scream until you're blue in the face and your dogs will likely ignore you.

An experienced person can succesfully have several well-behaved, well-trained dogs run together (depending on breed), if each dog is worked and trained individually. But many people simply get two puppies "to keep each other company", because they DON'T have as much time to spend with each one, and they figure they will entertain and exercise each other. Which works great, until those puppies reach adolescence and start fighting, or become so bonded to each other that they do not care about humans and cannot be separated from each other.
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