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post #1 of 94 (permalink) Old 01-03-2010, 01:16 PM Thread Starter
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Nervy Traits

would like to have a constructive discussion about nervy traits......why these traits are bred into certain lines..........why it can be good, why its not so good.......and if there is an actual difference between nervy and fearful are they one in the same, or can fearfulness be mistaken for nerviness....i see alot of post lately about fearfulness and thought i would have the more educated people here define things........hoping maybe Cliff and some of the others would step in and explain...

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post #2 of 94 (permalink) Old 01-03-2010, 01:39 PM
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Re: Nervy Traits

I don't think fearfulness is the same as nerve at all. It is all very complex. You can have one without the other for sure. A little bit of nerve is what gets you the fast retrieves, flashy obedience. A little too much nerve though and you certainly have problems. Fearfulness, there is no good purpose for even a small dose of that...although it is related to defense. Some defense is good, but again too much and you can have trouble again.

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post #3 of 94 (permalink) Old 01-03-2010, 01:39 PM
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Re: Nervy Traits

I can't think of anyone *intentionally* breeding for poor nerves or creating nervy bloodlines. It often happens as a by-product of people not paying attention or working to maintain good nerves. But that is different from intentionally breeding it.

Can you specify what "nervy traits" you're referring to?


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post #4 of 94 (permalink) Old 01-03-2010, 02:01 PM
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Re: Nervy Traits

Kandi, that's a great way of explaining it. I also agree with Chris, I think weak nerves happen when other traits are being selected for,I don't think anyone selects for nerve weakness per se.

Debbie, are you thinking of some examples specificly, like anxious dogs? Separation anxiety? Storm phobias? Fear aggression? Just trying to understand better if you mean weak nerves displayed as fearfulness, or dogs who respond poorly to stress, etc.

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post #5 of 94 (permalink) Old 01-03-2010, 02:19 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Nervy Traits

ok, let me see if i can define this.....maybe more inviromental nerviness, with to many things going on....also....people nerviness as weary of people.....are some examples...

fear and nervy sharp might be different things, but in some incidences could be mistaken for one or the other.

i actually am wondering more about why the nervy sharp part is bred into some lines.............more for police protection uses is what i have so far learned....not necessarily the fear part but the nerve sharp part......also, trying to understand the low threshold dogs vs the higher thresholds....

i am trying to be as clear as i can in explaining this, but it might have it a bit off.......so, bare with me.....

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post #6 of 94 (permalink) Old 01-03-2010, 02:27 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Nervy Traits

That was a good explaination from Kandi, makes sense....

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post #7 of 94 (permalink) Old 01-03-2010, 02:39 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Nervy Traits

ok, let me give a better example.........some dogs are like"oh no that tree branch just moved" or "{ that person is staring at me" or "whats tha weird noise" and they react vs other dogs wouldn't give those things a second thought.........would that be a nervy trait or a fearish trait?

hope that makes more sense..........

i can see why nervy sharp would be a good dog for protection since they are in tune with everything.........but also on the same token they need to have the right balance to go along with it.....

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post #8 of 94 (permalink) Old 01-03-2010, 02:45 PM
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Re: Nervy Traits

Oh yes, environmental issues! Startle responses and such. I'll let the breeding experts weigh in. Thanks for clarifying! Hopefully, you'll get good responses! Good thread idea!

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post #9 of 94 (permalink) Old 01-03-2010, 02:53 PM
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Re: Nervy Traits

Hi: As you can see, I'm a new poster around here ...but I've been with the breed for 30 years. There is absolutely no good reason to intentionally breed for nervy issues or as I call it: anxiety. These are dogs that react poorly under stress, have a hard time making judgment calls about real threats, and can be dangerous at worst. Nerve problems are on the same off shoot as fear. There are just gradations.

Most police departments that are large and experienced do not want a nervy dog at all. It is a liability, and the dog is not trust worthy. They look for a dog with a high fight drive that will fight under real threat, not react to just anything.

As an owner of a dog with terrible aggression problems to both strangers and dogs, I can tell you that he is highly reactive to anything in his environment that seems different. It is genetic, and training has made him manageable, but he is a liability. He cannot perceive actual threats from the vast majority of life, and he cannot be trusted as he is not predictable. He is lucky I know the breed, and am a trainer. I can't imagine the average person getting him!

Some dogs with nerve problems will simply retreat, but to intentionally or without care produce dogs with this problem is irresponsible.

Just my thoughts.

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post #10 of 94 (permalink) Old 01-03-2010, 03:07 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Nervy Traits

ok, let me clarify....i don't think anyone intentionally breeds for a totally nervy unpredictable dog.......but i know there are some charactoristics with a bit of nerve that are prefered in some cases, as long as they have a good solid Balance.........to go with it.........i would imagine anyone breeding a bit of this would have to be very careful matching up the lines, and i am sure there would be a chance that the neviness could over ride the good stuff in some incidences.......

i tend to agree that fear and nerviness can be darn close to being one in the same if its extreme. and i also agree dogs that can't tell the difference between a non=threat and a real threat are a huge liability.

i still would like to know how, and why the nerviness came about in the breeding lines..........someone must have had a need for that type of gsd......Guard dogs in germany possible? where that type of trait was accepted at one time?

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