Genetic Obedience - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 300 (permalink) Old 06-22-2011, 10:45 PM Thread Starter
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Genetic Obedience

Going off of another thread in this forum, I thought I would ask (because I am also interested in learning):

What dogs (pedigrees/combinations/etc.) bring forth genetic obedience?

G Wild Winds Zephyr of Cognac BH, HIC, NTD, ITD, CGN, TT
Wild Winds Archangel Raphael HIC, TT
XX z Weberhaus
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post #2 of 300 (permalink) Old 06-22-2011, 11:16 PM
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I've never heard of "genetic obedience."

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post #3 of 300 (permalink) Old 06-22-2011, 11:43 PM
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thats a good question! I've been wondering that myself just didnt have the words coming up to put out there. Definitely going to keep up on this thread.

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post #4 of 300 (permalink) Old 06-22-2011, 11:53 PM
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This question might confuse people without a definition of "genetic obedience." I think it might more commonly be described as "biddability."

I think of it as the difference between my GSDs and my Jack Russell Terriers... My terrier truly doesn't get the concept of obeying just because I asked for something. What's more, there is virtually no obedience in drive without extensive training to reinforce and create it.

So, I think it comes down to those elements that make a dog a "herding" dog (or a sporting dog, for some breeds). In order for a dog to be a herding dog, it has to have enough drive and interest to work livestock, but enough sense of teamwork to work with the shepherd/handler, enough self-control to delay (perpetually) the kill portion of the prey/herding behavior. And then it has to have the smarts to understand the fairly complex behaviors being requested by the leader of the hunt/shepherd.

So, what I think of as biddability or genetic obedience is part pack-drive, part human awareness and desire to have an engaged relationship with a human, part intelligence, part ability to "cap" or harness drive and think in drive, part sensitivity to the handler combined with the desire to be "right" or to please. So, I believe, it is a complex interaction of drives, temperament, socialization/experience, personality, intelligence, and environmental awareness.

Perhaps because it is not just a simple thing (not just a single drive like "prey drive") and because there is a good element of learning/experience in its manifestation (a dog can have all the traits for genetic obedience, but if he isn't raised in a situation to form a relationship with a handler, it will never manifest), I don't think it's as simple to look for bloodlines or even dogs that regularly pass "genetic obedience" down.

In a way, it's easier to name individual dogs that have this trait than those that will pass it on to their progeny. One thing to bear in mind is that a dog who is *too* biddable actually is handicapped in schutzhund or all protection training. (And schutzhund is relevant because success in that sport vastly dominates what working-line GSDs have been commonly bred and are most commonly found.)

So, the dogs that had good biddability had to also have great strengths elsewhere--high drives, calm nerves, good physical hardness, etc.--so it doesn't always stand out as their most outstanding feature when one is looking at the dog in a pedigree or in person.

But, here are a few names of dogs that I think contribute toward biddability in their progeny:

Ilya Schwarzenzwinger (behind a lot of Wolfendobel and Fasanerie and some Maineiche dogs, as well as some Schiffshlache)
Haus Knufken (*old* herding lines)
old Kirschental (also old herding lines)

It seems from descriptions of Aly Vordsteinerwald progeny that he might put some of this in there--probably largely from Askia v Froschgraben and his motherline?

I might guess that you get this somewhat from Harro progeny (see Askia) or from Afra Stoppenburger Land (mother of Fado Karthago and other great dogs).

A common element behind a lot of the dogs I can think of is Mutz vd Peltzierfarm--but you have to look back past the 5th or 6th generation.

Christine

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post #5 of 300 (permalink) Old 06-22-2011, 11:54 PM
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Of the three dogs I have, only Karlo has genetic obedience. He is very biddable, a bit handler sensitive, but recovers and takes corrections without shutting down for the most part.
He wants to please and is always "with" me/looks to me for direction, but is independent enough on his own that he thinks for himself.
I never knew what it was until I experienced it. He is easy to train, and with a better skilled handler, would be farther along than he is! He isn't the flashiest as far as obedience heeling goes, so I don't believe that is what it is about.
It is the biddability to please, but with the dog being independent/confident enough to not be totally dependent on the handler for direction.
He does come from Karlo v Peko Haus and in the thread Elisabeth is referring to, Karlo Peko Haus was not that way.
So my Karlo get his from the great blending of pedigrees on his dams side(D & E repeat breeding litter are excellent examples of genetic obedience) and his sire.
My other two(who I have no pedigree info on) are not this way. It isn't because of training, but genetics.
Kacie is overly sensitive and will shut down or not make eye contact, or take treats. Onyx is stubborn to a degree, and corrections mean nothing to her if she wants what she wants. I've done the positive training as well with her~ she is overly anxious/into her own head, so not focusing on the handler is normal for her. I never knew the meaning until I saw it.

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post #6 of 300 (permalink) Old 06-23-2011, 12:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onyx'girl View Post
Of the three dogs I have, only Karlo has genetic obedience. He is very biddable, a bit handler sensitive, but recovers and takes corrections without shutting down for the most part.
He wants to please and is always "with" me/looks to me for direction, but is independent enough on his own that he thinks for himself.
I never knew what it was until I experienced it. He is easy to train, and with a better skilled handler, would be farther along than he is! He isn't the flashiest as far as obedience heeling goes, so I don't believe that is what it is about.
It is the biddability to please, but with the dog being independent/confident enough to not be totally dependent on the handler for direction.
He does come from Karlo v Peko Haus and in the thread Elisabeth is referring to, Karlo Peko Haus was not that way.
So my Karlo get his from the great blending of pedigrees on his dams side(D & E repeat breeding litter are excellent examples of genetic obedience) and his sire.
My other two(who I have no pedigree info on) are not this way. It isn't because of training, but genetics.
Kacie is overly sensitive and will shut down or not make eye contact, or take treats. Onyx is stubborn to a degree, and corrections mean nothing to her if she wants what she wants. I've done the positive training as well with her~ she is overly anxious/into her own head, so not focusing on the handler is normal for her. I never knew the meaning until I saw it.
If you look at his 6 generation pedigree, you see several of the dogs I mention. You also see Mutz in the 8th generation (through A vd Kleinen Pfahl).

Also, from everything I've read about Andy, he seems likely to have a high desire to work WITH his person, so it sounds like he has it.

I suspect that it might be one of Lord Gleisdreieck's strengths as well--if you watch the old video of him working, you can see his desire to please and work with his person.

Christine

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post #7 of 300 (permalink) Old 06-23-2011, 12:10 AM
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Do any of you think that "handler sensitivity" and biddability are related?
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post #8 of 300 (permalink) Old 06-23-2011, 12:11 AM
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Jason's Ike? Anyone know his pedigree?

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post #9 of 300 (permalink) Old 06-23-2011, 12:16 AM
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Ike is from this kennel ( Zasko/Hetty)

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post #10 of 300 (permalink) Old 06-23-2011, 12:17 AM
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One other thought... the dog I've known with the most "genetic obedience" was my old American line GSD, Thorn--if I told him to lie down and turn inside out, he would have done is best to first figure out what I was asking, then to do it. He was a great first dog--and that relationship with him is what hooked me on GSDs.

So genetic obedience not something that you'll just find in the European working lines. It's in the German, and Belgian and Dutch and Czech and DDR and show lines and American lines too. Not every dog, by any means, but every "type" has some dogs with a lot of it.

Christine

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