How much of a dog's grip is Genetic? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-27-2011, 12:23 PM Thread Starter
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How much of a dog's grip is Genetic?

How much of a dog's grip is Genetic? Can it be trained and developed? If it is genetic, does it start to get strong after a certain age or is it always strong from puppyhood?

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Rob
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-27-2011, 12:33 PM
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I was just having this discussion with Ezra's breeder the other day... Its certainly her opinion and I share it that genetics certainly do have an effect on grip. Ezra, just 12 weeks old, already goes for a full deep grip. It is highly noticeable when compared to Abbie's grip.

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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-27-2011, 12:46 PM
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My girl does not have a very strong grip at all. I hope it improves with her Shutzhund training.


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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-27-2011, 01:17 PM
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Genetic and can be affected by training. I could see differences in puppies I've had through the years from the time I got them. Also had a few to train that had no early foundations to develop grip...it was there. I also believe there is relation to temperament as well. And my hardest gripping dogs showed a desire to exercise that grip on their kong, basically akin to a powerlifter loving the most exerting lifts, or a boxer or football player putting their all into the physical effort of their sport. These dogs also showed alot of fight in the work.
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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-27-2011, 01:26 PM
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Yup. Mostly genetic, but can usually be adjusted to some degree through training. I'd say the same goes for a dog who pulls vs pushes into the helper, or the nerve threshold. I supppose a lot of things apply here.
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-27-2011, 01:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justde View Post
Genetic and can be affected by training. Sue
Very true. Affected by training via positive or negative.

Good training that can cover up issues in the bite and nerve or bad training that can impact bite and nerve.....


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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-27-2011, 01:45 PM Thread Starter
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If the grip is genetic, how much of it is muscle verses mental?
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-27-2011, 02:03 PM
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Quote:
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If the grip is genetic, how much of it is muscle verses mental?
That is a good question. In terms of how full a grip is, I think we are talking mainly genetics. Now firmness of a grip I think is also partly genetic, but I beleive it is more mental than muscle. I dog that bites hard does it because he means to bite hard.
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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-27-2011, 02:16 PM
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It is ALL genetic. I have found this out first hand now.
I have a czech dog who is 17 months old and he never had the full, hard deep bites as a puppy. Now through training we have developed full mouth bites but he is still hectic and thrashing. As a pup he never countered automatically. Mainly 1/2 & 3/4 bites. Now in training again, you can help the dog develop it but under stress they will do what is genetic.

Now on the flip side

I have a 14 week old female who has genetically full, strong, calm hard grips. She is 3/4 WGWL and 1/4 czech. When I got her and took her out and played with her, she went for full mouth bites. If I pull away she naturally releases and goes for a full mouth bite, pressure & no feeding is necessary. She is on it like a shark. She is calm and can be cradled and is perfectly fine. This makes things sooo much easier when it comes to training.
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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-27-2011, 02:22 PM
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IMO it is all genetic and, baring abuse, can not be ruined through training. Less than full grips can be helped through good training depending on the reasons. If a dog has a poor grip due to nerves than the problems will show up when the dog is put under pressure.

I know people like to claim that full grips are a "sport" thing, but they come from the herding influence of our breed's foundation. A full grip that is hard enough to control and over power the sheep was desired. Chewy or hectic grips would do damage and shallow soft grips would not be enough to control an animal that often had its own mind and far outweighed the dog.

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