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post #1 of 47 (permalink) Old 11-28-2014, 08:39 AM Thread Starter
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Hardness

Can we get a discussion going about hardness in the GSD? I think my 6 mo old WGWL has it. He's a very sweet, loving & affectionate pup, but impervious to corrections of any kind.

Fortunately, he's got food drive off the charts & likes verbal praise & toys.

He loves people & other dogs (I wanted a social pup). He's really powerful & the prong doesn't affect him at all. Food & praise get him under control most of the time. Keeps me from going face first into the asphalt.

His obedience is quick & flashy. He LOVES tracking. And everything can be a tug toy to him. Redirect usually works.

I've never has a dog so unmoved by corrections, including the prong.

Am I seeing true hardness in this guy? He doesn't react to corrections with any aggression--they just don't exist for him.

He's got a lot of drive & good nerves, so I have high hopes for him. I'm not used to this lack of handler sensitivity. I'm glad he's got such a nice temperament.

So, how does everyone define hardness?
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post #2 of 47 (permalink) Old 11-28-2014, 08:56 AM
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Had a good discussion of this at a seminar a few years ago. Hardness can also be look at as resilience....the ability to not be adversely affected by a correction...and a dog can be hard/resilient and still be handler sensitive. Csabre gets higher and higher the longer you play/work with her....she starts to refuse to out a ball even....she was given one heck of a correction by direction of Roland Siebel....did not phase her, she did out ball after that (for that session LOL)....Dean Calderon pointed out that this was hardness - she did not shut down, stayed in drive, accepted that correction, complied and continued without any negative results.

At the same time, this is a handler sensitive dog who WANTS to please you, wants to work with you....have never needed to use an e-collar on her, and really, minimal corrections ever needed in training.

Your corrections are apparently not phasing him as they are not strong enough to affect him....a hard dog can take a pretty aggressive correction as I saw that day.

Lee

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post #3 of 47 (permalink) Old 11-28-2014, 09:47 AM
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Zebu is a really hard dog. He takes a 127 e collar stim and the only way you know it made contact is you can see the involuntary muscle contraction. Can prong him hard and it'll probably just make him angry.

It is effective at reducing the incident of punished behavior so it isn't ineffective it just doesn't shut him down or pull him out of drive. He's very matter of fact about it because I'm very matter of fact about administering it. There is a social component to it though. I don't punish him that hard anymore. Enough to be annoying mostly. Every so often I give him a come to Jesus one but when they understand what punishment is why it happens and that it isn't that big of a deal I've found it is less about the force of a punishment and more about correct procedure.

With Crank I noticed when he was a younger puppy I had to use a lot more force then than I do now because of the social component and the understanding he now has about why it happens and how to avoid it.

To the OP if your corrections are ineffective you're not doing enough. All dogs have a point it gets to them and then once they understand you can go there you don't usually have to "go there" as often or as hard. Really hard dogs can be hard for some handlers because what used to floor a dog they had before just gets shrugged off by the hard dog and they find they have to practically wail on a dog to get their point across especially when that dog is in drive. Some people just can't do it, but that's why e collars got invented.
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post #4 of 47 (permalink) Old 11-28-2014, 10:28 AM Thread Starter
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I always figured he'd need an e collar eventually. Recommendations, please? Thanks!
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post #5 of 47 (permalink) Old 11-28-2014, 12:20 PM
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I could be way off but I see hardness as something that tends to go along with clear-headedness: a dog that can take a hard (physically or mentally) yet fair correction and work through it, bounce back, and make progress in his training and work. I don't necessarily see hardness as a dog simply ignoring tough corrections and being stubborn or so crazed up he cannot think. I like a dog that can take physical and mental pressure from both the handler and a helper (or the environment) and work through that with confidence in himself. I do not see it as a dog that is just ignoring really rough corrections and ignoring the handler. Also I like dogs that have good secondary obedience in protection. I do not believe protection is a three-way fight between a dog, helper, and handler. I've seen this a lot with people insisting their dogs are so tough and need insane corrections and it ALWAYS ends up causing problems between the dog and handler in other phases. A dog can be a very tough, hard, resilient dog but also be clear-headed and a fun dog to train without having to constantly ramp up the corrections. I have a young dog that can take harder physical corrections than I've ever given a dog yet I do not describe him as a hard dog, he actually lacks confidence in himself and is very immature, mentally. He is 13 months old and has not done any bitework yet, none, and not sure if he will do IPO or not (I did not keep him for IPO so it makes no difference to me).

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post #6 of 47 (permalink) Old 11-28-2014, 01:01 PM
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Orick, my Czech rescue, seems to be a hard dog by nature, he certainly is now. But he is all full of confidence and security now, unlike when I got him. He had been with us about a week when I was sitting on the couch, and he was sitting at my knee. One of my other boys came to me for some affection and Orick went at him. I gave him a loud verbal correction, and he totally shut down, he dropped immediately. He lay in a ball at my feet for about 15 minutes. Then I got up, said 'C'mon boys, let's go out.' Orick got up and trotted outside with the rest, as if nothing had happened. I was careful with him for a long time after that, but it really didn't take long for him to show his true self. Now nothing fazes him, and it does take a hard correction for him to respond.

Orick hasn't gone quite as far as another GSD I had years ago, though--a DDR boy who would 'correct' me when I corrected him, and look me in the eye as if to say, 'Now correct THIS.' With him I found that the best way to work him was ignore him, ignore his infractions, and just work right on as if they didn't exist. He then quit that behavior (because it didn't have any effect on me) to try another! He ended up one of my best and most obedient dogs!

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post #7 of 47 (permalink) Old 11-28-2014, 04:44 PM
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Hardness

I think hardness is when a dog is able to use built up aggression from corrections rather than shut down.
Robust or strong is what we use for a dog to be able to take a high amount of corrections due to a high pain tolerance.
Most I see people who think the have a hard dog because they correct and correct, the dog is not responding.

Other times you see a dog pulling towards something and a Will ignore a hard correction this is called high drive intensity, some of these dogs can be quite soft when not in drive.
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post #8 of 47 (permalink) Old 11-28-2014, 04:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d4mmo View Post
I think hardness is when a dog is able to use built up aggression from corrections rather than shut down.
Robust or strong is what we use for a dog to be able to take a high amount of corrections due to a high pain tolerance.
Most I see people who think the have a hard dog because they correct and correct, the dog is not responding.

Other times you see a dog pulling towards something and a Will ignore a hard correction this is called high drive intensity, some of these dogs can be quite soft when not in drive.
In the bold above--because they don't know what they are doing--it's like giving a horse a hard mouth because you have heavy hands on the bit.

Susan
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post #9 of 47 (permalink) Old 11-28-2014, 05:10 PM
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For me, a nagging correction that does nothing..is abusive. Time to rethink what will work and why.

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post #10 of 47 (permalink) Old 11-28-2014, 06:03 PM
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I agree with the last couple of posters. I do believe that some "hard" dogs exist, but the vast majority of handlers that think they have a hard dog are just dogs with poor foundations in understanding of a correction. The handlers inadvertently teach the dog to withstand a lot of punishment, all the while not teaching the dog much. I wrote an article about this phenomenon on my blog as it relates to the e-collar. See it HERE

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