Developing an Eye for Dogs - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-11-2016, 01:15 PM Thread Starter
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Developing an Eye for Dogs

As the thread title says, I'd like to develop a better eye for dogs.

A little background:

All my experience (not a lot) vis-a-vis training a dog for sports has been in French Ring. I'm starting my search for a puppy for FR this year, and have a decision to make: Either I can import a puppy from ring-titled lines from France (which I'm a bit hesitant to do) or I can buy a puppy from schutzhund-titled lines here in the States.

I have an academic understanding of what schutzhund is, but have never trained or competed in it myself. I'm not yet (maybe never will be) somebody who can watch a dog and tell the difference between what is nature and what is nurture. ****, I have a hard time watching schutzhund and telling one performance from the next except for clear mistakes.

So, for your consideration, I have posted two videos of two different schutzhund dogs. Both are males. Both have been used as studs... so at least a few people must think they are breed-worthy. What do you see (and at what points in the videos) that makes you think

"Yes, this is a nice stud dog." or "Nice dog, but probably not one that should be bred." or " Dear God, what were they thinking."

How can you tell what is nature, vs what is nurture, vs what simply needs to be brushed-up in training? What do I look for?



To me, the first dog seems like more of a firecracker. He barks more, seems more willing to take dirty bites (is that weakness or a training/control issue?). I've never personally seen a dog spin like that (again, weakness or training or sign of drive?).

The second dog, who was only two years old in the video, seems much calmer and more controlled. He barks less. Is he a stronger dog, or just less drive-y? How can you tell?

All dogs have their strengths and weaknesses, but what should I look for in these videos to help train my eye? I get the sense that these two studs are quite different, but I'd like to be able to see more than that.
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-11-2016, 01:28 PM
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This is an interesting topic and I would like to know more about this too. I am in the beginning of IPO training and got into it in the end of last summer. I am learning more and more about dogs and training all the time. There is just soo much about it to learn!
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-11-2016, 02:02 PM
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In order to get a good eye for the two dogs, you'd need multiple videos...editing is a wonderful thing.

I'll try to comment on your observations but I am just learning as well. I don't believe the spinning is a desired trait and from watching the video the first dog really don't impress me or give me the impression of being a firecracker. Yes he barks a lot but look at what he's barking it, it's not the helper per say..from what I can see there's a bit of unsureness.

With the second dog - he's doing a silent guard..there's probably a reason why they trained that. It also looks like a training session so nerves and everything will be different then.

As I said it's better not to judge a dog off one video. The best thing to do if you can is get out and see the dogs work and ask questions then, ask how past litters are doing etc.

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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-11-2016, 02:20 PM
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The first dog, the spinning is along the lines of a displacement behavior. Its like a conflict in the dog where he doesn't know what to do with himself. It could be like trouble containing his energy or he's been hammered for being dirty so he does that instead.

I don't think he's real high energy though, not from that escape bite and his kinda lazy strikes. Where are you going to do FR here in the states?
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-11-2016, 02:41 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gaia_bear View Post
In order to get a good eye for the two dogs, you'd need multiple videos...editing is a wonderful thing.



As I said it's better not to judge a dog off one video. The best thing to do if you can is get out and see the dogs work and ask questions then, ask how past litters are doing etc.
Wouldn't that be nice. But let's be honest, video is what most people have to go on... at least initially. It's a big country.
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-11-2016, 02:43 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Steve Strom View Post
The first dog, the spinning is along the lines of a displacement behavior. Its like a conflict in the dog where he doesn't know what to do with himself. It could be like trouble containing his energy or he's been hammered for being dirty so he does that instead.

I don't think he's real high energy though, not from that escape bite and his kinda lazy strikes. Where are you going to do FR here in the states?
There are two FR clubs within a half hour of my house, and another group that trains a bit of ring along with several other sports. Access to clubs and training is a non-issue.
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-11-2016, 02:48 PM
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Watch this, Nelli Racsko and Lexi
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHA25quPOgY
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-11-2016, 03:08 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Steve Strom View Post

I don't think he's real high energy though, not from that escape bite and his kinda lazy strikes.
Could you please explain how his strikes are lazy. Exactly what are you seeing, and when, to make you think that?

I see that he missed the escape bite, which is a mistake and point deduction, and that he doesn't get a full grip when he finally catches the helper. But dogs miss sometimes. Why read more into it than that?

I'm not trying to put you on the spot or anything, just trying to get somebody knowledgeable to actually explain things to me and answer my questions.
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-11-2016, 03:12 PM
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From video only, my guess would be the second dog is a stronger dog. Watching the overall picture of the second dog, I think there's some control issues there, maybe just the training, I don't know, but to me he looks like a consistent dog in all 3 phases.
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-11-2016, 03:47 PM
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It's hard to compare the videos since one is a trial and one is training. So going off things such as control and so on aren't going to be comparable.

Based only on the video's posted, dog 1, seems conflicted, unsure and neurotic to me. Did you notice the tail? Some people cut the tail off of "spinners" trying to keep it to a minimum. Spinning in some dogs is a neurotic behavior. IMO that's what this dog is doing. Most definitely not an overly drively dog that's spinning from leaking drive or anything else. I think the "conflict" in the dogs head is what led to the "missed" bite. Unlike FR, the decoy isn't trying to esquive the dog. The helper is running in a straight path and the target isn't moving. Based on this video as my only sample, this isn't a dog I would look at.

I'm not sure what I think of dog 2. For some reason I didn't have sound so that hindered me as well as... I don't know. I'll look again when I have more time.

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