Civil - defense and IPO? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 01:43 PM Thread Starter
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Civil - defense and IPO?

I hear all sorts of things about nerves and civil dogs and I'm confused.

I can go into more details with my specific dog and IPO training, but will try to keep it relatively short here. After two protection sessions, the helper I'm working with thinks my dog is civil, and takes protection too seriously, and thus is stressed and not "playing the game" of IPO.

I tried to research what a civil dog actually means on here and found some threads on nerves vs. civil and it seems like there is a lot of gray area.

I'm looking for thoughts on working with a more civil-defense driven dog in IPO, and whether switching to "prey" is the best strategy, or if that even works. Or if the helper should act like the threat the dog thinks he is, rather than confusing her with friendly gestures.

Or if I should just move on and continue the sports I'm in with my dog and if I want to train IPO choose a dog specifically bred for sport down the line. My dog is out of police lines and Belgian ring.

In normal life, the dog is aloof with strangers but will quickly warm up to friends and family and readily play tug or seek pats. Terrific in crowds. Environmentally-sound-surface bombproof.
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 02:00 PM
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I am kind of wondering the same thing. The other dogs in my IPO class are very prey/sleeve focused. If the helper takes off the sleeve and sets it down and approaches the dog in a threatening way, the dog doesn't care! He looks at the sleeve and wants to get that!

But my dog doesn't care about the tug/sleeve/rag. He is focused on the helper. He plays tug hard at home and is very into it. But not in class. He is all defense. And he doesn't seem fearful in it. He is all pulling hard, ears forward and really wanting to get the guy. Sometimes he will bite the rag/tug but will drop it as soon as the helper lets go of it and then go back to wanting to eat the guy.

It's my understanding that "civil" means willing to bite for real and not just the sleeve. And I would say that is NOT the marjority of the dogs in my class. I expected Bruno to get more into the prey/game part of it but he seems more serious.

I am wondering if it pays to continue and if my dog is even having fun?
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 02:49 PM
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One of what I feel is the most MISunderstood drives is "defense" or "civil" or aggression.....recently someone told me that a dog I know extremely well was being called "nervy" as he works easily in aggression..........they insist that aggression is always fear based. They are wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong!!!

I have seen helpers push dogs into aggression by threatening them - so yes, there IS defensive aggression based on fear - ie flight or fight.

BUT!!!!!!! There are dogs who are very confident who have civil aggression that is based in confidence and character. They are not common as the sport agenda has bred out this in favor of having prey dogs.....I have bred and own both types. When talking to older decoys - guys wiht 25 - 30 - 40 years in the sport....they KNOW the difference and scoff at the idea that aggression has to be based in fear. I have seen both types and really prefer a dog with real character who has aggression and fight drive - when I have watched some of these dogs are "afraid" pushed into aggression by being attacked - to get "defense" drive, I want to kick the owner and the helper in the tush....not fair to the dog....not fair at all.....a dog with real character and aggression will not need to be pushed is pretty obvious...

Aggression IS NOT FEAR.

These kinds of pups can and should be worked in prey by good helpers. If well balanced, they can and do make great family dogs as well.

Lee

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Last edited by wolfstraum; 02-15-2016 at 02:53 PM.
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 02:58 PM
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Myself, I don't understand how a dog can be "too civil".
Again referring to the Breed Standard the dog (to paraphrase) should be aloof, yet approachable. To me that means he neither initiates nor rejects others approaching but tolerates their presence. Why do I say that?
If you look at the typical European-type dog show in regards to GSDs, the Judge makes no overt contact with the dog, unlike American shows, and gives the dog his "space". This is fine, as it's what the Standard calls for & most working dog people will tell you they see no reason why a stranger would touch their dog or why their dog would want to have contact with anyone other than its owner of family.
Now if you're talking about a dog that during protection work won't stay on the bite, that is very likely, IMO, another issue that you can discuss in one of the training sections.
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 03:11 PM
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These kinds of pups can and should be worked in prey by good helpers. If well balanced, they can and do make great family dogs as well.

Lee[/QUOTE]

An EXCELLENT point but one the OP may find hard to discern. The balance we all want can be difficult to get but that doesn't mean one shouldn't try. I don't know the Op's experiences but I'd have a long discussion with the decoy before the next session. Too many clubs are perfectly happy play/prey training dogs in the interest of titles & it does no one any good in the long run.............
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 04:14 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses, this is all pretty tough to discuss without actually seeing the dog work, but it does sound like perhaps a more experienced decoy might be able to work my dog in prey? How is that done, or does it really depend on reading the particular dog?

We've only had two sessions with a helper. He's tried things like lying on the ground for tug with the sleeve, backing off from her barking, allowing her to carry for extended period and backing off when she circles by him, and wants to try bringing another dog out for a modified version of circle work (generally used in pups but my dog is an adult).

I'm not experienced enough to evaluate those strategies or suggest other options.

Does anyone have any links to videos that show a civil dog with forward aggression vs. a civil dog that might be nervy?

All the other dogs in the club are all about prey-play game from what I can see (again, I have limited reference). The majority of them are Czech IPO lines. Nice dogs, many IPOIII.

Last session someone asked the helper if any of the dogs would actually protect for real and he said, no, it's all a game to them, with the exception of your (my) dog.

I'm not devastated if IPO isn't a good match. She's a great dog, and we do many other sports and activities that fill her drives and energy, and I'm sure she doesn't care about titles.
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 04:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muskeg View Post
Thanks for the responses, this is all pretty tough to discuss without actually seeing the dog work, but it does sound like perhaps a more experienced decoy might be able to work my dog in prey? How is that done, or does it really depend on reading the particular dog?

We've only had two sessions with a helper. He's tried things like lying on the ground for tug with the sleeve, backing off from her barking, allowing her to carry for extended period and backing off when she circles by him, and wants to try bringing another dog out for a modified version of circle work (generally used in pups but my dog is an adult).

I'm not experienced enough to evaluate those strategies or suggest other options.

Does anyone have any links to videos that show a civil dog with forward aggression vs. a civil dog that might be nervy?

All the other dogs in the club are all about prey-play game from what I can see (again, I have limited reference). The majority of them are Czech IPO lines. Nice dogs, many IPOIII.

Last session someone asked the helper if any of the dogs would actually protect for real and he said, no, it's all a game to them, with the exception of your (my) dog.

I'm not devastated if IPO isn't a good match. She's a great dog, and we do many other sports and activities that fill her drives and energy, and I'm sure she doesn't care about titles.
This all sounds very much like my class and my feelings on the subject. I don't NEED Bruno to do IPO and I don't NEED a protection dog. If it's not fun for both of us, then I can find another activity for us.

We have done about a half dozen classes so far. Bruno has started biting the rag/tug sometimes and they think he has made progress. But he still doesn't seem to get it. He is very focused on the guy and acts like he doesn't know why the rag is being flapped by his face. But he has grabbed it a few times and held on until the helper let go. He doesn't seem stressed at all though but I just don't know if it's going to be fun for him like it is for all the other dogs. They are just DYING to get the sleeve.
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 04:50 PM
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I have a civil female. took me 2 years to find a helper who had experience with this kind of dog. Made all the difference in the world. We successfully got our 1,2 and 3 in 1 year. The dog is happy clear and loves to work

She loves the sport, always clear in the head as she is not fearful, never Dq'd pleasant in the home. and yes she will and has protected me.

I was difficult in my neck of the woods to find a helper with experience with a dog like this.as was stated previously most work in prey. He was able to teach her everything, transition from prey to fight and fight to prey. Many of the ipo helpers were initially uncomfortable working her because she was so serious and not about the sleeve but once taught and shown how clear she is in the head, they discovered that she is actually safer than the dogs that have to be pushed or threatened into defense they all want to work with her.

Good luck finding a knowledgeable helper

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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Muskeg View Post


All the other dogs in the club are all about prey-play game from what I can see (again, I have limited reference). The majority of them are Czech IPO lines. Nice dogs, many IPOIII.

Last session someone asked the helper if any of the dogs would actually protect for real and he said, no, it's all a game to them, with the exception of your (my) dog.

I'm not devastated if IPO isn't a good match. She's a great dog, and we do many other sports and activities that fill her drives and energy, and I'm sure she doesn't care about titles.
IPO is certainly a good sport for your dog if she is indeed "real" or has active/civil aggression. Evaluating the dog is the original purpose of IPO.....not sport. It has turned into a sport, dogs have been bred to excel as sport dogs and gain high points.

Lee

Hexe Sch2, Komet & Kougar IPO1, Kira HGH, SG Bengal, Lynx v Wolfstraum ~ Ziberia IPO1 ~ ATB Basha, Kougar & Kyra, Fenja, Sch3s, Cito, Sch2, DangerRH, Csabre & Alice Sch1s ~Kelsey
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by MayzieGSD View Post
This all sounds very much like my class and my feelings on the subject. I don't NEED Bruno to do IPO and I don't NEED a protection dog. If it's not fun for both of us, then I can find another activity for us.

We have done about a half dozen classes so far. Bruno has started biting the rag/tug sometimes and they think he has made progress. But he still doesn't seem to get it. He is very focused on the guy and acts like he doesn't know why the rag is being flapped by his face. But he has grabbed it a few times and held on until the helper let go. He doesn't seem stressed at all though but I just don't know if it's going to be fun for him like it is for all the other dogs. They are just DYING to get the sleeve.
The most discouraging thing I can see as a breeder is a dog barking up a storm at a sleeve on the ground while the helper takes threatening postures.

Your pup sounds like a more correct pup - but alas, not as common a type and many helpers never see a pup with confidence and true civil aggression.

I am sure he is having fun!


Lee

Hexe Sch2, Komet & Kougar IPO1, Kira HGH, SG Bengal, Lynx v Wolfstraum ~ Ziberia IPO1 ~ ATB Basha, Kougar & Kyra, Fenja, Sch3s, Cito, Sch2, DangerRH, Csabre & Alice Sch1s ~Kelsey
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