Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Lake Tahoe Area
I think you can have an intelligent dog that has a high degree of pack drive and moderate to low energy that would be very biddable/trainable. I think that is what most people want. With the GSD though, the idea of intelligence is also a degree of confidence, aggressiveness, and, hence, rank drive among other canines. That introduces all the posts that start with or end with HELP!
My dutchie, and I know many GSD fit this too, is intelligent, independent (less pack drive) confident and high energy. Oh you can teach him stuff, learns fast but you better be on top of things or he just takes advantage of sloppiness and inconsistency and takes advantage with lightening speed. What a pain in the butt to live with. This kind of dog shines when given a drivey -job (we do SAR work) and he is on it and dedicated to the work because, I think it is so high energy and mentally stimulating, in addition to physical. If he had no such job, I would have big problems with destructibility, OCD behaviors and aggression, I believe.
I think with good training, and for me it was tons of investment because I did not come to this naturally, the dog I describe in the last paragraph can be amazing, but it was WORK (blood and sweat too). I think what so many people don't get is that there is an equal if not greater need for the human in the partnership to be trained and this is especially true with the high intelligent, independent, high energy dogs.
So wondering what we mean by trainability? Teaching is one thing, many can be taught quiet easily. It is the other stuff that determines consistency in what they have learned. So does this dog want to work with you and please you and be part of the team (pack drive) or do other drives reward more... like chasing deer or picking fights, etc. Or is the dog bored with consistent application of commands and looks for opportunities to spice it up.
Dutch Shepherd - Ptygo (Tee-Go) de las Flores
Rescue GSD - Freyja (Husband's Dog)
Last edited by DutchKarin; 01-26-2016 at 05:36 PM.