Nature vs nurture - Page 3 - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #21 of 50 (permalink) Old 11-10-2015, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by MadLab View Post
By the sounds of it you have a lot of experience and so your not lucky but naturally attuned to your dogs needs and so they don't have issues.

How hard is it once you know what is an aceptable or not behavior from a pup/dog.

But if I threw you a un submissive,human aggressive pup with fear issues i wonder would you handle it so well. But maybe you've dealth with that kinda dog too.

Personally I see fear issues with aggression, as something which is not so easy to simply do nothing about and needs a management system in place.
One day I was driving down the road and I see something in a bush by the railroad tracks, so I stop on the median with blinkers on. It was the littlest, meanest GSD mix puppy I have ever seen. This pup took every opportunity to snap at me and he wasn't playing. It took me a half hour to get the little booger, but I wasn't leaving him. Finally I threw my sweater over him and grabbed in. He rode on the floor of the front seat as far as he could go in the corner, would not look at me at all. Fast forward 2 months, he was placed in a wonderful home with no issues. It took some work but once he figured out that no one was going to hurt him he blossomed.

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post #22 of 50 (permalink) Old 11-10-2015, 11:25 AM
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Nature vs Nurture......hummmmm....How about nature leads to nurture. First contact was nature in motion which turned into symbiosis via nurturing in its' most primitive form, then to mutual contentment and the forever bond. A content dog is a well nurtured dog.
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post #23 of 50 (permalink) Old 11-10-2015, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Sabis mom View Post
. I seem to get to the stage were they aren't total ass hats and then I drop it.
LOL! We are headed towards that stage now

I believe it is both nature and nurture. As previously posted dogs are bred for certain traits and are known for these things behaviorally. If you leave a dog in a bad situation it isn't going to be the same dog that it could be in the right situation.

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post #24 of 50 (permalink) Old 11-10-2015, 11:51 AM
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Great topic.

While I'm not old enough yet to look back on decades and decades of dogs, it seems from my experience that both play a part.

Certain dogs have key genetic ingredients, instincts, drives. Nature.

Then over the course of their life, they're given specific windows of opportunities to develop, determined by their owner(s), and daily manners and attitudes that are enforced, or not enforced..... Nurture.

I think Nature sets the template for the skillsets of the dog. Just like people who are born that are naturally artistic. You can teach anyone how to hold a paintbrush and how to mix colors, but without inner artistic skill, I don't think they'll ever be a truly creative artist. That, to me, is nature. Some dogs don't have instinct to herd, or hunt, or dozens of other things. You can teach them to run in a circle, or chase a bird on command, but they're not really doing the task because they don't naturally have the right ingredients.

On the other hand, I think Nurture can determine much of the personality and daily habits of the dog. If you are a quiet, calm person, and you expect sane behavior in your household, you'll raise your canines accordingly, regardless of their aptitudes.

The best analogy I can come up with: An artist, a brain surgeon, a politician, and a linebacker can all sit down at the same dinner table and enjoy a nice meal - if they have been taught the same dining manners. Nurture.
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post #25 of 50 (permalink) Old 11-10-2015, 12:01 PM
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I get what you are saying but then why are my GSD's different. I was thinking that most have been rescues and the lineage was not great, but Buds fairly well bred and with some differences in personality he is pretty much like the rest. I guess I tend to be a bit more rigid with Bud, he's more comfortable that way, but even at his worst he wasn't awful. I am just really curious where all these terrible puppies come from.

Sabi chewed up some plastic blocks as a pup.
I had one foster who chewed a couple of books and a sock.
Shadow had a thing about one specific lamp cord.
We called Bud the toy killer, but he never chewed anything else.
Gita chewed one shoe.
I had another foster pup that had some fixation with Kleenex.
This seems pretty minor, and the rest I don't recall chewing up anything.

I have had the odd crate issue but Shadow was the worst and she really wasn't bad.
I don't recall any serious house breaking problems, most of them got in in days.
Just GSDs I've gone through 7 litters, some with mom and some without, 5 or 6 singletons, at least 18 between 2 and 6 months, 7 or 8 between 6 months and a year and 11 between 1 and 2.
That's just the youngsters, and that's mostly rescues from questionable breeding and some really rotten places.
So am I really lucky?
Not all puppies in a litter will inherit traits to the same degree and not all breeders are breeding with the same goals in mind. I know of breeders who breed with SAR in mind, others for sport, others for police/PPD, some for show, and some with no goals, each venue requiring varying degrees of different traits and although reputable breeders breed for consistency, not all pups will inherit the same traits to the same degree.

Example: Almost all workingline dogs today will exhibit some type of prey drive, but not all will possess the trait to the same degree.
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post #26 of 50 (permalink) Old 11-10-2015, 12:26 PM
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Great topic.
it seems from my experience that both play a part.
(the entire post)
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post #27 of 50 (permalink) Old 11-10-2015, 01:04 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MadLab View Post
By the sounds of it you have a lot of experience and so your not lucky but naturally attuned to your dogs needs and so they don't have issues.

How hard is it once you know what is an aceptable or not behavior from a pup/dog.

But if I threw you a un submissive,human aggressive pup with fear issues i wonder would you handle it so well. But maybe you've dealth with that kinda dog too.

Personally I see fear issues with aggression, as something which is not so easy to simply do nothing about and needs a management system in place.
Been there, done that. Bud was so bad when I brought him home I was the only one that could get near him, and even that was risky.
Shadow is fear aggressive/defensive. She doesn't run, she attacks. And I have had her all her life so this is genetic.

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Originally Posted by dogma13 View Post
If you are working with rescue organizations I'm guessing they don't offer you dogs with serious fear/aggression issues in the first place?
I was the rescue. Or at least I was part of the group that formed it. Privately funded, so we could do what we wanted. So yes, I took a few if in my opinion they could be helped. Some can't.
I also used to back door dogs out of shelters, if I could help them.
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post #28 of 50 (permalink) Old 11-10-2015, 01:29 PM
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Ok!So you have dealt with dogs with issues and what you are saying is they aren't so horrible and insurmountable as others seem to think?A little or a lot of tlc and structure so they aren't ass hats.I think it's because you have the intuition and skillsMany others do not so they panic or just feel helpless.

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post #29 of 50 (permalink) Old 11-10-2015, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by dogma13 View Post
Ok!So you have dealt with dogs with issues and what you are saying is they aren't so horrible and insurmountable as others seem to think?A little or a lot of tlc and structure so they aren't ass hats.I think it's because you have the intuition and skillsMany others do not so they panic or just feel helpless.
I think many others just don't want to put in the time to get the results. They think dogs are disposable and they can get a better one without the aggravation. This would not be for people here but in general.

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post #30 of 50 (permalink) Old 11-10-2015, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by llombardo View Post
I think many others just don't want to put in the time to get the results. They think dogs are disposable and they can get a better one without the aggravation. This would not be for people here but in general.
That's true.Or tie them to a dog house,feed them once a day,call it good.I know of too many people like that.

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