German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,782 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
The post asking if GSDs are "clingy" got me to thinking:

Are they "clingy" or velcro dogs because they are gentically "programed" that way, OR is it more learned behaviour?

The reason I ask if it is "learned" behaviour is because there are a LOT of folks that get a pupy and REQUIRE that pup to always be in the same room as the owner. Human gets off the couch and goes into the kitchen or bathroom and MAKES the pup come with them so that it's not getting into trouble when left alone in another room.
Pretty soom the pup learns that it is to follow the owner when ever they leave the room.

Personally I think it is both. Granted most pups will want to know where you are 24/7, but making them follow you reinforces this.

It also seems that as they age they become less clingy. Is it because they get lazy as they get older or do they FINALLY figure out that the bathroom does NOT have an "escape hatch" and you WILL exit via the same door you entered?
 

·
Administrator & Alpha Bitch of the Wild Bunch
Joined
·
13,571 Posts
The GSD breed as a whole is pretty much genetically programed to develop a close relationship with the owner and work closely with the owner. This is the way they were designed. They are not an independent breed by nature.

Some people consider this to be "clingy", and indeed in some dogs the behavior is more pronounced, in which case it usually stems from a lack of self confidence. But in most it's not that they need to be with people out of a need for security, it's that they naturally *want* to be with people and interacting with people. Of course, as with most things the behavior can be enhanced or inhibited through environment, but the fundamentals are there in the dogs genetically.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,878 Posts
Originally Posted By: BlackGSDdo they FINALLY figure out that the bathroom does NOT have an "escape hatch" and you WILL exit via the same door you entered?
LoL.

I too, think it is a mix of both. It is in their genes to be loyal and protective of their owners, and im sure it has a lot to do with having the pup follow you and making sure that you are the most important thing in their life.

Both of my gsd's are velcro dogs, as soon as i flinch to move they are up under my feet wondering where were going. Bear actually whines when i go into the bathroom and he scratches at the door. Mya is more of the at my feet dog. She lays on or around my feet all day.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,996 Posts
I vote genetic if they act clingy when they aren't working. I got Roxie who was a working kennel dog that I turned into a housedog. She must always be in physical contact with me and if she can't she'll find some of my clothes to lay on. Her daughter Erika will Velcro it Obedience excercises but not nearly the "snuggle bunnie" her mother is
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,210 Posts
I would have to agree that it is genes. Tessa needs - wants to know where I am at all times. My DH can leave the room and she'll make no move to follow - barely acknowledges that he is leaving. Me on the other hand, the minute my feet hit floor, her head is up and she is fully alert!

I think this is a good thing - especially when training and working her. She is very much aware of where I am - even in a long down.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,782 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I must say, I believe one of the benefits or my "fur kids" getting older(Female GSD will be 10yo in May, male "heeler" will be 9 in September) is that I can now go to the bathroom without an audience(sp).

The GS generally likes to be in the same room but it takes her longer to decide it is necessary to change rooms. If I leave the room and I am only gone for a few minutes, she stays put. If I am gone longer than that she changes rooms. Though she will at times stay in the kitchen or go to the kitchen from the living room if she gets too hot. But she lays in the door way so she can see me.

This is all about to change though as I am getting a pup the end of March.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,389 Posts
I don't have a GSD, but all my dogs are clingy and I have never made them follow me around. I'm inclined to believe it's genetic and common in the herding breeds.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,451 Posts
My dog is very clingy, but I don't say that in a negative way. She's a German Shepherd. If I wanted an independent breed, I would have picked something else. She does lack some nerves and confidence, but we're working on that. I always ask my husband what she does during the day and he says besides him taking her out to potty once or twice and taking her on a jog, she stays under the table (the rug under our kitchen table is like her nest). When I come home, she is all excited, ready to work! She never leaves my side. Even if I'm just crossing the SAME room she has to get up from her sleep and follow. If she leaves the room, then I know something is up.

I don't know if it's genetics or what. I got her when she was three. Below is her pedigree. I rather like her "clinginess". I've never even had to work on recalls, leave its, etc. She is very serious about training and wants only to be with me. Perfect.

http://www.pedigreedatabase.com/gsd/pedigree/401054.html
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,858 Posts
I think it is both, I also think the Rescue dogs may end up being more clingy. I have had that experience, my girl wants to know where I am at all times and will follow from room to room.....but my last GS was a rescue and she was glued to my side and cried if I closed her out of a room. Ava just throws herself down on the otherside (I hear her huff, she is usually disgusted with me for being so rude as to shut the door).
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
18,680 Posts
I guess it depends on what you mean by clingy. The dog that just wants to be with you or the dog that won't leave your side because it is insecure. Both are genetic, but one is typical of the breed and the other is related to a weakness of nerves.

Quote:The GSD breed as a whole is pretty much genetically programed to develop a close relationship with the owner and work closely with the owner. This is the way they were designed. They are not an independent breed by nature.
If you talk to the old shepherds about their dogs you will find this is not true. These dogs were bred to work with their handler, but also on their own. They were/are suppose to be able to think and do their jobs even without their handler being there. Yes they are biddable. Yes they work for their handler, but they also work very independently. One of the complaints I have heard is that many of the modern day herding GSD have lost this ability to work on their own. If their handlers turned their backs the dogs would not be able to continue with their jobs. They need the shepherd to be constantly telling them what to do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,147 Posts
Originally Posted By: BetsyI think it is both, I also think the Rescue dogs may end up being more clingy.
I'd have to agree, I think the dogs who are adopted/rescued generally end up being more clingy too. At least it was that way with Sean.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,782 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Lisa,

I was asking about dogs that just want to be with you, not the insecure ones that HAVE to be with you.

My female can DEFINATELY work "on her own". When she was younger, she would occasionally take it upon herself to go out in the pasture and gather the cattle in a group. Then do the "portable fence" trot in a circle around them. (And she has never had any training as far as herding goes. It is TOTALLY genetic.) Guess that is what I get for having a dog that has several(sp) HGH dogs in her pedigree!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,077 Posts
1 GSD & 2 rescue dogs all love to be by mama but no one more than my GSD and that's what I adore about her.
 

·
Administrator & Alpha Bitch of the Wild Bunch
Joined
·
13,571 Posts
Originally Posted By: lhczth

Quote:The GSD breed as a whole is pretty much genetically programed to develop a close relationship with the owner and work closely with the owner. This is the way they were designed. They are not an independent breed by nature.
If you talk to the old shepherds about their dogs you will find this is not true. These dogs were bred to work with their handler, but also on their own. They were/are suppose to be able to think and do their jobs even without their handler being there. Yes they are biddable. Yes they work for their handler, but they also work very independently.
Of course they should be able to work independently, but independence shouldn't be the overwhelming personality trait of a GSD as it is with some other breeds. When I said they are "not an independent breed by nature" I was thinking in comparison to many of the hound and northern breeds who were designed to work essentially completely independent of humans, many of whom can get along quite happily with little human contact, live outdoors on their own or with other dogs, etc... And which in turn can be rather difficult to motivate to work with their owners.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top