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It seems like "slow to mature" is often used to describe the DDR bloodlines when compared to the other lines. Can people elaborate, and perhaps give some examples, especially in daily living activities? I believe I read here that some DDR dogs aren't ready for the protection portion of Schzthund until a little later because they tap into their "fear" response which is undesired. Besides that, how does this trait affect the owner/pet relationship?

Are DDR dogs harder to train when younger because they are more easily distracted (like some children)? Or are they easier to train because they don't rebel until their a bit older (think teenager :rolleyes:)? I'm confused :confused:

Thanks!
 

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The way I understand it, DDR dogs tend to have a lower prey drive. So they do not get started in protection work at z very young age. Because most puppy games are based on prey drive.

DDR dogs usually tap into a defensive drive for protevtion( not fear) and this is generally not usuable until the dog is well over 15 months.

My DDR/Czech boy is 6 months old. He is still a very doody puppy. Not a whiff of maturity in there. I see puppies from different lines that are already little dogs.

Best analogy I heard was that they are the Warmblood of GSD world. If you know horses that will make sense.


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Delgado is a DDR/WG/Czech mix and he was very slow to mature, even now at just days shy of 18 months he still gets puppy brain moments. His focus is awesome, but he's just...immature in some ways.
 

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The dogs of DDR lines that I have are no more slow to mature than others. HOWEVER... mine start to have some true aggression/protective instincts come out around 10 months. They are not prepared at that time to use it... they need to mature so that the aggression can develop appropriately and strongly.
 

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The "slow to mature" is only a factor in bite/protection training. As others explained, their defensive side is slow to come out. People interested in doing bite-work with their dog need to keep that in mind and take it slow with the training.

It should not affect their ability to be good pets and to work on basic obedience, and should not make it harder to train them.
 

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My 4.5month old DDR/Czech pup is a dingbat. His puppy brain moments are often and seem almost constant other times. I've been told by his breeder that's typical, especially in males. I knew the lineage was slow to mature mentally but experiencing it is kinda tough. He's slower to learn right now than other GSDs I've worked with but as he gets older, he does pick things up a little faster. His focus is next to non-existant. We're working it. I'm told mentally, you wouldn't consider a DDR dog or a Czech dog or a mix of either, to mature until they're at least 2 years old but more likely around 3-4 years old. But they do get better with age.
 

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My pup isn't full DDR but the things I hear about them remind me very much of him. Focus has been our biggest issue in public now that he's 11 months especially.... He has to be watching everybody and everything going on around me. One of our classes was at a public park and it was a nightmare! We do a TON of training, he knows 'look' but doing OB work with people and dogs around is a constant struggle, I'm hoping as he gets older this will get easier... He is still all puppy, play, play, play! He developed some leash reactivity towards dogs when he started puberty and I've noticed compared to other dogs who do not have DDR in them that he is taking much longer to get past it and we do all the control unleashed stuff, I've been working with him on this for 6 months and have only seen slight improvements. We aren't currently doing IPO so I can't speak to that though if we do it I'm glad I waited until he's a little older.

Not saying its all to do with his lines, I just find it interesting is all. :)
 

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Thanks for the clarification and descriptions. In general, it sounds like it might be more difficult to train successfully in agility / obedience, etc (just not bitework) with a younger DDR dog compared to a WGWL or Czech dog?
 

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Thanks for the clarification and descriptions. In general, it sounds like it might be more difficult to train successfully in agility / obedience, etc (just not bitework) with a younger DDR dog compared to a WGWL or Czech dog?
Bear in mind what DDR was 20 years ago is not what it is now... I doubt you could tell a difference... It's like saying "I want to get a car for SCCA amateur road rally racing... I hear ferrari's don't accelerate as fast as lamborghinis. I should stick with a Lamborghini right?" When the reality is you are likely unable to run into any limitations with either car as you skill level simply isn't developed to that level yet.
 

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In general, it sounds like it might be more difficult to train successfully in agility / obedience, etc (just not bitework) with a younger DDR dog compared to a WGWL or Czech dog?
No. Your DDR dog will excel in agility and obedience, even at young age. 'Difficult' or 'easy' will apply more to you, i.e. to your handling skills, because you will have to adjust your training style to a particular dog.

For example, for my young dog treats and toys didn't work, and the best reward for an ob exercise turned out to be a little 'go find your toy/keys/glove/whatever' session :)
 

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Thanks for the clarification and descriptions. In general, it sounds like it might be more difficult to train successfully in agility / obedience, etc (just not bitework) with a younger DDR dog compared to a WGWL or Czech dog?
It will depend upon the dog, whether the dog is "DDR", WGWL, Czech or a mix of the lines. Not all dogs from the bloodlines are the same. Furthermore, bear in mind that many of the people reporting in above have stated that their dogs are a mix of DDR and Czech or DDR, Czech, and WGWL. So what line is it that makes the particular dog what it is? Is it the "DDR"? The Czech? Something else? I am not being critical, I am simply suggesting that using generalities about lines or extrapolating individual experiences as being representative of lines may not be the best way to go about finding a dog that suits you.

I have both a 4 year old female from east german ("DDR") lines and a young male from what would be considered WGWL (although there is some old DDR, Czech, etc) back in the pedigree). My "DDR" dog was not slow to mature mentally or physically (although she has not been worked in protection). Moreover, she does not have low prey drive; it's not on the level as my WGWL, but it certainly is not low. She is very smart and a quick study, even at an early age. Easy to teach motivationally with toy rewards and an inexhaustible desire to hunt. With that said, her knowing what she is supposed to do and actually doing it are sometimes two different things. She has an independent streak a mile wide, often has her own agenda, and would rather beg forgiveness than ask permission. If you have what she wants you are golden; if she wants something that you do not have more, well, buckle your seat belt. She has many great qualities, but I would not include biddability on that list.

In contrast, although my WGWL line male is higher drive and more serious, he is, overall, an "easier" dog to handle. Whereas my "DDR" female often has her own agenda and will blow you off to carry it out, the WGWL male's life revolves around interacting with you and trying to anticipate what you want. His ears are always open, even when in a high state of drive. Moreover, he has higher thresholds and is much less touched by things going on around him. There are other differences, but this is one of the major ones.

In noting the above, I am not suggesting that my experiences can be extrapolated to "DDR" vs. WGWL - this is just a couple notes on my particular experience, and I am far from being an expert.
 
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