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Discussion Starter #1
Didn't make the connection until recently, but it appears as if Kira will look at me for a "sign" that whatever she's doing, requires my approval.

A few examples might be:

Leaving your "space", and venturing.
Going to greet someone.
Playing with another dog. In my case, it's our Maltese. She will literally look at me, and ask for permission before initiating play.

I feel as if I' always getting a look, and a stare, then having to give her the OK for everything.

If this common? I suspect it is.
 

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I think it is going to depend on the individual dog more than the breed. I do think GSDs and herding dogs in general are a lot about eye contact.

But for working in detection I want a little more independant and confident dog who will make decisions without me. Still going to get that eye contact but after the fact and to communicate with me.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Well, it's no secret that Kira isn't the most confident, so then it makes sense that she looks to me for guidance.

Without asking, I would never have made the connection that this has some to do with a weakness, as opposed to being obedient.

Also makes sense ..,, we play "find it", and she constantly looks to me for direction. I can literally direct her with my eyes.

Interesting.


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I am not sure it is a sign of weakness. It is a challenge for working dogs to find one who is indepentant enough to make decisions without your input but biddable enought to work with. Hard to hit the sweet spot.

I definitely think eye contact and communication through the eyes is a bigger thing with them, though
 

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Well, it's no secret that Kira isn't the most confident, so then it makes sense that she looks to me for guidance.

Without asking, I would never have made the connection that this has some to do with a weakness, as opposed to being obedient.

Also makes sense ..,, we play "find it", and she constantly looks to me for direction. I can literally direct her with my eyes.

Interesting.


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When my dog was younger she had a lot of eye contact with me, most of it was due to training. When I took her to get evaluated for Schutzhund I thought that eye contact was really going to mess it up. In fact in the beginning of the evaluation, she did look at me to make sure I was okay with her biting or lunging at the guy. Once she knew I was okay with it, there was no stopping her. I almost think after that day she became more "independent" but still hasn't lost that look in her eye when she is communicating with me. I would think with some training exercises you can get that independence out of Kira, it might just take time. Its nice that she knows she can count on you, some dogs count on that and that doesn't make them bad dogs or a dog with a weakness....she trusts you.
 

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Nah, he is always looking for ways to do what he wants... I will use Nancy's term, independent. :) ..unfortunately for him, he doesn't get away with it :D
I think it's also a line thing. I have heard that about Czech dogs. Waiting for others to chime in.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Maybe weakness wasn't the right word, but I do view independence and decision making as a strength.
Then again, she's making the decision to look at me for instructions. :)

Kinda what I strived for, isn't it?


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Maybe weakness wasn't the right word, but I do view independence and decision making as a strength.
Then again, she's making the decision to look at me for instructions. :)

Kinda what I strived for, isn't it?


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When you work with a puppy like you(well most of us) did with yours(ours) in obedience there is lots of focus, watch me, follow me kinda stuff going on. We almost train them to be that way, it will depend on the dog if it is going to wander away from that training. It can be good and bad depending on what choices the dog makes in certain situations. For recall we want them to be checking in, focused and ready to come when called. For things like find it, we want them to be able to find it without telling them where it is...the dog really has to think and there is nothing wrong with guiding them in the direction you want them to go. I think eventually they understand what they can and can't do, but there has to be a process for them to get there. Right now Kira is still trying to figure out what is expected of her...that is where you come in to guide her.
 

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I've obviously been her guidance since a pup, and one of things I've used mostly as a tool is "watch me". I used to use quite often as a diversion away from a negative experience. (Walking past a reactive dog, etc. )

So basically, I've trained her to always look for direction. That's ok. I'm there for her :)

I guess experience and wisdom, would help her make smart decisions.

Right now, it's very comforting to know that she'll look at me, before taking off after a cat, look at me before drifting away.
Just wondered if its a GSD trait ( since they're so darn smart), or something I may have unknowingly taught her.


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I've obviously been her guidance since a pup, and one of things I've used mostly as a tool is "watch me". I used to use quite often as a diversion away from a negative experience. (Walking past a reactive dog, etc. )

So basically, I've trained her to always look for direction. That's ok. I'm there for her :)

I guess experience and wisdom, would help her make smart decisions.

Right now, it's very comforting to know that she'll look at me, before taking off after a cat, look at me before drifting away.
Just wondered if its a GSD trait ( since they're so darn smart), or something I may have unknowingly taught her.


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Once when we were in class the teacher used Robyn and I as a demo in a follow me exercise. She told everyone in the class.."She won't lose Robyn, she is a German Shepherd", so I'm guessing that they have it in them and its then re-enforced in our training of them. When we go for a walk, my dog goes forward, comes back, circles me, goes forward, comes back, circles me...she is always checking on me and I would have it no other way.
 

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The only time Baron does it is when he wants to do something wrong, and knows it.
Ie. He looks at goose poop, then looks at me. I say no, and we continue.
 

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Nah, he is always looking for ways to do what he wants... I will use Nancy's term, independent. :) ..unfortunately for him, he doesn't get away with it :D
I think it's also a line thing. I have heard that about Czech dogs. Waiting for others to chime in.
I think Molly is more like this. It is after an action she looks at me with a big, goofy smile.
 
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