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Going off of another thread in this forum, I thought I would ask (because I am also interested in learning):

What dogs (pedigrees/combinations/etc.) bring forth genetic obedience?
 

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I've never heard of "genetic obedience."
 

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thats a good question! I've been wondering that myself just didnt have the words coming up to put out there. Definitely going to keep up on this thread.
 

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This question might confuse people without a definition of "genetic obedience." I think it might more commonly be described as "biddability."

I think of it as the difference between my GSDs and my Jack Russell Terriers... My terrier truly doesn't get the concept of obeying just because I asked for something. What's more, there is virtually no obedience in drive without extensive training to reinforce and create it.

So, I think it comes down to those elements that make a dog a "herding" dog (or a sporting dog, for some breeds). In order for a dog to be a herding dog, it has to have enough drive and interest to work livestock, but enough sense of teamwork to work with the shepherd/handler, enough self-control to delay (perpetually) the kill portion of the prey/herding behavior. And then it has to have the smarts to understand the fairly complex behaviors being requested by the leader of the hunt/shepherd.

So, what I think of as biddability or genetic obedience is part pack-drive, part human awareness and desire to have an engaged relationship with a human, part intelligence, part ability to "cap" or harness drive and think in drive, part sensitivity to the handler combined with the desire to be "right" or to please. So, I believe, it is a complex interaction of drives, temperament, socialization/experience, personality, intelligence, and environmental awareness.

Perhaps because it is not just a simple thing (not just a single drive like "prey drive") and because there is a good element of learning/experience in its manifestation (a dog can have all the traits for genetic obedience, but if he isn't raised in a situation to form a relationship with a handler, it will never manifest), I don't think it's as simple to look for bloodlines or even dogs that regularly pass "genetic obedience" down.

In a way, it's easier to name individual dogs that have this trait than those that will pass it on to their progeny. One thing to bear in mind is that a dog who is *too* biddable actually is handicapped in schutzhund or all protection training. (And schutzhund is relevant because success in that sport vastly dominates what working-line GSDs have been commonly bred and are most commonly found.)

So, the dogs that had good biddability had to also have great strengths elsewhere--high drives, calm nerves, good physical hardness, etc.--so it doesn't always stand out as their most outstanding feature when one is looking at the dog in a pedigree or in person.

But, here are a few names of dogs that I think contribute toward biddability in their progeny:

Ilya Schwarzenzwinger (behind a lot of Wolfendobel and Fasanerie and some Maineiche dogs, as well as some Schiffshlache)
Haus Knufken (*old* herding lines)
old Kirschental (also old herding lines)

It seems from descriptions of Aly Vordsteinerwald progeny that he might put some of this in there--probably largely from Askia v Froschgraben and his motherline?

I might guess that you get this somewhat from Harro progeny (see Askia) or from Afra Stoppenburger Land (mother of Fado Karthago and other great dogs).

A common element behind a lot of the dogs I can think of is Mutz vd Peltzierfarm--but you have to look back past the 5th or 6th generation.
 

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Of the three dogs I have, only Karlo has genetic obedience. He is very biddable, a bit handler sensitive, but recovers and takes corrections without shutting down for the most part.
He wants to please and is always "with" me/looks to me for direction, but is independent enough on his own that he thinks for himself.
I never knew what it was until I experienced it. He is easy to train, and with a better skilled handler, would be farther along than he is! He isn't the flashiest as far as obedience heeling goes, so I don't believe that is what it is about.
It is the biddability to please, but with the dog being independent/confident enough to not be totally dependent on the handler for direction.
He does come from Karlo v Peko Haus and in the thread Elisabeth is referring to, Karlo Peko Haus was not that way.
So my Karlo get his from the great blending of pedigrees on his dams side(D & E repeat breeding litter are excellent examples of genetic obedience) and his sire.
My other two(who I have no pedigree info on) are not this way. It isn't because of training, but genetics.
Kacie is overly sensitive and will shut down or not make eye contact, or take treats. Onyx is stubborn to a degree, and corrections mean nothing to her if she wants what she wants. I've done the positive training as well with her~ she is overly anxious/into her own head, so not focusing on the handler is normal for her. I never knew the meaning until I saw it.
 

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Of the three dogs I have, only Karlo has genetic obedience. He is very biddable, a bit handler sensitive, but recovers and takes corrections without shutting down for the most part.
He wants to please and is always "with" me/looks to me for direction, but is independent enough on his own that he thinks for himself.
I never knew what it was until I experienced it. He is easy to train, and with a better skilled handler, would be farther along than he is! He isn't the flashiest as far as obedience heeling goes, so I don't believe that is what it is about.
It is the biddability to please, but with the dog being independent/confident enough to not be totally dependent on the handler for direction.
He does come from Karlo v Peko Haus and in the thread Elisabeth is referring to, Karlo Peko Haus was not that way.
So my Karlo get his from the great blending of pedigrees on his dams side(D & E repeat breeding litter are excellent examples of genetic obedience) and his sire.
My other two(who I have no pedigree info on) are not this way. It isn't because of training, but genetics.
Kacie is overly sensitive and will shut down or not make eye contact, or take treats. Onyx is stubborn to a degree, and corrections mean nothing to her if she wants what she wants. I've done the positive training as well with her~ she is overly anxious/into her own head, so not focusing on the handler is normal for her. I never knew the meaning until I saw it.
If you look at his 6 generation pedigree, you see several of the dogs I mention. You also see Mutz in the 8th generation (through A vd Kleinen Pfahl).

Also, from everything I've read about Andy, he seems likely to have a high desire to work WITH his person, so it sounds like he has it.

I suspect that it might be one of Lord Gleisdreieck's strengths as well--if you watch the old video of him working, you can see his desire to please and work with his person.
 

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Do any of you think that "handler sensitivity" and biddability are related?
 

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One other thought... the dog I've known with the most "genetic obedience" was my old American line GSD, Thorn--if I told him to lie down and turn inside out, he would have done is best to first figure out what I was asking, then to do it. He was a great first dog--and that relationship with him is what hooked me on GSDs.

So genetic obedience not something that you'll just find in the European working lines. It's in the German, and Belgian and Dutch and Czech and DDR and show lines and American lines too. Not every dog, by any means, but every "type" has some dogs with a lot of it.
 

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Do any of you think that "handler sensitivity" and biddability are related?
Yes, but not always. Not when handler sensitivity is a result of nerviness and environmental softness or insecurity/submissiveness.

But I think that handler sensitivity can be the result of "too much" biddability--the trait taken to the high end of the spectrum.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Another dog who I know personally who would fit in this category, is Stark's sire.

Aragorn vom Kraftwerk - German Shepherd Dog

He aims to please his handler, although I would not consider him handler sensitive/soft. Thinks on his own, able to work through pressure without issue, no sensitivities and is as stable as they come.
 

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I have had two "genetically obedient" dogs -- Jag and his grandsire Keno. Keno was like Christine discribed Thorn, if you could explain it, he would do it, often with little instruction on my part. Jag is most like him, and I see their handler sensitivity more as not wanting to make me unhappy with their performance. For example, Keno decided that he had to catch the frisbee every time because I praised him really big for catching it in the early stages. You could almost see him scuff his feet in disappointment if he missed one. Keno was an AKC Champion, Utility Dog, Oopen Agility, and Herding Started, with additional titles in conformation and herding with non-AKC groups. Jag is still a baby, but he is learning quickly.
 

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Err ... Packen ... YOU GOT A JAVIR PUPPY!?!

As for Ike, I don't know how genetically obedient he is. All I know is he is not that obedient on trial day ... :laugh:
 

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Ok, I definitely see this trait in my dog and have commented on it in the past.
I am so enthralled with it that I have at least tried to find dogs with old herding lines to evaluate for my next prospect though I know that trait is not exclusive to them and dont think he has them..........

But after working with such a dog who has never needed a prong and can work offlead independantly at a distance while always being in tune with me......I must have that again. ... it makes working together such a pleasure.

6 gen. pedigree for Grim van der Woude - German Shepherd Dog
 

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Yes Andy Valy Mah had genetic obedience and passed it through his progeny. Many of the DDR of old and the Czech dogs of recent times had good genetic obedience coming in through Held v Ritterberg. Held's mother was Burga vom Haus Himpel. The Haus Himpel line is an old East herding line of many many generations. Great biddability and "genetic obedience". Burga was inbred 2-2 on Bernd v Lierberg, arguably the greatest combination of working and show and high end progeny to ever live. Bernd also had good biddability though somewhat harder than the haus himpel line in terms of manwork. Most of the recent Czech dogs of today, especially from the z PS lines, go back to Held....sometimes three or four times. The old DDR dogs of the nineties also had big Held influences. (Today's DDR dogs have less impact of Held and more of the Grafental, Haus Iris, etc, which doesn't have the hardness that Bernd gave to Held).
That's why today I beleive the Czech dogs are so successful as police dogs, because a police dog requires high biddability and teamwork with the handler. Most Czech dogs have this and yet have the hardness to do the heavy lifting the police dog requires. Not ideal for sport, but great for real work where routine is not as important as teamwork and taking direction.
 
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