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Discussion Starter #1
i know, i know according to the forums every other 11 week old puppy is a "dominant" dog and you must enforce yr leadership from birth, no getting on furniture, take food out of it's mouth, first thru the door yada, yada.

here is a tale of two truly dominant dogs and why they are the dogs to avoid for working dogs;

long story short - dog 1. completes his schuts 3 (had a history of handler agression with competent trainers). handler on a casual walk crosses the street and a car approaches so handler commands a sit postition, dog goes to sniff something and handler repeats command - dog makes full blown attack on handler, handler on his side trying protect his face and feed anything into dogs mouth to bite rather than him, nobody is brave enough to intervene, people are trying to run dog over and kill it with vehicles to get it off handler, dog eventually ceases attack and while handler is getting emergency treatment dog is found sometime later at handlers vehicle being played with by kids, dog is being friendly to kids and was like nothing ever happened. handler has been receiving surgery for years since the event.

dog 2. staff member has been feeding, cleaning kennel and walking owners dog for weeks. owner is mowing lawn and took a while to notice that the dog had the staff member pinned against the wall of the kennel with paws in a bear hug on him, guy feeds dog an arm to protect face, major surgery. same dog while on duty the handler gets into a brutal fist fight that goes to ground, dog who has destroyed many decoys just sits there watching handler get a kicking and dog does not engage or run just kind of watches curiosly and unaffected.

one dog was destroyed and the other dog is kept for selected stud duties and is deemed unworkable.

i have seen one dog, he is a beautiful dog who you would never think it. the other one was several years ago - dominant dogs are very rare.
 

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You are describing "dominant aggressive" against this particular individual.
Just as with people, dogs can only be dominant in certain social settings. You can be dominant over your employee but not towards your boss. Same with dogs.
Dominance is not a trait but a behavior. A trait could be "assertive".
 

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I was going to say, neither of those sound like dominant dogs. #1 sounds like a dog who redirected on his handler (didn't want to sit/stop sniffing so got angsty) and #2 sounds like something happened in the kennel and/or the dog snapped. Not sure why the dog would just sit by and watch the handler get pounded.

Dominance would be a dog that even hardcore NILIF can't help; the dog is willing to starve/dehydrate before accepting food from your hand, is willing to soil in their kennel no matter how little space they have, completely unwilling to obey your commands/directions...

A friend talked about one of the first dogs she ever had as an adult. It refused to do anything she asked of it. It claimed furniture and pushed her off of it by growling/snarling at her. On leash, if she walked forward, it went backwards. If she went the dog's direction, it went the other way or tried to come up the leash at her. She tried every trainer and training tactic and nothing worked. She ended up giving up the dog to an MP who worked the dog and the dog turned out just fine.

That to me is dominance.
 

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A friend talked about one of the first dogs she ever had as an adult. It refused to do anything she asked of it. It claimed furniture and pushed her off of it by growling/snarling at her. On leash, if she walked forward, it went backwards. If she went the dog's direction, it went the other way or tried to come up the leash at her. She tried every trainer and training tactic and nothing worked. She ended up giving up the dog to an MP who worked the dog and the dog turned out just fine.

That to me is dominance.
to x11; this dog was dominant to his first owner but not dominant to this MP, thus a behavior.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
i hate these convo's i always end up confused. everything a dog does is a behaviour right, but it's the dog's traits which are inherited that provide the potential for what behaviours that might occur?

yr friends dog does not sound dominant per se, it just dominated it's particular owner. the dogs i am talking about are gentically programed to be the boss or die, they have no option altho they may well be sporadically livable with. they are very rare and the two dogs i mention span a time of about 20 years, they occurr infrequently and are characteristically unreliable in the training. choking, prongs, e-collars etc have no impact as first chance they get could be two years later they are just as likely it appears to turn on you. how they are trained is irrelevant. the first dog i mentioned scored well in obed and all phases as it was explained to me by a guy in the same club where the dog was trained.

unlike the every other dominant pup that newbs post about.
 

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Sounds like you have the answer to your question, in your correction of others, by your definition of dominance.:)
I will say that I don't know of any lines that are genetically programmed to be boss or die......but having said that I must admit I have learned from this forum that the traits of this breed has essentially changed.
 

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Cliff I think its less "......but having said that I must admit I have learned from this forum that the traits of this breed has essentially changed. " and more that the people, have changed. Had this very conversation with someone this weekend.
 

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Sounds like you have the answer to your question, in your correction of others, by your definition of dominance.:)
I will say that I don't know of any lines that are genetically programmed to be boss or die......but having said that I must admit I have learned from this forum that the traits of this breed has essentially changed.
I don't really have anything to add about dominance, but I'm curious as to why you think the traits of the breed have changed? I hope that's not the case, as it is why I have always loved the breed. My current dog doesn't really seem a whole lot different the GSD's I knew from my childhood.
 

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If a dog is so dominant (lack of a better word) that it can't be controlled by it's handler, or it exhibits unpredictable behavior wouldn't that be a bad candidate for any kind of protection work?
 

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Not sure how someone who doesn't know the dog or all circumstances make a judgement call on the core temperament of the dogs....observed breifly or told about in conversation years later?

The worst dog I've had to deal with was a 130 pound (lean pounds I might add) Kuvasz nailed me in the midsection without warning right after I fed him and he had finished his food.. and he was between the door and me. I don't if that was dominance or just an untrained jerk of a dog. He could have done a lot more damage to me if he had decided too.

Still, I do agree with your comment in blue below. I do think humans have a tendancy to latch onto an idea or system and get way too black and white with it.


i hate these convo's i always end up confused. everything a dog does is a behaviour right, but it's the dog's traits which are inherited that provide the potential for what behaviours that might occur?

yr friends dog does not sound dominant per se, it just dominated it's particular owner. the dogs i am talking about are gentically programed to be the boss or die, they have no option altho they may well be sporadically livable with. they are very rare and the two dogs i mention span a time of about 20 years, they occurr infrequently and are characteristically unreliable in the training. choking, prongs, e-collars etc have no impact as first chance they get could be two years later they are just as likely it appears to turn on you. how they are trained is irrelevant. the first dog i mentioned scored well in obed and all phases as it was explained to me by a guy in the same club where the dog was trained.

unlike the every other dominant pup that newbs post about.
 

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Carmen, the majority of dominant dogs I have seen were not overly shy or overly aggressive. Hey, but who knows....there are many many opinions on what dominance is based on as different things as, training experience, Internet experience, what somebody told me that rescued 4dogs, or whatever.....so I figure when you can determine what isn't something....then you certainly must know what is something. I just have never seen a genetic line of GS based on that definition of dominance. Actually, in my limited experience, I have really very seldom seen a whole litter with more than one(two being exception) dominant dog in it....much less lines. Again, I dunno!
 

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I agree with Carmen. Both of these dogs, by description, were unstable.
 

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I have seen many dogs both dominant and not dominant that were too much for their handler(inexperienced) that went on to become successful police dogs, or even rehomed successfully with a more experienced owner/handler. Now an unpredictable dog, is often different, if the unpredictability is result of nurture....then I have seen them flourish in new places, if it is result genetics, then it will pretty much always be a liability. Again, it's only my experiences, others can be much different.
 

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I don't get either story.

In the first one people are trying to run over a dog that has a guy pinned to the ground? How do you expect to kill a dog with a car and avoid the guy lying on the ground under said dog? I've never thought that a dog that attacks someone because they are ASKED to do something are dominant...those types of dogs are just unstable. IF the guy had went over, and physically forced the dog into a submissive position, and the dog than decided to attack, I'd consider that dominance.

In the second story...what do you mean the dog has "destroyed many decoys?" So this was a Schutzhund trained dog that just didn't have the training necessary to bite something that wasn't a sleeve? Maybe depending on training, the dog just didn't respect the handler, or think of him as needing protection. It has nothing to do with dominance, I think its more to do with not caring or not being trained to do what was necessary. It's the discussion we've had plenty of times on this forum...would an untrained dog protect you? Some would...some wouldn't...and even though this dog was trained in Schutzhund, it clearly didn't take the sport and use it in real life.

It's hard for me to imagine any Schutzhund trained/titled dog as being "dominant" to the point of attacking the handler. They clearly listen to the handler enough to get their title...which involves a lot of obedience and teamwork. Just the fact that the dog will "down" for the handler means they aren't "that" dominant. Can they have a more dominant personality than another dog? Sure...but not to the point of attacking the handler. Both situations were just poor training IMO. Dominance has nothing to do with the dog's decision to attack or not attack in order to protect its handler...that has more to do with training and how the dog feels about the handler in the first place. Even the so called dominant "alpha" in a wolf pack will protect their pack from outside attacks...that just shows they're stronger than those outsiders as well and that they do care about a strong/healthy/large pack.
 

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i hate these convo's i always end up confused. everything a dog does is a behaviour right, but it's the dog's traits which are inherited that provide the potential for what behaviours that might occur?

yr friends dog does not sound dominant per se, it just dominated it's particular owner. the dogs i am talking about are gentically programed to be the boss or die, they have no option altho they may well be sporadically livable with. they are very rare and the two dogs i mention span a time of about 20 years, they occurr infrequently and are characteristically unreliable in the training. choking, prongs, e-collars etc have no impact as first chance they get could be two years later they are just as likely it appears to turn on you. how they are trained is irrelevant. the first dog i mentioned scored well in obed and all phases as it was explained to me by a guy in the same club where the dog was trained.

unlike the every other dominant pup that newbs post about.
IMHO. Dominant dogs can be effectively trained by someone, it just has to be that special someone. Dominant dogs will run over you at the first sign of weakness and you can never regain the top spot, no matteer what you do. IMHO, truly dominant dogs are hard to train from the word go. It's always a "make me" scenario, no matter the age of the dog and it just gets worse the older they get.

I don't think you would be able to train the dog effectively to do anything, unless the trainer was the 'special someone', then the trainer handed off the dog to another person and the dog took the first sign of weakness as its chance to move up on the totem pole.

I could be wrong, so the breeders who are on here don't crucify me, but isn't that why you don't put the hardest, most drivey dogs together constantly? If you have five generations of the most intense, drive filled, and hardest dogs out there, couldn't that next generation have dogs who are susceptible to just losing their s**t because of how maxed out all the drives are?
 

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part of the characteristic "active aggression" calls for a very sure , controlling , dog that wants to dominate the situation and come out the winner , nothing less . This is a desirable trait in a working dog , whether herding where a "will to power and a power to will" are necessary to keep things in order , and in the protection of home and master .
This does not mean crazy or hyper active , or reactive . Sound sure self confident temperament a must -- but that is written right into the breed characteristics -- .
Seems from recent threads that people don't want it.

I think it is when you start tampering with and eliminating critical parts of a breed trait that you run into trouble .
 

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part of the characteristic "active aggression" calls for a very sure , controlling , dog that wants to dominate the situation and come out the winner , nothing less . This is a desirable trait in a working dog , whether herding where a "will to power and a power to will" are necessary to keep things in order , and in the protection of home and master .
This does not mean crazy or hyper active , or reactive . Sound sure self confident temperament a must -- but that is written right into the breed characteristics -- .
Seems from recent threads that people don't want it.

I think it is when you start tampering with and eliminating critical parts of a breed trait that you run into trouble .

:thumbup:
 
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