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Discussion Starter #1
I was wondering how you describe your relationship with your dog(s), GSD in particular.

Partnership and 'Mom/Dad - kid' are selfexplanatory. When your dog is your partner it means that in some areas you trust your dog 100% and follow his lead. You don't do it with your kid.

I want to explain a little what I understand under 'Master - slave'. I don't mean here that the dog is treated as nothing and abused. I mean here that the dog is not allowed to think on his own and every single time has to look up to handler for direction how to act. It's 'because I said so and no questions asked' type of relationship. Maybe also called 'Leader - follower'.

I was thinking about it a lot and since originally I come from the place where German shepherds (as well as all working breeds) are not considered to be pets I feel sometimes that I'm not on the same page with other people when I talk about my dogs.

I would love to hear how you feel about your relationship with your dog! Thank you for your time!
 

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I think a mix between patner-partner and Leader-follower. I love my dog, but is not a parent-child relationship, maybe a little now she's a pup, but not as I see dogs.

As the poll like it is, I can't vote any of the options.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Catalina, thanks for the explanation! Yeah, I thought about adding more options but it was too late to edit


<span style="color: #FF0000">Love is present in every choice and a handler is an ultimate leader and alfa in every choice</span>, it's the more subtle differences I was interested in.

I think your relationship is actually partnership because as a 'Leader-follower' handler would never trust a dog to take lead, not even once. The handler is always right, period.
 

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I said partner -partner on this one although I must be the leader in the partnership! My reason on this is that I have trained my dogs, they are very reliable and I do trust them. I also want them to be able to think on their own as I do performance sports with them and I need them to be able to be an active member of the team.

Good poll!
 

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Re: How'd you describe your relationship w/ your G

I have absolutely zero experience working dogs. I have only owned pets. Although I have come a long way by means of education about animals in recent months searching for a GSD, I still absolutely see the relationship to be that of leader-follower (or Master-slave if you will).

I actually try to filter out the opinions or subjective advice I hear that come from people that appear to consider their pet to be their equivalent or even "child". I believe a dog requires the care and nurturing similar to that of a child, but to anthromorphisize a dog and treat it like a child(mental level), IMHO, is silly. I would not criticize someone doing it, but I sure don't ever see myself being that way.

I believe that one of the beautiful things about a well trained dog is his ability to be a loyal companion, servant, worker ("slave" in the positive sense). The reason for these qualities is partially because the dog is both physically resilient, and mentally strong. To treat the descendant of a wolf as if it is a human child is IMHO a disservice to the dog.

I should probably mention that the GSD I am getting will be the first of this breed that is solely MY dog, so in a couple years I might have a new opinion on this matter.
 

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I voted partner too because Sarge pretty much knows what im thinking most of the time and reacts accordingly. Just the same I know him as well. Hes perfectly happy to go where I go as long as hes with me hes happy. The same goes for me, I enjoy his company and take him along when ever its possible to do so. I never have to raise my voice to get him to react to a command. We spend a lot of time together, be it playing outside or just hangin out at home or going to Mc donalds for lunch.

I prefer Sarges company to a lot of people I know. He never complains about what we'er doing or when we are going home. He relys on me for his food,water and shelter which I supply happily. I rely on him for some good times and funny situations which he's more then glad to supply. Rarely when we go someplace do I bother with a leash.He stays close to me because he wants to.

Sarges first year and a half he was abused by two different familys. When we got him he was a mess, no training,very scaed of everything and everybody. It was a long process to get him where he is now but somehow I think he knows where he came from and where he is now and is able to appreciate the difference. That being true or not I really dont know if his thought process goes that far but I do know hes a very happy and content dog. Sarge and I have forged a very tight bond with eachother.

So I would think that all these things would definately constitute a partnership.So yes, Id definately have to say Sarge is my partner.

As a matter of fact I often refer to him when we meet someone as my partner.
 

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I have to say that I could honestly see myself in all three. I am very demanding of my dog, that she behave herself and do as she's told no matter what. However I trust her in some aspects as knowing more than I do. For instance, if she doesn't trust someone we've just met, that is reason enough for me to avoid that person.

That being said, Freyja is my baby! I love her more than life itself. She is my heart and soul, and I would give my life for her. Freyja is part of me, I often refer to her as my right arm. I will never have human children, so my dogs will always be my kids. However I don't 'baby' them, I speak their language. I personally understand dogs much better than I do humans.

Given all that, I had to vote partner, because although I do have that very alpha sense of "I'm in charge" There are things I do trust her with.
 

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Originally Posted By: GSD07

I think your relationship is actually partnership because as a 'Leader-follower' handler would never trust a dog to take lead, not even once. The handler is always right, period.
You're right. In my style of training I don't only mark and reward behaviours, but I expect of the dog to make decisions and comprehend what I'm asking of it. Some of those decisions can be rewarded and some do not, but I leave space to the dog to make its own mistakes.

And in SAR work you simply have no choice but to let the dog to do his job and trust him... he's the one with the nose
 

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The relationship with my pup is evolving & I don't know exactly what it will finally be.

Sam, my senior girl, is my canine shaman(& I have no other).
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you for your input! It's really interesting to read what our dogs are in our lives.

I respect that people treat their dogs like kids but this concept is just very foreign to me.

When I was growing up we had a family GSD, Jack.
Jack wasn't an equal to humans but he wasn't a child, he wasn't a sibling to kids, he was a DOG, a different species that agreed to live with us on terms of mutual respect, love and trust.

I was left home alone with him all the time starting probably from my 6 years old. I still remember how confident and protected I felt because he was around. We brought him home at 4 weeks and he passed away at 16 years old without a single visit to a vet after his puppy shots.

He is still in my heart and always will be, and I dream about finding a true partner like him for my own family. I hope I succeed.
 

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I don't know. It's still a mystery, the first chapter isn't written yet, only our prologue. Grimm is just 15 months old, he is my first puppy, with his strong, distractable adolesent mind and my disabilities and lack of experience and surety, we are not yet 'a team.' We love eachother, no doubt-- currently, parent and child is the closest fit. Due to his lines, Grimm is emotionally and mentally still at about 7 - 8 months old. In a year or so, I should have a better answer for you.


I love him, would do anything for him. His sense of maturity and responsibility has not kicked in yet.. so yup, parent-child at the moment!
 

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This is a hard one to answer. Rocky is the family pet. Yes he gets to make some decisions (which toy to play with, where he sleeps) all major decisions are for DH and I to make.

In a way he is like a child because sometimes he is rewarded for good behavior with special treats.
 
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