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okay so its always mentioned in the gsd standard that the dog should be bold, fearless, confident, even temperament, strong solid nerves, etc...

but in our real, day to day life, what does this mean?

i just got finished vacuuming and as my dog ran up the stairs away from it, this topic crossed my mind. i mean, he isnt cowering in a corner peeing on himself, but its clear he doesnt like it. my female came upstairs too, but was much more casual.
 

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Elmo meets the standard. Who knew?! I left the vacuum on the landing in the stairs last month because I got tired. I guess because we left the stair lights on, there was a huge shadow of the vacuum on the wall. Fearless Elmo confidently went up the stairs displaying his solid nerves! He barked at the vacuum for a while. Then, he showed his calm nature/even temperament when he realized the vacuum was no longer a threat.
 

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I confess I didn't use to like GSDs because I found them to be too skittish for my taste. That until I met working lines.

Diabla HATES the hair drier, but I mean hate, not fear. The day I tried to use one on her she lunged at her barking and bit and pawed it several times before I turned it off for her safety. It was not a game, it was not prey drive, she really wanted that thing dead.
 

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I find Lucy is not afraid of ANYTHING. Maybe it is those working lines.
If something is different she notices it, pauses for a moment, and investigates. Loud noises or activity does not bother her. She does bark at the vacuum, but to me it seems like play as there is no avoidance nor getting quiet after a while-she goes after it like prey.....almost as much fun as chasing squirrels!
 

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I personally like dog with courage not "fearlessness." To me a fearless dog is a liability in what it will attempt to involve itself in. Fear is a healthy emotional response and a natural one, it is how fear is handled that is important. A couragous dog knows the fear and feels it but chooses to take it on, a fearless dog gives no thought whatsoever and may put itself at risk.

Cherri
 

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I understand what you mean... I once had a ferret who was absolutely fearless. He couldn't have a minute with unattended freedom or he could find ten ways to kill himself.
 

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Sam spent her 1st 8yrs in the country. She moved into my hectic urban neighborhood as though born to it. She's unperturbed by gunfire, fights, sirens, screaming, rowdy children, gen'l mayhem & chaos. She's calm, aloof but not hostile, with everyone she meets. From what I've seen, she lacks the suspicion necessary for guarding behavior but I prefer it that way. I've seen too many dogs get themselves in trouble with overly protective behavior. She's equally courteous & unflappable with other dogs, small or large, & other pets whether cats or birds.

Djibouti is her grandson & appears to be (a*hem)less dignified(under 5mos old, he's still a baby), but her equal in equanimity, with a pleasant nature that's kindly disposed towards people, other dogs, both larger & smaller, as well as cats & birds. Despite his youth he's especially considerate & gentle with small children!

They couldn't be better, IMO, even if I'd been able to special order their temperaments & personalities.
 

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Originally Posted By: LicanAntai It was not a game, it was not prey drive, she really wanted that thing dead.
That's Morgan with the vacuum. She was 5 years old before I could convince her not to attack the vacuum. She killed 3 while they were minding they're own business sitting in the basement - UNPLUGGED!

Her new thing is the icecream maker. I've used it 3 times and it makes a god awful noise. Morgan comes running in like it's some squirrel that must be chased away from the bird feeder. Then she sees my son Jimmy, who she adores, is fascinated with watching the drum spin.

She must not want to upset Jimmy so she begs to go outside. Did I mention this is the dog who's killed 3 skunks who had the nerve to spray her and not run?
 

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sigh, it gets worse. i brought home a seashell this evening, Tilden sniffed it... pawed it causing it to fall to the floor... sniffed it again then jumped away. i picked it up and he stretched his neck about 10 feet just to sniff it again. a german shepherd afraid of a seashell! boy oh boy, whats next?

seeing as tho he's a rescue and had many hesitations when i first got him, i'll continue to write if off as him just not getting out much. i expose him to everything possible (trucks, sirens, loud noises, wheelchairs, screaming, lawnmowers, etc) and usually once he smells it (or if gia goes to it first) then he's okay.

do you guys think its a rescue thing or maybe a puppy thing?

i hope he grows into himself - he's gonna have to be the example for all the new pups in the next 12yrs.
 

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it could be worse . . .

My dearest friend has an oversize coated male with a very dark face. Nick is a major love bug, but has a really intimidating appearance. He looks like he could handle anything that came his way and had always handled new experiences with calm curiosity.

Shortly after she adopted him (Nick was found at about a year old roaming the streets of Brooklyn) my friend stopped for donuts one morning. Thinking it would be a treat, she tossed a donut hole over to Nick. He hit the ground like an enemy missile was headed his way and steadfastly refused to eat it even after she held one for him to sniff.
 

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How old is Tilden, Camerafodder? A lot of this is probably just silly puppy stuff. He is a baby.
 

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Quote:Diabla HATES the hair drier, but I mean hate, not fear. The day I tried to use one on her she lunged at her barking and bit and pawed it several times before I turned it off for her safety. It was not a game, it was not prey drive, she really wanted that thing dead.
Why is it that inappropriate aggressive behaivior is considered good?
 

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Originally Posted By: EastGSDI personally like dog with courage not "fearlessness." To me a fearless dog is a liability in what it will attempt to involve itself in. Fear is a healthy emotional response and a natural one, it is how fear is handled that is important. A couragous dog knows the fear and feels it but chooses to take it on, a fearless dog gives no thought whatsoever and may put itself at risk.

Cherri
You're right, of course. I mis-spoke in that what I meant was that she is not afraid of anything innappropriate. You bet when that lady launched her she was afraid of her after that, but it has not translated into fear of people or anything.
She does react to new things with pause sometimes, but she never shrinks away- always calmly investigates it.
 

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I agree with Daphne. Diabla wanting to kill the hair dryer is no better a reaction than the dog that runs away.

I also agree with Cheri. Fearlessness goes against nature. An animal that doesn't feel fear would not live long in the wild. For example, a startle response to gun fire or loud noises is OK, but a dog that panics or shows aggression would not be. The really good working dogs, though, do come close to fearlessness. They will face any obstacle or adversity without hesitation.
 

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Originally Posted By: lhczthHow old is Tilden, Camerafodder? A lot of this is probably just silly puppy stuff. He is a baby.
he's 16months. well into young manhood, however i got him at 9 months and he hadnt see a dumpster before... now of which he pee's on them freely


i was very proud of him a couple days ago when he saw a motorized chair for the first time. the woman was in the park and he just watched her very cautiously and made a bit of a wider circle during his recall towards me. i asked her if he could come say hello and as soon as he heard a voice coming from it (she also had on a big visor and shades), he went over happily with his tail wagging and just sniffed the whole thing out, kissed her hand and came back.

so i dont know, its more funny than anything. at the end of the day he seems like a silly little boy than a big strong gsd. he's my first male too, so maybe they mature a bit slower
 

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My female, Treue, who was one of the most solid dogs I have ever met, used to go through, what I called, stupid days. She would see things she had seen a 100 times before and all of a sudden they were scary. The next day she would be back to normal. She did this until she was 2-2.5.
 

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Originally Posted By: lhczthMy female, Treue, who was one of the most solid dogs I have ever met, used to go through, what I called, stupid days. She would see things she had seen a 100 times before and all of a sudden they were scary. The next day she would be back to normal. She did this until she was 2-2.5.
Hormones, maybe??
 

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Originally Posted By: Andaka
Quote:Diabla HATES the hair drier, but I mean hate, not fear. The day I tried to use one on her she lunged at her barking and bit and pawed it several times before I turned it off for her safety. It was not a game, it was not prey drive, she really wanted that thing dead.
Why is it that inappropriate aggressive behaviour is considered good?
I like a dog that when faces a threat confronts it instead of run. It was a perceived threat and not a real one, I showed her that, gave her a kong to play and could finish drying her without no further reaction or resentment against the thing. I think the key word is control, she learned that it wasn't a real threat and everything was OK five minutes later. With a fear response it would take days, weeks or even months.

But I agree my pup is not for everybody, we talked about with the breeder even before she was born because high prey drive and aggression drive is what the sire tends to produce. I have no children nor would place a dog like her in a home with them, wich doesn't mean she's not a great pet for MY lifestyle and objectives.
 

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I have three females and I think hormones up to a certain age can cause some really strange behaviors. Not in all females but some.

Cheyenne, her only problem when she had hormone spikes was she was skiddish at night when dad tooker her out, but not with me.

DeeDee, had horible problems with hormones, on her first two heat cycles she would just curl up in a ball. She didn't want to eat, play or nothing. I had her spayed after her 2nd heat and then the problems really came out. She was scared and jumpy at everything and I mean everything. I tried every calming thing I knew, this went on for weeks. I could hardly get her to go outside to go potty, she was in panic mode 90% of the day. She spent her entire time for weeks in her crate.

Raya up until this heat cycle was over reactive, clingy, over active (ants in her pants), barky, and just sorta snotty. This cycle, life is good, she isn't over reactive, still a little clingy wants to just be touched and hang out with you, not barky and just as happy as she normally is.

So I think that from time to time we under estimate what flucuation hormones can do to some females.

Just as a note, Since I got Lakota neutered he is much more vocal than when he was intact, he talks to his food bowl and toys.
 

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I agree...Katie really went through some strange behavior on her heat cycles - her obedience and detection training had to be put on hold because she was just...stupid. Every now and then (on a heat cycle), she will act skiddish with someone new or something new and I just ignore it and let her deal with it at her own pace. She gets through it on her own.

WiscT - how is your DeeDee now? Poor girl.
 
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