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I kinda think maybe I've used the term "prey drive" incorrectly around here? I say this because recently it occurred to me I got no use for a 7 week ball chaser in and of itself. I'm FAR more interested in the ones that bring it back to me. Genetic obedience?

as for sound sensitivity, dogs are like people. Those who weren't raised around guns naturally get a little nervous. If you wait until after the schH III to fire your 12 gauge over your dog, don't be surprised when he reacts. I call that discernment. I expose a litter up to vpat, but it's your job to follow through after that.
Prey drive brings a lot of benefits. As for sound sensitivity, it’s not comparable between humans and dogs. Humans are born with two natural fears, falling and loud sounds. Everything else is learned. Dogs don’t necessarily start off with those same fears. You can desensitize a dog to loud sounds, but I’d rather work with a dog that has it naturally. When you have to train for things like that, they sometimes have a habit of popping back up. When I was young, I was under the assumption that all dogs had sound sensitivity issues just like all dogs had food aggression issues. I’ve since learned that is not the case, and I can just start off with a better dog. There’s a lot of things I can get a dog to do with training. It’s easier to start with a dog that does it naturally.
 

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Since David mentioned it. The puppy puppy call that you use to entice them to come/follow. In my 50 years on the planet I have had one pup ignore that noise. One that would actually romp off in the other direction. She is laying by my feet. It makes her exceptionally difficult to work with. So any dog that ignores that call probably isn't a candidate for anything.
 

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To the OP, I just saw a post on IG from a breeder (I think reputable) who are getting 4 Czech males imported this week claiming they are great PD prospects. They are asking too much money (between $4700 and $5500)...don't know why so much.
Anyway, PM if you want the breeder's name.
 

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Discussion Starter #66
@ 49 dys old, vpat is all I got? I can only screen and expose "sound sensitivity" up to there. As with the gundog breeds/sporting group, I certainly won't begin with a gunshy pup, but I follow through w/ lots of exposure.

neighbor of mine got a golden last summer, never exposed. Early this summer did a little trap shooting, dog didn't know quite what to make of it. Couple weeks later brought his young grandkids up for some more trap shooting, dog took right to it. And they all lived happily ever after. The end.

I keep reading the phrase "over the top prey" but I don't think I've ever actually seen that myself here? anybody care to define "bite drive" vs "prey drive" for me?
 

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My byb mix has never flinched at fireworks or gun shots. I don’t necessarily dislike a dog that is momentarily startled and recovers (I have one like that now) but my other 5 dogs that I’ve had over the years that are not bothered at all without any work done to ensure that, well I’d vastly prefer that from both an owning and breeding to pass on genetics standpoint.

I would imagine but I could be wrong because I have no experience. That you would want the puppy the least reactive to sounds or interested vs. scared because as another said if you have to train/manage behaviors they don’t just go away. And especially with something like that you never know when it might make its appearance. You don’t want it to be when a guy has just shot a gun off next to you. Or you happen to be out walking/working etc. when a thunderstorm starts. Drive can overcome sound sensitive if it’s high enough, but only to a degree and only when that drive is engaged and it can still snap a dog out of drive momentarily. (Sound sensitive border collies come to mind.)
 

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Discussion Starter #70
prior to wean I create a "happy time" association between target practice and feeding time. Works well.

@ wean, or perhaps shortly thereafter, any individual fails to get with the program is dismissed as unsuitable

sooner the better. get it over with. Time is finite. Resources are finite. You can't devote ether or to an unsuitable individual without putting the rest @ a disadvantage. Do your duty and put it behind you.
 

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prior to wean I create a "happy time" association between target practice and feeding time. Works well.

@ wean, or perhaps shortly thereafter, any individual fails to get with the program is dismissed as unsuitable

sooner the better. get it over with. Time is finite. Resources are finite. You can't devote ether or to an unsuitable individual without putting the rest @ a disadvantage. Do your duty and put it behind you.
Wait, are you talking about actually culling puppies that don’t meet your ridiculous standards?
 

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What is the big deal about VPAT? It’s only as good as the person doing the test. It’s only one small tool in evaluating a puppy. I never asked the last breeder if she used it. I didn’t care. I would not have ignored the results, though, if they were offered. If a breeder knows their own lines and what they are breeding for and what they are getting, they don’t need an unstandard standarized test.
 

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Discussion Starter #74 (Edited)
the big deal about vpat is, if you use it to select, and then backross/linebreed a couple/few generations accordingly, you get consistency

but yeah, without the backcross/linebreed, SUDDENLY the big "gsd crapshoot" everybody keeps talking about makes all the sense in the world. Watching ellis' vid just flipped that lightswitch in berno's mind here

and all that makes berno's experiments even more funner :)


I think I might cross little igor to a proven locally adapted strain of maremma, backcross the offspring both ways, and recombine the results. I saw it done successfully with wgsd x kuvasz when I was a kid.
 

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Didn’t watch the video but have heard Ellis talk about bite drive where a dog is almost obsessed and gets great satisfaction from biting objects and keeping them in his mouth. More of a Mal thing but I know of one GSD that would repeated destroy the black Kongs in a day or two. While technically it might not be a drive, Ellis is very good with coming up with descriptive traits that are operationally defined. We have a very nice XMal in our club that is social but at risk for biting in certain situations if he doesn’t have a ball in his mouth.
 

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Discussion Starter #77
lovely to finally see you weigh in on the subject, Countess...

slightly OT, but I've seen MAWL in her jammies!!! :cool:

just sayin'...
 

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I think it is a misconception that Mals/XMals are as if on crack/cocaine/meth etc. The good ones need experienced handlers or coaching from experienced trainers/handlers. They need to be trained/worked and are not suitable solely as a pet. When you see a well trained one with good genetics, it is like an Olympic gymnast. They are super fast in everything they do and are powerful at sticking a bite, even if they are small. They have poor specimens like any breed but a really good one is special. They are often very social. They just don’t have that noble look of a GSD for many, but some do. Also, it is not uncommon for their extreme drive to mask nerve problems, whereas with a GSD nerve issues are largely apparent even when dogs are successful at high sport.
 
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