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Discussion Starter #1
Since it was so hot lately, I decided to take my two knuckleheads(Chris-17 months and Mutz-17 weeks) to the ocean for some water testing. I also wanted to see recovery on puppy to water. Went to a pier over the water that is in about 5 to 6 feet of water. Once off the pier the dogs can swim right under the pier to land. I take a stick with both of them(first time for both dogs over their head in water) and throw the stick into the water. Both dogs jumped straight out into the water,(Of course Chris got the stick as Mutz always follows), and then realization of water being over their head kicks in they both start paddlin for the shore and do their shake. Now for the test part, I then went back up on pier and threw the stick again, and both dogs jumped in again and came back to shore. Was very interested in seeing how the younger one would handle the shock/stress of being over his head and more importantly how would he recover. Guess I'm pretty satisfied....lol. Sidenote, this is important to me because for the dogs to graduate the police dog academy in NJ, they have to go into the water up to a man's chest and apprehend a man. You'd be surprised how many dogs really have a problem with this, many dogs get to where their feet are no longer touching the ground and won't go any further. So I was really pleased with both but especially the young guy as I am still learnin his boundaries....pretty much know Chris's capabilities:D Wasn't sure if the puppy with his Czech background had the nerves to handle this....lol...psych!!
 

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Sounds like they are keepers! ;)

Good job to both of them. My problem with Stark (even as a tiny pup) was keeping him OUT of the water!
 

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Mutz is a brave puppy!

I think the ocean, near a pier would have some swells that most dogs would think twice about entering. Flat water is one thing, waves another. Not sure my dogs would jump right in for a stick...a frisbee probably.
To save or capture a man, I doubt it.
Unless it was our Schh helper, Karlo would charge right in, I think.
 

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well Cliff you could always consider dock diving with them:) Sounds like they'd both fit right into it:))

I take Masi, (now that the weather is warm!) down to the ocean, she loves those huge waves, I think she may need a surfboard..

We have a place on the river where their is a nice pier for her to do her dock diving thing, it is a hoot to see them take off and launch and come right back for more
 

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I've noticed more dogs have an issue with a pool/clear water than waves/ocean. Nikon has never given the type of open water, the depth, or size of waves a second thought before flying in but had to "figure out" that a clear pool is the same thing before launching off the diving board. Then you see the lightbulb go off like, "oh duh, this is the same thing as Lake Michigan!"

Pan would not jump in a clear pool last weekend which was disappointing, haven't tried him in "regular" water (river, ocean, lake) yet though. Actually now that I think of it he went in the pond at work twice when he was about 10 weeks but after that everything froze over.
 

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most of mine had no problem jumping in a clear pool, but I figure the ones who wouldn't, just like to jump in muddy water:)))
 

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You know those DDR and Czech dogs are nervy Cliff..... nerves of steel:)

The first time I took my girl Pecora to my parents house, she walked over and looked at the swimming pool, backed up about 10 feet, and the took off running and DOVE into it. I laughed pretty hard until I was told to go fish her out to protect the pool liner.

Sound like your pup Mutz is a little go-getter.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks Mary, yeah I think both dogs have good nerve for working dogs, but both are also very calm in all normal situations, never bark in crate without reason, don't try to break out of the crate or any other confinement they are in, very social in new situations, and not afraid to explore new things regardless of surface, noise, or smells. Kinda dogs that you put them somewhere and train them and they will have no problem learning it. I kinda like dogs like that:rolleyes:.
 

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Cliff here is a sort of related question for you: do you think socialization is as important as some people make it out to be? Years ago I thought socialization was like the most important aspect of owning a dog and if I didn't do extensive socialization it was all my fault if my dog was a nervebag. Now I feel like so much is genetics, and to me socialization is more about putting my dog into various scenarios so I can compare him against his genetics or how I would expect him to behave, and to assure myself that he is fine (or maybe discover a weakness). Do you think you can really change how a dog approaches a certain situation based on the level of socialization?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Truthfully, both of these two dogs I did very little socialization with....they have rock solid nerve and I honestly expected them to true to their genetics. Having said that, there are dogs that have say 70 to 90 percent of the nervebase that I would like to see and in those cases if you socialize them well the dog will turn out fine. For most GS of today, that socialization piece is important, but historically during WW11 and Vietnam, many were the dogs that were donated to the military and had been tied up outside prior to that most of their life and with training became good dogs. Different time and different dogs than you normally see today....:(
 

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Diabla is half seal and will get in any kind of source of water only for the sake of it. If I say "enough, lets go" she goes deeper and swims in circles in a "come and get me out" attitude that makes me want to strangle her. Akela has no problem with water, but doesn't seem to understand why it fascinates so much to Diabla.

The first time I took Akela where he could lose foot (I have a stream in my backyard, so water itself is nothing new) he played near the shore. I was videotaping Diabla when he just decided to get in, swam in a circle and came back, like "that was all they were fussing about?". I've taken him to rivers in other ocassions, but he only swims if Diabla does and he feels he is missing some of the fun, I've not seen him go alone just because yet.

Diabla :: 1nadoAkela.mp4 video by catu2111 - Photobucket
 

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Thanks, Cliff. Just something I wonder about, as my most forgiving dog happens to be my rescue dog who was not well socialized, not well cared for (we were his 4th home...born in rescue, then got a home, then returned to the rescue, then us). Granted, he is more "sensitive" than my two male GSDs, but his recovery is instantaneous and he holds no grudges, no suspicion (to a fault almost, but, he's not a GSD). The kind of dog you really could beat and abuse and he'd never stop wagging the tail.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Lies,
You ever notice how you go into a petsmark or a Vet, and the dogs that are mongrels and crossbreeds always seem to not show the skittishness that is so prevalent in our breed today. You notice how these dogs don't require the socialization to the gills to be comfortable with noises and surfaces and new places....not all of them but certainly a higher percentage than the great utility breed,GS. Didn't use to see German Shepherds that were skittish, as a child to teenager, I never saw one. Saw many GS that were never socialized and still didn't see these traits when they were sometimes walked by their owners. Most of the GS I saw were out of BYB in those days, yet stronger overall temp; not needing all this babyfying to be successful. Now what is the difference in the mongrels/crossbreeds and our German Shepherds of today???? When you understand that....then you can understand why....then you can understand how some people can pick a dog sight unseen, parents unseen, not consider the titles, and always seem to get a pretty good dog. It is genetics, but more importantly how you combine the genetics.
 

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Yes, I notice this. It makes sense to me from a genetics perspective but is disappointing. I am lucky that my two male GSDs I am currently training have never had environmental issues, they are both rock solid, one maybe slightly moreso than the other. One day they do protection training and then two days later they went to my husband's second grade class to perform dog tricks and meet all the kids. I have a pic of my big, bad protection dog with three little kids basically lying all over him.

Well I wish we had a pier to jump off of around here! Nikon has his first dock diving competition this weekend. Kinda sucks having to practice on land, lol!
 

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Thanks Mary, yeah I think both dogs have good nerve for working dogs, but both are also very calm in all normal situations, never bark in crate without reason, don't try to break out of the crate or any other confinement they are in, very social in new situations, and not afraid to explore new things regardless of surface, noise, or smells. Kinda dogs that you put them somewhere and train them and they will have no problem learning it. I kinda like dogs like that:rolleyes:.
I really want to get down to NJ and have Mutz and Medo visit each other sometime soon :) I would love to see how they are together in person...they sound so much alike via email and message boarding! (oh, PS I was out with the dogs in the backyard the other day and laid down on the picnic bench for a little snooze in the sun...next thing I know I hear a ripping sound...yep, that's right...another weed barrier GONE! :rofl: )

I have socialized Medo up the wazoo for the simple fact that our lifestyle is that the dogs go everywhere with us. But I am pretty confident he didn't NEED it as he's gone into each new place and situation without batting an eye. I definitely saw some pretty big differences between him and some other puppies that were at the Bolster seminar this weekend.....and I'm much more pleased than them, I think.

Medo had his own accidental swim about a month ago. Big pond where I went hiking. He's romping through the water as he always does...next thing I know...swimming puppy! I think he was as surprised as me lol. But he did it just fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Lies, Why do you think it is disappointing? I am usually estatic when I figure things out because that information allows me to correct or change my practices to improve the situation.:)....Maybe I'm weird!!
 

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Disappointing b/c it seems that most people feel that socialization is what makes a dog stable and don't realize the importance and the role of genetics. Disappointing when you adopt a dog that is genetically unsound and many people assume it is *your* fault and that you didn't do any socialization. Disappointing that often these same people are the ones that are or want to be breeding these dogs and think that it's normal to have to coax a puppy to all these things or desensitize the puppy to various surfaces, being in social situations, being handled by the vet or even the owner.

I am on a few dog forums and on one there is a dog behaviorist that everyone seems to think so so great and so qualified yet this person still disagrees with me on the importance of genetics and that if a dog is scared of something or shows fear or nerve it's just the owner's fault for not taking her simple steps to "socializing" their dog. Yet the same person muzzles a dog at the vet...hmmmm....
 

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I've never socialized my pup to other dogs. at least not deliberately, if something like puppy class existed here, I doubt I'd take my pups to one. My pup only plays with my female or with dogs that stay here long.

To be honest, I really don't need to look for socialization instances, there are more dogs around than what I already need, I just can't go anywhere without encounter several loose dogs on my way... and if I'm training with food, they can be quite bothersome. 100% of dogs we have encountered are smaller than him and submit only to see him, which work great as free confident boosters, some will bark from the distance and my pup wont flip an ear for them.

Yesterday Akela was bitten by a GSD mix, loose, maybe stray. He has been following us, though none of us paid him attention and suddenly he rushed and bit my dog on the rump, more than a quick snap. Akela turned around, hackless up and faced the dog, not aggressively or scared, but startled. I loosened the leash so he could move freely and walked towards the attacking dog. I really wanted him to come back so I could put a good kick on his head, but the least thing the stray expected was both of us facing him and walking towards him so he flied with the wind, by then Akela had already forgotten him and was back to try to sneak the ball from my pocket. We encountered at least other 3 loose dog only in our walk back to the car and Akela could care less about any of them, even when a couple came close to smell Akela's butt.

Then you hear about all those reactive and dog aggressive dogs, all because they had a bad experience as pups...

Still I think part of the merit is how I react, but honestly, if I freaked out every time I see a loose dog or a stray I would have to walk my dogs in a giant hamster plastic bubble.
 
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