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I noticed this mentioned in a pedigree discussion and thought I would see what fellow GSD owners view as "nerve" in a GSD.

Nerve in a dog to me is a dog the is not easily shaken, scared, intimidated by loud noises, agression or the unknown. Basically they have no fear and feel invincable.

Would this be a good description?

I am curious as to my own GSD's behavior when it comes to nerve. He doesn't seem overly aggressive just in play. There is no doubt loud noises do not shake him. But for some reason and this has to do with other dogs, he sometimes becomes a weeny and it's always with dogs his size or bigger. Don't get me wrong, he has played with dogs his own size without whimping out but when the other dog starts pushing alittle more, he's done. I think he lacks alittle confidence in this area. I'd like to see him improve in this area also. I was thinking of Schutzhund for him but wonder is this would be a problem for him qualifying for it. What would be a good exercise to boost his confidence in this area?
 

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Courage, mental balance, and stability.
Also, curiosity without fear, and quick recovery from startling and stressful situations.
 

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I noticed this mentioned in a pedigree discussion and thought I would see what fellow GSD owners view as "nerve" in a GSD.

Nerve in a dog to me is a dog the is not easily shaken, scared, intimidated by loud noises, agression or the unknown. Basically they have no fear and feel invincable.

Would this be a good description?

I am curious as to my own GSD's behavior when it comes to nerve. He doesn't seem overly aggressive just in play. There is no doubt loud noises do not shake him. But for some reason and this has to do with other dogs, he sometimes becomes a weeny and it's always with dogs his size or bigger. Don't get me wrong, he has played with dogs his own size without whimping out but when the other dog starts pushing alittle more, he's done. I think he lacks alittle confidence in this area. I'd like to see him improve in this area also. I was thinking of Schutzhund for him but wonder is this would be a problem for him qualifying for it. What would be a good exercise to boost his confidence in this area?
What would you expect him to do than disengage when other dogs are annoying him? I'd want my dog to do what yours does, not ramp up and then possibly fight.
Unless dogs have a relationship(as in living together) there should be no reason to expect them to play. If you are going to dog parks, stopping that and getting into formal training instead will boost his confidence.
Go to a club or two and have him evaluated for the sport. I see quite a few dogs at one of the places I train that aren't real confident hard dogs, but their handlers still train them in the sport.
I think a dog of good nerve can have a bit of 'fear'....and not feel invincible. I'd rather have a dog that thinks, not one that just reacts.
 

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Dominance and nerve are not the same thing. The flappability and confidence of a dog has nothing to do with whether or not he tries to be dominant over other dogs. As Jane said, what's the alternative, fighting back? No good. Be glad you have a dog who will walk away from a possible fight, rather than engage.
 

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I don't want him to fight either but this is the first GSD Ive had to act like this. He doesnt seem to be scared of anything else. But he will at times be where there are other dogs either fenced or loose, he will just have a slight show of fear, no tailtucking or anything, just a need to get away. He is only 6 months. I guess you could look at it as a good thing.

As far as the outlook at what nerve means, good points.
 

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By the way we already tried the dogpark thing. It isnt for us. It wasnt bad as far as when less crouded, but when it gets crouded, its too much for both of us at this point. Your on a wing and a prayer in our dogpark.
 

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So what are you doing with him now? Any training classes? Are there clubs nearby you can take him to? I'd much rather have an aloof neutral puppy towards other dogs, than one that thinks they are to constantly be played with. When a pup gets all ramped up just seeing another dog, eventually that reactive behavior transfers to frustration and may manifest into aggressiveness because of the leash or barrier.

I love that my male is not into other dogs, he could care less. Though he has two dogs at home that he plays with all the time.
 

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your dog is young. he'll gain more confidence with age, training
and socializing.

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I don't want him to fight either but this is the first GSD Ive had to act like this. He doesnt seem to be scared of anything else. But he will at times be where there are other dogs either fenced or loose, he will just have a slight show of fear, no tailtucking or anything, just a need to get away.

>>>>> He is only 6 months.<<<<<

I guess you could look at it as a good thing.

As far as the outlook at what nerve means, good points.
 

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Nerve is hard to define but easy to see. It manifests it self in your dogs reaction to unfamiliar stimuli. If your dog is eager and confident in response to unfamiliar and surprising stimulus I would say it probably has at least stable nerves. To test for strong nerves, I would say you would have to add the element of pressure. See if the dog can carry out a task that it does not want to do with out becoming overly stressed.
 

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Courage, mental balance, and stability.
Also, curiosity without fear, and quick recovery from startling and stressful situations.
This. Both of mine walked into the house like they owned the place. They are not afraid to try new things or go to different places, they welcome it. A good example just happened a couple days ago with my female. Keep in mind that this dog has only had a deep big girl bark once in her two years. My niece is staying with us and she decided to walk in the house with her hoodie on and it covered most of her face. The dogs were sleeping and immediately Robyn had hackles up and her big girl bark, but immediately stopped when my niece took the hood off. It took about 10 seconds to recover and she was ready to give kisses. She has always had a good on/off switch.
 

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So what are you doing with him now? Any training classes? Are there clubs nearby you can take him to? I'd much rather have an aloof neutral puppy towards other dogs, than one that thinks they are to constantly be played with. When a pup gets all ramped up just seeing another dog, eventually that reactive behavior transfers to frustration and may manifest into aggressiveness because of the leash or barrier.

I love that my male is not into other dogs, he could care less. Though he has two dogs at home that he plays with all the time.


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We're in between obedience classes right now. When work calms down alittle, we're either joining a Schutzhund club or will continue with our obedience classes.

I don't see what he does as a huge problem. He is just the first GSD of mine thats has reacted in this way. Most GSD's Ive owned have all seemed confident in themselves but noises and storma scared the poo out of them. Cruz seems to be the exact opposite. It really isn't a huge concern, but reading some posts in another thread the term nerve came up in breeding ect. and got me curious as to see how others viewed what it meant.
 

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Your pup sounds like he has a higher threshold level, which is good!
Even if your schedule is a bit hectic, continue to train at home and I'd also train him in public area's where there are some distractions.
 
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