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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I was waiting outside for a guy to do some work on the house (we live rural) I had both dogs with me to use his arrival as a training opportunity. I was working on Deja's (4 years) down-stay while practicing more difficult retrieves with Griff (5 months). Suddenly I see that guy come up to me. I never heard him in his Prius or getting out of his car or close his car door.
The dogs never noticed him either: too focused on me. They stayed with me until I gave them the okay, which means for Griff that I stopped fetching. They never barked, which I liked. Your opinion on this? I'll give you mine later.
 

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I think that sounds like a good response as far as them waiting for you to tell them what to do. I would be proud of my dogs if they held a stay until given the okay in an unexpected scenario. I also like that they didn't bark.

That said, I would have preferred they alerted me slightly sooner! The focus is great, but they should also not be totally oblivious to what is going on around them.

I'm surprised the guy wasn't afraid of two German shepherds.
 

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I'm surprised the guy wasn't afraid of two German shepherds.
I am too, frankly. LOL. You're clearly doing great focus work with your guys, @Wolfydog, but I'd want mine to alert on a stranger before I did. Not frantic barking and screeching, mind you, but something to let me know that someone's coming on the property. They're my first line of defense, so to say.

Aly
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ok, this is my take. Both dogs are very alert on their surroundings normally. I think this was about peer pressure. Deja was so OCD focused on me because she was the one not working with me and instead saw that that darn pup had that privilege but she held her down-stay. And Griff, who loves fetch games, was too eager to make sure he was the one finding that toy.
I was very surprised, maybe a little disappointed honestly, that I was the one noticing the (nice) guy walking up (over gravel even!!). ON th eother hand I was happy that they were not worried since I wasn't.
All in all it was an interesting experience. I am always interested in the reason for behavior.
Thoughts?
 

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Seems your focus was as intense on Griff and Daja as theirs were to you considering you didn't hear anything. I'm wondering if Daja did notice, ear flick towards the noise or shift of the head, eye etc that you didn't see, but since there was no reaction from you, she chose to ignore. If she normally alerts, had you reacted surprised she probably would have become appropriately alert.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I didn't see her response if there was any but if she had noticed, she would have broken her stay I assume ( I didn't raise a robot).
Most likely I seem to rely on my extra 2 sets of ears subconsciously, which I am now seriously doubting to be useful from now on :)
I am not concerned at all, just was wondering how this happened or not happened.
Thanks for thinking with me.
 

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They probably noticed the person coming but may have chose to dismiss it. Aside from their focus on you and the game, your lack of reaction to the guys approach along with thier trust in you may have placed the visitor lower on the priority list.
 

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I didn't see her response if there was any but if she had noticed, she would have broken her stay I assume ( I didn't raise a robot).
Most likely I seem to rely on my extra 2 sets of ears subconsciously, which I am now seriously doubting to be useful from now on :)
I am not concerned at all, just was wondering how this happened or not happened.
Thanks for thinking with me.
I certainly wouldn't question the utility or reliability of your dogs based on a single incident like this! What it does show really well though is the stability of your dogs nerves! A weaker nerved dog would get freaked out by the sudden presence of a stranger and probably react very aggressively. Not good in most cases...

Here they both took it in stride, because you did, and I'm guessing because of the demeanor of your visiter. When you consider alternate outcomes, I know I would be relieved and proud of how they handled the situation!
 

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I would be proud of them for their focus on you! Remi doesn’t even bark when the door bell rings I would like some sort of some response as my husband works 24 hour shifts as a paramedic and if someone broke into my house I’d like to know!
 

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LOL, GSD'schoice! :D


RemisMom, I adopted a dog that didn't know what a doorbell or knock on the door meant because he'd been kept tied up outside. With the help of a trainer, we soon got him responding to the door. So, that's my suggestion to you. It might be worth a try for your peace of mind!
 

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Its interesting how they are different on their home place. Inga would have to be held back and put into a down if some strange man appeared on the ranch. In town on leash she does not show stranger aggression/alarm. Although few strangers approach us for some reason :D
 
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