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  #21  
Old 10-18-2013, 10:11 AM
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I think it takes a very special type of dog to be able to be exposed to reactive dogs repeatedly without developing some sort of anxiety/stress induced behavior. I would be looking at overall stability and individuals rather than a breed for that job. I wouldn't get a puppy to raise to fill the role specifically, rather utilize the dog if they fit that role as an adult.
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  #22  
Old 10-18-2013, 10:38 AM
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I have to echo a few sentiments:

-I don't think of any of the breeds being discussed as "easy" in the sense that it's being used. Some individuals are but in general the basic make up of these breeds means that "go anywhere, do anything" dogs are created with lots of hard work on top of correct genetics. But they all tend to not be simple, straight-forward dogs and are instead rather complicated, at least IME. If I were looking for a "break" after having a difficult or demanding dog, I would not be looking for a Mal, Dutch, or GSD. I really love this type of dog but easy they are not. I'm not at all saying "You can't handle one" because I'm sure you can, I just don't know if that's what you're looking for right now.

-I can't see a dog from those breeds being suitable for repeated reactive dog exposure, for the reasons other have said. They're quite "moldable" IME and could easily become reactive themselves after repeated exposures to a dog that's threatening or antagonizing them. They're designed to respond accordingly to threats, not look the other way. I think in general they're too responsive and confrontational for reactive dog work.

-Public access can be challenging depending on the dog's temperament and the idiocy levels of the public at any given time, as others have said. IME the vast majority of the working shepherd types are just fine with out in public with neutral strangers, but that's assuming neutrality and respect from the strangers... which can be a lot to ask these days. Most people have an idea of what dogs "should be" and act on it, and these dogs (and others too, obviously, but especially these dogs) don't always fit into that.

Also, on a different note, I think it's extremely obvious that mouthing/biting in an adult dog and mouthing/biting in a 7 week old puppy are not comparable. That seems obvious to me, but since the comparison was made, apparently it's not? I have little comment on the issue; I would be appalled at an adult dog of any breed doing that and I admit that dog would not exactly be seeing my happy face or my patient side right there and then, but I also haven't trained every dog and I certainly know how these dogs in particular can be. I still get bit sometimes, it happens, mostly sloppy targeting but sometimes plain frustration or stupidity (mouth first, brain later... or never) on the dog's part. I'm not exactly lax about it or very forgiving of bites that don't come from honest targeting error, and I admit I think that plays a part in keeping those events relatively isolated, but like I said, I haven't trained every dog in every situation.

My last thought is that if I was personally looking for a reactive dog helper, I'd probably look at adults and be looking the right individual, with breed not really being a big part of my consideration.
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  #23  
Old 10-18-2013, 10:49 AM
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I don't think that's the main goal, a reactive dog helper, but the dog being tolerant and not reactive itself was a big perk. At least that's how I read it.

Again, I don't think the behaviors being mentioned are being understood. Redirection, grabbiness, impulse issues, and drive leaking can be managed but presuming a [hard] correction from a lack of patience actually nulls the issue is not correct ime.
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  #24  
Old 10-18-2013, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdrianneIsabel View Post

Again, I don't think leaking drive is being understood. Redirection and drive leaking can be managed but presuming a [hard] correction from a lack of patience fixes the issue is far from correct ime.
If that's what you got from my post, I must have communicated very poorly. My "harsh" corrections are rarely physical and more involve a total disruption of interaction and training privileges. My dog has her own leaking issues and I'm no stranger to it. I was working with her on wrapping skills and she took a flying leap and bit my bicep because I had my arm out to cue her and she wanted to do something, anything with her mouth. My correction was a stern verbal no and putting her in a down stay for a few minutes to cool off. Then we went to practice hand targeting while in drive and not using our teeth (that is a work in progress but her impulse control is improving), and other relevant exercises.

I didn't used to be able to move my hands around her head during bite work (couldn't use hand signals for obedience) because she would grab at them - not hard, thankfully, considering what she's capable of, but she was so wired she would grab at what moved past her head. She had... several other impulse control and drive-leaking related issues during bite work that we have worked through, as well. She's honestly not as clear-headed of a dog as I would like ideally but I find it tolerable because her sheer drive makes her a pleasure to work. My experience with her and with other dogs is that impulse control and foundation work play a big role but so do deterrent consequences and a (relatively) severe attitude towards it, if that matters to that particular dog. Then again, my severe is "shame on you, what were you thinking" not swinging the dog around by the collar.

Like I said, I haven't trained every dog and I know how these dogs can be and often are. So *shrug*. Just sharing my experience thus far. Not a stranger to drive leaking issues.

ETA: I will say that without a foundation of impulse control (which something we work on daily here), I don't think a correction of any kind will be very effective.
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  #25  
Old 10-18-2013, 11:21 AM
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Well, my post was in response to the assumption Erin is standing by with a smile while Aeri grabs at her in some drive safeguarding. While everything is trainable not every dog is as easy (nor as hard) to train in every aspect.

ie: Phelan was a breeze to start a bark on command with, Sloan is still a headache. Sloan was a breeze to train a back stall with, Backup was a trial of my patience due to his born in touch and proximity issues. Phelan has been rather easy to train a off switch on, Backup was downright impossible. It's easy to theorize but my dogs are so sweet about teaching me its not always that easy in action. lol
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  #26  
Old 10-18-2013, 11:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdrianneIsabel View Post
Well, my post was in response to the assumption Erin is standing by with a smile while Aeri grabs at her in some drive safeguarding. While everything is trainable not every dog is as easy (nor as hard) to train in every aspect.

ie: Phelan was a breeze to start a bark on command with, Sloan is still a headache. Sloan was a breeze to train a back stall with, Backup was a trial of my patience due to his born in touch and proximity issues. Phelan has been rather easy to train a off switch on, Backup was downright impossible. It's easy to theorize but my dogs are so sweet about teaching me its not always that easy in action. lol
Oh I can agree to that. Everything's simple in theory. Then dogs come around to stick that in your eye socket. I'd say this - they largely reflect their handling in those regards but there are certainly some dogs who are far more difficult than others and I understand that. (I would talk about Blossom's adventures in learning how to walk on a leash without freaking the **** out BECAUSE THERE MIGHT BE SQUIRRELS AND WHERE ARE WE GOING AND ARE WE THERE YET WILL THERE BE SQUIRRELS but that's another thread entire.)

I consider myself fortunate that while on the hectic side and not super clearheaded, Blossom is very biddable and honest to the core, and responds well to reward-based impulse control work. If she wasn't so **** eager and earnest she would be quite difficult to train.

Also, while she normally settles if I make it clear nothing fun is happening, today she's pacing away behind me. Case in point. She says I can stuff my theories and my precious off switch.
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  #27  
Old 10-18-2013, 01:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdrianneIsabel View Post
Well, my post was in response to the assumption Erin is standing by with a smile while Aeri grabs at her in some drive safeguarding. While everything is trainable not every dog is as easy (nor as hard) to train in every aspect.
Thank you Adrianne. The idea that I'm just letting my dog rev up and mouth me or that I even encouraged the behavior is laughable. She was in CU classes at 5 months and we've worked on the grabbiness since then, but sometimes it's about knowing your dog's limits and setting them up for success as you can and managing behavior or using well thought out consequences as needed/appropriate.

I can pretty much guarantee that I've tried everything, including physical correction when I was insanely frustrated myself, and the only thing that has made obvious progress was a combination of calm training, clear instructions/guidance, and having absolutely no reaction to the grabbiness when it occurred. Taking breaks and keeping things short certainly help, but are not solutions in and of themselves. Retraining my SELF to react differently has been one of my biggest hurdles, too.

At 3, I'm happy with where she is, but she does still have her moments when she gets a 'lie down' to pre-empt something or she gets a shirt grab in before I can clarify something. Like I said, she's teaching me a lot.

I added my example in, and added the detail above, as something to show the OP that while these sorts of dogs may be 'easy' in some respects (they do train up scary fast in a lot of situations and omg the flashiness that's built in to so much of their performance is awesome), they can be challenging in ways you don't really understand until you're in the middle of it.

I swore I was ready for a mouthy dog after Kestrel's puppyhood, but Aeri was/is a TOTALLY different ball of wax; I will fully admit that there have been days where I felt totally out of my element and overwhelmed, but I had a TON of support from those who had been there, done that and understood where I was and could offer support or suggestions as needed. I would not trade this dog for the world; she and I are very much on a journey together.
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  #28  
Old 10-18-2013, 02:09 PM
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No problem, I think you're a superb trainer and a great match for Aeri. Any assumption that you're forgoing some easy fix in an effort to build drive is just silly.

Like I said every dog and every task is trainable but to presume people aren't working on something because its taking longer or they're taking a different path is very often incorrect.
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  #29  
Old 10-18-2013, 04:18 PM
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Who said there's an easy fix for anyone's training or behavioral issues? I think most trainers can agree that while dog training is "simple", at least in theory, it's never all that easy.

Different people have different tolerance levels for various behaviors. I tend to agree with Emily that while there may be occasional exceptions, things like biting you when over aroused are generally able to be addressed by simply not tolerating it from the start. Roust very much is genetically predisposed to that behavior but it's just not allowed. Just like door dashing, grabbing a sandwich out of my hand while I'm walking around or resource guarding isn't allowed. My comment is not intended to pick on anyone but to point out that despite popular opinion (not from anyone in specific) you don't have to expect or accept your dog acting that way into adulthood just because they're working bred, driven and impulsive. Are such dogs more likely to act that way? Of course. But it's also a training issue and not helped by telling people it's something they just need to learn to live with. But if starting from day one, you don't tolerate it and have a plan to not only deal with but prevent it, it's probably not going to be a massive problem. I say probably cause you know, there's always that one dog out there...
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  #30  
Old 10-18-2013, 04:29 PM
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I don't think I've seen anyone tell anyone else that some behaviors just have to be lived with?!

Several folks HAVE said that there are some dogs that may take more work than others and some behaviors that are more common in the breeds being discussed. Both points are something someone should consider if looking into Mals/Dutchies/working GSDs and similar.
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