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Breed Differences -- How Do They Impact Temperament, Behavior, Aggression, Training?

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

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Miyu CGC

Bow down to the- Princess Brat!
Barked: Tue Nov 27, '12 8:23pm PST 
Squ'mey.... man. Ha. That was GSD in a nutshell. Miyu is just. like. that. I couldn't describe it better! She's so smart, loves to work, picks up so quick, but man, if you let her get away with anything she wanted.... eek

Czarka, I LOVE that story! Fits to a tee, that!

"Stubborn" dogs- don't need- corrections
Barked: Tue Nov 27, '12 9:09pm PST 
I think it is very important to take breed into training.

For example, if you're a force-trainer or one who uses physical corrections, you would definitely need a breed that isn't going to a) Shut down, or b) Turn back and tear you a new one.

Force-free trainers also need to be careful.

"What?! Lobo! You're an advocate for force-free training!"

Exactly. We have to be extremely creative, and honestly, not everyone is cut out for critical thinking skills. It takes a lot of creativity to train a "stubborn" dog without using force. Even I can't do it completely. I pull Lobo around all the time - and yes, even leading them on their collars to a certain area or tugging them in a certain direction on walks IS force. I just don't yet have the skills. It's why I'm so eager to learn how to train and re-train without using ANY type of force. I know it's hard. But I'm a stubborn person myself, so I'm up to it. wink

So, yes, breed DOES impact training in many ways. A super clingy Chihuahua is easy to teach recall and LLW(if you know what you're doing, I guess...) while an independent and roamy Akita/Husky mix is a lot more difficult.

And even in breeds, it's STILL the individual dogs.

I'm watching a puppycam right now. These Akita Inu puppies are four and a half weeks old, and you can see their individual personalities BLOSSOMING. One of the females is EXTREMELY pushy. She wakes up the others demanding to play. It's adorable to watch, really. laugh out loud The one I've fallen in love with is a lot more shy. She still engages with the other puppies and with people(the breeder actually sleeps in the same room and you can frequently see her touching and playing with the puppies), but overall, she's a lot more chilled out and independent. I haven't seen her really "investigate" like the other three, but she doesn't seem timid, either. I imagine she'll grow more out of her shell with each day. She's also the smallest of the four; not sure if that has anything to do with it or not.
Jackson Tan

Lad about town
Barked: Tue Nov 27, '12 9:32pm PST 
Cain summed it up ever so nicely. laugh out loud

I don't think I'll ever own anything but herding types I'm so stuck in my ways, BOL. A lifetime of border collies, kelpies, koolies and ACDs, here I come!

Does it make me a masochist that I read all the GSD stories and still want one?

And someone did suggest a dobie would be a good match for me once ...thinking Hmmm, I think I would really have to change my super excitable loud mouth go go go ways for that one. I hear they are sensitive souls.

Edited by author Tue Nov 27, '12 9:35pm PST


Augusta,- CGC, RN

Such a Good Dog!
Barked: Tue Nov 27, '12 9:47pm PST 
J.T. that's interesting, even within a similar sub group of herding dogs, I'll bet those four breeds each have their own distinctions from each other . .. . (I don't know much about the Koolies . . .)
Jackson Tan

Lad about town
Barked: Tue Nov 27, '12 10:05pm PST 
Oh yeah, they sure do! Borders are sensitive and the most biddable of the bunch. They like knowing what they have to do and taking command when at work. They also can be the most neurotic. ACDs are the hardest and most arrogant, and you need to earn their respect. They work mostly without direction. Kelpies also prefer to work without direction, but will listen if they have to. They can be mouthy. They are harder than a BC but some still can be very sensitive to correction, it depends on the breeding and nerves of the dog. Koolies I don't have s lot of experience with, but that seem to have that potential for neurosis like the border collie too, and seem happy to take direction.

Most sheep farmers I speak to prefer a border collie first, then the kelpie, where as the ACD, given the quirks of their personality, seems fairly despised, lol. I was taking to one yesterday about a champion working ACD we knew and he swore that it must have had collie in it. It was hilarious. He refused to hear a pure ACD could be a trial champ. laugh out loud

Talk to a cattle rancher, of course, and a border collie is considered fairly useless. So yeah, similar types, similar behaviors, different aspects.

Farlekiin the- Dragonborn
Barked: Wed Nov 28, '12 10:02am PST 
My former agility trainer has a koolie pup! It's about 3 or 4 months old now. He said he wanted a Koolie because apparently they're a little less neurotic than Borders and he also mentioned they are more bonded to their own handler and less willing to listen to/work with anyone besides its owner.
Anyway, it sure is a cute puppy. cloud 9

too old to eat- any more KD
Barked: Wed Nov 28, '12 10:16am PST 
J&T..what a great descriptionsmile After a kelpie, you just *might be ready for a GSDlaugh out loud
Charks...I could totally see the picture in my head of the squirrel on the
I do have a dog who could "tear me a new one" and I do use corrections.But a proper correction is never used during learning. Once my gsds are proofed on a command, then they will get a correction when they blow me off. The exception being a recall. Since coming to me is always a good thing a blown recall means I come to the dog & he gets a few minutes on the leash, before being let off for a second chance.

Farlekiin the- Dragonborn
Barked: Wed Nov 28, '12 10:31am PST 
Squ'mey I agree about the recall- you always want coming to you to be a good thing. I have seen people at the dog park call and call and scream at their dog to come, then when it finally does come, they scold the crap out of it. No wonder the dog is in no hurry to come back to them! confused

Farley has an awesome recall. It came pretty natural to him, even at huge off leash dog parks if he runs far enough ahead, he will choose to suddenly stop on his own, look back at me, and just stand there and wait until I catch up laugh out loud I rarely end up having to call him back to me because he does so willingly anyway.

The other day I had him on a bench on the top of a hill by the river and I sat and stayed him while I used my cell phone. Some ducks came out of no where, all flying across the river at once, and Farley took off after them immediately. I was screaming bloody murder because he was heading to the icy river, and he totally ignored me until he got to the very edge of the river, he stopped on a dime, turned right back around and came trotting back to me. As mad as I was, I praised the heck out of him for stopping at the riverbank and coming back to me. We have to be careful, there's ducks everywhere smile

Where's that- rabbit?
Barked: Wed Nov 28, '12 10:52am PST 
Farley eek Lucky he stopped. Wiley chased a duck out onto the Bow River..during spring runoff! He was not giving up..the darn duck would swim towards him, then let the current take him back out. Wiley was just being typical teenage gsd..he knew what I wanted, but he didn't care..he was gonna get that duck! I ended up racing downriver to get him to swim/float to me. Man we stepped up training after that. Now he is able to walk nicely through the park with all the geese & ducks.But he still has the heart & desire to get even with that "lost duck." He scans those birds every time looking for the one that got awaylaugh out loud
Jackson Tan

Lad about town
Barked: Wed Nov 28, '12 7:42pm PST 
I hear you about the ducks! JT swims up the irrigation channel near my house soooo desperately and the ducks just drift along slowly with derisive quacks then fly off... he's a horrible hunter.

Can't recall him from rabbits. Or other dogs. Never have been able to in 2 years. And when he finally comes back on his own when the rabbit inevitably escapes, oooh boy he is in trouble ... straight back on the lead for him!

Dogs I actually pursue because he could either play or fight and he doesn't decide til he gets there. God he's fast, too fast for my flabby frame. laugh out loud That sinking feeling of hopelessness as you watch your dog vanish is just awful, lol.

One day I'll have my GSD, Squam! Just give me ten years to mentally prepare for adolescence and build up my girl arms and I'll be ready. smile
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