Bold or Timid breeds

Discussion in 'The Dog Breeds' started by Amstaffer, Feb 2, 2008.

  1. Amstaffer

    Amstaffer New Member

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    I was having a discussion with a guy who had a Vizsla/Lab mix (interesting looking dog actually) who was very timid. He said it is a Vizsla breed trait. I have seen a few Vizslas before and some have been and some have been just as bold as Sal.

    That got me to thinking. How much of Boldness or Timidness is by breed (I am a Nuture guy) I always thought Timidness is a sign of poor socialization or abuse more than breed.

    If it is breed, why would anyone breed for Timid dogs? Or is it just a flaw that follows some breeds more than others like Hip problems?

    What do you think?
     
  2. Zoom

    Zoom Twin 2.0

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    I've met quite a few of both, though overall Viszlas do seem to tend more towards timid and nervous. Seems to be a group trait (gun dogs) almost. Properly socialized, they turn out pretty well most of the time, but I know more than a couple that were socialized to the nines and are still nervous dogs.
     
  3. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    I don't know if timid is the right word, but in a lot of herding breeds, it is normal and desirable for a dog to be wary around strangers.

    Shelties are notorious for being shy, but they really won't be if you socialize them. But you can never expect them to be outgoing and overly friendly like the papillons. Beau isn't afraid of anything and loves everyone, the shelties on the other hand don't love everyone. Shelties just really don't seem to trust many people other than their own lol. At least you have to earn it with them. They're very biddable dogs and very into 'their' people. Pretty protective from what I have known of mine. Anything out of the ordinary bothers them and they will let you know. They make good watchdogs because of the fact that they don't take to strangers and the fact that they bark a lot.

    I assume these traits come from the fact that they are herding dogs. It seems a lot of herdng breeds need more socialization than others and aren't quite as 'people friendly' as other breeds.

    Trey is insanely shy to the point that he will hide from strangers and won't look at strange people or dogs. I know for a fact that he was socialized from the moment he was born. I first met him when he was being socialized by his breeder at my father's office before we owned him. He's not got the preferred temperament, but shyness isn't uncommon in the breed.
     
  4. Lizmo

    Lizmo Water Junkie

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    Laur, all the true working bred dogs actually are not more timid. I think it's just the breed as how they move/eye/herding instinct that make them look more timid - atleast in the border collie.

    Actually (honestly, I have no against you! :)), they are exactly opposite of this. Border Collies need to be friendly to strangers (being petted by many people at herding trials), walking through crowds perfectly fine, and fine with being handled by vets/strnagers if the dog were to get hurt while herding, or flying around the world.

    That desirable trait, most all the herding people I know, would NOT want in their border collies. Or any herding breed.
     
  5. corgipower

    corgipower Tweleve Enthusiest

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    It is often a lack of socializatin, it also can be indicative of poor breeding. I don't believe that any breed is supposed to bred for timidness. Some are more aloof than others, but that's quite different.

    IME, viszlas are a bit like weims, but with less bad breeding having hit them so far ~ as they become more popular I'm sure there will be more bad ones. They can be a bit on the flaky side, but shouldn't be timid.

    There's probably a pretty even split on that, and even within a breed, there's a split. They may be aloof with strangers, but they should not be timid around them. There also are herding breeds that are very outgoing with strangers (pemmies for one).

    Well, I disagree with that as well LOL. They don't need to be friendly with strangers. All dogs, regardless of breed should be tolerant of friendly strangers. They should be able to walk through a crowd, they should be able to be handled by vets. There is no need for dogs at trials to be petted, and many don't want to be - even more so at a trial than at home. At a trial they are focused on work.
     
  6. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    Well, what I'm trying to say is that if you start looking into herding breeds, one of the first things you see when reading up is that they must be socialized a lot as pups. From my experience many sporting dogs (like our lab) seem to readily take to people a lot quicker than some herders do. Sure, all my dogs put up with new people and new situations wonderfully- even Trey, they just don't tend to like it as much as say Beau would.

    Timid is probably the wrong word, but there is a distinct difference to me between boldness a terrier has and the reservation a sheltie has.

    For example, if Beau sees a new person, the first thing he wants to do is go up to them. Don't expect most shelties to run up and greet strangers, they're just not like that. They'd rather watch and wait and make a judgment themselves on the newcomer before deciding whether or not to befriend them. And when they do decide to befriend someone, they won't likely be overly fawning or anything like that. To some people more used ot an outgoing dog, that may come off as timid, when I think of it as more... reserved.

    I'll say again, Trey is a very special case and isn't the typical sheltie at all. He has a lot of socialization issues, and it's not for lack of trying. He came from a breeder that had plenty of other dogs and dragged him around to shows and trials of several different kinds. He just doesn't like people he doesn't know. He'll be fine with them, but he'll stay right next to me the entire time. His temperament is not desirable, but from my experience it isn't uncommon in shelties and from what I've read of other similar breeds, it isn't uncommon either.
     
  7. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    Aloof with strangers is a good word. What I was trying to say that a breed like shelties who are more aloof with strangers could come off as timid to people that aren't familiar with the breed.
     
  8. RD

    RD Are you dead yet?

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    I don't know of a single breed that is purposely bred for a skittish temperament. Badly bred dogs of any high strung working breed have a tendency to be timid or aggressive, and it's almost guaranteed if they're under socialized.

    My working BC is one that people constantly think is fearful or mean. Mean because the fur on her back naturally stands up a bit so it looks like her hackles are raised. Fearful because she carries her low-set tail between her legs (not tucked in "OMG I'm terrified" mode, it just rests naturally much like a sighthound's tail would.) and has a submissive attitude towards people and other dogs. She's not the least bit fearful (though she, like many of her breed, is sensitive to sudden loud sounds like gunshots, she startles and bounces back very quickly) but because most people aren't used to seeing dogs that look and act like her, surely there must be something wrong with her.

    I can vouch for the fact that when there are sheep around, the only person in my dog's world is me - because I'm the only one that can give her access to them. She certainly won't bite, but she doesn't often allow someone to touch her - she'll duck out of the way. It's not fear, it's a lack of interest. Normally she adores people but her first love is stockwork and that's what her mind is on during training class, and what her mind will be on at trials. LOL.
     
  9. Lizmo

    Lizmo Water Junkie

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    Yes, at a trial they are focused on working, but they are not around the stock or making eye contact with them at all times. Therefore they should not be focused on the sheep the whole time at a trial.

    If I was looking to purchase a Border Collie puppy from superb lines (which I am in the process of doing so now) the parents must be friendly with all people and like being around people while off stock. I certainly would not judge a dog's friendlyness by the way it is around stock. On stock the dog should be completely and totally focused on handler and sheep.

    The dog should enjoy attetion from all people, children, adults, and seniors. At home or at a trial. That would be a well-rounded Border Collie, IMO.
     
  10. corgipower

    corgipower Tweleve Enthusiest

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    No, not focused on the sheep, but they should be focused on the handler, and not on what is going on around them.

    As for friendly, yes, it's critical that a puppy's parents be friendly, but they don't need to be warm and fuzzy with a stranger, they need to accept a stranger ~ as in not coming out looking to take me to the ground nor running from me. They don't need to enjoy petting from a stranger ~ or even from the owner. Many dogs don't enjoy petting.
     
  11. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    A lot of it IS in perceptions.

    Like Grace's Eve, I've even had people assume that Kharma's timid . . . LMFAO! Because she doesn't allow them to touch her, her tail is held like Grace describes, her head is slightly down and her ears are slightly back. For her, that's in wary mode - and can morph to stalk mode in a nano second. Got nothing to do with timid.
     
  12. Lizmo

    Lizmo Water Junkie

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    Okay, maybe I didn't explain it right. When I think trial, a trial is 2+ days long for most working dogs that trial often. Do I expect a dog to be focused on handler the whole time they are away at the trial? No. The handler should mentally prepare the dog before the trial so that the dog can (this is probably not a very good way to explain this) "go into that mode" per se. I know one of the top handler's of Working Border Collies - he'll take his dogs for an easy walk to let the dog's muscles warm up about 8 runs before their turn. Then let the dog watch a run or two. Then they wait till their turn.

    This doesn't go for just trials. The dog should be ready work or able to sit in the handler's lap to wait on his turn at a clinic. All the good working BC people I've seen are able to do this - as it should be.

    No, by any means did I mean they need to be "warm and fuzzy" like a Golden or Lab. Here's a good example:

    I was at a clinic recently and a lady had her stockdog - only about a year old - out sitting in her lap, right beside the fencing leading into the field where the sheep were. The dog was going around greeting people being submissive and cuddly. Just looking to be petted. The dog walks over to me so I start petting him and talking to him. He loved it. But then his owner called him over for his turn on stock. Just like that, he went into "herding mode", and in my very newbie opinion, was one of the best dogs their that day.

    If I'm going to a trial to see potient parents of my pup, I want that dog to be able to be a great stockdog, but just as fast "turn off" (for lack of a better word) when his run is over.

    IMO, stockdogs DO need to see petting as a good thing. Something that means "Yes, I've done what my handler wanted" in combination with getting the sheep.



    Okay, I'm sorry, Amstaffer, I totally hijacked your thread :eek: I'm bowing out.
     
  13. RD

    RD Are you dead yet?

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    Jennifer, I totally see where you're coming from, but it's my opinion that it isn't a bad thing for a working stockdog to be aloof. The most important part of the trial is the work, not the socialization. If you think about it, the Border Collie is bred with a job to do on a farm, and it really didn't matter much if the dog was friendly or aloof - as long as it worked well and tolerated handling when it needed to be handled. That's why you have such a wide variety of temperaments in this breed!

    I have a preference for friendly Border Collies because, honestly, with all the snotty BYB BC's out there, good press for your breed is much easier to achieve with a personable dog. And I personally wouldn't want a stockdog with a foul attitude. But I wouldn't discount an aloof dog just because it's not interested in strangers. That dog can still be a tremendous worker.
     
  14. Tankstar

    Tankstar ~Lisa~

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    Blaze well socilaized liek crazy as a puppy. But being his breed they are not as social as other breeds. Offocurse some can be overly friendly. I am still working on him at 5 years old. He still wont just walk up to a stranger. But he wont just run away either. But he is very shy. he opens up easily and quickly. but the first few mins he is veryyy shy.
     
  15. fillyone

    fillyone But please, call me Barb

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    I haven't read all the posts so might be repeating something, but shouldn't any well bred dog not be timid?
    Aloof perhaps but never timid.
     
  16. DanL

    DanL Active Member

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    Being wary of strangers isn't being shy. Gunnar is wary of strangers but he's most definitely not shy. He has that aloofness that is a breed trait of the GSGD. If a stranger comes into my house, like a repairman, he won't even greet them, but he'll watch them the entire time they are in the house. When people he knows come over, they will get a brief greeting, and then he's back to doing what he was doing. He will play ball with people he knows though.

    Heavy socialization is done with many herding dogs because it's their nature to be suspicious. You have a GSD who hasn't been socialized, he's going to be more defensive of things he thinks are his, like his family and property. Socialization teaches them that not everyone is a threat.
     
  17. HoundedByHounds

    HoundedByHounds Oh, it's *you*

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    I do think some breeds are more like to notice things, and have a more firmly established "personal bubble" and if that is breached they have reactions from aggro to backing up quickly.

    IMO the perceived timidity of a dog is directly linked to how aware, alert, and reactive they are. If they are in a constant state to receive visual or auditory stimulus that can make them seemingly more jumpy.

    Phlegmatic breeds, not prone to react much....tend to appear staid and calm to outsiders.

    IMO the entire Terrier group is comprised of bold, forward going breeds.
     
  18. Rosefern

    Rosefern New Member

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    Flicka is very outgoing, very friendly with all people - which is a golden trait. They should be friendly, outgoing, and bold.

    Pepe, on the other hand, is not "shy" per se, he's just aloof. He doesn't really care if he gets to go say hello to every stranger we meet. He knows who matters to him, and he loves them to death. The rest of the world can just go to h*ll. He's not timid by any means - he just honestly doesn't really care.

    -Rosefern
     

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