Herding or working dog?

Discussion in 'The Dog Breeds' started by staffanatic, Dec 23, 2012.

  1. Red Chrome

    Red Chrome New Member

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    I have seen some SSA from GSDs but it has been few and far between for me to see it with other dogs in the house. Maybe I've been super lucky to see GSDs that aren't SSA. But Judge plays with other intact males and accepts any dog I bring in my house as well as never challenges Hobie...maybe he is an oddity but I thought he was the norm for a nice stable GSD. GSDs can be reactive to other dogs in my experience but I don't think it is that much more than other breeds. IDK.

    Most the breeders I listed are in WA and they have a variety of lines so could very easily give you some hands on experience with different lines. Von Grunheide in Snohomish is another great breeder, Suzanne is a K9 officer and knows her stuff!
     
  2. FG167

    FG167 New Member

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    I've had the same experience with Kastle, Ike, and my friend's dog, Nikon. Pan is reactive, but he doesn't "know" what he is doing so I don't really count that. Kastle though, we've had fosters, added dogs, my parents' dogs, my friends' dogs, not to mention numerous flyball tournaments, where - without fail - dogs will run up to him and be extremely rude, and I've had no issues. He's even had a little dog bite him in the face while on a run, and he growled and waited for me to take care of the problem. He is incredibly aloof, but not a problem. He plays with our dogs and ignores all others.
     
  3. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    Is Kastle young? I only ask because that tolerance can definitely fade with age. I would love a dog that maintains that tolerance as an adult though.
     
  4. FG167

    FG167 New Member

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    Kastle is 1.5 years. But, Ike is 3.5 years and is much the same. Neither will take "crap" from other dogs, but they are both very tolerant until another dog starts something. From the GSDs I've been around, both in IPO and at work, the Belgiums tend to breed a...happier dog, for lack of a better word. Kastle has been aloof since the day I brought him home, he is only now beginning to play with our other dogs, in the last 4-5 months or so. Before, he ignored and would only interact if he had a toy in his mouth already.

    ETA: but I have made it VERY clear that my dogs are to get along, and we have multiple intact males. Kastle is very, very biddable, and tries VERY hard to do what I ask - so this might also play a part. If he was less biddable, or cared more about dominance than about what I wanted, it may be different in our household. Limit is a bit of an ass with other dogs, but he now cares what I think too (he's 8 months now) and I can easily manage him - he knows to ignore others if he doesn't want to play. I'm a very....strong handler so this has been the case for me for awhile and I've had 5 male dogs of my own.
     
  5. Red Chrome

    Red Chrome New Member

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    Judge can be reactive on leash to certain dogs. He is very into his "bubble space" so he will react if a dog rushes him. Part of that is IMHO due to the area he was raised in where semi-feral dog packs would chase us on walks.(raised on an indian reservation) But he maintains himself in crowded areas and at shows etc. If I introduce him to other dogs the way he needs to be, he is excellent with them. He doesn't start anything and looks to me before trying to finish something. He also doesn't care about dominance either.

    I think most of it is that I require my dogs to put up with a lot and if I bring a new dog in, they need to accept it, period. No questions asked. The bolded part is true for my house as well. I have intact males in and out on a regular basis and I don't have to crate/rotate.

    My friend has a GSD bitch who is still intact and who plays with LoLa and other dogs without a problem as well. Judge's breeder has some SSA dogs but they represent a small portion when compared to her dogs that aren't SSA.

    I think GSDs like Judge,my friend's bitch,Nikon,Ike and Kastle are more the norm for good stable GSDs than the ones that are SSA.
     
  6. FG167

    FG167 New Member

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    Also should add, I made it clear to my breeder that my GSD needed to be able to coexist with numerous other dogs, handle himself well in chaotic environments, and be extremely biddable. Puppies, of course, are a crap shoot, but I think the more extreme puppies were crossed off as possible for me with these guidelines.
     
  7. staffanatic

    staffanatic New Member

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    i don't mind dog aggression in general, hell, i have amstafs! But with these amstafs there's always the possiblity you can have 3 dogs that have to be separated at all times. I've accepted that and planned my life around it. So if i'm bringing another breed in, i'd prefer their DA be lower and easier managed. i'd never ask for my dog to accept another dog, blindly and without fail. But i'd be very sad if i had, say, 5 dogs and only 2 at a time could be out together. i have a friend who breeds very hot abpts and while it works for her, i'd never want to play musical rooms/dogs like she does.

    Between fosters, babysitting and training, my dogs are very easy going when it comes to other dogs coming into their house.

    i just need a dog that will stand up for itself against these frat boy dogs. lol
     
  8. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

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    Absolutely. My two GSD bitches got along extremely well together - total BFFS until they were about 3. I actually haven't known many GSDs who were SSA before they were 2. Between 2 and 4 seems to be the average age for the problem to start.

    SSA with GSDs is usually towards household dogs, so a GSD bitch who can play with non-household bitches isn't necessarily a GSD bitch who can live with other bitches.

    I'm curious how many GSDs Judge's breeder has and why you feel the SSA ones are SSA. In these posts, you seem to come across that SSA is a management/training issue, unusual in the breed and it is possibly a sign of an unstable temperament.

    Not to be a naysayer but didn't Pan have to be rehomed when he matured because he and Nikon started seriously fighting? I know Ike lives with other males, how old are the other males? Your friend's bitch is ok with non-household bitches but does she live with other bitches? Judge is ok with an elderly household male but he's your only young male isn't he? None of these dogs seem to "prove" SSA isn't an issue in GSDs, since it seems most aren't exposed to the situation that typically triggers SSA in the breed. Obviously, not every GSD will be SSA but to imply it's not something that one should worry about when getting into the breed is IMO a bit of a misrepresentation. SSA is the reason I no longer have a GSD because in every other way, they are perfect for me and I have always loved the breed.

    My very SSA GSD bitch went to daycare with me every day for years without ever having any issue with bitches there. She went to dog shows, agility trials, trade shows, visits to friends and family, tayed in hotel rooms with lots of other doggy roommates and went hiking/swimming with friends dogs. Never had any issues in any of those settings. In fact, she was always extremely polite towards other dogs in their houses. She was tolerant towards bitch puppies and adolescents at my house...until they matured. It was never about dominance, as it didn't matter if the other bitch was submissive or wanting to fight.

    What about Tervs out of Black Dogs? Better or worse temperaments ;)

    Really though, with any of the Belgians so much of it depends on the breeder and what they are breeding for. There's some truly awesome Black Dogs out there and some extremely sketchy Brown Dogs...and vice versa. There's super drivey, wild, energetic dogs in all flavors and some laid back, calm, low drive ones too.


    Well...this makes me a bit more hesitant about a GSD. What are the ages/sexes of your dogs? My SSA GSD was never a problem with fosters or temporary bitches here. The SSA in them is very different than DA in say APBTs or AmStaffs. With GSD SSA, it's more personal than just "dog aggression" if that makes sense.
     
  9. Red Chrome

    Red Chrome New Member

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    This bitch could easily live with other bitches.

    She has 8 adult GSDs. 3 of which are SSA. I do feel that in her case it is due to training issues and lack of leadership at a young age. I'm NOT saying that it is unusual in the breed. I do feel that it can be a sign of unstable temperament. I do not think that a well bred STABLE GSD should be over the top SSA to other dogs in their house. That is just my opinion.


    I don't know the exact reason Pan was rehomed. My friend's bitch doesn't live with other females but absolutely could. Actually I have my brother's Boxer living with me and mine who is 3 years old and a butthead. He is constantly challenging Judge, Judge looks to me for help when that happens. But Judge also knows that shenanigans are not acceptable in my house. I'm not saying that GSDs aren't prone to it, but I do feel that most of the cases are lack of leadership/training. I feel it should be worried about just like any other breed but IMHO it isn't more or less common than other breeds.

    The behavior you described is odd to me. I personally wouldn't own a dog like that.


    I just don't find this statement accurate. It doesn't have to be that way in my experience. I think SSA is a case by case basis and much more of an individual dog thing than a breed thing.

    I'm not saying it isn't an issue in the breed but I do not find it more common than any other breed. I am dogsitting Samoyeds right now and they have 2 bitches that can't be together at all but they get along with the rest of the pack, just fine. The reason those 2 bitches don't get along, lack of leadership at a young age.
     
  10. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

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    Except that she doesn't :) Seriously, if Jora never lived with other bitches I would have never, ever thought she would have a problem. She was fine with non-household bitches and not even DR. When I got another bitch and GSD people started warning me that there could be issues down the road keeping two same sex and especially same sex, close in age bitches together I thought they were a bit paranoid. Besides, my two bitches were BFFs! And of course they were raised well, trained properly and well socialized. I didn't think that would ever be an issue for me and my dogs. People who have those problems must have really aggressive dogs or just not manage them well. Now I know better.


    Everyone's entitled to their opinions of course. I have to say that I do wonder why you would buy from a breeder who you felt couldn't properly train and manage their dogs? And who's dogs (3 out of 8) may have unstable temperaments?

    That's fine. It's not really that odd though. And FWIW just about everyone who was around her loved her because she was such a great example of the breed temperament wise. Amline people, working line people, agility people, k9 officers, pet people, etc. She was an extremely sound and very, very good dog.


    Do you feel APBTs also fight due to poor leadership? Or that Foxhounds get along so well in huge groups because they are so well trained and managed?

    It is really oversimplified to say the only reasons people would have SSA issues are lack of leadership and/or unstable temperament.

    I really wish it wasn't more of a concern in GSDs than in the average dog. But well, in your examples you said nearly half of Judge's breeder's personal dogs are SSA, one of the dogs mentioned in this thread was rehomed due to SSA, one of my 3 GSDs was SSA, a GSD breeder friend of mine has had several SSA dogs. Just in this small sampling of dogs you and I know personally or have known, there's at least 10 dogs who have displayed SSA. Dogs owned by knowledge dog people. If you hang out on the GSD forum, it's not at all uncommon for people to post asking for help with their same sex dogs who have started fighting. I'm sure we both know many more than that though. Know how many Goldens I can think of off the top of my head with SSA? None. Poodles? None. Collies? None. And very often when I hear of SSA in breeds like that, it's like what you're saying with the 2 Sammy bitches - two bitches who just hate each other but are good with all other dogs. Or males who are jerks but not really out for blood. Now Dobermans? Have known quite a few SSA ones and I don't even know a lot. Rotties? Yep. And obviously GSDs. That would point towards it being more of a concern in some breeds than it is in others. I'm not saying that GSDs are always or almost always SSA. Some are and some aren't. And some who aren't would be if exposed to the right triggers. I do not think that it generally has to be with "dominance" or "leadership" issues with the owner. SSA should never come as a surprise in the breed. Which is why I haven't gotten another one.

    One interesting thing I have noticed in GSDs I have known well is that SSA bitches are often really good with their daughters and granddaughters, providing they have always been together. I'm not sure that a leadership issue between dog and owner would cause a dog to want to eliminate unrelated bitches but favor those genetically related to them? SSA in GSDs is pretty complicated.
     
  11. Red Chrome

    Red Chrome New Member

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    I'm sorry you had that experience. SSA is bad when dogs have it.


    I don't feel she can't properly manage and train her dogs. Nor do the 3 that are SSA have unstable temperaments. She got them when they were older, ALL of them were over a year old when she got them and the 3 came from kennel situations. So, in her case, it was poor training before they got to her.

    Some, yes. All of them, no. It truly depends on the dog, lines and breeder.

    I didn't say that.

    I truly believe it is an individual dog thing as well as certain lines etc. I do not think it is a concern in GSDs more than any other breed. I guess I've been lucky so far.
     
  12. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

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    You really don't feel you're any more likely to get a SSA GSD than say a Golden?

    I'd say you have been lucky and of course, I hope your luck continues :) But really, it's not all just about leadership or unstable dogs. Like I said, with GSDs SSA is complicated.
     
  13. Red Chrome

    Red Chrome New Member

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    I have seen some pretty nasty Goldens. BUT I have to agree, a SSA GSD is more common than a Golden.

    I think I got an exceptional dog, especially for an intact male. Honestly, I'll probably never get another one like him.
     
  14. staffanatic

    staffanatic New Member

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    All of this is very good to know. i'm so glad i posted this question.

    Nikki, do you feel that Belgians (let's say Malinois) are as prone to SSA as GSDs? I do like the black dogs, but the few i've met have been a bit more nervy than i like. They seemed very reactive and suspicious. Neither of which are traits i am looking for. And the Mals i've known are literally all over the place.

    As for my pack, i have a 12 year old female boston, a 10 year old female amstaf, a 1.5 year old male ACD (my ex has mentioned taking him when he moves out, but we'll see) and a 10 month old female amstaf. Everyone gets along and no one is left unsupervised (especially together) ever.

    Thanks again everyone for the dialog. And keep it coming! i won't be actively looking for anything for a few years, so i kinda have all the time in the world!
     
  15. Flyinsbt

    Flyinsbt New Member

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    I was told years ago, by people with breeds not known for dog aggression, that mother & daughter bitches tended to not get along. With my Staffords, I never had that problem. Tully matured into a bitch who didn't like many other Stafford bitches, but never had an issue with Tess, her daughter. Tess, who is uncomfortable with most dogs she doesn't live with, is still totally comfortable with her daughter Eva, who doesn't live with us, and they only see each other once in a while. We can have the 2 of them out, playing with one ball, and it's perfectly safe. Even if they jump for the ball, and accidentally land on each other.

    Go figure.
     
  16. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

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    IME Belgians are not nearly as prone to the sort of serious SSA that is seen in GSDs. Belgian bitches can be snarky and the males tend to be manly but most don't have the desire to do serious damage the way the GSDs do. They also don't seem to hold grudges the same way, they can get into a scuffle have a time out and then go outside together. My GSDs...even the ones who weren't really SSA were not like that. Lexi my Amline GSD was really good with everyone but Jora (who was the SSA). However, Lexi was no more capable of being around Jora after the fights started than Jora was capable of being around her. Jora initiated the war between them but after that it was on. They were really bad when they accidentally got together because they would just immediately go at each other. No posturing, no time to quick grab one of them, no time to think. They latched on to each other's head or neck and that was it. Shaking, flipping, rolling and nearly impossible to get them to let go of each other. I really needed a break stick but didn't know about such things at the time. And those were fights involving one dog who wasn't even really dog aggressive, who lived peacefully with the other bitches of the house.

    That isn't to say I haven't known of SSA Belgians. It can happen in any breed but IME it's not nearly as common in them. And when they do fight it usually is not with the intensity the GSDs tend to have. Which is a big reason I have Belgians now actually.

    In terms of temperament and which variety to get, they are really all over the place. Some Belgians are very suspicious and nervy, some don't like to be touched by strangers, some are really sharp, some are extremely guardy. But some are much more...reasonable too. I have had only Black Dogs until taking Roust in and within my Black Dogs I have had a wide range of temperaments from dogs that really needed experienced, understanding owners to dogs who were really fun and easy. Their drive levels differ too but the drive level isn't generally what makes them more difficult, it's the other stuff. Your best bet is to look for the right breeder rather than focus on the variety. You can also find some really nice Mals through ABMC, even puppies are not uncommon.

    And FWIW I met two of Stan's brothers and they were both really, really nice boys. Social, happy dogs :) A lot of my Belgian friends seem to like his breeder's dogs, so if you want a dog like Stan...his breeder might be a good place to start looking.
     
  17. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

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    That is interesting! I always heard mother-daughter combos were bad too but in the breeds I've been involved with, they seem to work really well.
     
  18. Emily

    Emily Rollin' with my bitches

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    I happen to have one that needs a permanent home. JUST SAYIN', OP!

    Also, you could consider fostering for AMBC if you want to try out a Belgian. Sadly for Mals, there are a ton in rescue, and a great many are not more than one generation removed (if that) from well-known working/sport lines.
     
  19. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    I recommend Stans breeder and also Aeri/Panzer/Quarrels breeder as well (for more edge, bred more for bitework).

    Honestly I look at parents more than anything and more the temperament than the titles now. Backups mom is amazing. She wins everything, she's stable, versatile, and fun. His dad is an a great working dog with a novice handler. I was warned that people either love him or hate him depending on what they want from a dog, I could see that with Backup. He's very great dog on the field, he's a never quit worker and nothing scares him in drive. He is however a worrier when out of drive and he doesn't like being touched a lot, I've used cats for an example. The cat that seeks petting but picks a moment they've had enough or you touched a spot they dislike and its attack time. He's also always wired and never stops moving for more than a few minutes, whether it is pacing or chewing or rubbing on things. I'm not sure that he was ever born to be a pet in the lifestyle we keep and while he would probably do better in a lifestyle as a working dog only we couldn't bare to think of him bouncing around handler to handler and becoming less and less associated with humans. He is wickedly devoted to Denis and me even when he can only handle touching within reason.

    So... There it is. I know I spoke to you about it but he is a valid concern, as is Harry, whom you've also met, when looking into the breed. Sometimes just research helps, sometimes you take a chance and you make a choice. Mostly if the common edge and wired energy is a concern I would encourage looking into a breeder focusing on show/soft sports and not bitework, or I would look elsewhere.
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2012
  20. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    I totally agree, I recommend fostering to explore any breed especially this one!
    We did and while Backup is far more dog than they were it still gave us a taste of what we were getting into.
     

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