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Sociability, aggression and deferment   Controversies, Catastrophes and Teaky Moments (Enter at your own risk)

Started Jun-11 by Solitaire13; 250 views.
Solitaire13

From: Solitaire13

Jun-11

I will try to make a long story short. I came across some material by Sue Sternberg. She is a well known trainer, rescue worker, rescue owner, dog evaluator, rescue educator and author. I will come back to this in a moment.

Some of you might be familiar with a conversation had on another forum where a decoy stated that he has found sociability to be a strong indicator of good nerves and confidence.  A K9 trainer disagreed stating an aloof dog is just as capable and preferred.

Now to tie these two together, Sue Sternberg states she has found sociability linked to deferment to humans. 

Personally, IME, I have to agree with Sue in most cases. 

What have your experiences been? 

Cloudpump

From: Cloudpump

Jun-11

I dont see where aloofness means a dog is stable or not. 

Solitaire13

From: Solitaire13

Jun-11

The decoy said from his experience, that he finds high confidence and strong nerves more often in a sociable dog.  The K9 trainer disagreed and felt that sociability was not related to confidence or nerves.  The rescue worker, of over 30 years, did find a link between sociability and deferment to humans.  I am intrigued by her findings as well as a few other things she had to say.  I probably will be opening a thread on that later too.

K9trainersj

From: K9trainersj

Jun-11

I think it seems more common for a poorly nerved dog to be more "aloof" and nervous around people and for a confidnet good nerved dog to be more social BUT I that doesn't mean aloof dogs are weaker nerved or social dogs are always good nerved. Maybe some people consider some dogs who are in fact nervous and weak nerved "aloof" when in fact it's more than normal appropriate aloofness and they are actually fearful and nervous. I don't know that either aloof or social are reliable indicators. 

K9trainersj

From: K9trainersj

Jun-11

Some people call a dog social bc they approach confidently and smell/investigate people even though once the dog checks them out they carry on. I don't consider this social. Not saying the decoy is but Might be something to consider. 

Solitaire13

From: Solitaire13

Jun-11

I do not equate aloof with nervous.  Has this been your experience with GSDs?

K9trainersj

From: K9trainersj

Jun-11

I don't either but have heard people reference a dog as really aloof when I believe they were more nervous. 

Solitaire13

From: Solitaire13

Jun-11

I would consider that as social.  Aloof means to totally ignore, as it is used in the breed standard.  In essence, to give a human no more attention than a leaf on a tree.

K9trainersj

From: K9trainersj

Jun-11

In what situation? Someone entering their property as a guest or someone on neutral ground or both? 

Solitaire13

From: Solitaire13

Jun-11

I am not saying they should not have situational awareness nor am I saying they should not be territorial. 

They should be aloof in public.  On their own territory, other traits should come into play but sociable should not be one of them, IMO.

How can a dog be sociable AND defer to humans yet be aggressive?

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