Promoting responsible German Shepherd Dog ownership
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I have a lab/shepherd mix. Amazing dog except for her nervousness with strangers which didn't happen until around puberty, a bit over a year old. I've heard it's a common problem with that mix and you can openly see the conflict in her mind where she wants to be lab friendly but then the shepherd part kicks in and thinks "strangers!" She's better now that I've moved and worked on exposure but reverts back a bit whenever I head back to my hometown and she gets into more of a guarding mode.
She warms up well once she gets to know them but very rarely as good as with people she knew when she was a pup.
Some dog breeds should not be mixed together as it can create a conflict in instincts (herding breeds mixed with guardian breeds, dogs may not be sure whether to guard or herd they may do both which is stressful on the stock) or create a dangerous dog such as the human aggressive dachshund mixed with a pit type which created more powerful aggressive and tenacious offspring which negated the lower danger when the aggressive dog was a small breed not capable of doing as much damage as easily at least. That said I don't think small dog breeds should be allowed to be aggressive but the fact of the matter is that potentially dangerous behaviors are less apt to be bred out of them and excused for "little dog syndrome"
My brothers lab shepherd mix was a good dog, overall, and was great in the country. Later on he moved to the suburbs and he found that it hated most dogs rabidly. it was embarrasing to walk. let alone let it off the leash. She was a hard dog to handle even as a pup. most likely.
The no kill shelter we got her from insisted on seeing if we knew how to handle a dog with confidence. She had run away a few times from other owners, and had been living in the woods for a month or more, eating mice and voles most likely. She was a big fan of pouncing on vole and mouse holes, and for a while, she was a pretty good mouser in the house too. Then she got used to regular feedings, and never bothered a house mouse again.
It seems to be true. If you want a dog as a mouser, keep it hungry. Cats seem to do just for the fun of it!
Its also true if you are looking for a stable personality of a certain type, a shelter is not the place to go. Shelters are great for getting a dog young, and watch it develop into whatever it becomes, which is just fine too unless the home isnt suited for it. We don't order our children from a breeder, after all. A dog shoudn't be treated like a child, but its best to love one like one.
My mom had a Min pin. I looked up the breed. Its actually a mix of a daschund and a beagle, or some such. They've got the heart of a lion, like to take on all comers, and bark up a storm. They also like being alpha- It was not among the favorites of my moms dogs. The best one was another shepherd lab mix, but this one was calm, loving, dumb as a post, and a treasure to have as a companion. It was owned by an old lady, and seemed to have gotten used to being leaned on as she wen,t up the steps. I doubt it was assisstance trained, it was well too thick, but it had the instincts- which it followed all its life. I miss that dog. So, you just cant predict it with mixes and mutts, Still one thing can be said for them. They dont get things like hip displasia, blindness, inherent meanness from coat color or bred in kidney stones!
That is 100% false on mixes. Mixes can have health issues just as bad as purebred dogs. My female mutt started showing signs of hip dysplasia at a year old. Breed any merle mutts together and you'll get the exact same issues as breeding two purebred merles. An isolated population of mutts could very much end up with hereditary disorders as long as they weren't directly fatal and allowed the dogs to live long enough to breed. My friend has a mutt with luxating patellas and horrible skin allergies as well as bad hips. In purebreds they more so have predictable health issues common in the breed that can be worked against by responsible breeders. It is true that recessive disorders will be less common in mutts(depending on what they're mixed with) but the whole mutts are healthier isn't necessarily true and a random mutt is not likelier to be healthier than a health tested purebred with known parentage. It is less likely to have a predictable temperament as you mentioned.
Min pins are their own breed and have been for some time, it is true that they likely included breeds such as dachshunds when they were first created. They're apparently some 200 years older than dobermans as a breed.
It surprise me completely when I found out what dogs were mixed to make a Min Pin- and it has nothing to do with the breeding of Doberman Pinschers.
I personally call tham annoying Lion Dogs- because they think they are lions. Never again. Ok. I admit it. I'm a fan of a dog that can sit besides me and get petted!
If you can find exactly what you want at a shelter, you are very lucky. I helped a woman find a dog to adopt and it took a year. We visited shelters and rescues regularly about once a week. So many of the shelter dogs had terrible behavior problems. Most were mixed with pit bulls. The small dogs had been ruined by bad breeding or training. Even mixed breeds can have very bad problems. They aren’t immune.
Yes- I understand- and your friend was lucky to have someone who knew a lot about dogs to help her.
Many times, the visit goes like this. You bring your kid. She sees a dog that seems to be perfect and cute. You try to give it some basic temperment tests, but the little girl says
End of story. It ends happily most of the time, given the law of averages and if the kid doesn't fall for the meanest pit or doberman in the cage. But to get a dog with all the attributes one wants without a long search must be difficult.
They can take the nicest pit or Doberman in the cage, then have a very different dog when they get home. Dogs behave differently at a shelter than they do at home. We found a dog for that woman, but after we got her, I took her to my house to test with my dogs. She turned out to be a very aggressive little thing and my two big German Shepherds were terrified of her. We returned her because the friend wasn’t experienced and had no idea how to handle it. The dog never showed even a hint of aggression with the rescue group or their other small dogs but she ddI not like big dogs.
My neighbor took a middle aged Doberman when the owner died. The dog was wonderful at first. Then her adult son came home and the dog growled at him constantly. He could not walk into the house without being growled at. The dog never bit him but he could only be around it when his mother was home. She kept the dog until it died and her son was never comfortable with it. No one should like like that.
my moms dog doesn't so much hate me, but considers me a nuisance that's good for giving a good petting when I sit n the tv couch or the computer seat. Its a complex relationship. He agrees I'm a nice person that walks him and is allowed to pet him, but god forbid he should come when I call him. I told that to mom. She said.
"He comes when I call him. What's the problem?"
He also likes to go into attack mode when it sees many kinds of dogs, most of whom are bigger than he is. Its a good thing I weight over 180 and he weighs maybe 16 pounds. Holding him back on a leash isn't a problem. Embarrassment is. I find that if he starts the behavior, I can kneel down and force him down into a sit position with pressure, but not enough to harm him, and never like a punch. Just steady downward pressure. I say Down- stay, and eventually, the dog moves past. It can be 30 feet away and set off this little brave creature. The dog calms, relaxes, lets me pet him, I have him sit for a bit, and then we move on. He seems to be calmed by this treatment, not angered. It took a while to figure this out. I don't know if its abuse or not, but it keeps him from hurting himself on his non-collar restraint jacket and teasing the other dog.
As long as you can control the dog, you should be able to train it a little too. Work on developing a relationship.
I teach sit and down with lures. Either food or just a closed hand, if the dog things there is food. Raise your hand over his head and he will look up and sit. How your hand near the ground and pull it along the ground toward you. The dog will lie down. If you want a video, let me know and I can find one to show you.
Sit isn't a problem with food. He knows it very well, though Im not sure if Mom has taught it down. He's been taught "GO to your bed" instead!
When other dogs are involvled- I doubt anything but a pavlovian response would do. HIs fear/fight instinct is well too riled up. If he weighed 80 pounds, i'd be very worried my mom couldn't control him. At 12 pounds or so, its not an issue.