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Training and Genetics

Ravenbird

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No matter what we do, or how well we train, we always have the genetics playing their own role. You can manage genetics, but you can't train them out completely. @Oh Little Oji - that mention of Livestock Guardian breeds made me think of you and your quest... Basically this was a message meant for people who picked up cute fluffies at the animal shelter and found themselves with a dog that was out of control, but to me it's a good reminder for those of us who chose the Doberman, we are not choosing the easiest dog, especially during their first couple of years!

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Oh Little Oji

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Oh yes. One of my least favorite sayings is the "It's all in how you raise them."

I know many people have looked at my Dobe and thought "He must've trained it to be aggressive," or worse, "That dog must've been abused to act that way."

Yes, I am almost certain that I will not get a livestock guardian breed (Central Asian Shepherd being my favorite, or perhaps Turkish Kangal or Turkish Boz Shepherd or even just an Anatolian Shepherd). I hear over and over that once mature they will not accept strangers on their territory. I also suspect that their barking might be next to uncontrollable. Of course, Oji's is too, and it's why I can't leave him in the backyard and me so much as quickly use the bathroom. He will bark. He's only out there for stretches of 3 - 15 minutes, and when I am right there to check on him. Then, there's the massive shedding. :sour: Oh, and yes, I wouldn't expect them to care much about my commands and wishes.

The breeder in MI of the CAS actually is the first to put out there on social media info. like you posted above. She makes it clear.
 

Firestar Dobe

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So very true! I am always fascinated by the people in my classes who say "my dog won't follow my commands and I don't understand why". Well lets see, you live in the city, have 2 toddlers, you picked the breed you have because it was such a cute puppy even though you know nothing about the breed or what purpose it was bred for. I sometimes have to turn away because I can't control rolling my eyes as I think to myself...it was a cute puppy so that's a good enough reason to get it. Genetics play a strong part in training a dog. It is important to really think through what your life is like on an everyday basis, how will a dog fit into it and exactly what do you expect from the dog and how do you want the dog to fit in so that it can be a part of your life. Every once in a while I jump for joy inside when I get someone who says we chose this breed because we wanted an agility dog, or we wanted an obedience dog, or we wanted a dog that would be great with kids and other animals, etc.!
The best I can do is to try and help those owners who didn't think it through, to help them learn to train and deal with the issues they have with their dogs, but sometimes it's not easy! :pullhair:
 

Cferg

Jr Member
I bang my head against the wall,every time a working dog breed owner complains about what their dog was bred to do.
For example my kids can’t run around screaming or ride bikes around my dog. Shocking! A dog that was bred to chase and bite things that move, wants to chase and bite things that move?
I know there is training that can be used to manage these genetic drives. But average pet dog owners are way over their heads with certain dogs.
 

Cferg

Jr Member
And backyard breeding of Mals is going through the roof now... talk about a Charles Frank...
I worry about the stability of Mals. In regards to people not having any business breeding them. But my biggest worry is the corsos. They are becoming very popular and I am concerned about what kind of dogs we will see in 5-10 years. The breed is capable of inflicting an incredible amount of damage very quickly.
A member on another dog forum owns a corso. And the dog was attacked by on off leash pit. The corso put the pits whole head in its mouth and crushed its skull with one bite. He said the dog was dead before his dog even opened its mouth and dropped it.
 

Oh Little Oji

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I worry about the stability of Mals. In regards to people not having any business breeding them. But my biggest worry is the corsos. They are becoming very popular and I am concerned about what kind of dogs we will see in 5-10 years. The breed is capable of inflicting an incredible amount of damage very quickly.
A member on another dog forum owns a corso. And the dog was attacked by on off leash pit. The corso put the pits whole head in its mouth and crushed its skull with one bite. He said the dog was dead before his dog even opened its mouth and dropped it.
I agree on the Corsos! Skyrocketing popularity, and you see some breeders riding this popularity wave and charging 4K to upwards of 5K for dogs they don't health test, work or title, or really know anything about. Worse, they try for neato colors and even charge more for some colors. In central Ohio, not far from me, it seems to be a real hub for Corso breeders.
 

JanS

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I worry about the stability of Mals. In regards to people not having any business breeding them.
Or owning them for that matter. There aren't a lot of people who have what it takes to handle one. I know I'd never attempt it myself.
 

Firestar Dobe

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There are several breeds that I just don't feel I want to handle in my own home, Pitts, Mals, Corsos, are just a few. I have been a training instructor for years and have had these breeds in my classes with no problem. I just don't want the risk in my personal life of the damage they could possibly do.
 

Cferg

Jr Member
Or owning them for that matter. There aren't a lot of people who have what it takes to handle one. I know I'd never attempt it myself.
I’ve been around a few. My BIL was a k9 handler and he had a mal. He was a pretty easy dog, generally most police k9s are.
I think what gets people into trouble is, unknowingly getting a dog from fire breathing sport dog lines. Those dogs have a lot of drive. And most people contextualize canine drive as wanting to chase a ball. I tell them NO! Drive is the level of desire to do things. So what ever a high drive dog wants to do. It REALLY wants to do it, generally.
Another training forum I’m a member of had a member who recently got a mal. His previous dog experience was owning a run of the mill Labrador retriever. He’s a regular family man with two small kids. Long story short. He and the mal were fishing at a pond, the pup was 4 months old at the time. He caught a fish and dropped it while taking it off the hook. The pup picked it up and took off with it, while dragging its leash. So the guy got a hold of the leash and reeled the pup back in. When the dog got within arms reach he dropped the fish and tore him up. In the guys own words he was left with multiple puncture wounds and blood running down his arms. And the dog was only 4 months old!
 

Ravenbird

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When the dog got within arms reach he dropped the fish and tore him up. In the guys own words he was left with multiple puncture wounds and blood running down his arms. And the dog was only 4 months old!
Yeah, Mals and Dutchies are about the same, and when my housemate got Reckless (Dutchie), as a puppy it was a definitely a new learning experience. Spitfire! But she got put in her place really really quickly, but it was because J had a lifetime of owning & handling dogs, mostly working dogs. Reckless is an absolute dream dog if you were to look at her day to day behavior (has over a dozen titles on her name!), but she will absolutely come up the leash at you (and bite!) taking her to the start line of a Fast Cat, or trying to get her off the lure at the end of a Fast Cat. And there's a finesse to ending a game of ball. Asha, as badass as she looks & can act, barking, growling, hackles up - she'd never come up the leash, ever.
 

HelenaG

Novitiate
So the guy got a hold of the leash and reeled the pup back in. When the dog got within arms reach he dropped the fish and tore him up. In the guys own words he was left with multiple puncture wounds and blood running down his arms. And the dog was only 4 months old!
That's exactly why I sent both of my dogs to k9, some breeds just need a professional to train them.
I worry about the stability of Mals. In regards to people not having any business breeding them.
I'm more worried about ppl who breed wolf-dog mixes. This is next level insane imo
 

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