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post #232 of (permalink) Old 04-29-2019, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by melbrod View Post
And I'd gotten used to the general dobe personality too. I figured I could handle a lot of stuff but I'm finding out that working with herding-type Harold DogDog is quite a different matter.
In general the manner in which working dogs (those categorized as "Working Dogs by the AKC) work, and train, and regard their doggy world is very different from the breeds that occupy the Herding Group--then if you really want to get 'different'--try some of the breeds in the Hound Group--particularly the sight hounds.

And having trained quite a few Dobermans, one Australian Shepherd and one Afghan House. I found some remarkable sinilarities (along with some interesting differences).

My Dobermans were (with one notable exception--who, frankly was dumb aa a stump) bright, very trainable, quick to learn and never forgot anything they'd been trained for. And they all, without exception if you bored them by trying to drill on stuff they already knew were very inclined to give you the finger and shut down.

By the time I'd put a CD on the Afghan Hound I was very glad I'd had experience with Dobermans because--as hard wired the hunting instinct is in a sight hound--these are NOT--no matter what all those "How smart is your dog" lists that dog magazines like to put out that usually have Afghans at the end of the list--calling them dumb. Afghan Hounds are definitely not dumb--in fact my particular Afghan was very bright indeed. And he didn't like being drilled on exercises any better than any of my Dobermans did. Guess what he did? He shut down--he was more polite than the Dobes==at least he didn't give me the finger first. But you did have to take into consideration that hard wired hunting instinct. I was once doing recalls with him in a big field--what I didn't realize was that the field had rabbits--lots of them. My dog realized this when he was sitting waiting to be called--he stood up (unheard of) and looked to the left and was gone in a flash--that very primitive part of his brain and taken over and less than five minutes later my dog was back with a rabbit for me. I reluctantly took it and we left the field--we didn't go back--I didn't want wild California rabbit--for one thing most of them are disease carriers and dead ones pass that particular disease along to anyone who handles them.

The Aussie was different too--he was bright and like a good herding dog didn't need a lot of training--but he was also a classic ADD case--as long as he only had to deal with training at home or at most a small class of dogs who well trained and well handled he was OK--get him into the chaos of a show building--forget it--he could hardly remember he had a name much less what it was.

The similarity is that all of these breeds were designed to be independent workers--the Doberman took more direction to work well than the Afghan or Aussie--but both of those dogs were expected to do stuff independently.

Afghans were originally the home do it all dog just like the general purpose farm dogs of Europe. They were guards of the livestock and people and hunters for the families that owned them. Herders when the families moved--pretty impressive.

Aussies were independent herders--sheep was their main stay but they can and have been used to herd domestic fowl, sheep and cattle. Doing all of this either without direction at all or direction from a distance.

Pretty impressive what these dogs can do without any help from us.

Stuff like the Dobe bitch that would let people into the family home if no one was there--but she wouldn't let them out again. Try training a dog to do that.

I like training dogs--I like going to trials and watching some of the very unlikely breeds out doing things you would never suspect they might be good at. And I like it when we've got the only Doberman in a very big set of trials and a woman came over to tell us she loved our Doberman and had been watching him qualify for both days--he was very beautiful and so very well behaved.. She was petting Burma the Bad--he smiled at her--we said thanks and thought--we have a very nice dog--so what if he forgets to sit in front of Nancy during the recall.

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