Doberman Forum : Doberman Breed Dog Forums banner
1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
606 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It was lightly touched apon in another post but what are your opinions


We train our show dogs to get maulled and pulled on by strangers and they arent alowed to show agression.

Do you think this perhaps suppresses their natural insticts a bit?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,715 Posts
Not in the least. You don't bring out protective instincts from lack of socialization, and if you try, you are creating a monster. A dog can't have confidence if it's not well socialized.

You could create one hell of a fear biter though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
606 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
True. But couldnt they be confused?

I mean all their lives they are taught to accept pretty much everything but then all of a sudden they are expected to protect/bite.

Im not really sure thats why I am asking.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,715 Posts
That's exactly what I was saying. Being well socialized is a MUST to make a confident dog that can handle any situation, including the ability to protect (if they have a strong enough natural temperament to do it in the first place)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,571 Posts
That's exactly what I was saying. Being well socialized is a MUST to make a confident dog that can handle any situation, including the ability to protect (if they have a strong enough natural temperament to do it in the first place)
I completely agree with this. You have to have a socialized dog in order for the dog to be able to judge his reactions to the situation confidently. The dog reads the body language of the assaulter. The last time I was at a dog show, the judge did not stagger towards the dog in an awkward way catching the dogs attention. Nor did the judge raise their hands towards the dog in an assaulting manner or at the person so the dog needs to defend. I think a lot of dogs get in a mode too when they are at shows since they have been trained that way. Then again, I don't show so I may be off with that.

But, in the end it does all come down to the natural temperament of the dog. Any dog can bite at anytime. It is how they naturally use it appropriately to defend. Will they stand there or bark? That is something that is not *supposed* to be trained for in the exercises. The point is to know how your dog will react naturally. So, if the dog is temperamentally there, I personally don't think you are supressing the natural instincts to protect.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,880 Posts
Except for the aggressive stranger, most show dogs have an advantage over the average pet at the WAE. They have normally been extensively socialized and traveled all over - the majority of the WAE is a piece of cake to them and that includes the gun shot & the umbrella. Strangers are just no big deal to a show dog.

With the aggressive stranger many dogs (not just show dogs) have no idea what is expected. The majority that don't pass this portion don't run away, they just stand there with their owner and look puzzled and possibly uncomfortable. Some do a little fly by in front of their owner, but when the stranger stops, so do they. We as owners actively suppress their aggressive tendancies from young puppies...........don't bark out the window, don't bark at people who come to the door, don't run around the yard barking.........etc..... we teach them to be "good" dogs........... and so they are.

Don't take offence at this as what I am telling you is what I remember being told by Ray Carlisle at our WAE last year. I don't agree with every word he said, but a lot of what he said made good sense to me.

Some dogs know what to do right away and it can be quite a shock when it is your dog doing it. Velma passed the WAE at 23 months old and I thought she would take my arm off to get to that aggressive stranger - I truly think she would have gone for him if I had dropped the leash. Velma is also a Therapy Dog and a really good one. I call her my bomb proof dog. She had NEVER seen an aggressive stranger. That same day, I watched 2 of her 1/2 sisters pass also............ so I do think that genetics really does play a role. I also think that on average bitches will pass at a much younger age than a male will................that whole maturity thingie! For males, I would recommend people wait till their dog is about 3 before taking the test......... of course it really depends on the dog.

Also, handler error does play a role. I can't tell you how many people I see just stand there totally mute and un reactive whent the aggressive stranger comes out - the dog reads them and their non reaction to what could be a threat......and so the dog does not react either. I yell and scream at the stranger and act afraid.......... Velma picked up on that right away and decided to "save" me :)

Louise was really too young, but I took her through to see how she would do. At just 19 months old, she sailed through everything, but did not go out to protect me and so she failed.........but will try again as a more mature bitch.

This is Louise at the WAE last year - this is really what I mean by a dog that is confused and chooses to stand next to their owner. I don't know what she might have done if he had come closer - these dogs are not dumb - the guy stopped - LOL!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,827 Posts
I know from personal experience, I am a pretty easy going lady. You back me up into a corner and I will come out fighting!

I would think that a well socialized dobe is the same. They know when to raise their hackles. But like Velma said......I haven't been in a situation with Rudi where I have needed protection. Every stranger he meets gets the wigglebutt. He feeds off me constantly, we are connected at the thigh, you know! LOL
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
6,743 Posts
This is just my opinion.........and it is not intended to offend anyone. I have only been to one WAE, but what I saw is much different.

What I saw at the aggressive stranger was dogs running behind their owner. They would stand and watch the man stagger but as soon as he acted threatening the dog was GONE. I think most if given the opportunity would have been back in the car. Instead, they were on a leash, so they chose to go behind their owners, some I think I can honestly say were truely frightened. I don't have a clue what the age of the dogs were, so I dont really know if it was maturity, lack of socialization, genetics, or just their true temperment.......but they certianly did not look like they wanted any part of it.

I think there is a diffrence in a dog being taught to accept strangers, and a dog who will not come forward to a threat. My dogs are all taught to accept strangers. People dressed funny, kids, whatever... They arent show dogs, but I think that is part of a well socialized dog. Like Julie said....confidence is the key to a stable dog who is comfortable in all situations.

I do agree with Velma that alot of people under react to the agressive stranger. I think that is important for a dog who has never been in a situation like that.

Anyway.........just my one time experience at the WAE....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,332 Posts
Just my 2 cents -- I think there's a huge difference between a dog protecting when out in a field with other people and dogs, and a dog protecting their home and owners at home. The same dogs standing next to their owners kinda clueless at the WAE, could probably pass with flying colors if at threatned home.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,880 Posts
This is just my opinion.........and it is not intended to offend anyone. I have only been to one WAE, but what I saw is much different.

What I saw at the aggressive stranger was dogs running behind their owner. They would stand and watch the man stagger but as soon as he acted threatening the dog was GONE. I think most if given the opportunity would have been back in the car. Instead, they were on a leash, so they chose to go behind their owners, some I think I can honestly say were truely frightened. I don't have a clue what the age of the dogs were, so I dont really know if it was maturity, lack of socialization, genetics, or just their true temperment.......but they certianly did not look like they wanted any part of it.

I think there is a diffrence in a dog being taught to accept strangers, and a dog who will not come forward to a threat. My dogs are all taught to accept strangers. People dressed funny, kids, whatever... They arent show dogs, but I think that is part of a well socialized dog. Like Julie said....confidence is the key to a stable dog who is comfortable in all situations.

I do agree with Velma that alot of people under react to the agressive stranger. I think that is important for a dog who has never been in a situation like that.

Anyway.........just my one time experience at the WAE....

Every WAE brings different dogs out and it is good to see a few of them to get a good idea of how the majority of the dogs react. I've been to one where several dogs tried to high tail it out of there, but in the 5 I've been to so far, I've never seen more than one or two do that at any other WAE.

I will say that for a dog that has never been exposed to any kind of threat ever, the aggressive stranger is REALLY a shock to any dog. How often in real life would a dog ever be exposed to that kind of behavior in a human? It is an extreme situation in a test that is all about increasing the stress level every step of the way. By the end of the test, most dogs are pretty stressed out already.

I know by putting a picture in of my own dog failing the WAE I am exposing her to criticism, but she is a classic example by her posture of a dog that fails the WAE, because they are clueless about what to do. I do think that she can pass and I've seen her put herself inbetween me and other people on many occasions in real life now that she is more mature. Once at a Red Roof inn, 3 very stupid people decided to try and walk down the narrow interior staircase when I was 1/2 way up it with her ....... guess who backed up really fast ........ one clue, it was not Louise! She has a great temperament and never tried to leave me during the aggressive stranger part and I know she was very uncomfortable. I would not take such a young dog through again - that was my mistake.

Obviously people who do protection sports are going to pass the aggressive stranger part - I have seen them fail at other portions of the WAE. It is interesting to me to watch them react - the training they have done is really very impressive. I watched a couple of Tori's dogs go through on of my clubs WAE's and really enjoyed it. For these kinds of dogs, the real test is IMHO NOT the aggressive stranger, it is the rest of the test, and being able to turn off the aggression at the end.
 
  • Like
Reactions: dragonman

·
Banned
Joined
·
6,743 Posts
Velma, I was honestly not trying to be critical of Louise, I was just saying what I had seen at the WAE I was at. I know that all dogs are not the same, and age and maturity can have alot to do with it. I hope you get that WAE this year.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,880 Posts
Velma, I was honestly not trying to be critical of Louise, I was just saying what I had seen at the WAE I was at. I know that all dogs are not the same, and age and maturity can have alot to do with it. I hope you get that WAE this year.
I didn't think you were being critical of her. I KNOW that there are people who would take any opportunity to be critical of a "show" Doberman. That is their problem.

My main motivation, it to try and educate people about the WAE. As a WAE chair, I want people to understand it and to come out for it. To do so, I feel that it is really important for people to understand that failing to pass does not make the dog a failure. Passing is wonderful, but I've seen dogs pass that I would not trust in real life. The WAE is a tool - not an absolute measure of a dogs temperament. It is a good tool IMHO, because it teaches you something about your dog no matter what the end result is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,571 Posts
With the aggressive stranger many dogs (not just show dogs) have no idea what is expected. The majority that don't pass this portion don't run away, they just stand there with their owner and look puzzled and possibly uncomfortable. Some do a little fly by in front of their owner, but when the stranger stops, so do they. We as owners actively suppress their aggressive tendancies from young puppies...........don't bark out the window, don't bark at people who come to the door, don't run around the yard barking.........etc..... we teach them to be "good" dogs........... and so they are.
I don't take offense to it. I thought about it but I suppose I figure if you had a mature dog and were doing as you said, yelling at the aggressive stranger and acting with body language as if the situation needed protection, don't you think that the home supression would be a distant memory? I might be way off, but I would see them as being confused at the different situation if anything like Louise was for a bit if it was there and they had it in them.
 

·
Mighty One
Joined
·
1,734 Posts
The WAE is just a tool..Velma is right on here. It is not an absolute predictor of temperament. These dogs are smart you know and at the threat station the handler is not allowed to back off but stand there holding their dog's leash firmly. This posture by the human itself is one of confidence that a dog (not trained to protect) will take it's cue from. Many dogs seem to stand their waiting not realizing they have permission to engage this person. Frankly, as long as they do turn tail and run (which is seen rarely) these dogs are standing up with their human. Many dogs realize quickly that the threat will come only so close. Again, just because they don't pass standing there it's not like they won't protect their human appropriately in real life. It's just an mock evaluation using actors and some actors are better than others at being scarry...LOL Drago knew I could take the guy.
 
  • Like
Reactions: sorthund

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,942 Posts
For any members that have been to a WAE test here is a link to what goes on: http://www.dpca.org/waepic.html

I have been to tests and not seen Dobes run or go behind their owners. The ones that fail the bad stranger usually just stand there, while the owner does too. That has been my experience. I love talking about the WAE since there are so many different perceptions out there of this Doberman only test.

I have seen Dobes pass the bad stranger yet fail on other parts. And pass all parts and fail on the bad guy. That is the thing about the WAE, it rates you on each part of the test on a scale, so it is a very useful tool at each station if used the right way. It is an equal playing ground to a point; the SchH dogs do have exposure to the bad guy though if they are really involved in SchH, which gives them an added advantage at the part. And the dogs that have had more socialization have an upper hand and added advantage as well, as they are less stressed with the test and more comfortable on the field meeting people and checking things out.

I love to watch the Dobes that go through like it is just another walk in the park, no big deal, I love their confidence, their head held high, it is fun to watch. I like to see the ones pass like Velma, who are kept as much loved spoiled pets, performance, and show dogs and are socialized the heck out of and have never met a bad stranger they didn't like then when they do, they run off of instinct, pure Dobe instinct, that owner didn't even know they had due to lack of evidence, and rise to the occasion to protect against a perceived threat.

Personally, I think socialization to the max is the most important key to help a Dobe in life period, not just this test. All life is a test, I take mine out with me all the time, they encounter kids being kids, loud sounds like rock quarries, planes overhead, or even a simple metal pan accidentally being dropped, annoying people who like to yell at my dogs (they say nice things but still...), people in go carts, people with canes, people in costume (around Halloween), annoying dogs with their owners, loose dogs, loose cats, squirrels, horses, canoes, boats, seadoos, skateboarders, people flying kites, the list goes on and on every day they encounter things out of the ordinary, until they just become the ordinary. When they are little the whole world is full of experiences that they are not used to, everything is out of the ordinary, but after awhile, they learn to go with the flow and learn what is a threat and what isn't. Most Dobes I find naturally have a discretion for what is really a threat and what isn't and socializing really assists in that that as well.
That helps to build as VelmaDobe put it, a bomb proof dog, which is what I want in my Dobes as they are not just show dogs and performance dogs, they are our family pets first and our travel buddies. We have such a good time taking them every where with us and they have a great time too.

A lot of that is in the inherent temperament too of each individual Dobe IMO, some are more confident and outgoing than others regardless. And also the maturity level plays a big part as anyone who has owned a Dobe can attest to, they each get their maturity levels at different times and you can pretty much see them figure things out as they go along (one of my favorite parts of raising puppies, watching them observe and figure out their world, it is neat to watch the wheels spin).

Also dogs from breeding programs that socialize their young puppies and breed with temperament in mind helps too. It helps set the foundation.

My male was young when he passed, he had never done bite work, never acted aggressive, never seen an unfriendly bad stranger, yet he knew what to do when the time came.
Why is that? Personally I think it has a lot to do with plain individual temperament. He saw a threat (perceived, fake, or whatever) and responded accordingly at each part (they grade on the appearance, approach, threat, and retreat separately).
Also it did have something to due with my body language and voice, which by the way he really could not see since he hit the end of the leash right away watching the observing before reacting at the bad man.

Just my 2 cents -- I think there's a huge difference between a dog protecting when out in a field with other people and dogs, and a dog protecting their home and owners at home.
IMO, no, the WAE is not perfect, but it is important and it does show something about Doberman temperament. Some people say, "oh, it is a game, it is not real life". And how exactly does a Dobe know the difference, sports are just a game, sports are not real life. When the bad guy looks scary, walks scary, acts mean, and the owner reacts accordingly I am not sure what else could be done to stimulate a real life attack short of a "fake" mugging. :) Just kidding.
When it comes down to it, the WAE is just a man made tool, not the end all test that a Dobe would protect you or not. A pass doesn’t mean they will protect you or won’t. I know some dogs are trained not to react to things that seem off. Some dogs need to be "given permission" to act aggressive. The evaluator doesn't come close enough for there to be a real threat to some dogs, yet if he came closer there would be serious trouble. Most Dobes I have seen do stand their ground on the bad stranger, they don't back down. They don't act aggressive either, but they do stand firm and alert. Some are trained to react to the bad guy right away, instead of observing and assessing the threat, they already know this game. There are so many levels to this.

However, the true test if a Dobe is doing what the breed was intended for is when they do protect their owner appropriately in their owners time of need whenever and wherever that is in a real life situation, and that will come from within and should come to them naturally, no training or WAC title required. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
474 Posts
I didn't think you were being critical of her. I KNOW that there are people who would take any opportunity to be critical of a "show" Doberman. That is their problem.

I don't think anyone wants to see ANY dog fail. Of course there are those people who seem to enjoy making fun of show dogs.... But it is a two way street and I know people who take great delight in mocking dogs from working lines that fail. People who fall into either extreme are wrong and don't have the best interest of the breed at heart.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,332 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,880 Posts
For any members that have been to a WAE test here is a link to what goes on: http://www.dpca.org/waepic.html


So do I understand it correctly that you're allowed to encourage the dog to react? But how much/and what kind of a reaction is needed to pass?
Oh absolutely! You are not allowed to give commands to the dog during the WAE, but you are allowed to talk to them and encourage them through the whole test. When I took Velma through it was under John Schoeneman - he encouraged us to react towards the stranger but not to yell AT the dog - yell AT the stranger. So I did - LOL! I literally did a happy dance on the field when she passed - wish I had pictures <grin>. I will say that I was so nervous when I went through that first time - and my adrenalin level had to be through the roof by the aggressive stranger part - hence the happy dance portion to let off steam!
 
  • Like
Reactions: sorthund

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,942 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,854 Posts
Something else to keep in mind - not only does the age of the dog and the maturity have to be taken into account, but also the type of threat presented. I've only seen one WAE, but I've also seen the ATTS test, which also has an "aggressive" stranger. Quite honestly, if my dog HAD reacted towards the ATTS "stranger" I would have failed him - this person presented absolutely no threat. I also didn't consider the person at my WAE that Rah did fail, to be a real threat, and Rah clearly knew it - though Rah only failed that because he reacted too late. When the guy walked away, Rah turned around to alert to something else and by the time he turned around at the aggressor, his 15 seconds were up, even though he started barking. What really failed him was his ignoring the can and going up to the person instead (and me not directing him). I don't think its possible that we create everything completely equal, but some threats are more convincing than others, that's for sure!
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top