Encouraging breed traits

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Encouraging breed traits

This is a discussion on Encouraging breed traits within the Working Dogs forums, part of the Dog Shows and Performance category; I recently got the results of my DNA test, and discovered that my bear is all guard dog breeds (pyrenees, rottie and doberman). She is ...

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Old 10-20-2013, 08:20 AM
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Encouraging breed traits

I recently got the results of my DNA test, and discovered that my bear is all guard dog breeds (pyrenees, rottie and doberman). She is already a bit of a patroller around the place, and will chuff or bark at noises or passers by until I come to look at what she shows me and tell her it's ok.

I would love to encourage her guard/patrol instincts - maybe teach some perimeter patrol, or hone her alert skills, but don't know how (would also be a nice "job" for her, seeing as she doesn't get too interested in sports).

Any advice? Books or resources appreciated!

Obviously I don't want to train or encourage any overt aggression or fear of strangers, but at the same time, she is a big floppy ball of love right now, and I would like to give her a little something to do to feel useful, and would also like to know that when I am not around, burglars do not stand a chance!!
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Old 10-21-2013, 12:46 AM
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Originally Posted by AphroditeDax View Post
I recently got the results of my DNA test, and discovered that my bear is all guard dog breeds (pyrenees, rottie and doberman). She is already a bit of a patroller around the place, and will chuff or bark at noises or passers by until I come to look at what she shows me and tell her it's ok.

I would love to encourage her guard/patrol instincts - maybe teach some perimeter patrol, or hone her alert skills, but don't know how (would also be a nice "job" for her, seeing as she doesn't get too interested in sports).

Any advice? Books or resources appreciated!

Obviously I don't want to train or encourage any overt aggression or fear of strangers, but at the same time, she is a big floppy ball of love right now, and I would like to give her a little something to do to feel useful, and would also like to know that when I am not around, burglars do not stand a chance!!
Is there some reason you feel she needs purpose? Is she getting bored or anything like that?

I think a lot of it just comes down to breeding and genetics, not necessarily training. A true guardian bred dog doesn't need to be taught...it's instinctual. Unfortunately not everybody breeds their dogs for working ability. Some that get bred for show are more watered down. Backyard breeding is another issue that can ruin the traditional traits and temperament of a breed. I have a working bred BC and herding is instinctual...I didn't have to train OR encourage him. He just does it (to my cats, hedgehog, rats, his tennis ball etc. lol). If I ever put him on sheep, we would need to do training to fine tune his skills and give him direction...But the urge and instinct is already there.

If she's still a pup or adolescent, she may get more guardy as she grows up. Sometimes dogs don't get more serious about those things until they mature.

Also, FWIW, studies have shown that the breed of dog doesn't matter when it comes to deterring trespassers and burglars. Even hearing a recording of a dog's bark sends them on their merry way
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Old 10-21-2013, 10:18 PM
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Thank you!

There is no real reason - she gets lots of exercise and socialization and doesn't seem bored in the house or anything. I just thought it might be nice to encourage her in things that she would (presumably) enjoy and that would come easy to her. In the same way that if I had a retriever, I would teach fetch games, maybe start competing in frisbee or flyball competitions. If I had a terrier, would start doing (gah! brain blank and I can't remember the name!) that sport where the dogs run through tunnels and things. I think it is so nice and rewarding for both to see a dog doing what it was bred for, and excelling at it and loving it! Sadly, there really isn't any sport that would be useful to encourage guard-type traits!

She is already fairly guardy - patrolling and window-watching and altering me to things - so I know she would enjoy doing it in a more focused way - I just don't know how to teach her (or what, even!). Obviously, not interested in making her wary of visitors or agressive or anything! But maybe trying to teach "patrol" as a command, or some more "pointer" behaviors - or to come and alert me if she sees something....

I basically just want to do everything I can to make her as fulfilled as possible!
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