National Geographic - Caucasian Mountain Dog
  • Areyarisu Shikoku Kenimage

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  • This breeder clearly knows NOTHING about dogs. What a ridiculous video. I honestly find this offensive. It is propaganda and sensationalist, not actually informative.
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    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00
  • BradA1878BradA1878
    Posts: 12224
    NO! Why!?!

    This is the worst video EVER! NatGeo did such a horrible job on it, and made the breed look terrible - they picked the WORST breeder (she's been called a criminal). They clearly had an ulterior motive. Add this video to The Dog Whisperer and you can see why I am not a NatGeo fan anymore.

    This show aired a long time ago, and it really did a number on the breed. If you watch it, there is a number of points where it is very clearly biased - for example, when the CO is chasing the UPS truck, notice he is not aggressive toward the random dog and person - just the UPS truck. Does that make any sense? Also, the puppy bite thing is just insane.

    The breeder in this show moved out of the country once this video was aired. Here is a whole thread on her current "project", make sure you read the comments because she makes a few posts.

    Here is what Stacey Kubyn, the breed founder & Masha's breeder, published after the video was released.

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    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00
  • I think personal protection requires some examination, as an issue. This guy has a huge house on a small lot in suburbia. How much protection and from what does he need? I suspect a much smaller alarm dog and a firearm lessons are more within that guy's ability to manage and control safely if he must need to protect himself from someone. He clearly cannot manage his dog, and going on tv with it chasing cars and hauling him around on his butt does no service to the dog, the breed. the UPS folks or his neighbors

    is this the offending CO video referred to in the past?
    Post edited by WrylyBrindle at 2009-10-19 17:35:54
  • ljowen123ljowen123
    Posts: 4315
    I haven't read everything on the blog about her tracking software, but the one thing I began to get a chuckle out of was her signature - it kept getting longer & longer.
    LJ - owned by Queen Jazz, a Shiba Inu, Atlanta, GA
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    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00
  • SangmortSangmort
    Posts: 5510
    Neone notice the word "aggressive" came up about every 20 seconds?


    IMHO, dogs aren't born aggressive, their humans make them aggressive. ~
    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00
  • CaliaCalia
    Posts: 3977
    Wasn't this video previously posted on the forum?...It looks so familiar
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    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00
  • Osy I am not sure I can completely agree with that statement. Consider that LGD and personal protection dogs have been bred for millenniums to react. You can train some degree if impulse control, but remember Brad and Jen put ALL of their dogs in obedience classes and bring them into town to be socialized and I feel comfortable saying that if any of us (despite our friendly demeanor) tried to intrude on the property without invitation we would get severely injured or at least scared to the point of pants pooping. Brad and Jen did not make Luytiy, Masha or Blue this way it is in their nature. They are guard dogs. Just like if I locked Miko with a bunny rabbit, when I came back, I am confident that all that would be left of Thumper would be blood splatter and fluff. She IS a hunter.

    When you have a dog, you are essentially given a piece of clay to mold, however the composition of the clay will always remain the same, regardless of the shape you put it in. Chrys' Sage is a great example of that. Chrystal has gone above and beyond to insure that Sage got optimal socialization. However Sages nature calls for him to be more reserved and shy toward new things.

    Now this breeder CLEARLY is doing everything in her power to provide unstable ticking time bomb dogs, and probably every now and then has a dog who has no impulse to guard whatsoever. Just like Stacy goes to great lengths to breed stable balanced CO's and I am sure she has had at least one less than ideal specimen.

    So I think saying that humans make dogs aggressive is kind of an overly sweeping statement.
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    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00
  • This is a perfect example of why I don't care to watch TV :) . You can't believe everything you see on it.


    Just think of Luytiy and Masha! It's too bad that people don't get to see the softer side of a CO.


    [btw, I found the link to that video on another dog forum. For some reason I felt the need to post the video here...I know it's garbage, but I guess every now and then it's good to reflect upon another's stupidity.]
    Areyarisu Shikoku Kenimage

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    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00
  • BradA1878BradA1878
    Posts: 12224
    "is this the offending CO video referred to in the past?" -and- "Wasn't this video previously posted on the forum?...It looks so familiar"
    >>>> Yes.

    "I think personal protection requires some examination, as an issue."
    >>>> I agree, it's not like he has lions coming to eat him or something.

    "IMHO, dogs aren't born aggressive, their humans make them aggressive. ~"
    >>>> That's interesting, and brings up an interesting point. I would have agreed with you 100% 1.5 years ago... but now I am not sure. To me, temperment seems 75% genetic and 25% environment (estimated, obviously). I used to really dig the whole "dogs are dogs first, breed second" thing... but now that I have been around so many extreme examples of breeds I am starting feel it's the other way around. Would make an interesting topic of discussion.

    ----

    Did anyone see the vault he kept his CO in? I'm not sure I understand the point of that, isn't he supposed to guard the house?

    A CO is not the best choice for PP work, they are LGD / Property guardians not police dogs. A dog that you cannot control while on lead is a horrible idea for a PP dog. LOL.

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    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00
  • LeonbergerLeonberger
    Posts: 3761
    Stooped watching a bit after a minute in. Clearly marketing, and bad at it, NatGeo had a feast with that moron.

    The genetics of temperament would make a really great discussion, I think. I'd say I agree with Brad. Actually I remember reading somewhere that breed genetics would be responsible for about 70% of behaviour.
    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00
  • McYogiMcYogi
    Posts: 348
    I'm waist deep in websites and articles and streaming radio clips. I didn't realize this was such a hot topic!! I'll reserve comment once I'm a little more learned, but it's all very fascinating to me so far.
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    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00
  • Are we starting a new topic on nature/nurture or talking about it here? I have a story but I'm trying to reform myself from thread derailing all the time...
    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00
  • I don't know any exact percentages, but I do agree that it's mainly genetics and some environment.

    For example, I can see a very distinct "personality trait" in Lynx that makes Lynx...well Lynx. Reguardless of the environment she grows up in, she's gonna become who she is, it's just in her nature. The only difference I think would be her intensity of personality and control vs. uncontrol.

    So I think it has to do with...

    ...a. breed (the source - genetic variety)
    ...b. family/pedigree line (the combination - specific genetic traits)
    ...c. that individual dog (the result)

    ...d. environment (intensity of "personality trait")


    Does that make sense? I'm not being too vague? I'm forcing myself to stay awake to type this, lol (long 4 day "weekend" and an early morning start today).
    Areyarisu Shikoku Kenimage

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    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00
  • We could always just rename this one :) .
    Areyarisu Shikoku Kenimage

    Shoushuu | Kotomi | Maika | Asra | Ranala

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    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00
  • Oh brother, that's what happens when media morons meet bozo breeders. Sadly it is a media trend, take a look at some of the other wacky line ups on cable... sensationalist media is all the rage these days. Anything that "attacks" is considered the latest and greatest fodder for the clueless....certainly seems to bring in ratings .

    I would have to agree with Jessica and Brad. Much about canine temperament has to do with genetics. Training enhances or buffers some of the characteristics but ultimately the dog is mentally what it is in a general capacity. I don't think anyone can place an exact percentage on the breakdown.
    Each is an individual within a breed and therefore the amount of training work or behavior modification will most likely vary depending on what you want to do and accomplish.

    Snf
    Post edited by StaticNfuzz at 2009-10-19 22:47:58
  • tjbart17tjbart17
    Posts: 4055
    That video bothered me in more ways than one. We should have a good ol' fashion hanging and start with that breeder!
    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00
  • SangmortSangmort
    Posts: 5510
    Wow. ok. Guess my words didnt match the thought in me head...

    I guess I should have stated it more clearly... Even if its through breeding, temperament testing, etc. etc. isn't it the humans who are selecting these traits? For example, the CO has been "bred" to be "aggressive," that didn't come out on it's own. Humans bred the dogs, & thus are responsible for that breed's "aggressiveness."

    What bothered me about the video was the made CO's to be Vicious, ruthless, & aggressive dogs. But, TBH, *I* don't see them as "aggressive" I seem them as doing what they were bred to do, they are doing their job. It's not like they are aggressive without reason, they are "aggressive" with "purpose."

    Hope that made sense.~
    Post edited by Sangmort at 2009-10-19 23:31:30
  • dlrobertsdlroberts
    Posts: 6552
    As is so often the case in these discussions, I think it got off on the wrong foot because we still haven't settled on a definition of aggressive.

    For the sake of discussion, let's look at a few different definitions. These are a sampling from the google search "define:aggressive".

    1) ready or likely to attack or confront

    2) deliberately unfriendly behavior

    3) In psychology, as well as other social and behavioral sciences, aggression refers to behavior between members of the same species that is intended to cause pain or harm. Predatory or defensive behavior between members of different species is not normally considered "aggression".

    4) violent action that is hostile and usually unprovoked

    The first 2 definitions fit the behavior of all dogs I have ever come across---even those that appear to be mentally balanced. If provoked, all dogs will "attack or confront" or behave in a "deliberately unfriendly" manner. In that sense, all dogs are aggressive. But isn't that behavior what we usually talk about as "reactiveness"?

    The 3rd definition is starting to become a bit more descriptive as it includes the stipulation "intent to do harm." I still question whether this describes dog behavior though. Mentally stable dogs may behave with the intent to do harm, but it is typically in response to a particular stimulus like fear ("I want to destroy the source of my fear") or resource guarding ("I want to ensure this other dog/person doesn't take my things"), etc. Is resource guarding aggression? What about expressing fears?

    The 4th definition I think is the most telling with the stipulation that certain behavior is "unprovoked". This fits the mental model I have of aggression. But it certainly doesn't seem to fit even the "aggressive" COs in that video. Those puppies were provoked by the breeder repeatedly shaking their nose.

    So really, IMO, the question of aggression being a nature vs. nurture thing has to do with aggression being an unprovoked violent act---something that I hope we can all agree no mentally balanced dog will do. If a dog isn't mentally balanced, I'd imagine that it's more than likely a genetic thing. In which case I would have to conclude that aggression is probably genetic and not influenced by nurture at all.

    But that's probably a narrower definition of aggression than make sense in the context of that video. So I'm not sure where that leaves me.
    dlrobertsdlroberts
    Dave, proudly owned by Joey (Shiba Inu), Tyson (Kai Ken), and PRG's Mason Julien McDieserton III, a.k.a. Diesel (Labrador Retriever).
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    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00
  • HeidiHeidi
    Posts: 3386
    This does the same trick that they do on the Dog Whisperer. The editing is totally manipulative. Like when they show three dogs running toward a fence and add growling noises in the background to make it seem like they're running at you to attack you. Or, they show a dog pulling on the leash and barking and then show a shot of two people walking strollers down the street. It gives the impression that the dog wants to go kill the babies, but there's no indication that those two shots actually have anything to do with each other. Even if they do, who's to say that the dog is pulling on the leash because he's hell bent on killing babies? Dogs of all kinds jump, bark, and pull on the leash, and that's all I saw these dogs doing.

    That one skinny guy obviously just wanted a big, manly dog to make him feel like a big, manly man. He seemed like he was talking up the dog, making him sound more badass to try to impress people. I noticed he was talking about choke collars and e-collars, but didn't mention any training... hmm...

    This is what they do to make Cesar Milan look like a genius master dog trainer. They show dogs jumping and barking (making it look like they're acting "psycho" when really, they're just worked up and excited) and then Cesar seemingly "tames the wild beast" and they have shots of the dog acting normal. They only go to owners who will say that their dog is "out of control" or "aggressive" (obviously, these owners are clueless) and even have freeze-frames of the dogs where they give the dog demon eyes or inverse the colours to make the picture look horrifying.

    Soooo manipulative.
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    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00
  • SangmortSangmort
    Posts: 5510
    Ok, sorry if I'm not making a lot of sense today, I'm not "all here" so to speak.

    For me, when a dog occasionally randomly lashes out another dog / person / object / etc. for what seems like no reason / without purpose I would call this reactiveness. Why? Because we don't really know why the dog did it, tho most of the times we assume it's based from fear. IE: the dog was reacting to a stimulant.

    For example, If I, as a human, am walking down the street & someone random guy comes running at me full force, I'm going to do my best to give him a good punch / kick. Now, does that mean I randomly kick people as I walk down the street? No. I'm just reacting [ kicking / punching ] to a stimulant [ crazy guy running at me ] out of fear.


    Now, when I have a dog like a CO or some other LGD or maybe even a doberman who though a combination of instinct, breeding, & training, sees an intruder on his property & attacks him, I don't see that as aggressive or reactive. The dog is simply doing it's job, what it is trained to do. When done properly, the dog will not attack it's handler / owner / master, but will attack what it perceives [ because of training ] as a threat, & thus is just doing it's job.

    For example, armored car guards. If someone tries to rob the armored car, they WILL shoot him. Why? Because that is what they are trained to do. That is their job. Do they randomly go about shooting people? No. Only the ones that try to rob the car.


    However, when you have a mentally unbalanced dog, whether it be through breeding, abuse, environment, etc. that lashes out at almost everyone & everything, I would consider that aggression. Why? Because it is not a reaction out of fear or some other stimulant, nor is it done because of training / it's job. It is quite simply unbalanced & unable to tell what it should or shouldn't attack. It no longer has the propensity to control it's actions or articulate it's thoughts.

    This would be the same as serial killers, or serial rapists. They do this because they are mentally unbalanced [ IMHO ] you don't see mentally balanced humans going about killing others or raping / abusing / harming them. It just doesn't happen. If it did, then everyone on the earth would have killed each other by now.


    That's why I don't think I could say dog's are just plain aggressive. For me, IMHO, it lowers the mental standard of a dog. Do dogs react aggresively / violently? Yes. But for me, no different then people. Either they are acting aggressively because 1. It's according to a stimulant [ usually fear-based ] or 2. They are doing a job they were trained / bred to do [ by people ]. If a dog is attacking everything in sight, THEN I would consider it "aggressive."


    Again, hope that makes sense. I'm having a lot of difficulty organizing my thoughts today. So...disregard nething that doesn't make sense that I've spewed off in the past 24hours. I might read it tomorrow & say, "WHAT was I thinking?!" ~
    Post edited by Sangmort at 2009-10-20 03:19:18
  • BradA1878BradA1878
    Posts: 12224
    @Osy - The issue with that argument, and the CO, is that they are said to be a "natural breed" - meaning there was no human selection. They are a breed that was put to work and allowed to breed, the strongest survived and the traits they carried were the traits needed to perform their task. Sure, they have been human manipulation in the last 200 years or so, but the starting point (around 14,000 years ago a la the Armenian Gampr) up to about 200 years a go was purely natural. If anything, most of the recent human selection has been to "soften" the breed (which I am in agreement with - some people would shoot me for saying that).

    ----

    @Dave - I agree with you, 4 is the one I think of when I hear the term "aggression" as well. I don't see CO as aggressive, I do see them as reactive and very possessive/protective. I also see them as some what dangerous, but not "aggressive". To me, their actions seem purposeful.

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    @Corina - I like tour break down of temperament, I think you even ordered it correctly, from strongest to weakest affect (IMHO).

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    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00
  • SangmortSangmort
    Posts: 5510
    Brad - I didn't realize that, so this point was oblivious to me. You said, < snip > the strongest survived and the traits they carried were the traits needed to perform their task. Wouldn't that mean tho that the humans were still breeding the "strongest" CO? IE: THe ones who can fight off wolves or mountain lions, or whatever. They werent breeding the CO that came back severely injured or the ones who were to weak to defend the property / flock. They were still "picking" the ones that survived. I'm sure, there are a variety of CO temperaments, back then, as there are today. However, because the only ones that survived that were being bred, doesn't that mean that the breed has, through human breeding, become more & more...I don't want to say aggressive...but perhaps reactive / strong willed / more in tune with their "protective capabilities?"

    I mean, CO are not wild animals like wolves or foxes. They were being bred, & the puppies sold / used for future protection. IE: They weren't breeding themselves. ~
    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00
  • I think one definition of "aggressive" that is overlook, but important is "marked by driving forceful energy or initiative - Merriam Webster" or assertive. Sometimes when we use the term aggressive to describe people it has nothing to due with hostility, confrontation, unfriendly behavior etc, but all to do with assertiveness or initiative or being a go-getter. I think this applies to dogs as well. I think some breeds and individual dogs are "aggressive" not because they are hostile, confrontational or seeking to do harm, but because they are very assertive (and confident) in the way they behave. They have a "driving forceful energy" behind them. But unfortunately people will interpret this as "hostile aggression." I hope that makes some sense. :)
    Post edited by the_november_rain at 2009-10-20 04:04:11
  • BradA1878BradA1878
    Posts: 12224
    @Osy...

    "Wouldn't that mean tho that the humans were still breeding the "strongest" CO?"
    >>>> That's really the point, there was an initial selection of the dogs used but then they were allowed to breed and reproduce w/o human interference. The puppies & dogs that didn't survive didn't reproduce - on their own. Dogs that had too much fight drive and wouldn't work with the other dogs were either destroyed by man or killed by the other dogs - same applies to wolves, if the dog was too confrontational with threats they wouldn't last long - so they learned to "bark and bluff" more than confront.

    All the humans did was supply a "job" and reinforcement via food - the dogs were left on their own to reproduce and protect. The only human interference was the destruction of a dog that became predatory on livestock or was unwilling to live with the other dogs. (btw, this is similar to the the way the pig was domesticated, the pig decided it liked the life so they stuck around They didn't roam because the humans fed them.)

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    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00
  • dlrobertsdlroberts
    Posts: 6552
    @jessika:

    I don't think the MW definition has been overlooked. I just don't think it fits dogs. Just like the first 2 definitions I posted above, we would have to classify all dogs as aggressive if we chose to go with that definition. I think the difference between a dog being aggressive or being reactive/doing it's job/assertive is PROVOCATION. In my experience, no healthy dog will behave violently if not provoked but damaged or mentally unbalanced dogs might. I'd imagine that those who believe the CO is an aggressive dog don't understand the CO and it's purpose. They may not believe that a property guard is necessary or understand how or what the dog perceives as property.

    In that sense, the classification of a dog as aggressive comes down to a determination of the validity of their provocation. Does coming too close to a dog classify as sufficient provocation? Does making and refusing to break eye contact with a dog classify as sufficient provocation? What bout cornering a dog? What about trying to take their resources (like food)?

    I think most of us would agree that merely coming too close to a dog should not provoke a violent response. Where this gets interesting, is for people that like us that like to study and talk about dog behavior. The more we understand about dogs, the more we can rationalize the stimuli that might lead to a "seemingly aggressive" response. Should a dog react violently if we make eye contact with them? Probably not. But we all know that it's not a good idea to provoke a dog by making eye contact with them. So is that aggression? Not in my opinion, but I know the vast majority of people out there wouldn't agree.

    Perhaps a working definition of aggression for dogs should be something like "violent behavior for which the average person can not rationalize the provocation."

    So what does this tell us about human influence over aggression? Corina specified four influencing factors: 1) breed, 2) pedigree, 3) instance, 4) environment. With I guess certain exceptions like the CO, these are all factors under human control. Certain breeds have had the "aggression" bred out of them. I would argue that what has occurred is that the trigger levels for provocation of violent behavior have been raised sufficiently so as they are almost never reached in practice. I think trigger levels may be a bit malleable though. Let's look at the pit bull for example. I've read a lot about how pit bulls are preferred for fighting dogs because of their eagerness to please their owner. For every "aggressive" pit bull out there, there is probably an owner that has reinforced extremely low triggers.

    So perhaps human influence on aggression (according to my working definition) is this: 1) the breed provides a range of trigger levels, 2) the pedigree narrows that range, 3) the instance fixes a point in that range, and 4) the environment shifts that point slightly in either direction.

    Other than being extremely stream of consciousness, does that make sense/seem reasonable?
    dlrobertsdlroberts
    Dave, proudly owned by Joey (Shiba Inu), Tyson (Kai Ken), and PRG's Mason Julien McDieserton III, a.k.a. Diesel (Labrador Retriever).
    "My opinion may have changed, but not the fact that I'm right"
    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00
  • In that sense, the classification of a dog as aggressive comes down to a determination of the validity of their provocation.
    mm, I think this is too subjective because we can;t apply our values to dogs. You kindof point this out when you talk about eye contact. I believe a border collie stare is considered aggressive by many dogs. Its a threat, its the beginning of the prey sequence, and it can come without a play bow or other "we're just pretending" actions. Humans would (and have) say this stare doesnt warrant a vocal or physical display in response, but that is human values, not dog values. My dog absolutley considers a stare a serious willful threat if given by a stranger and his individual threshold is low enough that his tolerance bar will drop and he will react if I just stand there and expect him to take it like a man.

    re: 1,2,3,4:

    I think it does makes sense, that they are nested that way. I will illustrate. Here's a quote from Brenda Aloff:

    "Dogs have been selectively bred for hundreds of years for specific traits that modern owners have decided are "problem behaviors." Our ancestors did not have leisure time to devote to dog training- the goal was to breed animals having a natural tendency toward behavioral traits that would be desirable in a certain line of work. This behavior was expected and respected. People didnt assume dogs would be friendly. One trait...for a guard dog would be a natural tendency to be very suspicious, "If it is different, it must be dangerous." Many individual dogs have this trait to some degree but it is marked in the guarding breeds."

    and she goes on to examine other natural behavioral tendencies that are not trained but selected for in terriers (a complete prey sequence, eye, stalk, etc --> dissect and consume), shelties (aborted prey seq.: will nip but a terrier with a complete seq, will bite) and border collies (interrupted prey sequence) who will chase, but not harm, livestock. So, behavioral tendencies are hardwired- Dave's breed range #1.

    And within individuals there is a personal range #2, usually within breed range- I am on board with Dave on this too. My dog has a narrower range than may sister's dog- hers is a labrador retriever, mine is a kai ken-pitbull mix. Cleo has a big range and her low end is still pretty high. Even with the best upbringing, Sage would have a smaller window and his low end is much lower than Cleo's. Cleo's parents were family dogs, next door neighbors. Sage's mother was poorly kept & not dog social, a narrowing factor for her pups' ranges.

    Early experience affects personal range #2: Cleo was raised in a home with her healthy mother and siblings and went straight to my sister's home to live- her window stayed as big as it it was born to be. Sage was a puppy with a sick mother, who spent his fear periods in the animal shelter, was pulled into rescue on his euth date and stayed in rescue for another month. He was alive, but not enriched. His window became smaller, or perhaps it did not grow to its maximum- which is what we do by socializing dogs and introducing puppies to 'these are all the normal and good things'. I got Sage at 4 months old, but his breed mix window and personal windows were not expandable anymore.

    Reactivity: Sage's threshold bar - the point at which he tips from front brain (operant, thinking and deciding brain) to hind brain (reactive, insitnct, emotion, flight or flight brain)- is lower than Cleo's. He has kai naturalness- wary, suspicious, hyper alert, super sensitive, independent thinker who relies on making up his own mind, not labrador-level dog social; and pitbull love of people and capacity for affection, but pitbulls are not labradors either. We talk about fear and drive, and how a guard dog is not "tentative" and how only in the hind brain do you have the necessary intensity to do the Job of a guard or protection or fighting dog, but the best working dogs can switch between their front brain and hind brain and control their drive. I forget what we decided "gameness" was, but it fits in here too. "Reactivity" describes the ease with which he can go hind brain, it is not a level of aggression and it has nothing to do with his ability to rebound or switch BACK to front brain. The best police dogs are reactive but in control of the switch. Luytiy is reactive but has a job and is in control. Sage has difficulty holding on to his front brain under certain stresses, and I believe that wild animals are like this as well, but more so. I am not thinking of wolves hunting prey here, I am thinking of any wild animal confined and confronted- the raccoons Jeff's grandmother had in her barn, or making a pet of a wild animal. You dont walk (even a trained) tiger down the street on a leash- because he is too reactive.

    When Sage is reactive, he is not ballistic, in fact he may not be performing any aggressive action: he is scared, and on edge and a chained dog hurling epithets at him while we take a leash walk (nest #3) will probably result in an intense reaction back- because situationally, he is under stress off-territory (#4 environment- tolerance bar dropping), a dog is cussing him out (lower...#3 instance) and he can;t go hide under the desk (lower still #4 environment). My work has been to hold his reaction bar from flying off the switch point too far and teaching him to switch back out of hind brain to thinking brain. He can do it with a chained dog at 50 yards most of the time if it doesn't last too long and we keep moving along. that is, he will look and walk a step toward, he will pant and get huffy, but he can remember (now, after much work) on his OWN (thinking brain! yay) to turn back to me and break out of his "locked-on state" and I am there to be present with him and reinforce the hell out of this choice on his part.

    Stress reduces his tipping point, at home he is not stressed (#4 can be affected), and if he is worried about a raised voice, or a thunder storm he flees and hides under my desk in the studio. His major bar-lowering factor is being out-of-home-territory. Stress level on a walk or in the car is high, and I am able to see clearly now as he switches from front to hindbrain state. Learning can;t take place in his hindbrain state. I cannot increase his natural born tolerance range (#1 and 2), but I CAN reduce and eliminate stress (#4- environmental and #3 not putting him in situations he can;t handle well) to keep his tolerance level near his personal maximum so I can train what I can, if it is worthwhile. I don;t know if he will EVER be able to pass that chained dog like Reilly can ("what. ev. errrr..."), and I understand and accept that- it could be the top of his total sum of tolerance range for that situation #3. Drugs (#4) have slowed the rate at which his switch bar drops, allowing us a few extra seconds of front brain time to work and allow him a chance to learn to control the switch.

    He is naturally reactive and wary, he always will be and I am convinced of those two things because I have worked him and tried things and tested him out and given him every opportunity I can to enrich, calm, expose, socialize and he has shown me his limits and I accept what is true for him. I used to think his reactivity was a defect ("mentally unbalanced") but after all this I understand that he is a Dog being a dog, with a culturally unappreciated reactivity level for this time and place. He's a less refined, independent minded dog with an impoverished developmental period. As Jessica came out and said for me- sometimes you need to hear it from someone wise but much more objective: he isn't BROKEN he is just SAGE. I think he and I have learned to maintain the tipping point near top of his window to reduce fear and stress and keep his threshold up as often as we can, and that's the best we can do, until and unless as he ages, his sensitivity decreases somewhat or he matures and decides certain situations (#3) are not worth his attention anymore.
    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00
  • dlrobertsdlroberts
    Posts: 6552
    "I think this is too subjective because we can;t apply our values to dogs.

    You're absolutely right. It IS subjective. That was the point. A healthy dog without mental defect may still be called aggressive by people that do not understand dog behavior. You said so yourself about Sage: "...he is a Dog being a dog, with a culturally unappreciated reactivity level for this time and place."

    It's unfortunate, but there is no separating the classification of a dog as aggressive from subjectivity. All too often when that term is thrown around it is a subjective judgement.

    ----

    I like your distinction of the "thinking brain" and the "reacting brain". It makes a lot of sense. I often observe behavior in Joey where I can see the transition occurring. He can guard tennis balls pretty ferociously when he's in a cranky mood. There are very subtle visual cues that I get when he's transitions: he tenses ever so slightly, his gaze gets more distant, his ears lay sideways every so slightly. At that point, he's already in reaction mode and if another dog comes any closer he springs into action. There are times where he's more or less likely to behave that way. If we're home with dogs he knows, he's less likely. If he's over-tired or stressed or in a strange environment, he's more likely to transition. These are examples of how environment can affect triggers.

    So, perhaps the point at which that transition occurs is the point at which human influence comes into play. 1) breed selection induces a range over transition points, 2) pedigree narrows the range of transition points, 3) instance fixes transition points in that range, and 4) environment shifts those transitions points situationally.
    dlrobertsdlroberts
    Dave, proudly owned by Joey (Shiba Inu), Tyson (Kai Ken), and PRG's Mason Julien McDieserton III, a.k.a. Diesel (Labrador Retriever).
    "My opinion may have changed, but not the fact that I'm right"
    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00
  • Got it.

    and I agree that people dont understand or appreciate dogs being dogs- we've seen lots of that in public and it feels like crap. Guy kicked Sage in the face once, for communicating back OFF to his dog...like a dog. Who's being aggressive there? (rhetorical question)

    I also meant to apply that "unappreciated" bit to the earlier part about breeding for a nature and how dogs with this reactive nature do not have jobs anymore that employ that nature. Hardly anybody needs a dog that sensitive and reactive. If it was the olden days, he'd be a wonderful pioneer dog for Laura Ingalls. :)

    -----
    I didnt discover the hind brain stuff - just to not take credit where its not due- its all over my reactive dog bookshelf. I just condensed it and applied it.
    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00
  • asiaasia
    Posts: 1090
    on the video - Highly disturbed and intrigued...

    Editing was ridiculous!

    Brad - I noticed the UPS incident. From what I could tell, the dog seemed to have an issue with chasing vehicles - so did our dalmation, afghan, and pekingese. The dog did not seem to be highly bothered by the camera crew or have to be kept in a pen away from contact with the filming crew, which would be a new experience and possible stressor IMHO. Nor, as you pointed out, did he seem overly bothered by the random person and dog near the truck.

    I do find it intriguing that her ferocious, aggressive dog did fine near a baby...and as aggressive as they paint them, no one was afraid to put a camera close to it or let the baby hang out beside it. Meaning they wanted to heighten the "oh no" fear of the people at home, but obviously weren't that worried about the dog really mauling the child.

    I am glad she has left the country!

    On the nurture versus nature, I am not expert enough to comment.
    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 3449
    Is like, the mob after this clown that he needs to keep an enormous CO locked in his house in suburbia? Who places dogs into those situations???Hokusei Kashinoki Hokkaido and Shiba Inu
    masakadoshiba@hotmail.com
    www.masakadoshiba@wordpress.com
    www.hokkaidousa.wordpress.com
    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00
  • SangmortSangmort
    Posts: 5510
    LMFAO @ Lindsay! So true!! ~
    Post edited by Unknown User at -0001-11-30 00:00:00

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