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Challenging breeds?

Discussion in 'General Dog Forum' started by Goldens4ever, May 15, 2021.

  1. Goldens4ever

    Goldens4ever Guest

    After my last post , I have a question on the difference with stronger breeds like dobermans and Rottweilers and what are considered easier breeds like labradors.

    From a behavior point of view i am interested in why dogs like Rotties and dobes are always described as challenging and considered "stronger" breeds as we know theres no such thing as dominance so how are Rottweilers more challenging than a labrador?

    I just find dog behavior so fascinating and i know Rotties, Dobes,GSD, mastiffs ect need more socialization and need more training to control a more powerful dog but you always hear people say they will dominate there owner or are more challenging to own than a lab but we know dogs dont dominate there owners so how to they challenge there owners? Do labs not challenge there owners since you never hear people describe labs in this way.

    Im interested in knowing fully what it really means when people say these breeds are challenging or "stronger minded than labs" ect.

    I know people say there not as forgiving of mistakes.
     
  2. Hemlock

    Hemlock Well-Known Member Registered

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    It's too big a subject for a forum post, but to start on the way, we have to look at the original purposes for which breeds were created. Therein lies their character, which drives their behaviour. Whether or not it is a "challenging" behaviour depends on the nature and situation of the owner. Dogs bred to guard will guard, those bred to alert will bark, those bred to hunt will hunt and kill other creatures if given the opportunity, dogs bred to herd will herd. Some breeds have to be independent to do their jobs, and others work in close partnership with their humans. No breed is "easy" if what they are hardwired to do does not sit well with their humans' expectations.
     
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  3. Goldens4ever

    Goldens4ever Guest

    So thats why not everyone finds Rottweilers or Dobes Hard? and not everyone finds labs easy? I know some lab owners who say there German shepherd is easier than there lab
     
  4. Rinkydinkydo

    Rinkydinkydo Well-Known Member Registered

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    I've always thought that some people just have it when comes to dogs, they are tuned in.While other people have to work at it, its the same with horses I've found.
     
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  5. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

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    It depends on your perspective, too - labs are 'easy' in that they're everyone's friend, happy cheerful souls, get on with children and roll with the punches. But they're a PITA if you don't want to be mugged or jumped up on :mad: A lot of people seem to think that they don't need to train their dog because it's so good natured and gregarious.

    And as someone who is small and not very strong, I'd rather have a large strong dog that can be trained to walk well on lead than a medium-sized one that has the momentum of a Sherman Tank and doesn't seem to notice it has a passenger.
     
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  6. Goldens4ever

    Goldens4ever Guest

    Interesting replys guys.

    Judy - fully agree hate when dogs come running up and jumping all over me and it tends to be labs and i may be a lab lover but its just not good doggy manners.

    I have always wondered why Rotties \dobes them kind of dogs are deemed harder or more challenging so it is to do with them not being as friendly as a lab and needing more socialization for example and because there a guard and are suspicious of people so not as happy go lucky as labs
     
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  7. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

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    I think it's just because given what the dogs have been bred for, if things go wrong (because of genetics of that particular dog or poor training), they can go very, very wrong.
     
    Goldens4ever likes this.
  8. Goldens4ever

    Goldens4ever Guest

    Thats what im thinking , i just dont see how they can be more challenging other than needing more imput and effort into socialization and training. If there owner umderstands the breed fully before hand and puts a lot of effort into training and socialization i cant see how there any harder than a lab.
     
  9. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    If I understand you correctly, you are basing this on the nature versus nurture subject?

    Both nature and nurture play their part - nurture (i.e. training) can do a lot, but there are some breeds (i.e. nature) that will never be suitable for certain jobs.
     
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  10. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

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    Well, with a badly trained lab you're more likely just to be faced with dry cleaning bills...

    But it's a mistake to believe that fully understanding a breed and putting in the effort will overcome everything - it's like learning the theory behind driving a car or riding a bike and expecting to be able to do it well straight off. As you work with a dog, you need to develop instincts, so you react immediately, in the right way, with the right demeanour. And you need to spot potential triggers from a long way off. With Jasper, just the slightest flick of an ear can alert me to the possibility of a cat, a sudden but subtle change in gait have me putting his lead on. And I need to respond in a calm way, not grabbing the lead and holding tight, but being relaxed but ready to hang on... Think of dressage - you can't even see what the rider is doing, but they and the horse are in complete harmony.

    Give me another dog, particularly a dog of a different type, and I'd be like a learner driver all over again - but people who have had experience of many dogs will obviously be able to read and respond to them that much faster.
     
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  11. Goldens4ever

    Goldens4ever Guest

    I dont know if im coming from both or just the nurture bit. I'll try to explain a bit better.

    Everytime i hear a certain breed classed as "challenging" they tend to say there "challenging to raise\train and live with then a lab for example.

    Hope that explains a bit better
     
  12. Goldens4ever

    Goldens4ever Guest

    If i understood this correctly your saying one breed doesnt prepare you for another so if you went from lurchers to Rottweilers you would be like a newbie all over again unless you had experience with lots of breeds and dogs.

    And with the first part its about knowing your individual dog more than the breed in that your individual rottie for example even if he has been very well socialised it doesnt mean he will love every dog or person so knowing him well enough to know when hes telling you that hes not interested in saying hello to the person coming over so you can react and tell the person to stop and not stroke your dog.

    I think i got that right but not sure
     
  13. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

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    Yep - certainly trainers with a lot of experience but little sighthound experience, for instance, could come really badly unstuck if they get involved in training a sighthound - and could actually do that dog a fair bit of harm.

    Remember that the aim of socialisation isn't to get your dog to love every dog or person - it's better for the dog to be neutral to other people and dogs. And regardless of breed, we should all aim to be able to recognise when the dog isn't overjoyed with attention from other people and to remove them from the situation. With the average lab if you don't do this there isn't likely to be a big problem, but with some dobes/Rotties, there could be.
     
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  14. Goldens4ever

    Goldens4ever Guest

    I misunderstood socialization and thought like most it was just meeting as many dogs as possible but after reading victorias puppy book and pippa mattinsons books i learned its not that at all its more about making them as you say neutral and ok with other dogs and people and to get them used to as many sights , sounds and environments as possible.

    I think with breeds like dobes and rotties its better if the person has experience and really gets to know there dog but also be able to read there dog so when another dog is pestering your rottie you can take control of the situation and prevent anything bad happening.
     
  15. Hemlock

    Hemlock Well-Known Member Registered

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    "but also be able to read there dog so when another dog is pestering your rottie you can take control of the situation and prevent anything bad happening."


    This is one of the big responsibilities for all owners for any breeds, not just Rotties. In fact, we step in before the other dog starts to pester.

    Sorry - messed up the quote - much better with dogs than technology!
     
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  16. Goldens4ever

    Goldens4ever Guest

    Hemlock - same ill be stepping in before hand with my lab and ill be teaching my lab to not jump all over people he will have good doggy manners.

    I also wont be listerning to owners when they say there is dog is friendly I'll be taking my que from the dog itself what his\her body language tells me
     
  17. Hemlock

    Hemlock Well-Known Member Registered

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    That's very sensible, and it would be great if more dog owners were like you.
     
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  18. eggs

    eggs New Member Registered

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    Currently I have a six year old Lab who was three when we got him as a rescue (he was very sadly given up by previous owners due to a change in family circumstances) and a 14 month old Rottweiler. My previous dog was a rottie x mastiff who died at the beginning of 2020 and prior to that I've had Labradors, JRTs and Cairn terriers.

    I personally found the rottie and rottie x mastiff the easiest dogs to train as they just seem to 'get it' much quicker. Knowing that they will be big, strong dogs I socialised them as much as possible with other dogs, people and sights when they were young. Terriers are much more independent and mine had selective deafness when it suited them.
     
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  19. JacksDad

    JacksDad Active Member Registered

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    I agree with Hemlock's first response.

    in addition I would toss out some of the "stronger breed" or "stubborn breed" labels can (though not always) speak to someone's ego and gaps in their training/behavior skills/knowledge vs reality of the breed or individual dog.
     
    Goldens4ever likes this.
  20. Goldens4ever

    Goldens4ever Guest

    I actually asked on a facebook group for labradors as i knew there were a few members with rotties ect and a few have said there Rottie or mastiff was easier than the lab were others said theres was more work but none would call them "challenging" or "stronger" , one told me that whats hard or challenging for one person another might find easy. She told me all breeds are challenging its dependant on the owner on if that breed is challenging for them.

    One of the lab owners who owned a Rottie told me that she knew a lab owner who found labs so hard that she never had another and moved to rotties and found the rottie so much easier and stuck to rotties. It was more labs were challenging because they really weren't for her were rotties were easy because they were for her.
     

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