How much instinct survives in domesticated doge?

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Rick Courtright said:
Dave P. said:
My wife's niece has a neutered male Belgian Malinois that can go from peaceful
friendly big lap dog to a snarling beast with a single word from her.

Hi,

Are those dogs used by police K-9 units? Years ago we had a female K-9 unit officer who'd bring her dog in to the trap and skeet range clubhouse on occasion. Big, black, kinda furry, it was a "Belgian something" that looked like it could swallow a medium sized child in one gulp. She said it was her best canine "partner" of the several different kinds of dogs she'd had.

Rick C

I think they're pretty common for police use. Niece's is a little smaller than some that I've seen, he's
a very lean 85 pounds. Brown with black face and huge ears, a real clown when he's playing.
Dave
 

kmoore

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At least in Oregon the Belgian Malinois is more popular than the German Shepard nowadays as a police K9. They are a smaller dog normally 85 to 100 lbs were many GS are in the 120 range.
None of the police dogs will be aggressive unless told to or feels threaten. If they cannot be controlled they loose their job. Normally during training they get weeded out but some make it to the streets and fail there shortly after.
The K9 guys I worked with over many dogs could be in the squad room sitting next to their handler. Anyone could pet them, ask first. You could sit in the next work station a few feet away. Dogs do not care. Many K9 handlers took them to schools as show and tell.
If you discharge a gun while they are tracking off leash, you could get bit. Or while there tracking and your on foot ahead of them chasing the crook it's best to stop when they radio DOG TRACKING.
Disclaimer: I never worked around any military dogs and that could be different.
 
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I believe the Bernadoodle is a Bernese Mountain Dog / Poodle. The Bernese Mountain Dog, well, Fast Ed’s Hoss was a Bernese Mountain Dog. They are cousins with Australian Sheppards.

One of our neighbors has one, I see them walking on the bike path from time to time. Just about the cutest dog ever.
 

toysoldier

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Don't count on your dog putting up an effective defense. You should be prepared to protect your dog. I walk my two small dogs (a half-doxie and a spaniel/terrier mix) on the one-mile loop around our semi-rural subdivision. On two occasions, they have been attacked by another dog. On both occasions I beat off the attacking dog with help from the owner or a neighbor, but I was seconds from pulling out my LCP and killing the dog. I now carry a fencing saber, to give me a less-than-lethal option. Shooting a neighbor's dog can really sour things.
 

Bear Paw Jack

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Toysoldier, another option is pepper spray. It typically works on dogs. I don't think a fencing saber would be all that effective. Just another option. I carry a spray called Pom. Recommended by the guy that does Active Self Protection. He says he's used it on dogs 3 times. Personally I would think a bigger canister would be better.
 
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I am trained in fencing, but my foils would be difficult to carry while walking a dog. Could be very effective against a dog or neighbor. How do you carry yours? How long is it and type of blade? My Pyrenees/Kuvasz chased coyotes, but to my knowledge never killed any.
gramps
 

JackpineWillie

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Had a 14 pound Rat terrier that ton different days attacked a Rottweiler and an English Mastiff. Another time spared with a rather large black bear for over an hour over my salt block.
 

toysoldier

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gramps said:
I am trained in fencing, but my foils would be difficult to carry while walking a dog. Could be very effective against a dog or neighbor. How do you carry yours? How long is it and type of blade? My Pyrenees/Kuvasz chased coyotes, but to my knowledge never killed any.
gramps

The saber I carry has a blade marked S-2000, 34" long. It is completely blunt, with a foiled (bent-over) point, aluminum guard, and plastic grip. I use a soft woven belt with double ring buckle, worn over my shoulder like a baldric, with the blade slipped through the buckle rings. Being a leftie, the dog's leashes are in my right hand, with the right elbow on the hilt to keep the sword from flapping around. The last dog to attack was an Anatolian shepherd, bred to kill wolves.
 
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toysoldier said:
gramps said:
I am trained in fencing, but my foils would be difficult to carry while walking a dog. Could be very effective against a dog or neighbor. How do you carry yours? How long is it and type of blade? My Pyrenees/Kuvasz chased coyotes, but to my knowledge never killed any.
gramps

The saber I carry has a blade marked S-2000, 34" long. It is completely blunt, with a foiled (bent-over) point, aluminum guard, and plastic grip. I use a soft woven belt with double ring buckle, worn over my shoulder like a baldric, with the blade slipped through the buckle rings. Being a leftie, the dog's leashes are in my right hand, with the right elbow on the hilt to keep the sword from flapping around. The last dog to attack was an Anatolian shepherd, bred to kill wolves.
Cool! I have both blunted and sharpened triangular blades. Once upon a time I considered getting one in a cane, but illegal almost everywhere! Dogs are a crap shoot! Some will protect most turn tail and run. The man in Eagle River, Ak that was attacked by a grizzly had a large German Shepherd that bailed immediately. The owner protected himself with a Ruger Alaskan .454?
gramps
 

harley08

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Retired Wildlife Biologist with 20 yrs experience working for the Feds, an MS in Animal Behavior with a thesis in Black Bear behavior.

How is he around other dogs? Cautious, aggressive (not likely from your description), "cowardly"?

Remember, if attacked he will likely defend herself, although being immature he may be more subservient. Varies somewhat with breed.

A few anecdotes: We had a "schnoodle" (schnauzer/poodle) that stood up to two Rotties (woulda got his fanny kicked!!). Had a large GSP that was very docile but took no guff from other dogs (Rescue and he had some obvious fighting scars). We have an 80 lb Pointing Griffon that is friendly but has gotten into some pretty bad scraps with our whippet/terrier (He starts them with her). I saw an akita that I knew (I managed pet shops while in college) get attacked by pits. A white guy in a black neighborhood and two blacks "sicced" their pits on the akita. The akita snapped one's neck when it came in low and sidestepped the other and laid the ribs open! My ex-wife's Dobie killed two coyotes (NOT at the same time). They lived in the foothills of Glendale, CA.

Evolutionarily, dogs came from different backgrounds: Some evolved/were bred from jackals and some from wolves. Breeding ((a form of GMO, in my opinion) has bred different traits. Worked with an American pit bull who was a REAL baby but was very territorial. Her territory was wherever she was! Dobies don't "turn"=they simply hold their training better. Train them (improperly) to be vicious and they will be vicious. Trained properly and they will retain proper training.

Pepper spray is an excellent idea. Maybe a stout club, as well.
Try a 12ga shotgun with buckshot for the coyotes!
 

harley08

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Hi,

Are those dogs used by police K-9 units? Years ago we had a female K-9 unit officer who'd bring her dog in to the trap and skeet range clubhouse on occasion. Big, black, kinda furry, it was a "Belgian something" that looked like it could swallow a medium sized child in one gulp. She said it was her best canine "partner" of the several different kinds of dogs she'd had.

Rick C
I bet it was a Belgian Malinois.
 

idsubgun

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any ruger

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Had Alaskan Malmute did not like strange dogs in his yard. Before I built the kennel had him on a rope in the front yard. Neighbor had 2 Norewgian Elk hounds. Used to stand at the end of my dog's rope and tease him. Chased them away many times. One day they wouldn' leave unhooked the rope never saw them in my yard again.
 

BearBiologist

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I have two dogs, one of which is a 10 month old puppy. He's a Bernedoodle and about 80 pounds (so far) and while rambunctious and excitable, as gentle a dog as you can imagine. He hasn't chewed up a single piece of furniture or a single shoe left on the floor, but he does a pretty good job chewing up his toys. Where I live we have more than occasionally spotted a coyote, some of which are pretty large. But I doubt that a coyote would attempt to attack a dog of 80 pounds being walked by a human, but I am not sure about that by any means. What I wondered about was how my big and clearly capable puppy would react if actually attacked by a deadly coyote? Would he just yelp and try to get away, or would the wolf genes still in him get him to fight back against a predator? I carry pepper spray and a pocket knife when we go for walks, but leave my handgun behind because we walk on the grounds of the local community college where of course carrying a gun is illegal. So it has crossed my mind that despite his size he might well be no match for a hungry coyote.
I had a GSP that had several scars from fighting. He was found as a stray along the irrigation lines up along the Nat'l Forest. Showed little aggression towards other dogs=In fact, we named him "Hagrid" after the big, dark, gentle giant of Harry Potter movies. Figured he had got into it with a coyote or two. Once your pup gets bit during an attack, he will respond and with his size and coat, should defend himself well.
 

BearBiologist

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Not sure that would work with my cat. I watched her attack a dog twice her size for simply walking unto our front porch. Her territory!

Had two Siamese down the street who hunted dogs=one would get the dog to chase and the other would wait in a tree in the front yard. Cat "A" would run by and turn around while cat "B" ambushed from above.
 

outlaw_dogboy

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Regarding the OP, I think the reaction of the pup (I guess almost an adult now) would depend more on the genetic line the breeder works with, reinforced by the training/treatment of the pup, than the genetic "instinct" of the pup.

I've had three Rottweilers, and been around (extensively) two more. All three that I've had have had quite a bit of training. One even had an obedience title on her.
Of my three, the current one has (despite our best efforts) had a succession of bad experiences with other dogs since he was a puppy. At this point, despite going on about wanting to meet another dog, if allowed to meet, he will invariably react with fear aggression. He is good with people, however.
The previous one was from the same breeder, and was a genetic relative of current one. He also was great with people, but also great with other dogs. He grew up with our first one already being an adult female in the house. He was steady as a rock with people and dogs. He was around several fights that our first one was in, with the other two mentioned above that I was around a lot. He never got involved. He once was attacked by a small, young pit-bull. He outweighed it so much that the first attack resulted in the pit bouncing off my Rott. It came in a second time. My Rott turned an head-butted the pit so hard that it rolled about 8 feet. Before it could recover, the owner pounced on it and got it under control. My dog never opened its mouth, showed his teeth, or made a sound. Once the owner got the pit under control, my dog went on about his business like nothing had happened. Even turned his back on the pit.
The first Rott we had would have ripped the pit apart if it had attacked her. She was from a different breeder, different line. The breeder was a schutzhunde trainer, so I suspect the dog was from a line bred to be more aggressive. She was the one that we got an obedience title on. Both she and my second (the rock) also had Canine Good Citizen papers (not training; it's based on reactions in a test). She regularly got in fights with one of my wife's parents' Rotties. Two alpha females in one house was not good.
All that to say, breeding and training will, IMO, have more of an influence than some ethereal wolf heritage or instinct, or even the breed of the dog, except maybe in extreme cases. A good genetic line can be damaged by a succession of circumstances, but an aggressive line can be largely controlled by successful, diligent training. The majority of the behavior will be individual to the dog.
 

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