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Old April 26th, 2011, 06:47 AM
erykah1310's Avatar
erykah1310 erykah1310 is offline
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Breed Temperament as per standard

I didn't want to further threadjack the thread about the Home Depot Shih tzu bite but I found the thread has taken an interesting turn.
Discussion now being regarding proper temperament as per standard and variations of who certain dogs are suitable for and what to expect from them.
Myself with my Tibetan Mastiffs where their standard here in Canada states (quite vaguely I may add)
Independent. Protective. Commands respect. Most loyal to his family
and territory.
Where as AKC states:
The Tibetan Mastiff is a highly intelligent, independent, strong willed and rather reserved dog. He is aloof with strangers and highly protective of his charges and his property. In the ring he may exhibit reserve or lack of enthusiasm, but any sign of shyness is unacceptable and must be severely faulted as inappropriate for a guardian breed. Conversely, given its aloof nature, judges should also beware of putting a premium on showiness.
So... based on Karma's first show recently and her utter lack of interest in the show ring or the goings on around her, american standard would have found her exactly where she should have been for her breed in the ring where as here in Canada her 'lack of enthusiasm' was probably points against her (as with her broken tooth on show side which AKC points out that fault should not be given for broken teeth).

Everyone at the show who approached her did so with extreme caution as they were familiar with the breed and were quite suprised that she did show some intrest in making new aquantances briefly and did so with a tail wag even.
Karma is nothing like her mother, her mother was TM by AKC temperament through and through as was her father ( may they both ) perhaps the fact Karma has gone so many places as a pup was socialized to the max plays a role in her demeanor or the fact I have never set her up to fail ( overwhelm her with socialization or push her, when she was ready she was ready, she let me know)

All 3 of my TM's are more Karma like than " in standard for AKC" however I would never set them up to fail or put them in a position I felt would be overwhelming for them. When I take them into Petsmart they are amazing but they are very familiar with that store

(cute story: An elderly lady fell head over heels for Marv one day and since he had pooped in the parking lot when I was leaving I ran back into the store with him to pick up a baggie, since the outside station was empty. The lady was in line at the cash, she hurried over to him with her walker chair thingie,leaving her stuff by the conveyor belt, to pet him again since he was back in the store and said " Oh I just want to hug him he is such a big bear" she had sat on her walker and was petting him and just as she said that he placed his head into her chest with his nose down as if to hug her, she put her arm around him and he nuzzled in. Therapy dog in the making??? I think so)

But... all these things I find important in any dog (social stability basically) is something that technically should not be bred towards with my breed in the US.
My dogs are extremely protective of their property and our house but are willing to make a new friend and also as can be seen by many of the things I do with the breed that every breeder states "don't do" such as obedience training ( which is difficult by all means with a primitive and independant breed such as these guys), tracking ( something that comes natural to any dog with maybe the exception of sight hounds I honestly dont know) dog sledding, dock diving ( I will let you know how this goes this summer but should be a good story or two lol) ect. Sure a TM does not excel at any of these things, but they CAN do it if you just give them the chance to try and not expect the world out of them.

I wouldn't place a pup in a home who wanted a top agility or obedience dog out of their pup, but I would place a pup in a home who wanted to dabble and just go out and have some fun, socialize (as long as i felt they had a good understanding of the breeds tendancies which is phase 2 of the interview process in depth) and enjoy life with a TM to the fullest.

So, basic point of my thread, while my dogs are socially sound or in the making with the youngsters but still would protect my home or yard with their lives with out a doubt in my mind I feel that they still fit standard temperamentally in that aspect however I also feel it is important that I can take them places and be proud of how they behave. With the youngsters though ( Tibby and Marv) I am not 100% confident in them yet and as such we take our time with certain situations. Obviously though if I wanted them true to their guardian nature I would not socialize or have worked this hard with them.
So as companions more so than working dogs I do not see a problem with fine tuning temperament as much as you can with training.

I understand a working dog (stock dog, LGD ect ) emphasising on natural traits and not 'fixing' them for social activities is absolutely acceptable. This IMO is why there are splits happening in many breeds.
Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyways. ~John Wayne
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Old April 26th, 2011, 11:43 AM
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Goldfields Goldfields is offline
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I love learning about other breeds. Are your dogs a herd gaurdian breed similar to say a Maremma? I'm sorry but I did laugh outright at that part of the Standard that said they can exhibit reserve or lack of enthusiasm. My first Ch ACD threw away a few wins because of ' lack of enthusiasm' , but I always thought why should a working breed be interested in shows? They'd rather be at home watching sheep or cattle. One Judge tried so hard to get her to spark up for a Group win, if a cow had wandered past she would have won.
The TM temperament sounds quite a bit like that of the ACD. They were bred to gaurd the herd, the drover's gear etc. too, so like your dogs they are fierce defenders of their family and home, their vehicle, little children and the list goes on. One of mine would lie by the chicken coop to keep an eye on the baby chickens, she was lovely. It sounds to me too that your dogs can have a wonderfully gentle side that makes you very proud of them, like Marv with that woman, or like mine that did the same thing at a show when a really ancient guy from a nursing home came over with his carer to ask if she was a heeler. She got up, walked very quietly to him and stood like a statue while he patted her. Ordinarily she would ignore people. It really made my day.
We come to differences next though. ACDs aren't usually willing to make new friends, it's more often that they approach to sus' the person out, but they can excel at obedience and tracking, probably because of their total devotion to their owner and their wish to please them. They'll be nice with visitors if that's what you want but those visitors aren't their friends, the same people can get bitten if you aren't with the dog when they arrive. They have improved in the past 60 years. A breeder told me that back in the 50s you would never dare try to touch another person's cattle dog, and I know that at shows judges got severely bitten and because this can be a dog aggressive breed they would have quite a space between the dogs in the showring. No wonder they amended the Standard to say that they must be amenable to handling in the ring.
I agree there are splits. There will be people wanting to turn the ACDs into licky lapdogs, and physically they already have altered the breed so much. The old cattlemen used to say that the best dog for working was right up to height and all through the Standard the word broad was repeated again and again, a big tough dog that could stand a good kicking by a steer. Nowadays in the ring though inbreeding has dropped the height, they are finer boned, noisier too - they are supposed to be a silent worker, not a yapper. Actually they now do what people call a cattle dog shriek and I hate it. We had an inbred female here(long story) that would wait for you to walk past her yard, then she'd leap to your ear level and do this shriek. Took years off my life, that girl! The first time I ever heard her I thought she'd been hurt. but no, just noisy. The dog aggression is the reason I wouldn't like them in a Home Depot/dog park situation, that and with the occassional one having to say over and over, "NO! You can't pat this one!" and "YES, I am sure it will bite". How old is your breed, do you know? The first Standard for my breed was drawn up in 1902, so it's not an old breed compared to many and with its mixture of breeds, including Dingo blood, they can be a bit feral at times. MY vet reckons the reds are worst, and while our current red boy is the best we've ever had, maybe I agree. Regardless though, I love my reds.
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