Collie Vs Shetland Sheepdog! Choosing?

Discussion in 'Dog Breeds' started by Pawbla, Feb 19, 2012.

  1. Pawbla Experienced Member

    These are two of my favorite breeds... I'm kinda torn between having one or the other. In a couple of years (if I don't end up adopting another random dog by chance!) I'd like to get a puppy... I never had a really young puppy, I adopted all my dogs when they were 7 months or older. And well, now that I know what needs to be done, I feel like I'd be ready to have a one.

    So I'm torn between these two breeds. I live in a flat with a small yard, but I take daily walks with my dog. Usually a 40 minutes to an hour walk, with some off-leash time, depending on how many dogs he finds to play. I also play a bit of fetch and when I'm fostering dogs I usually let them spend quite some time in the yard, playing. I am away from home for a long time (some days 9 to 22, some 9 to 12) so part of the reason I want another dog is because I want a doggie pal for mine. But the main reason is, I just can't have only one dog, I've lived in a multi dog household since I was like 7 years old.

    Obviously, thinking of this fluffy breeds, I don't care about shedding, I'm used to finding hairs everywhere. My dog sheds like crazy. I expect the FURminator will be able to help a bit, haha, but I'm really used to it.

    I'd need the dog to be able to do some therapy activity - either learning agility so kids can "train him" in the sport, fetching balls or toys or stuff, doing tricks, or just being a cuddle buddy. I think they'd fit the bill for at least the first three, so...

    The main pros of the sheltie are its size (this is a big pro, I like big dogs, but small and medium dogs are easier to take for holidays, take to friend's houses, etc), longer life span, and some people say they are easier to live with in small spaces. Main cons are more health issues, and that they're rarer and more expensive.

    Main pros of the collie are fewer health issues, cheaper, and I know at least two very good breeders in my country. Main cons are possible issues with flat space. I got told by many people that they shared they lives with a collie or more in a flat without trouble... but I'm still not sure.

    What do you think?

  2. sara Moderator

    Border Collie or Rough Collie?

    Shelties tend to bark alot, so may not be a good apartment dog, even though their size is better. I adore Roughs, they are my third favorite breed. We ALWAYS had a rough on the farm. my fav was a giant of a Sable named Duke. My friends had a Blue Merle named Stevie, she was an absolute sweetheart, and mostly trained herself.
  3. Pawbla Experienced Member

    The same is said about collies! I've heard they are very vocal. But I think that with proper education, it can be corrected I guess?

    Rough collies are amazing <3. The ones I know are just awesome. Actually, I love herding breeds, for some reason.
  4. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    While I looooove both breeds, DO volunteer to groom some a few times. O_o I really don't have an issue with grooming, don't mind lots of brushing, etc.....but time working in a grooming salon made me really not ever want either breed, unless it was a smooth collie. They are GORGEOUS dogs, but wow, the amount of brushing you have to do. We had a regular customer who had a Shetland Sheepdog, who was extremely well taken care of---she brushed him daily, with the correct brush, all over. And still, it took me close to two hours or more to brush him out. So so so much hair, and so THICK.
    So, do try to find someone that owns one, or find one in a shelter, and get an idea of what you will have to do to keep these dogs groomed.
    If I ever have one, it will certainly be my ONLY dog, just because of the amount of time these dogs need for grooming. Of all the long haired, thick coated dogs we had in the salon, the Shetlands and Collies by far took the longest. I still very much admire the breeds. I too don't mind shedding, but it does take a lot of time and effort to keep their coats in good shape.

    Aside from that, my advice to you would be to foster or volunteer for a rescue group for both breeds, so you can have hands-on experience with both and decide which fits your lifestyle best. I do think that with training, any barking issues could be resolved. Some breeds do like to "talk" more than others, though, for sure.

    I love herding breeds too. :) The more non-herding breeds I work with, the more I love herding breeds, lol! They seem to have a completely different style and enthusiasm than any other type of dog.
  5. Pawbla Experienced Member

    Ahh we don't have purebred strays/rescues... the few that are rescued are adopted almost instantly, because, well, they are purebreds u_u. I'm not much into buying dogs either but since I'm looking for a dog to do a specific purpose I'd rather have a dog that I know how (more or less) it's going to turn out. I was extremely lucky with my dog but that's just not common, hahaha. I also was trying to get a mutt puppy at first but nobody is willing to wait until they are 60 days old to give them away - most start at 35-45 days, which is not enough in my opinion. But... enough ranting on the topic, haha.

    One of the pros of the collie is that certain dog types - usually the working types at least where I live - have a coat that is less thick than a usual "show" collie.

    My dog needs hardly any grooming. He has a silky kind of coat that repels dirt. He will go and roll in the dirt in every training session in the park, and after a few hours he's totally white again. So I have virtually "no dog" regarding grooming! The only thing that mats are his ears.

    I'd need to buy some brushes and stuff though if I were to have any of those dogs. And learn quite a bunch about dog grooming. I wouldn't mind grooming as long as the dog doesn't bite, and if I had the dog since he was a puppy it'd be pretty easy to teach him to like grooming!
  6. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Definitely agree that 8-12 weeks is ideal for pups leaving mum...
    No state-wide, or nation-wide rescues you could get involved with? Although I do understand that if you had to travel a good ways to pick up a dog to foster, that would be expensive. Not sure what country or state you live in but in America gas is freaking ridiculous. O_o

    I don't necessarily think that you wouldn't be able to find a purebred pup in rescue, actually there are 4 purebred Rough Collie pups in rescues in Texas right now, one of which is in my town. I know that's just Texas, but just saying...
    Also buying a pup doesn't necessarily guarantee anything either. I've had Z since he was 3 months old, and despite tons of socialization, training, and exercise, he still has major issues(as explained in your other thread :) ). Mudflap was rescued at 3 years old and she would be perfect for therapy work, agility(not on a competitive level, as she does not have the best hips), freestyle, really anything. The only issue I ever had with her was food aggression when I first adopted her, because she had been extremely malnourished. But with training she got through that fairly quickly.
    The family I'm training for right now has two breeder Labs, one of which is just a basketcase(but improving, slowly), the other of which is not so bad and just needs manners.
    My aunt has 3 Boxers, all from breeders, all very well socialized and trained--one is dog aggressive, one is people aggressive, the other is normal. And she raised all 3.
    A friend of mine is an excellent professional trainer; she had a rescue Jindo mix with no issues, a breeder Shiba Inu who she raised and had some minor issues, and a breeder Pit who she raised and had major issues.
    So although I do understand the desire to get a pup and possibly not from a rescue, do understand that's certainly no guarantee that the dog won't have any issues. I'm really not bashing rescue dogs or breeder dogs; I've known excellent examples of each, just trying to make a point. :)

    A soft slicker brush would be best for the long parts of your dog's coat, and probably an undercoat rake and hard slicker would be best for Shetland Sheepdogs or Collies. Their coats mat pretty easily, and it's tough to keep allll that hair mat-free. Mats really hurt to get out, so it's really important with that much hair to keep them as mat-free as humanly possible.
    If you are able to actually check out an adult of either breed and see what the grooming regimen is like, and decide it's not for you, do consider Smooth Collies. All the same qualities, with less grooming. And if you are willing to become your Collie/Shetland Sheepdog's personal hairdresser, then hats off to you! :D Just be strict with your grooming schedule, for the dog's sake.

    It always bugged me at the salon to see people get Collies, Aussies, Border Collies, etc, and get them shaved....if you didn't want to keep up with a long-haired dog you shouldn't have gotten one. A trim in the summer is understandable, but to shave them all the time is just flat lazy. It bugged me more though to see dogs with owners that just blatantly disregarded their grooming needs, and they always came in matted. Again...if you didn't want to have a long-haired dog to brush, you shouldn't have gotten one.
    Sorry just a little vent, lol...:cautious:
  7. Pawbla Experienced Member

    I live in Argentina but there are really no rescues here that could have any of those breeds. I foster a lot so I know the kind of dogs being offered. Last year I fell in love with some sort of collie mix again, but I can't adopt her now, I still have to wait a couple of years. I asked my mom but she wouldn't want to know anything about a new dog, haha. And I don't really have a job or anything so I can't decide for myself about that kind of things.

    Yeah, I totally understand it. I'm actually a big fan of rescue dogs, particularly adults. I guess I just want something different for a change, a dog I know that will be with his mom until he's at least 60 days, the fact that I've started right for one time in my life instead of working and working towards improving all sorts of learned behaviours from previous owners who knew nothing about dogs. I mean you can't be sure of/if a dog was owned by somebody when you find it in the street, but you can easily tell from their behaviour. Hosen was completely nuts. I had to hire a behaviourist and we had a looong way to recovery.

    I've never seen a Smooth Collie in my entire life. I don't think they are bred here :(. I think I'd go for a smooth if I could! Same personality, less hassle...
    If I find their grooming agendas are quite different from my agendas, I'm going for a mutt there. I don't know WHEN, then, because I'd need a pregnant dog that I could foster so I could choose out of her litter and give them away when I decide to do so... and the female would need to have a balanced personality! So maybe I'd have to wait for yeeeaaaars! But oh well, everything for the sake of a change :p.

    Ughhh, yes, I've always hated people shaving dogs, in general. Since you're involved in grooming, do you know if it's true that the hair doesn't regrow as it should?
    The only times I've seen a dog being shaved and their fur getting better instead of worse is in the case of dogs with scabies.
    My neighbour has a Siberian Husky and so as not to deal with the season where they lose their "inner" fur (don't know the English name... the one that is soft, and makes the siberian fit for cold climates) they shave her completely. I always thought they were completely nuts.
  8. Anneke Honored Member

    I'm not one for shaving eather, unless absolutely necessary(completely matted or on medical grounds) The fur does not only help against cold, it also traps air to keep the body reasonably cool.
    I have seen dogs that were shaved and they got their normal fur back, but I have also seen a few whose coat grew back in a terrible state.
    I have australian shepherds, one from a showline and one from a working line. Cooper(a male generally has more and a longer coat) has longer hair than Jinx and I need to groom him a bit more often. I guess I brush him about every two weeks.
    Jinx has a dense, shorter coat that i brush about once a month, even less than that.
    More ofcourse when they are shedding.
    And with rough collies it is the same I guess. The show lines have much more coat, that matts more. The working lines should have an easier coat, as it should not bother them while working. Therefore it SHOULD be needing less grooming.
    But I find it also depends on food and climat.

    Rough collies are and always will be my first love... But I find them too big for me. It is my dream to, someday get a shelti.
    As for the barking... well aussies are known for their barking! I have one that does not bark and one that has learned to controle her bark.
    I have been training Jinx in selfcontrole ever since she was a puppy, highly rewarding for silence while being excited. I don't mind her barking when we are playing frisbee or doing agility, but besides from that I want her to be calm.
    And I must say it payed off, because she will be silent now, when she has to wait at the sidelines, when I have to train another dog. And she is not a patient dog:D She wants to do everything herself!!! Now!!!
    So with both breeds you should be able to train an silent dog.

    Like Tx says, getting a puppy does not guarantee you getting the dog you want in the end...
    When I got Cooper he was 10 weeks old. And I wanted soooo much to play frisbee with him, do obedience and well just about every other dogsport. I thought getting an aussie would guarantee this... Boy was I wrong:p Cooper does NOT like frisbee, HATES obedience, yes he likes agility, but he has some physical problems so we can't do that anymore. All in all he is a couchpotato. Everything he does is in a slow pace, HIS pace.
    Jinx is his total opposite. She LOVES EVERYTHING!! Lucky for me:D
    As for the therapy, it is hard to see if a pup is going to be the right dog for this. You can see the character in an older dog, so u can more easily determine if a dog is suitable for this job.
    Over here therapydogs are usualy tested for the job when they are over 2 years of age.
  9. Pawbla Experienced Member

    Yes, I agree... Thanks on the female vs male coat info!

    Well, yeah, everything is a probability. No dog, not even adults, have a behaviour guarantee. You can play with the odds, or against them. If you want a couch potato and you get a BC, you are on a wrong way. I do know ONE BC couch potato, but hoping you get a couch potato out of a BC is playing totally against the odds. Same goes for aussies :p. You had the one in fifty that is not exactly the most active dog.

    You can do a Campbell test to determine the most likely personality of a dog. If you add that with a correct socialisation, there is no reason any dog can't be a therapy dog. It doesn't require much more than training and the correct temperament. And temperament can and will be changed... except if the temperament is genetically deficient, which is the reason behind the Campbell test. All dogs that are correctly socialised enjoy humans and company, since dogs are social creatures. While not all might enjoy a sport, there are many ways to do therapy, so it's just about finding the best fit for a dog. My dog isn't the sport type, so he'd be most likely a cuddle buddy, for example.
  10. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    //" If you add that with a correct socialisation, there is no reason any dog can't be a therapy dog"//

    I know that this is a widely believed idea,
    that we humans "create" a dog's personality,
    it's provably false.

    There is tons of scientifically done research, which shows that two forms of abnormal dogs, the excessively shy dog, and the dog-aggressive dog,
    are born that way, it is a genetic disorder.
    Socialization can help either dog, but, the inherently shy dog is unlikely to ever qualify or actually ENJOY being handled all day by strangers. It is on her DNA to be shy.

    It is an inborn characteristic. Yes, yes, you can find blog after blog after blog, all insisting, that we humans have complete control over what type of personality a dog has,
    but, i can also post link after link,
    of actual science research isolating the genes which cause dog-aggression and excessive shyness.

    Two very common neurobiological disorders in dogs are:
    ~Dog-aggression, is when a dog is innapropriately, persistently aggressive to most unknown dogs, but usually, these dogs do like and enjoy humans.

    ~Shy dogs, which are NOT always aggressive, dislike being touched by most unknown humans. Shy dogs are also called "nervous", "anxious", "fearful", "timid", "insecure" dogs, etc. Some to many shy dogs can and will escalate to being aggressive to humans, but often, the shy dog does get on well with most other dogs. There are many levels of shyness, from mild to extremely severe.

    The two disorders are NOT the same kind of dog as each other.

    Socialization, done at subthreshold level, can reduce the aggression
    in either the shy dog,
    or the DA dog,
    but, the inborn disorder, visible on MRIs of the dog's brains, will be present for the dog's entire life, on some level.
    It is a neurobiological disorder, caused by their genes. No "normal" dog has EVER been found to have the same abnormalities in their brains or bloodstreams, in decades of research on this topic, not a one.

    but we CAN REDUCE THE AGGRESSION, IN EITHER TYPE OF DOG---------but, it takes a bit of learning on our parts, to know what to do to help such a dog become his best possible self.
    WE CAN help these dogs, but, it's almost impossible to 100% completely "cure" such dogs, and stories of "cures" are extremely rare.

    A "normal" dog who has developed aggression as a result of abuse, is usually readily rehabbed back to "normal brained behavior", like Michael Vick's dogs proved. We humans can't "create" a persistently aggressive dog, it requires DNA to keep it going past all efforts to rehab the dog.

    Both the shy dog,
    the dog-aggressive dog,
    have abnormal levels of serontonin, adrenaline, zinc, dopamine, and many other neurochemical disorders in the bloodstreams of either type of abnormal dog.

    The shy dog can be seen in the litter box. If the dog is severely shy, and aggressive to humans, that often does not show up til about 7 mos old, or even much later.
    The DA dog does not manifest til about 9 mos old, or, sometimes a bit later, but unless the dog lives an isolated life, it's usually undeniable by about 12 to 14 mos old.

    We humans can NOT create a permanently uncurable neurobiological canine disorder, nor can we cure one completely.
    These dogs are born with the wiring in place,
    but it is not easy to spot in the puppy.

    Is no way to know if you are bringing home a DA dog when you choose a puppy, but, if you bring home an adult dog, who enjoys humans
    other dogs
    is an overwhelmingly huge chance that dog WILL be that way for life.
    So yes,
    One CAN identify what type of personality as adult dog has-------------
    one can see if the dog is hyper? a major barker? a laid back dog?
    a dog who enjoys playing with unknown dogs?
    a dog who enjoys being handled by unknown humans?
    a dog who is playful? energetic? a compulsive hand-licker?

    TONS of things one can not know about a puppy
    one CAN know about an adult dog.

    and no, lack of socialization, nor abuse,
    neither one causes a permanent, uncurable lifelong disorder in such dogs. IT's GENETIC.

    Too many cases of dogs rescued from entire lifetimes of horrific abuse and isolation,
    yet the dog stands there, loving everyone and every dog.
    Too many cases of dogs raised by top dog trainers, vets, animal behaviorists, etc,
    yet, the dog grows up to be aggressive.
    Too many cases of many dogs all raised in same home, by same humans, in same way,
    and all the dogs turn out friendly.........except this one dog, who, against all odds, turned out to be aggressive.

    but you are right, Pawbla, EVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVERYONE seems to believe that we humans create our dog's basic personalities. Blog after blog after blog, tons of books, seminars from experts in the dog world----------- all insisting, that aggressive dogs are the result of a human error............this "information" IS all over the internet....
    but, veterinary geneticists from all over the world disagree. It's a neurobiological disorder.
  11. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    The Campbell test will NOT detect a dog-aggressive dog,
    as that disorder does not manifest til the dog approaches maturity.
    The Campbell test does not even seem to test how the puppy responds to unknown dogs at all. Even if it DID, most dog-aggressive dogs are FINE as puppies. It shows up much later on in life.
    but SHYNESS does show up in the puppy, but, most humans think this is "charming" in the puppy, and choose that shy puppy right away.

    but dog-aggression does NOT show up in a puppy, although the wiring is already in place.
    Maybe dog-aggression is similar to some of the human inborn neurobiological disorders, like many forms of schizophrenia, sociopathy, and autism.
    None of those are visible at birth.
    Yet, the wiring is in place to manifest later on. Autism usually becomes evident in childhood, but schizophrenia and sociopathy do not manifest, or can go undetected, til the human approaches maturity.
  12. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    still, a dog-aggressive dog CAN be a therapy dog, mine is (informally). My dog-aggressive dog LOVES all humans, all of them,
    and Buddy LOVES going to the nursing home where my (mostly) paralyzed sister lives,
    and he stops to be petted by all the others who live there, and does some tricks for them, too.
    The patients there who feed Buddy treats by hand, improves their eye-hand co-ordination, cheers them up, and makes them laugh. I do think the moments they spend hugging Buddy were probably the best moment of their whole day.:)

    My sister also sooooooooo enjoys seeing Buddy, (even more than seeing me!:ROFLMAO: ) she lights up, and she laughs at him, and can't stop petting him, and adoring him.
    Her feeding Buddy treats is so good for her, as she can only barely move her hands, and often gives up, but, to feed Buddy, she WILL keep trying...and Buddy patiently waits, it's almost as if Buddy knows to be extra gentle and extra patient with my sister.

    My dog has no certificate, but, many nursing homes allow all "people-friendly" dogs to visit. If anyone reading this, has a loved one in a nursing home, AND a well-behaved,
    non-jumping dog who truly ENJOYS being handled by unknown humans, you might want to consider calling the nursing home to see if you can bring along your people-friendly dog for your next visit.

    Be aware, alllll the lonely ppl there WILL reach out for your dog, and there are strange objects, strange smells, ppl who walk funny, talk loud, drop things all over,ppl with crutches, etc etc. It's not for ALL dogs, only those who can still have a good time despite all that.

    My dog LOVES this close contact, and loves being fawned over,
    an inherently shy dog may not ever ENJOY this contact with unknown humans, and for many shy dogs, this would feel like a form of torture to such dogs.
  13. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    also, the Argentina Dog Rescue site seems to have purebreds listed as needing homes....most countries are the same, there ARE purebreds available for adoption in most countries. Like most countries, the Argentina site has a way to sign up for email alerts, too, if a breed you want does become available, if you do have the time available someday to take on and train an extra dog.

    Many breeds have their own rescue orgs, separate from the general dog rescue site, and Argentina seems to have these breed-specific rescue orgs, as well.

    Pawbla, you might be like many of us here are, "dog-hungry" and always aching for "just one more dog...":ROFLMAO:
  14. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    I'm no longer at the salon, but yes, in some dogs the coat does grow back very different. For instance, many chocolate colored dogs who are NOT intended to be shaved(Labs, etc) grow back an almost orange, very ugly coat. Border Collies who have been shaved often grow back a course coat that is definitely not as attractive as the coat was before shaving.
    Dogs that are meant to be groomed, Poodles, Lhasas, Bichons, Shih Tzus, etc, do not seem to have this issue.

    A common misconception is that shaving solves shedding. So not true. The dog still sheds just as much as before, but the hairs that are shed are shorter, because the dog has been shaved. But the amount of shedding doesn't change a bit.

    The only shaving that is done on my Border Collie is a "windtunnel" in the warmer months--shaving from the belly to just between the front legs; helps her cool down in the Texas heat.

    Since you've never seen a Smoothie, here you go!! Just like Rough Collies, with a smooth coat. :)
    Lol thought this one was cute, what a happy dog. :D
    Pawbla, Anneke and tigerlily46514 like this.
  15. Pawbla Experienced Member

    Aggression can't be labeled as "cured" in my opinion because every dog can have setbacks.

    Again, in the case of a *bought* pup, you /will/ meet the parents and you can ask for references of dogs from same mother and/or same father to ask about their general personality. It's not a foolproof method, I know - but like I said, you can play WITH the odds, or AGAINST the odds. We have absolutely no guarantee of a dog being able to do this or that, but what could we lose? We have to bet on the best thing possible and hope it comes out as we like. And if it doesn't, well, we still have a wonderful doggie companion.

    Campbell tests don't test for dogs, you're right :). Shyness shows and while we find it totally charming, now I'm aware I shouldn't pick one of those puppies. But, had you asked me a year ago, I'd have totally gone for a shy puppy.
    Many psychological illnesses are genetic. Depression is linked to genes also, for example. But there are also many cases that it's provoked by external sources.
    I'd like to know which is the percentage of genetic dog-aggression vs human-made dog-aggression. Is there any serious study about the statistical percentage?

    Thanks for the tip! I didn't know your dog was dog aggressive when I read about him going to the nursing home. I guess dog-aggressive dogs can do well as far as it's not a therapy group.
    My dog does well with crutched and canes so far, but I can't get him to do his tricks when I'm on a wheelchair... so I still have to get that done. A shy dog wouldn't like it at all, I know... I should try to get my dog in a crowd that loves dogs and wants to kiss and hug him. As far as I know he does well with crowds on leash (most of the places we've been asking around allow on-leash animals only, and I feel safer on a leash too because I know my dog is more comfortable). But I still have to continue his socialisation. That's the reason I wouldn't pick a shy dog right now... shyness does show in a Campbell test, so I'd feel safer using that tool.
    Could you tell me which is this dog rescue site you're talking about? I never heard of it, we only have local organizations as far as I know.

    Ugh, I'm totally dog-hungry. There's no point in denying it, I'm always one dog over my limit. Believe, if I didn't have Hosen, who is so time-consuming, I'd have more than three dogs. My aunt has... I think last time I visited, she had around 9 dogs. Mostly rescues like me.

    You only have Buddy, or do you have more dogs?

    Ah, now that I'm thinking about it, my aunt has a poodle and the hair does grow back normally. Poodles are really cute when shaved, actually... seems to suit them more than that bunch of hair.

    Yeah, but I guess people don't notice it... you'd have to wax them for that (ouch, better not give that kind of dog owners that "awesome" idea! xD).

    I guess that if lived in such a climate I'd have to shave my dogs in some parts too. My sibe mix barely resists our 30 degrees.

    Thanks for the pics! I meant in real life, but I always love looking at pics xD. They are so cute OwO.
    You know, looking at the merle one, I know a dog that is awfully similar to a smooth collie. He's a very nice dog but I don't hang out with him a lot since he's always trying to mount my dog. My dog drives other dogs crazy, even some females too...
    Maybe he is... but since he's a stray I might never know :p.
  16. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    //"Again, in the case of a *bought* pup, you /will/ meet the parents and you can ask for references of dogs from same mother and/or same father to ask about their general personality."//

    Shyness, and dog-aggression, can be recessive genes. The parents AND the littermates might be normal. You could call owners of previous litters, and speak to ppl with dogs who DO enjoy unknown humans,
    and unknown dogs,
    but the dogs with either disorder tend to be only a few or even only one, in a litter.
    Meeting an adult dog IS a surefire way to determine, if the dog IS or IS NOT a shy dog, or a dog-aggressive dog,
    and choosing a puppy is not.

    //"I'd like to know which is the percentage of genetic dog-aggression vs human-made dog-aggression. Is there any serious study about the statistical percentage?"//

    GREAT QUESTION!!! Because everyone believes all or "almost all" shy dogs, or dog-aggressive dogs, are 'CAUSED' by human error/improper socialization/trauma/neglect/abuse, etc, and the fact that the overwhelming majority of dog owners are oblivious to the decades of vast amounts of research on the genetic causes of both disorders,
    most owners of shy dogs, or dog-aggressive dogs,
    will almost invariabley offer up "reasons" why the dog, at 9 mos old, began to display persistent, innappropriate aggression to other dogs---"Well, he was frightened once as a puppy by a barking dog, and now, at age 9 mos old, he is not right" or whatever . The humans struggle back through the dog's history,
    to spot the moment that ruined their dog for life.

    Same with shy dogs, the human struggles to find the event in the dog's life, that caused this permanent aversion to unknown humans. ...."Well, i did not socialize that dog enough" , or "We had too many ppl over right away" or "We got this dog very close to the time of the 4th of July fireworks festival and all the noise must have scared him", etc etc.

    Humans are all "told" that if their dog is supershy, or dog-aggressive, "something went wrong in his upbringing", so naturally, all the humans ponder "What was it? What event happened to this dog, to make it aggressive for it's entire lifetime, despite all attempts to rehab it? hmm" and eventually, the human DOES come up with some event, and forever after, will tell that story as "The Reason".
    We used to do this with sociopaths and schizophrenics, as well, prior to MRIs. "The Reason" was his mom was too aloof, or his dad travelled too much, or some parent was too strict, etc etc. NOw we still do this with our dogs, coming up with "reasons", since we are told that there was a reason...
    I once heard an owner claim her dog was aggressive because an older dog glared at it when it was a puppy. :rolleyes: for real.

    so because almost all humans will convince themselves of the "cause", it makes it difficult to sort out, when all the owners themselves claim, "My dog was attacked by some other dog once, had a car accident once, got yelled at while he was walking by another dog, etc etc, and that is why he is dog-aggressive.",
    all the while, as they say this, they are overlooking allllllllll the dogs who suffer horrible events, horrific abuse, yet, still love all ppl and all dogs.

    If a dog DOES have a "normal" dog brain,
    and is abused, neglected/whatever
    to become aggressive,
    those dogs are usually readily rehabbed back to their default, "normal" brained behavior pretty easily,
    as opposed to those of us with truly innately aggressive dogs, working for YEARS, for the dog's entire lifetime, trying everything we can find, to just REDUCE the aggression. It's a marked difference in the rehab.

    Michael Vick was a famous person in USA, who was arrested for having a horrifically abusive dog fighting ring, and 95% of his dogs all rehabbed back beautifully to normal-brained behavior, despite a horrible lifelong abusive past.

    For a dog to be PERSISTENTLY aggressive, for it's entire lifetime, despite massive attempts to rehab it, it's got to have a genetic impetus, a neurobiologic disorder, to keep that behavior going against even the best ever rehab efforts. Like most types of schizophrenics, they can be well-managed, in the best medical help available, but, they will still always be persistently schizophrenics, because of a neurobiological disorder.

    Alll the aggressive dogs tested, both in MRI brain scans, P.E.T. brain scans, and bloodtests, all had the same abnormalities, which are never ever ever found in "normal" dogs. Mind you, dog-aggressive dogs,
    and shy dogs,
    BOTH had abnormalities,
    but NOT the same abnormalities as each other. It's two different disorders.

    I will post a thread soon, with some new research links,(i have TONS of them, from top veterinary research teams, from all over the world) on the genetics of dog aggression. IN the meantime, i have put up another thread,
    called, "Get your popcorn, great dog video" which you might find interesting. That thread in under "chit chat/off topic" area.
  17. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    //"Aggression can't be labeled as "cured" in my opinion because every dog can have setbacks."//
    NOt all aggression is unhealthy, not at all, nor a "set back", but instead, some aggression IS a healthy, normal response, from a healthy, normal dog.
    Any dog can become aggressive, if the perfect storm of wrong events happens, true. I try to make it clear, repeatedly, that i am speaking about the persistently, inappropriate aggression that lasts the dog's entire lifetime, despite all attempts to rehab the dog. The persistence of the aggression, is hard to miss. Is no way to mistakenly believe the dog is "cured".
    Still, there is MUCH REASON FOR HOPE, such dogs CAN be made better, their aggression levels reduced, much progress can be made.
    We can make such dogs better,
    or worse,
    but we can't create one,
    nor can we completely cure a persistently inappropriately aggressive dog.
    NOt all shy dogs are aggressive to humans, btw, i think i have made that point, but, in case it was missed.
  18. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    . //"I guess dog-aggressive dogs can do well as far as it's not a therapy group."//

    ah, you missed a point, my dog is dog-aggressive, not a shy dog.
    Buddy loves to be in a room full of people.
    loves it.
    Buddy would happily sit in on group therapy, and let them all hug him.

    he is not a shy dog. He is a dog-aggressive dog, he will be upset to be in a room with one german sheperd.
    but, 50 ppl, bring it, says Buddy!
    One(1) unknown dog, nope.

    Most dog-aggressive dogs LOVE humans, or, can be brought to love humans.
    it is SHY dogs who do not enjoy contact with unknown humans.
    *most* shy dogs DO get on well with other dogs, especially if well managed,
    When a shy dog is a persistently aggressive dog, his primary target is HUMANS, not dogs.

    it's two different disorders.

    One might be able to take a shy dog to a dog park,

    and a dog-aggressive dog to a nursing home's group therapy for hugs from eveyrone,
    but to swap out those two dogs, could be a disaster.
  19. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    //"You only have Buddy, or do you have more dogs?"//

    We only have Buddy, and we adore him to pieces, he is our lil piece of sunshine running through our world. His story is on my page, in the "info" section. Buddy, would NOT enjoy having another dog in our house, as he is dog-aggressive. He could even infect a "normal" dog to imitate him while the normal dog lived with us.
    Buddy does have some canine pals that he loves now, and he is much better than the lil gangsta we first rescued, but, he is still a gangsta at heart, and always will be.
  20. Pawbla Experienced Member

    Well, it has to be a pretty bad luck, picking out the ONLY dog-aggressive dog in the litter, right? Haha. I know it's recessive. It has to be.
    An adult dog is not a surefire way to know. An adult dog CAN develop dog aggression, especially if you get them before he is 2-3 years old, when the personality is not fully developed. But if you get a 4-5 year old dog, he has 2-3 years of work before retiring, and you have to still add the training to that. Of course it's less likely, though, why do you think I've been adopting adult dogs all my life? HAHA!

    Well, it happens. It does happen that an owner does not socialize a dog enough, and it'll develop shyness or aggression. You are NOT trying to say socialization is a lie, right?! Hahaha!
    Aggression isn't supposed to show at 18 months old, though? Or is that only for normal aggression (I mean, the healthy aggression).
    By the way I think it's pretty easy to recognize TRUE fear imprint (I do believe in it) because usually the incident is traumatic for both the dog and the owner. If a dog develops fear (or rather, phobia) caused aggression, being "dogs" the object of his phobias, they show a completely different body language, too. Tail tucked, ears back, paralyzed, shaking... usual sign of PHOBIAS which are supposedly irreversible although they can get a bit better. A dog aggressive dog because of a damaged brain? Well, for starters, I have a feeling they won't show warnings, dunno why. Any ideas on that?

    HAHAHA! A dog glared at him? That's new for me, hahaha.
    But considering the dog aggression percentages, you have to admit, it'd be reeeeaaaally weird if ALL those dogs had brain damage. I mean, sociopaths and schizophrenics are a really small percentage of the population. Although I have to admit, we don't selectively and awfully breed humans for some sort of beauty standard. Well, wait... :p. Now being serious, I'm really interested in that. I have a book on neurophysiology of aggression but I haven't been able to read it yet, maybe it has some percentages or something to figure out how likely it is. If I find them, I'll post about it (in the behaviour forum, hahah! We DO derail bunches, huh?).

    Depends on when they suffered abuse. In theory, if they have been abused AFTER they are 4 months old, they aren't supposed to show DEEP, DEEP scars of the abuse. But, for example, making another parallelism with humans, usually abuse leaves deeper marks the younger the person is, and some young people have almost no marks of being abused if they were during "adolescence". And I speak second-hand experience here, but it's close people I know well.

    Fully agree there. Many aggressiveproblems are solved just within 3-4 months - others take longer, but usually it's under a year. I got as close as 15 cm to a dog that is aggressive towards some people - kids and young adults, mostly - in one session.
    I'd love it if we had the possibility of doing MRI scans and PET scans to our dogs. It'd be pretty amazing, we could get much faster diagnosis.

    I'll go check it out :). And I'll be waiting for the research links! Ah, don't know if I posted it in my introduction, but I started and dropped vet here (blood makes me sick xD). So I really appreciate scientific rigor, hahaha. I moved on to engineering now and I'm keeping dogs as a hobby, I guess.

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