Collie Vs Shetland Sheepdog! Choosing?

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

  1. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    //"Neurochemical issues are usually associated with lack of receptors, or lack of production. Like genetically caused depression."//

    YES!! there are many types of neurochemical abnormalities,
    but in both dog-aggressive dogs,
    and in shy dogs,
    the numbers of receptors on for serotonin, and dopamine, were off,
    as well as the genes to determine to the transporters, were all off,
    as well.
    Interestingly,
    when compared with the 'normal' dogs,
    the shy dogs always had too few receptors,
    and the dog-aggressive dogs always had too many receptors.
    ~~~It is TWO DIFFERENT DISORDERS~~~.


    (i might have that backwards, it might be other way around, about which dog always had too many, and which type of dog always had too few receptors......)

    i will post that thread of genetic research this week, it shouldn't take me long, i have already posted it on other boards for owners of aggressive dogs, and i'll tag you to know it is there for you to look over.

  2. Pawbla Experienced Member

    "Haha" is the only "softening" thing I wrote, in your opinion? Haha is more like a consistent phrase on me. Not a softening, if that's what you were looking for.
    I did try to clear up the questions but I don't got an answer though.



    I did. But, you mocked me saying:



    And that was rude in my opinion, such as my "tone" is now rude for you. And it seemed like I was typing really long posts saying what I read (yeah, books, no internet) and what I wanted to know, but you sorta ignored more than half of it. You can see when I started feeling you weren't reading because I probably started bolding, italicizing, and/or adding caps. Sorry if I overreacted a bit, but I am pretty sick and I feel awful. Maybe that's why it seems like I'm skipping posts, I'm not retaining the usual amount of information. I'll come back tomorrow I guess.


    Yes, it is a totally fearful language. You were twisting my words into saying that I said that was DA, and then you ridiculed me because of it, wondering where I had gotten my "plethora of knowledge about DA" and I hadn't said a word about DA. That, in my opinion, /is/ twisting words.


    Where is the line between a phobia and a shy dog, in your opinion? Phobias get better but shy dogs don't?


    I never said that dog showed signs of either "phobia" or "shyness". She shows a (never treated) aggression to people under 30 years old. I don't know why you are so convinced it's a shy dog. Especially if you say that they are rare and you said that the defining characteristics are being unresponsive to treatment.

    That's good to know, if I ever come across one.

    Have you tried recording it? I think it'd be very educational!I can imagine it, though. Never seen that!


    Ugh, my mom scolds dogs when warning. I've tried explaining her lots of times that it won't work, it'll just make him avoid the growling, but she doesn't seem to get it, haha!
    I'll read the tread, thanks for the info.

    Serotonine is inhibitor of aggression, and dopamine is related to schizophrenia (in humans) I think, if I remember correctly.
    Thanks!
  3. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    Well, I have missed about 1/3 of your posts, and also so sorry then, if you were offended, and alos, i did use dog-aggression, when i meant to type dog aggression, meaning just dogs who were aggressive.



    I have not read all the replies, i am way behind, way behind, no idea what all you have said, and i have not noticed any questions that i could undertand, that i have not answered, if so, sorry, i love discussing this topic.
    I do like being challenged, but only if it is rational, not just to be polemic. I currently think your points are good here, not like on the bird thing on other thread. It sort of comes and goes, and this is last and only day i'll do this,
    as i worry we'll annoy the board members here, who came here to learn tricks.


    //"You said that shy dogs aren't ALWAYS human-aggressive though. But yeah, I got that"//

    I'm sorry i can easily see your confusion there, what i mean is,
    shy dogs are born shy, not aggresive. Not all shy dogs are aggresive,
    BUT
    when a shy dog IS aggressive, it's primary target is HUMANS not dogs.
    It is hard to word that perfectly, every time.

    but, there is a caveat to that, too,
    a shy dog who is severe, or poorly managed, or living with a dog-aggressive dog,
    CAN indeed, develop spillover diffuse generalized aggression towards DOGS as well,
    BUT,
    the rehabbing the shy dog to like dogs again, is way way easier than trying to get a shy dog to like humans. the human thing is solid in their mind, whether it is just aversion,
    or aggression, it's about HUMANS.
    Many members right here on DTA, have shy dogs, that once loathed dogs, but now, are reduced down to just not liking humans. These dogs still have to monitored a bit, in the presence of dogs, but, for the most part,
    these members have largely been successful in getting their shy dogs to stop aggressing to most dogs.


    On the other hand,
    most dog-aggresssive dogs LOVE humans,
    or
    can be brought to love humans, if well managed, if not living with a shy reactive dog,
    If a DA dog does develop spillover aggression onto humans, it is way easier to rehab a DA dog from his aggression to humans,
    than it is to rehab his aggression towards dogs.

    it's two different disorders,


    .with two different primary targets,
    BUT,
    if things get really out of control, and wrong combo of dogs is living together, or being poorly managed, or very severe cases with not a lot of rehab efforts going on, then

    one can end up with a shy dog who is aggressive to not just humans, but also to dogs as well!

    or
    a dog-aggresive dog, who is aggressive not to just dogs, but to humans as well!!!


    but those secondary targets are usually way easier to rehab out. BUT If the DA dog is living alongside a shy dog,
    or if the shy dog, is living alongside a DA dog,

    the dogs can sort of feed off each other's wrong behaviors and habits,
    and that co-existance makes rehabbing the secondary targets more difficult.

    I once heard of a shy dog, raised from birth on beside a DA dog,
    and the shy dog did develop a pretty severe case of dog aggression, as well as aggression to humans who touched it,
    and this lasted, until the death of the DA dog,
    and THEN his owner did begin to make much more progress with the shy dog's aggression towards other dogs.


    so it is not always super simple to untangle, but, usually the aggressive dog,
    is one of two types,
    a shy dog, with a primary target of unknown humans (IF he aggresses at all)
    or
    dog-aggressive dog with primary target of unknown dogs.

    and i said these abnormal dogs are a minority, i never ever said they were 'rare'. wha? that is word twisting.

    The vast bulk of dogs are "normal" dogs.
    The shy dogs are the DA dogs are minorities, but not "rare".

    and yes, if you do begin to work around many dogs, you will spot them, both kinds.

    The owners will tell you "The Reason" that their dog is not right....you watch. :ROFLMAO: the owner WILL have a well-worn story,
    that they have been telling for years, on how their dog became permanently inappropriately aggressive for it's entire life, despite years of rehab....and sometimes, the story is very paltry, and you will have to work to show respect as they explain how Uncle Fred's visit and his drums ruined FiFi forever after.


    There are many members here with shy dogs, with aggressive shy dogs, and with dog-aggressive dogs. I do think almost every mod on DTA has either a shy dog, a shy aggressive dog, or a dog-aggressive dog, so such dogs are not "rare". I could be wrong on that, but i think most of them do have a dog "with issues". i could be wrong. So these dogs are not "rare".

    Although, the word "aggressive" and "shy" are not accepted by all humans. Many ppl strongly prefer :cautious: other words for "shy"------------such as "timid", "fearful", "reticent", "afraid","nervous", "bashful", "anxious", "aloof", "fear-aggressive", etc etc,
    but i use the word "shy" as that is old school word.

    and many owners of dog-aggressive dogs, strongly prefer:cautious: to not use the "A" word,
    they will say their DA dog is "protective", "territorial", "guarding", "dominant", "tough", "prey driven", etc etc, lots
    and lots of words ppl use to avoid using the dreaded "A" word...makes it sound better i guess? :ROFLMAO: makes it sound more "acceptable" i guess?

    but, their owners are here, right here on DTA, is not "rare", is a "minority" dog.
  4. Pawbla Experienced Member

    Haha, no worries now! :)

    I just made minority x minority = rare there, since I assumed you were talking about a minority of a minority. Sorry!

    Do you really think this dog I mentioned is shy?

    She lives with a cat, only... and her owners. She does display a nice variety of aggressive signals, towards people under 30 (more or less) and some dogs. I think she hasn't bitten yet, but I'd have attributed all this to deficient socialization, she never got out of the apartment before they moved to their house I think around when she was already a year or so.
  5. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    I'd have to go back and find the exact post, i may have made a mistake, in labelling this dog as shy. And in fact, only a fool like me would even attempt to label a dog via the internet!!!! There are many levels of shyness, shy dogs have wide spectrum, from mild to severe. Not all shy dogs bite anyone, many shy dogs live their whole lives and never ever bite anyone.

    Still, many ppl say, "my dog is not shy, he has never bitten ANYONE!" ...not all shy dogs bite anyone, especially if well managed by their owners, or milder cases.

    It seems odd a dog would lump a 28 year old, with a 5 year old in it's mind.


    Many "normal" dogs DO have problems with kids, actual small sized humans,
    who run about and move funny, and always move so fast, flap their arms about all the time, and have high pitched voices, and throw things, and climb, run, smell and move differently, and shriek and make sudden movements, and may get all up into a dog's face, and pull his ears, and ride on his back,
    are generally unpredictable,
    many "normal" dogs do need special help to become desensitized to small-size humans. HOwever, the bulk of these dogs can easily distinguish a child
    from an adult who has not yet reached middle age.

    I would also assume, if the dog is owned by young ppl (?) that the vast bulk of the visitors to the home are also young ppl? and maybe their parents came over,
    and maybe their parents were very adept at approaching dogs,
    and since the dog DID accept this older person, but dislikes all their other visitors,
    the owners now say, "My dog dislikes ppl under 30".:rolleyes:


    i could be wrong, but, my point there is, sometimes, SOMETIMES, the "stories" offered by the owners themselves,
    have to be taken with a grain of salt.:rolleyes: If you don't know any different, and if the owners tell you, "My dog only likes ppl over 30 years old" why would you doubt them? right? tilyou learn more and realize, "that is kind of odd, a dog who can't distinguish between a 5 year old, and a 30 year old..."


    some humans are AWESOME at knowing the best body moves to use, to approach a nervous dog....like allowing the DOG to decide how close the human can be, not forcing themselves onto the dog, using yawns or slow blinks or deep sighs,
    becoming small, getting down lower, or even sitting, not standing over the dog, keeping their side to the dog, not leaning over the dog, not staring, using infrequent and slowly said words, no high pitch noises, NOT using sudden arm movements, turning their face away, NOT reaching for dog, and NOT reaching for dogs HEAD, :rolleyes: but instead, if the dog is willing, touching the dogs sides or chest, looking away often, deep slow sighs now and then, slow blinks, etc etc.

    even if the human were 15 years old, a nervous dog *might* accept a human behaving in that manner.


    and even a shy dog, can occasionally accept a stranger here or there, which their owners tend to find thrilling.:D
    and even a dog-aggressive dog, can occasionally accept an unknown dog here or there, which, i can testify, is thrilling to me.:D

    but, it does not mean my dog is not generally dog-aggressive. It jsut means my dog is dog-aggressive, but he liked that one dog today.
  6. Pawbla Experienced Member

    Not at all! Haha, while you might have not exactly seen the dog, there is something that is as important as seeing the dog: what the owner's say! While I'm not the owner I've known her for a long time. Still not pretty accurate for a diagnosis, but you mentioned it as a possibility, not a diagnosis.

    I know, right? I'm 19 but maybe the problem with me is that he has already associated me as a child - she's I think 6 years old now, and I've known her since she was 45 days old.
    However the line is pretty blurry there - she does accept, like you say later, some younger people, but she'll shy away from the occasional 28 year old. So we're not entirely sure of the age she doesn't like... We're by now pretty sure that she doesn't like teenagers either. But not sure about the younger adults, yet, because the behaviour is rather... variable, between the ages 20 and 30.


    The dog actually is owned by a family! That's the funny thing. Two teenagers and two people in their fifties. But since they lived in an apartment there were never many kids around... most visitors were older people. So I'm sort of puzzled with her, haha, I've always been. Usually she likes older people the most, like people in their 60-70-80s. She adores them. Maybe because of a positive association.
    I'm suspecting though that the behaviour is reinforced by the owners because they think it's funny. While maybe it was a socialization problem once, with a couple of kids, probably now it's owner-reinforced. But I wouldn't be too sure about it either.



    Yes, that's true. Yesterday I was with her again and I managed to pet her a couple of times in exchange of playing fetch. But for me to approach her, I had to sit turned sideways, blinking slowly, yawning, tempting her with the toy. It took a while but she eventually was sniffing my hand, which is a big improvement in her behaviour towards me.


    I bet it's awesome, hahahaha. You're right about that. Maybe she is shy, and she has some kind of positive association or affinity to the older people's body language.
    I shall go to my teacher and ask if he can see the dog :ROFLMAO:. I'll tell you when I get an answer from him.
  7. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    //"...........while you might have not exactly seen the dog, there is something that is as important as seeing the dog: what the owner's say! "//


    i may sometimes trust an owner's description of the behaviors they see in their dog,
    but i do not always trust in their interpretation. Often an owner IS correctly interpreting their dog's behaviors, but not always.
    LIke i said, i've heard an owner, of an aggressive dog, tell me her dog had issues because an older dog glared at her dog when it was a puppy. She truly, wholeheartedly believes, with all her heart, that that is why her dog is aggressive, years and years later.

    I'd rather hear eggggzactly what the dog does. For me, personally, i'd rather hear something like, "When my dog meets unknown humans, he tries to back up, prefers to stay on other side of room, and will growl if they reach for him too suddenly"
    rather than hear "My dog is territorial".(the owners interpretation of the dog's behavior).
    etc etc.
    If the dog's behavior is about a human, i'd also want to hear exactly what the human was doing, (standing or sitting, talking loudly, dancing around, shrieking, gesturing with their arms, sitting calmly, trying to touch the dog on his head, etc)

    The mildly shy dogs, especially if they never ever bite anyone,
    are often not seen as "shy".
    but there are levels of shyness, from mild, to severe.

    And like i always try to point out, even a DA dog, even a shy dog,
    can occasionally accept an UNKNOWN dog or person. It's usually "most" and rarely "all" unknown dogs or ppl.
  8. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    //".........and she has some kind of positive association or affinity to the older people's body language."//



    It might be, older ppl do move slower,
    BUT
    it might also be that this family are also mentioning some older ppl that this dog sees often and knows well.
    I'd like to hear what the dog does with UNKNOWN older ppl,
    compared with UNKNOWN young adults.

    Like i said, i can totally understand a dog being startled by or unsure of children,

    but most dogs can easily distinguish a child,
    from a 30 year old.:rolleyes: despite the owners saying their dog dislikes ppl under 30 years old.
  9. Pawbla Experienced Member



    I never said the interpretation would be right :ROFLMAO:. It's usually totally wrong, and you have to dig out the facts. But it gives you pretty general idea of the owner's general attitude towards the dog. If the owner says and thinks his dog is, for example, afraid of children, he could be directly influencing the behaviour by being terrified, himself, when a child approaches the dog. The dog knows the owner is terrified and acts in consequence, not necessarily the way he might have naturally acted. Then you'd have to ask more, of course, but it gives you a pretty good insight on what the owner could be doing to reinforce or influence in the dog's behaviour.

    I'm clueless as how exactly she is with young adults she doesn't know, as I'm never there when they are. I think this needs more digging and observing, frankly. I'm going to show up with a couple of helpers, I guess!
  10. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Wow, I somehow got waaaaaaaay behind on this thread! :confused:
    I am glad to see that the tension has diffused...or I am way off and it still needs to. :ROFLMAO: I honestly did speed-read, lol.

    NOT arguing with anyone here, but I did catch a few things that I think are worth discussing.
    Socialization was brought up earlier, and whether or not socialization is an accurate form of molding a dog's personality. (That was not the exact wording, but that was basically the idea of the paragraph.)
    I think that it is very difficult to determine if socialization is fool-proof. It very well could be, but how will we ever know? If you look at the entire dog population as a whole, how many dog owners are actually educated in dog training, behavior, etc? Probably not a ton. And even many well-educated (understand I mean educated in training and behavior) dog owners don't necessarily understand how to properly socialize a dog. I have known excellent trainers who had shy puppies, who thought socializing was simply exposing him to tons of people. The thinking was that his shy reaction to people would be diffused if he was forced into the arms of enough people. But....he was still shy as an adult. Why? Improper socialization. Socialization at its best is exposing the pup to positive experiences with new people, dogs, anything else he will ever experience in his life. Positive experiences. That means the shy puppy isn't thrust into the arms of strangers, but instead encouraged to approach strangers in his own language, at his own pace, and rewarded when he does so on his own. A positive association is created with strangers right from the start, rather than making him think that people are going to ignore his obvious discomfort and bombard him with unwanted attention anyway.
    I know several dogs who were not socialized with other dogs at all whatsoever as puppies--none of them are dog aggressive, but they DO have terrible dog-to-dog manners, and get corrected(by other dogs) often.
    These are just a couple examples, but my point is with such a large dog population and such a relatively small amount of educated and devoted owners, it is hard to say if socialization as a whole does actually make an impact. (In relation to the entire dog population, here.) I do not believe that socialization will supercede any genetic issues. I do believe that proper socialization most certainly is important; I am definitely not trying to say that it is not. Just saying that it is hard for us to say that socialization will always create a perfect dog, when the dog-and-owner population as a whole is not perfect. If a study could be conducted with an equally massive population, and every single dog was socialized properly, we could easily come up with a conclusion to that, but it's just not possible. So, with the information we have currently, I think it's safe to conclude that while socialization is most definitely important and I do believe it should be done with all puppies, but socialization is not a foolproof method to mold a dog's personality.
    I'll compare this to horses...horses, like dogs, have a "socialization period." Many people imprint horses in the first week of life, before the foals have learned to develop fears of normal everyday things that horses are often afraid of. Imprinting utilizes this time period and exposes the foal to these things that could be scary, and if training is continued the foal grows up to not be afraid of these things. When grown the horse is much more accepting to newness.
    Now here's the catch...this is if imprinting is done properly. If done improperly--if it is rushed, steps are skipped, or a variety of other mistakes are made--the horse is a nightmare, and requires much much much more training to correct the mistakes made right from the start. The horse generally becomes pushy, disrespectful, and in some cases fearful.
    I'll use two of my horses as examples. Spirit, my 4 year old filly, was imprinted. She is what horse people term "bombproof" meaning she is afraid of almost nothing. She is very accepting of new things, confident, and unreactive to things that horses are normally afraid of. Sassy, my 6 year old, was not imprinted. Sassy is far less confident, and when we first got her she was very spooky(scared of new things). Spirit's polar opposite. With training, Sassy has become much much more confident and is now less scared of those things, but initially she had the "normal horse reaction" to things that horses are afraid of. This would sort of be like the dog that never saw other dogs as puppies and has no manners. Sassy has manners, but initially she just didn't know how to react to certain things, like the unsocialized dog may know how to react to other dogs.
    With "old school" horse training methods, horses were forced to accept scary things, much like improper dog socialization. Horses were often beaten with tarps until they shut down and would no longer react to them. (A super scary object to a horse.) Anything that was scary, they were forced to accept by making them shut down. Horses trained with this method were often like ticking time bombs--they were still very much afraid of newness, but also afraid to react to newness. So if they did react, they had been pushed pretty far, and the reaction was far more violent.

    We'll get back to dogs. Another example is an abused Italian Greyhound/Daschund mix I worked with. We don't know about Dex's socialization as a pup, but we do know he was beaten. His owner(obviously NOT the one that beat him), though her heart was in the right place, also fell into the thought that enough exposure to people would cure his fear of people. When I met him, he would approach people, but then was visibly stressed at being so close to a stranger, and even more stressed when they touched him. We completely changed his training by watching his behavior when he approached someone. If he was comfortable, they could pet him. If he wasn't, he was rewarded by not being petted. If he was really stressed he was rewarded by the stranger leaving him completely, or turning away from him, etc. Dex began to improve by leaps and bounds--the first time we did this was actually with me, and his reaction was heartwarming--he was completely surprised, and you could tell he was just thinking, "WHAT? Someone actully listened to me!!!!!" He then actually wanted attention from me, and from that day forward he's been in love with me. We've continued this method with all people, and now that he understands people WILL listen to him, that he won't just be forced to accept things, he is beginning to love just about everyone. So while Dex had/has human-caused issues, proper training is certainly helping him.
    Zeke, who I'm pretty sure was Tigerlily's shy-dog-raised-with-DA-dog example, was socialized a lot as a pup, had positive experiences, we always worked on his level, etc, is still an extremely timid dog and has taken years just to get him to approach someone willingly and let them pet him. His brother, who had very little socialization, is his exact opposite. Poncho is a social butterfly, clown, and very confident. He loves everyone and everything. Same litter, same start in life, less socialization...but more sure of himself and of people. O_o


    Anyway...just a little discussion on socialization... So much more could be added on this topic, but this is a long reply anyway, lol!
  11. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    The comparison of Zeke and Poncho, is amazing story!!!

    I really do think, a lot of a dog's personality IS inborn. We can still help any dog become better or worse....so many dogs who were properly socialized, (not forced) and are still shy, or dog-aggressive,
    and so many dogs who were neglected, and yet, still love everyone and every dog.
    Like Zeke and Poncho demonstrate.

    but socialization CAN certainly help a dog, that is for sure!!!!!!! We CAN help a shy dog reduce his shyness, or his aggression if any,
    and we CAN help a dog-aggressive dog reduce his aggression. But i don't think we can prevent either condition from occurring by socializing, but, it'd be hard to prove. However, there's never ever been one dog to be tested and found to HAVE the abnormalities present in all shy-aggressive dogs, or in all dog-aggressive dogs, and still act 'normal'. Not even one.
    If even one (1) dog is ever located, who acts 'normal', and yet, still HAS the abnormalities found in all inappropriately aggressive dogs,
    THEN we could speculate, "Well, THAT rare dog WAS born with the genes to be inappropriately aggressive, BUT was socialized so well, that the innappropriate aggression just never manifested.."


    Many behaviors are on the dog's DNA. Like herding for example. Everyone agrees, the urge to herd is "in there", even if the dog has never seen herding done, and that urge is "in there" for life, too. We can strive to control it, we can learn to manage that urge, and channel that urge, but, the urge is "in there" for life....and it's inherited.
    You can work for years on a dalmation, or on a border collie who has never ever shown any urge to herd ever,
    to try to get him to herd, and he still might not ever really rock at herding...
    Many behaviors are "in there" ..............or they are not.

    Tx makes a great point, about how VIP it is to never force a shy dog to accept unwanted contact, or force the shy dog to accept being handled by unknown ppl, but use other methods to help the shy dog make new POSITIVE associations in his mind. I do think there is probably a tendency for owners of shy dogs to do just what Tx said is wrong thing to do-------just flood the shy dog with tons of contact with unknown humans, without concerning one's self with HOW it is done.
  12. Pawbla Experienced Member

    Yep, I agree with both of you here. I don't have any new relevant thing to add.

    But, the only thing that I have to say, is that it is amazing the amount of things we still don't know for sure, and can only guess based on experience or on insufficient research. We can only speculate and imagine. Isn't science really cool? This sort of stuff makes me think. We're needing some researchers in this area!
  13. sara Moderator

    I sped read this one too, and was getting a touch worried... but it looks like things got worked out, in the end, thank goodness.

    Yes, I do believe all of us Mods, except Jean (admin) have dogs with issues. Oliver, however, isn't easily pinned to one category or another. He used to love people, then I started (in my horrible and inexcusable ignorance) correcting him for jumping on people... suddenly he was afraid of people. He is dog aggressive, but only with strange dogs, and only outside. He is perfectly fine with any dog he knows, and any dog brought into my house. and he LOVES to play with his buddies. He's an extremely playful dog! He's the same with people, once he knows the person, he loves them to death, climbing on them and giving kisses and such.

    He is confident and happy one minute, and fearful and aggressive the next (talking severe aggression here) and his emotions swing crazily. He's also very protective of me, my truck, and my home. So, in my mind, he's not a genetically DA dog, and he's not a genetically Shy dog... I think he has been made that way due to circumstances.

    And I truly dont think using mods on this forum to prove this point is really a good example... I think we all are the kind of people that take on the tough cases, because we can handle them, and quite possibly fix the issues.

    And, though I dont want to stir this hornet's nest up again, I do believe that truly, genetically DA dogs ARE rare. I'm not saying it's not possible, far from it, but I really think 99% of the time DA is caused by socialization or circumstantial issues, I truly do. It's just so much harder to cure DA verses Human Agression, because we can instruct people how to be around our dogs... we cannot instruct other dogs how to be around our dogs. If I could tell other dogs to not look at Oliver, and to completely ignore him, he'd be asking them to play in 30 seconds (he's always been that way, and he's the same with people, if they ignore him, he's fine, if they stare at him, he turns Cujo)... but we cant stop all dogs from looking at our DA dogs, so the DA is so much harder to help than HA.
  14. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    //"And I truly dont think using mods on this forum to prove this point is really a good example."//

    The only point i was making about the mods dogs, was, that "DA dogs, and shy dogs are not rare, and as a matter of fact, i thought most of the mods on this forum have a dog with issues".
    .

    I had mistakenly gave impression, that aggressive dogs are "rare" to Pawbla, and was only trying to correct my mistake.
    I did not say the mods had genetically aggressive dogs, i said i believed most of the mods had an aggressive dog---so such dogs are not "rare." Such dogs are definitely a minority, but not "rare". I feel the bulk of dogs out there are "normal" dogs, and dogs with aggression, are a minority. Many of the dogs owned by mods were believed to be normal, or were puppies, when taken on by the mods, as is so often the case with aggressive dogs.

    Even if we set aside the mods' dogs as examples to show aggressive dogs are not rare----------- we rarely go more than a few weeks around here without someone with an aggressive dog joining DTA, often looking for help with their dog's issues..so these dogs are not "rare".
    The boards i belong to, for owners of aggressive dogs, are populated by 100s and 100s of us. These dogs are not "rare".

    Yes, Pawbla, Sara is one of those ppl who i mentioned earlier, who does not agree that aggression is a genetic problem. She knows "The Reason" that Ollie has issues for his whole life. But, it IS Sara's dog, and i do not know this dog, so we have to accept Sara's account of why her beloved Ollie has a persistent case of fear of humans---it IS her dog, and Sara has an absolute right to feel whatever she wants to about this issue.

    but, so do i. I feel her Ollie, is probably a shy dog. There are MANY degrees of shyness, and not all shy dogs display aggression. Some live their entire lives and never ever aggress to anyone, ever.
    We have another person on DTA who recently posted her shy dog will also end up jumping up on ppl. Especially as puppies, this can happen with a mildly shy dog. The reeeeeeally mildly shy dog can even go almost undetected. Many shy dogs also have moments where they are bouncy happy dogs, too.
    Shy dogs who are aggressive to humans, rarely display such aggression as puppies, it is more likely to manifest as they approach maturity, however, the aggressive shy dog can begin to show this as early as 6 mos old, but, aggressive behavior in a shy dog can also be delayed for years and years, depending on how the dog is managed. Some shy dogs never ever aggress to anyone, ever.

    Almost all dogs who are owned by the typical dog owner are "corrected" for jumping on ppl, yet, do not develop lifelong aggression. Sara once wrote that Ollie is okay so long as no one stares at him. He sounds shy to me. Shy dogs who do escalate to aggression, are way more likely to aggress IN THEIR HOMES, not on the streets. It's rather hard to find stories of shy dogs attacking ppl out on the streets, unless someone leaned over/petted/etc or otherwise startled the shy dog. Such stories DO exist, but they are wayyy less common, than stories of a shy dog biting a visitor in their home, or a stranger near their home.

    This increased likelihood of an aggressive reaction in a home, is almost universal among shy dogs. Ppl who own such dogs call their dogs "territorial" but i speculate, it IS partly territorial, as well as the close confines, as well as excitement is a trigger for most dogs with issues, as well as the history of such places being "the scene of the crime" to the dog---a place where dogs were often petted by strangers.

    Sara has posted many photos of her dog with other dogs, and has had much success with rehabbing Ollie of his aggression towards dogs. <----Also typical of most shy dogs, their secondary target of aggression to dogs is usually much easier to reduce. It is their ongoing fear of humans that persists for life.

    Shy dogs, like DA dogs, do not usually have problems with KNOWN dogs or ppl, almost never. It is the UNknown dogs or ppl that set them off. We who have either a DA dog, or a shy/aggressive dog, CAN desensitize our dogs to a specific person, or a specific dog.

    But, most ppl DO feel just exactly like Sara does, her views are extremely common and widespread, ----->that if a dog is either shy (or ppl-aggressive)
    or a DA dog (dog-aggressive)
    for his entire life------------it is because of abuse, neglect, improper socialization, trauma, etc etc. This is also how we once viewed the schizophrenic or the sociopath, that some abuse caused his problem, prior to inventing the MRI scanner.
    But, most ppl still believe that dogs with aggression issues are "caused", and not a neurobiological problem. There are 1000s of blogs on this, all over the internet, but not a footnote nor a single bit of research on such blogs.

    Almost all the world agrees with Sara's way of looking at it. :D (that dogs with aggression issues are "caused", and not a neurobiological problem) The dog whisperer says such dogs are "manifesting" the human's secret inner issues.:rolleyes: and now, many ppl who watch his show now think that, too. The idea the dog is genetically aggressive is usually a complete shock:eek: and met with disbelief by most ppl in the dog world. Some ppl will argue it passionately, as they all know "The Reason" their dog has issues, and have been told by everyone, that all dogs are born perfect, and any flaw has been "caused" and they are all told this by everyone for their entire lives. No one disagrees.

    (off topic, but i know Sara disagress strongly with DW, i'm just pointing out, many ppl have passionately held beliefs on "WHY" dogs are aggressive, and no research is involved) but almost everyone agrees with Sara's point of view about aggression is "caused".

    except for geneticists who do bloodtests and DNA swabs and MRIs of the brains of dogs with aggression issues. I WILL post the links on that soon, i have not forgotten.
  15. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    btw, off topic, but there is at least one more category of aggressive dog, called "the rage syndrome" dogs, these dogs DO seem "rare", so i rarely mention them, and i do not know much about them. They even bite their owners, and can not tolerate any contact with humans at all. These dogs seem to be a severe subset of shy dogs, are thought to be genetically caused, (it does not manifest til dog approaches maturity, btw) Many of these dogs are put down.
    and i never even heard of this syndrome til i joined some boards on aggressive dogs.

    This syndrome apparently is more common in spaniels and a few other breeds.
  16. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    //" It's just so much harder to cure DA verses Human Agression, because we can instruct people how to be around our dogs"//

    I think "cures" are almost unheard of. So so few stories of "cures"...oh, there are a few here or there, but, i always have a few questions about "cured" dogs. I do think, dogs who had aggression that WAS "caused" ARE curable------what a dog learns, he can UNlearn. LIke Michael Vick's abused dogs proved.


    .

    i do think, with much persistence, and extremely careful management, that a shy dog who has escalated to aggression, can have his aggression reduced, and possibley removed,
    as he was born SHY not aggressive.

    but the dog will by shy for life, on some level.


    I sort of think managing a DA dog is almost easier, than a shy dog would be....
    as at least in my world, my dog sees wayyyyyyyyyyy more humans than he does unknown dogs. If we go several days, without even seeing an unknown dog, i can almost forget Buddy is a DA dog. My DA dog has been desensitized to all our friends dogs, all our relatives dogs, and most dogs in our neighborhood. It is the UNKNOWN dog that sets Buddy off.

    .
    I can bring him to parties, nursing homes, places crowded with humans, and not have a worry. It's easier for me to spot a dog that Buddy has never met before, than it would be to try to warn each and every humans that Buddy is around on how to behave.
    I myself don't necessarily think getting humans to all co0operate with how to approach my dog would be easier, really............. some humans do not always go along with a plan, or they "forget", or don't truly believe you really meant it, or some humans see themselves as "dog ppl" and believe the shy dog would accept them, and thus, disregard your requests to ignore your dog.

    but, i guess, either way, there are challenges for both the owners of shy dogs,
    and the owners of DA dogs.
  17. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    //"We're needing some researchers in this area!"//


    There ARE 100s of research teams, all over the globe, researching this, for decades and decades. But ppl interested in dogs are NOT necessarily scientifically bent. Ppl interested in learning about aggressive dogs tend to read blogs, not research papers.


    .
    Researchers use aggressive dogs for testing for many reasons. Before anyone throws their arms up in outrage, MOST of the testing involves nothing more than behavioral observation, questionnaires for the owners, drawing blooddtests, swabbing the dog's saliva, and occasionally, sedating the dogs for MRIs. (lol, there is even research on whether or not questionnaires from owners are accurate way to assess a dog's aggression) some of the research has involved using drugs to study their effects on reducing inappropriate aggression in dogs.

    some veterinary research teams who are working on isolating genomes and alleles, find their work has cross-applications to studying human genomes, as well. Many geneticists especially love studying purebred dogs, as they come from such SMALL gene pools, it is far easier than working on human genes.
    some of the research is to benefit breeders, some work to benefit scientific study of genes and it's impact on behavior may have cross applications for humans and drug research, some may be working to win grants and nobel prizes, and some study canine genes, out of sheer love of science itself. Lots of reasons why canine genes are often used for scientific research.
    .
    Pawbla, again, til i post the links i promise to post on this research, DO review that film i referred you to, there IS a segment in there which refers to genetic aggression. It is not super well done research, and NOT done on privately owned foxes, but, it is compelling just the same.
    that thread is called "Make some popcorn---great video on dogs" in the "chit chat" area.
  18. Pawbla Experienced Member

    We know that a percentage of aggressive dogs are genetically caused... but they are more interested in finding out WHY. They study genes, isolate mutations, etc, etc... all done from a biological viewpoint. But there is less "integrated" research (although it is existent). And less "controlled" research. As far as I know, correct me if I'm wrong, there are no tests done in a controlled environment, right? I mean, dogs that were purposefully bred and raised FOR this study.
  19. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    I do think most of the studies state they are using privately owned dogs who have been persistently inappropriately aggressive, despite multiple rehab attempts. Most humans would have fits at the notion of dogs being kept in labs for their whole lives, but, it might be done somewhere, who knows.

    Re: breeding for aggression,
    or lack thereof, and raising them up from scratch,
    again, i ask, have you watched that video on the "Get your popcorn" thread?

    Also, Pawbla, not sure how much you know about herding dogs,
    but, that fairly complex behavior, is also inherited. It does not show up in the litter box, but as the dog grows up it become undeniable.
    So far as i know, they have never ever isolated the exact spot on the DNA that controls a dog's urge to herd, but, it's "in there". No one but no one ever ever ever questions this is inherited. Why is that?

    Why don't ppl post remarks like, "But, have they ever separated out dogs who herd, and watched them from birth, and isolated them, to see if the dogs somehow learned this from watching other dogs herding?"
    Or other dogs who howl/bay like beagles do, or adore water like many poodles do, or fetch for hours like most retrievers love to do, or assume a point at birds like pointer does, etc etc etc. Those behaviors are often accepted as being "in there" in some breeds of dogs already. Those behaviors also, probably being neurobiologically driven, are usually lifelong behaviors, too.

    One point i found most powerful, in all the research i have read on this topic, is,
    that not one (1) 'normal' dog has ever ever been found to have the multiple physical anomalies found in all aggressive dogs. Such a dog might exist, and has just never ever been discovered. (the 'normal' dogs, used for comparison, are also, privately owned as well.)

    //"As far as I know, correct me if I'm wrong, there are no tests done in a controlled environment, right?"//

    Most geneticists do seem to be of the opinion, if a dog's amygdala in his brain is misshapen, if his levels of serotonin, dopamine, adrenaline, zinc, etc are all abnormal, if the surface of his brain has an abnormal number of receptors, that this IS a neurobiological disorder.

    No one has raised humans in isolation, or in controlled environments, yet, when the schizophrenics and sociopaths and autistic humans, were proven to have organic, neurobiological disorders, no one said, "but, wait----they were not raised in a controlled environment, so let's not pay too much attention to that MRI scan showing abnormalities..:rolleyes: .maybe this child would not be autistic, maybe his brain scan would be normal, if his mother had loved him more. After all, he seemed fine at birth!! This did not show up til he was four years old."

    No one says this. Most humans DO accept and understand a human being born with an organic, neurobiological disorder.
    but they can't seem to wrap their minds around the idea of a dog being born with a neurobiological disorder.

    but, i do think, humans with organic neurobiological disorders, like dogs with issues, CAN be made better, helped to become their best possible selves,
    or made worse.
    (btw, not all sociopaths are criminals, lol, i have a sociopath patient, who is well aware he is sociopath, was well raised, but has zero ability to empathise or care about others, has never been in love, feels nothing, yet, is law abiding citizen.)
  20. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    //" We know that a percentage of aggressive dogs are genetically caused."//

    none of the decades of research, have yet turned up even ONE persistently aggressive or persistently shy dog,
    who does NOT have the abnormal neurobiology found in bloodtests and MRIs.


    .
    I suppose it is not impossible,
    that somewhere out there,
    is a persistently shy dog,
    or a persistently DA dog,
    who has a 'normal' brain---------(obviously, not EVERY persistently shy dog and persistently aggressive dog has been scanned)
    but the multiple research teams all over the world, have not yet found such a dog.

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