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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Atka is 2.5 years old as of 6/20/2009.

She is a very pretty dog and she is VERY friendly to all comers.. wants to be petted and loved and cannot understand why anyone would not want a full grown GSD in their lap and licking their faces. :rolleyes:

Prior to very recently, she was obedient but she would break commands to get petted and loved by any person who came by. This is decidely NOT the behavior of most of the dogs I have had.. they were friendly but focused back on me (mixed or GSD did nto matter). My last GSD was the typical "aloof with strangers" that the GSD breed is known for.

Recently I have noticed this dog is prioritizing being obedient over going up to most strangers. If I release her, she is still "pet me pet me PET ME" to anyone but she will defer back to me after awhile. She no longer breaks her commands to get petted, tho once the petting starts she is pretty useless for about 2 minutes.. LOL

I have heard 3 years old is the age for the dog to start really acting aloof and prioritzing work over play etc. It was at 2 with my last dog.. and it was like someone flicked a switch. This dog seems to be easing into it.. and at a later age.

Just wondering about others experience on this behavior with this breed of dog and whether German lines differ from Amercan lines.
 

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This is pretty normal. Mental maturity is not just about age, but lines. Strauss did not mentally mature until about 3.5-4 years old, and finally seems "settled" at 5.

Delphi looks like she'll be extremely slow to mature, so I'm expecting 4-5 years old for her to be "done".
 

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This is pretty normal. Mental maturity is not just about age, but lines. Strauss did not mentally mature until about 3.5-4 years old, and finally seems "settled" at 5.

Delphi looks like she'll be extremely slow to mature, so I'm expecting 4-5 years old for her to be "done".
I agree to a point, Chip didn't mature until he was almost five. Neka turns four in August and although she has really settled down in the past few months, she still won't listen to me when she sees her playmates out in the next yard. But when i say Stop, she at least thinks about it for a second or two!!!

The reason I said "To a Point" is I think impulse training can also have a lot to do with control your dog. I've seen 1 yr old dogs that have great impulse control. The owners have spent a lot of time working on it, it didn't come naturally. On the other hand, when the dogs are at play, they are lil' monsters. :D
 

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The reason I said "To a Point" is I think impulse training can also have a lot to do with control your dog
But control and maturity are not the same.

You can still see the immaturity in a controlled dog that is ignoring the impulse to break a command to be petted (or chase an animal, or or or). With an immature animal, you're still going to get distraction, ear flicks towards the point of interest, head turns, etc.

You can teach that dog all the focus in the world at a very young age, but the immaturity will still show in some way (You have to look for it, but it is there). It can be as simple as a fraction of an ear twitch towards a person or object of interest.
 

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Listen it has nothing to do with GSD's maturity at all. It has more to do with the deviousness of the GSD breed and how long it takes each GSD to brainwash each owner into thinking their individual dogs are maturing and acting as if they are trained. Everybody has heard the saying "Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Beholder" When GSDs get together and talk, the phrase heard most is "Training Is In The Eye Of The Beholder" All you GSD owners are putty in their paws.
 

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Elana, Chance and Atka are the same age. Chance turned 2 on February 20th. So what are they 2 months apart?

I have noticed with Chance, hes calmed down A LOT. I blocked off my backyard for the dogs to grow grass, and he can see the sprinklers through the fence, but he doesnt try to barrel through the fence to get to them. He catches the eye of anyone who sees him, and he is everyones favorite dog of my house. It almost seems like he did just calm down right away.

Dont get me wrong, he still has his moments lol. He hasnt chewed anything in probably 6 months. But I keep him crated. (I test it sometimes when my roommate is home and in his room, I'll leave Chance out and my rommmate will go check on him and hes just chilling, lol.)

I hope to DOG hes finally growing up! lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
But control and maturity are not the same.

You can still see the immaturity in a controlled dog that is ignoring the impulse to break a command to be petted (or chase an animal, or or or). With an immature animal, you're still going to get distraction, ear flicks towards the point of interest, head turns, etc.

You can teach that dog all the focus in the world at a very young age, but the immaturity will still show in some way (You have to look for it, but it is there). It can be as simple as a fraction of an ear twitch towards a person or object of interest.
This is what we are working on now. She has started the process of considering work more important than other stuff. We are taking a class on "attention." She is very much improved over last year tho she still will scan and then come back to focus. Previously she would not.. so that is going the right way.

More work.. and more maturity. There is a difference and that is what I am building on.

I was also very interested in your mention of maturity and lines. It would seem to me dogs in K 9 work would need to mature younger since those dogs are often retired by age 7 or 8.

Physical maturity and mental maturity are not the same.. just look at humans (what an insult to dogs.. comparing them to humans! LOL).

WVasko.. you are correct. We GS people ARE putty in our dogs paws. We really are.. it is sad...

4Dogs3Cats.. I have been wondering how Chance is doing and your crew. I see you added a Foster Beagle to the herd. I know you love beagles. We have one in our class. After he completes each exercise, he bays in response to his release word. :rolleyes:
 

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I was also very interested in your mention of maturity and lines. It would seem to me dogs in K 9 work would need to mature younger since those dogs are often retired by age 7 or 8.
You'd think that, but it's kind of untrue xD

Some of these dogs are a Liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiitle faster to mature PHYSICALLY, but mentally they can be pretty immature up until 5 or 6 still. The dogs are mature enough mentally to be able to DO the work and not fall apart, but there ARE some dogs that stations will keep on until 9-11 because they're still rock solid sound AND they are now in their mental prime.

Is it common? No. But it does happen more often than people think.

The other thing is that training is only training to a degree. Very few K9 officers are "Dog" officers. They may LOVE their dogs, but they're still viewed as another tool, and they aren't problem solvers in the regards of "Why is my dog trying to eat me?" "Why is my dog suddenly gun sensitive?" "Why does my dog suddenly care after 4 years of working together, why I've brought out my night stick?"

The most common response gotten when asking a police officer about training in and crispness of commands is overall "We just want them to wait until we say so, and then bite or hold on." The out is not particularly important (to some officers...others care a great deal)....as long as the dog takes down the bad guy, that's all that matters for the most part, maturity be damned :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The info on the K 9 and maturity is very interesting. Would seem to me you would want the dog mature to reliably work and be there for more years. Just my thinking..

But then I wish horse were not broken or raced until they were 4 years old.

I just love this breed of dog so much.

I am hoping to get one that I consider valuable enough to breed one day (after testing and working titles etc. of course). My retirement job.. and I hope to train dogs in retirement (mine, not Atka's).

I have been considering the K 9 thing but there are adjuncts to that which I may find more appealing and all are related to Schutzhund/French Ring training. SAR and dogs that find contraband etc. are so valuable. We have some here where I work that can find things like illegal pelts or game.. fish.. etc. These dogs also will do bite work for their handlers. It is VERY useful and interesting to see the same dog do such diverse tasks.

I would love to do herding but it takes a farm and livestock and I don't know if that is going to happen for me again for a variety of reasons.

Still.. the future is unwritten and who knows where it will take any of us. I have much to learn and understand!

I just LOVE that you have Delphi and are starting to go down this path. You have NO idea how inspiring that is to me! :D
 

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4Dogs3Cats.. I have been wondering how Chance is doing and your crew. I see you added a Foster Beagle to the herd. I know you love beagles. We have one in our class. After he completes each exercise, he bays in response to his release word. :rolleyes:
haha yeah I've had him for about a month and a half now. I told myself I wouldnt foster, but I have 2 roommates, so I am doing better financially, and have the extra time, (I only work 4 days a week at 10 hr days now,) and one of my roommates is always home, so I couldnt let him die!

I wont be fostering for a while though. Mine are still too young, sometimes its like a dog park in my backyard. I'd rather have old, mellow dogs, and then foster younger ones to give the old ones some spunk!

And Chance is doing AMAZING. He just impresses everyone he meets. We still cant go to the dog park with him, but I blame that on him not meeting any other dogs until 7 months old. He is very very protective of Bailey. When we go on walks he matches her pace, and keeps an eye out for her. its darling.
 
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