Author Topic: Boxer Drive  (Read 9964 times)

alncris

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Boxer Drive
« on: January 04, 2009, 03:30:11 PM »
The article that was provided here in an earlier post is fantastic in pointing out the differences in UK/Continental/US boxers.

It has been a while since I read it, but does it talk about temperament and or drive differences.

IMHO generally speaking, US boxers lack drive.

The question is whether or not it is important to anybody anymore? Since very few if any boxers are used for work and/or would be the first choice of anyone in most situations why breed for it?

No doubt it is deviating from the standard. But again, it doesn't seem to matter much anyway to most.
Most people want pets, and can barely handle a sedate boxer, much less one with a true temperament.

I am not trying to disrespect anyone's dog, or trying to make anyone feel bad. I want to get opinions.
Thanks
The Boxer is the soul of fidelity, bravery, and honesty. The worst faults of character a Boxer can show are viciousness, treachery, unreliability, lack of temperament and cowardice.- Frau Stockmann

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« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2009, 12:24:24 PM »
This comes up quite often, and I've thought about it a lot recently as there was a bit of hullabaloo about a DogWorld article last month.

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IMHO generally speaking, US boxers lack drive.

I think North American Boxers in general have less "working" drive than Continental Boxers in general; I'm not sure that's the same thing as lacking drive.

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The question is whether or not it is important to anybody anymore? Since very few if any boxers are used for work and/or would be the first choice of anyone in most situations why breed for it?

One should breed for the correct temperament.  You could make the same argument about the foreshortened muzzle, underbite, square body, etc. - very few if any Boxers are used for work which requires those traits, so why breed for it?

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No doubt it is deviating from the standard.

Here's the thing - I'm not sure it is deviating.  Where in the standard does it say that the Boxer must have "drive"?  Where have we gotten the idea that the Boxer is first and foremost a "high-drive working" - which in most cases these days is interpreted as "Schutzhund" - dog?  Don't get me wrong - I know the Boxer is a working dog, but the standards all describe a dog that is a family companion first, and a guard or working dog second.  The ideal Boxer is an all-around dog, that fits well into a family and is game to perform whatever tasks are asked of it - companion, protector, guardian, show dog, therapy dog, service dog, agility, obedience, herding, lure coursing, etc.  Even the FCI standard states, "he is just as agreeable and appreciated in the family circle as he is as a guard, companion and working dog." 

For those relatively few owners (in the US and Canada, at least) who want to participate in specific types of "work", an emphasis on a specific aspect of the "drive" might be more important - but for most, the typical, correct, "all-around" Boxer temperament is appropriate.  I think John Wagner says it best:

"Other breeds have pronounced specialized talents . . . . hunting, herding, trailing, and so on . . . but for a combination of the outstanding virtues of many with the faults of a few, our Boxer is the most gifted of canines. For the man, woman or child who wants an all-round dog, he has no equal. No other dog is more individual in appearance, more keenly intelligent or sanely even-tempered. These virtues alone are priceless if the dog is to become part of his master's family, which he should for the well-being of all concerned. The Boxer has a faculty of worming his way into the good graces and the hearts of an entire household. He seems to offer something special to each person he meets."
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BurningRiver

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« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2009, 01:07:33 PM »
IMHO generally speaking, US boxers lack drive.

I disagree. I have three who are all high drive, but all in different areas. One is excessively high in three of the four drives and her temperament is sharp. Another is high in two drives, but moderate in the other two, the third is high in pack drive, but moderate in the other three. Balance is key. Too much drive and you end up with sharpness. Too little and you end up with dullness.

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The question is whether or not it is important to anybody anymore? Since very few if any boxers are used for work and/or would be the first choice of anyone in most situations why breed for it?

For the same reason we breed for squished noses, and the wrinkles on the face, and correct ear leather, and square build and. . . You see where I'm going. ;) None of these things are really required for the majority of today's boxers' jobs (family pets and show dogs), but that's not a valid reason to discard the hallmarks of what makes a boxer, a boxer. ;)
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alncris

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« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2009, 02:16:50 PM »
Here's the thing - I'm not sure it is deviating.  Where in the standard does it say that the Boxer must have "drive"?  Where have we gotten the idea that the Boxer is first and foremost a "high-drive working" - which in most cases these days is interpreted as "Schutzhund" - dog?  Don't get me wrong - I know the Boxer is a working dog, but the standards all describe a dog that is a family companion first, and a guard or working dog second.  The ideal Boxer is an all-around dog, that fits well into a family and is game to perform whatever tasks are asked of it - companion, protector, guardian, show dog, therapy dog, service dog, agility, obedience, herding, lure coursing, etc.  Even the FCI standard states, "he is just as agreeable and appreciated in the family circle as he is as a guard, companion and working dog." 

Not to be argumentative but this is an excerpt from the ABC standard
 "General Appearance
The ideal Boxer is a medium-sized, square-built dog of good substance with short back, strong limbs, and short, tight-fitting coat. His well-developed muscles are clean, hard, and appear smooth under taut skin. His movements denote energy. The gait is firm yet elastic, the stride free and ground-covering, the carriage proud. Developed to serve as guard, working, and companion dog, he combines strength and agility with elegance and style. His expression is alert and his temperament steadfast and tractable...."


This is from FCI

"The Boxer should be fearless self-confident, calm and equable. Temperament is of the utmost importance and requires careful attention. Devotion and loyalty towards his master and his entire household, his watchfulness and self-assured courage as a defender are famous."

I think the standards both describe a dog who is first and foremost a guard dog. So I think drive is decribed in the standard.

We may be splitting hairs, but the real question is what do you guys as breeders make sure correct temperament is bred for?
Do you guys breed schutzhund or agility titled dogs? or do you have another way to judge temperament.
Thanks for your viewpoint.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2009, 02:31:50 PM by alncris »
The Boxer is the soul of fidelity, bravery, and honesty. The worst faults of character a Boxer can show are viciousness, treachery, unreliability, lack of temperament and cowardice.- Frau Stockmann

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« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2009, 02:23:22 PM »
And thanks for yours, although it'd be nice to know more about you so we know where your opinions are coming from...

You realize the passage you bolded just goes to Jen's point, right?  Guard dog doesn't mean Schutzhund dog, and working dog doesn't specify it either. To be able to do all three (work, guard, companion), the boxer must be a good "all around" dog, as Jen said.
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« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2009, 02:24:48 PM »
Not to be argumentative but this is an excerpt from the ABC standard

What you've listed is found under the general appearance section, and is meant to describe why the boxer is built the way it is.  Here is what it says under the character temperment section, and I've bolded some points that show what I believe to be in agreement with what Jennifer said...YES they are a working dog, but they are also a companion.  They aren't meant to be so "drivey" that they can't comfortably live with humans.

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Instinctively a hearing guard dog, his bearing is alert, dignified, and self-assured. In the show ring his behavior should exhibit constrained animation. With family and friends, his temperament is fundamentally playful, yet patient and stoical with children. Deliberate and wary with strangers, he will exhibit curiosity, but, most importantly, fearless courage if threatened. However, he responds promptly to friendly overtures honestly rendered. His intelligence, loyal affection, and tractability to discipline make him a highly desirable companion. Any evidence of shyness, or lack of dignity or alertness, should be severely penalized.
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« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2009, 02:29:02 PM »
Even Renee's dogs, which are probably some of the best examples of "working boxers" on this forum, aren't so drivey that they're unbearable to live with.  I think she said that they "have an on/off switch"....which, IMO, is a good description of the way they should be as well-rounded dogs.

Renee...please let me know if I've misquoted you or represented you/your dogs in the wrong way.
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alncris

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« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2009, 02:52:35 PM »
And thanks for yours, although it'd be nice to know more about you so we know where your opinions are coming from...

You realize the passage you bolded just goes to Jen's point, right?  Guard dog doesn't mean Schutzhund dog, and working dog doesn't specify it either. To be able to do all three (work, guard, companion), the boxer must be a good "all around" dog, as Jen said.

I disagree. I don't think it goes to Jen's point. Thats the reason I quoted it. ::)
Also I never said guard dog meant Schutzhund dog.
I do agree that the boxer must be balanced, but a boxer that is unable to do all three(work,guard,companion) as you put it is not within the standard.

A boxer with correct drive/temperament is a handful even in the hands of the right person, not drivey or unbearable to live with. It can be drivey or unbearable if the persons personality is meek or timid. This does not mean that one should be bold or rude either. It means a firm personality.

I feel like people here are taking this offensively and I don't wish to offend. It it offends someone, then I apologize, but perhaps a little introspect is in order.

For the record not all dogs in any breeds cut the mustard when it comes to work drive. Even German Shepards, Dobermans and Malinois have poor examples.

How do the breeders in the US breed for temperament?
The Boxer is the soul of fidelity, bravery, and honesty. The worst faults of character a Boxer can show are viciousness, treachery, unreliability, lack of temperament and cowardice.- Frau Stockmann

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« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2009, 03:02:38 PM »
...but a boxer that is unable to do all three(work,guard,companion) as you put it is not within the standard.


I disagree.  Boxers weren't bred to ALL be good at ALL of those things.  There are always going to be some that are better workers than others, some that are better guarding dogs than others, and some that are better companions than others. 

I think it means that the breed as a whole is well-rounded...that we should be able to find some good workers, some good guardians, and some good companions within the breed.  We should be able to find dogs that would be pretty good at any of those things, and maybe above average or exceptional at one or two of them.  It is unrealistic to expect all boxers to be good at all of those things.  There is no "perfect" dog, afterall.
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« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2009, 03:05:56 PM »
I feel like people here are taking this offensively and I don't wish to offend. It it offends someone, then I apologize, but perhaps a little introspect is in order.


I don't think anyone is taking offense here with regards to the issue at hand, I know I am certainly not.  BUT, I know you have been repeatedly asked to give an introduction here....and honestly, I find it a bit offensive that someone who won't even tell us who they are or anything about themselves would direct the rest of us that "a little introspect is in order." 
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« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2009, 03:10:03 PM »
Alncris - I don't think anyone is taking offense.. you bring up an opinion, those who disagree with rebut it.

Aren't you located in the US? Just wondering since you are asking how US breeders breed for temperament and if you're active in boxers in the US, I would think you'd have discussed this w/some of them. I guess it's just hard to tell since you never gave us any real background. It helps to know where someone is coming from, to understand their perspective and where their knowledge has come from.

How is a dog "being a handful even in the hands of the right person" a good thing? This seems like a dog that is temperamentally unbalanced to me. Not to trot out Renee as an example again (but I will) - she has dogs who are very drivey and what she describes to me sounds like a dog who's temperament she thoroughly enjoys working with, not a dog she'd call "a handful."
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« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2009, 03:12:19 PM »
Not to trot out Renee as an example again (but I will) - she has dogs who are very drivey and what she describes to me sounds like a dog who's temperament she thoroughly enjoys working with, not a dog she'd call "a handful."

Ditto....that's what I meant earlier, however you said it a little more eloquently than I did.   :laugh4:  It's pretty obvious that she loves working with her dogs, and loves her dogs at home too.   :thumbsup:
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alncris

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« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2009, 03:51:22 PM »
I think it is obvious you guys are taking offense with my question because you are avoiding the question and citing other persons experience.
Tell me what your experiences are with working dogs and drives.

Yes I said a handful BoxerWB. Grab a hold of the leash of a working dog once and you will learn what that is.

The bottom line is that the US boxer is diluted in its work capacity and no one here seems to care to restore that.
Instead personal offense is taken when each one of your dogs is questioned in that regard.

I am not saying my current dogs are the best either.

My question again if someone CAN answer it...How are US breeders breeding for temperament?



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« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2009, 04:02:50 PM »
No one is avoiding your question....we are disagreeing with the very assertations you make in your first post.

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IMHO generally speaking, US boxers lack drive.

I think North American Boxers in general have less "working" drive than Continental Boxers in general; I'm not sure that's the same thing as lacking drive.

Quote
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No doubt it is deviating from the standard.

Here's the thing - I'm not sure it is deviating.  Where in the standard does it say that the Boxer must have "drive"?  Where have we gotten the idea that the Boxer is first and foremost a "high-drive working" - which in most cases these days is interpreted as "Schutzhund" - dog?  Don't get me wrong - I know the Boxer is a working dog, but the standards all describe a dog that is a family companion first, and a guard or working dog second.  The ideal Boxer is an all-around dog, that fits well into a family and is game to perform whatever tasks are asked of it - companion, protector, guardian, show dog, therapy dog, service dog, agility, obedience, herding, lure coursing, etc.  Even the FCI standard states, "he is just as agreeable and appreciated in the family circle as he is as a guard, companion and working dog." 

For those relatively few owners (in the US and Canada, at least) who want to participate in specific types of "work", an emphasis on a specific aspect of the "drive" might be more important - but for most, the typical, correct, "all-around" Boxer temperament is appropriate.

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Quote from: alncris on Yesterday at 03:30:11 PM
IMHO generally speaking, US boxers lack drive.


I disagree. I have three who are all high drive, but all in different areas. One is excessively high in three of the four drives and her temperament is sharp. Another is high in two drives, but moderate in the other two, the third is high in pack drive, but moderate in the other three. Balance is key. Too much drive and you end up with sharpness. Too little and you end up with dullness.



You can't just expect everyone to take what you say as fact, especially when you've provided faulty information on this forum before, and answer your questions exactly as you've asked them when we don't agree with the very basis of your argument.

« Last Edit: January 05, 2009, 04:07:14 PM by blynn03 »
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« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2009, 04:03:17 PM »
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I think it is obvious you guys are taking offense with my question because you are avoiding the question and citing other persons experience.
Tell me what your experiences are with working dogs and drives.

We're answering your questions, just not the way you want them answered.. but there is a reason for that, which is quite plain if you've read some of my other threads on this forum:

My dogs are one BYB and one Amish puppymill dog. So I can't tell you about drives in *responsibly* bred US dogs... I don't have one yet. And in a "Boxer Standard" discussion, we aren't talking about the Joe Schmoe rescue dogs or BYB pets, since they aren't expected to be part of the standard or part of the breeding pool.

I'm not going to talk about experiences that I don't have, if I contribute, I'm going to talk about what I've seen in other people's responsibly bred dogs because that is the reference I have.

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Yes I said a handful BoxerWB. Grab a hold of the leash of a working dog once and you will learn what that is.

So are you trying to say that working dogs pull on leash or something? How does holding a leash apply to this situation? Does interacting with a drivey dog but not holding their leash count? Ah, but what if the dog doesn't meet *your* definition of drivey?

No personal offense is taken about my dogs, and I'm sure Brandy doesn't take personal offense about hers - we don't breed. So if our dogs aren't drivey, we aren't "responsible" for the "diluting" you believe is occurring. No skin off our backs.

For someone who believes we are avoiding questions, you answer none yourself. How about a little accountability and background for all these strong opinions? How about telling us about your dogs, I don't believe we know anything about them, and what your experience is with them, and how they might influence your opinion on this topic.
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