Author Topic: What is a Working Boxer?  (Read 10893 times)

Newcastle

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Re: What is a Working Boxer?
« Reply #30 on: February 12, 2010, 11:19:04 AM »
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If you get up and leave the house and bring home a paycheck or semblance of compensation you're working

So those who telecommute are not working, because they don't get up and leave the house?  Volunteer firemen or search and rescuers aren't working when they're fighting fires or rescuing people, because they don't get paid for it?  Stay-at-home mothers, who maintain a house, raise their children, perhaps even home-school, aren't working? 

I think that's a very narrow view that confuses "work" with "income" and completely ignores the many types of work that are not done for compensation, yet are often more challenging than jobs for pay.

Boxers are a working breed and belong to the Working Group, whether or not they're "employed" in a job of which you approve.

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I can say I can't blame these breeders because the market for working temperament dogs is limited. Most people just want a pet/companion. Not to forget that developing this temperament is a lot of work and responsibility.

This is true *if* you are equating a "working temperament" to a "Schutzhund temperament".  We do it often, but it's not really accurate.  In a Boxer, a working temperament is one that is stable, trainable, intelligent, and able to perform a wide variety of tasks in different disciplines.  Most Boxers have this type of temperament.  Those Boxer owners and breeders who focus on Schutzhund want a more...intense...type of temperament, and they also often seem to feel that Schutzhund is the be-all, end-all of Boxer purpose, so they feel any temperament that isn't intense is not a correct working temperament - but that doesn't mean they're right.  The Boxer is an all-around breed, and has been lauded since its origin as an excellent house and family dog - the intense and over-the-top temperaments that are emphasized by "Schutzhund breeders"  are not really ideal for the type of dog the Boxer is supposed to be.
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BurningRiver

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Re: What is a Working Boxer?
« Reply #31 on: February 13, 2010, 08:36:14 AM »
Personally, I find that this conversation has turned tasteless.

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But the Germans have a culture of Schutzhund, whereas Americans have a culture of workaholism and television watching,

Oh really? And I wonder what the reaction would be if an American had said that Germans were all fat, red-faced, lederhosen wearing drunks.

Seriously. Grow some class, King.
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AnnF

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Re: What is a Working Boxer?
« Reply #32 on: February 14, 2010, 07:54:10 PM »
Jessica -

When the Schutzhund folks mention the desirability of high prey drive it's used in a different context than temperament.  Foremost, a Boxer has to have a sound temperament.  That applies to all dogs, whether they're just guarding the house and kids, engaging in competitive sports, or active K9 police work.

The drives refer to the instinctual motivation of the dog, and how those instincts are used in the context of training.  This explains more...

http://siriusdog.com/schutzhund-drives-patterson.htm

Ann WI
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BurningRiver

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Re: What is a Working Boxer?
« Reply #33 on: February 14, 2010, 08:06:21 PM »
I understand, Ann--my point being that I think that the words "drive" and "drivey" are thrown around far, far too much with very few people truly knowing what they mean. I'm not just speaking of people on message boards--I'm speaking of trainers in the field and people who focus on training working dogs.

That said, I disagree that drives for training exist separately from overall temperament. In fact, the individual who wrote that article starts out by saying:

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The term, drive, when used in dog training is a departure from the behavioral scientist's understanding of the concept.

Then goes on to say this:

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As a kind of verbal shorthand, trainers will talk about the dog's prey or defense drives, meaning the general description of what behavior is being shown.

Thanks for sharing the link--interesting read.
Jessica, Mia and Carter
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Lisa

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Re: What is a Working Boxer?
« Reply #34 on: February 14, 2010, 09:54:56 PM »
http://siriusdog.com/schutzhund-drives-patterson.htm
That linked article is interesting, thanks.  But I found this there:

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Initially, the trainer must treat drive development as one of his most important goals. At this early age, bonding and drive development so interact that it is next to impossible to describe where conditioning for one starts and the other leaves off. A few examples might help to demonstrate the training goals.

The young dog is isolated in a run or crate except during those limited times with the handler, when it plays or trains. This isolation not only keys the dog to the handler and no one else, but energizes the dog so it is focused more on the play and work.

Are most working dogs really isolated so much?
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AnnF

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Re: What is a Working Boxer?
« Reply #35 on: February 14, 2010, 11:20:50 PM »
Jessica, I agree there's to much discussion by people who know too little about the subject.  Too little is said about how this fits into the overall training, and means nothing if there is not correct balance in temperament.  I am learning and reading more, but was very frustrated when an AKC trainer made a negative comment that about Gus being drivey because of his background.  There was a presumption on her part that I needed to be really tough on him, or he'd become manipulative, and even aggressive.  Anyway, these discussions are good ones.  Keep it up.

Ann WI
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AnnF

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Re: What is a Working Boxer?
« Reply #36 on: February 14, 2010, 11:54:08 PM »
Lisa, Gus is from a Schutzhund breeder/trainer.  When we visited for trainings I saw no evidence that the dogs were crated and isolated. They lived in the house, and interacted with the family, and other dogs.    I'm not sure if that would be standard practice elsewhere.  Sounds strange to me.  They all had CGCs, and were loving up every visitor they could get their tongue on.

Dogs in this line of work/sport are very independent by nature, and I think they need to bond closely with their owners very early on.  If they don't value the pack, and you as the pack leader then there's no motive to obey commands.  I think that's what he was saying about bonding and drive development interacting.

Ann WI
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BurningRiver

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Re: What is a Working Boxer?
« Reply #37 on: February 15, 2010, 07:23:36 AM »
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Are most working dogs really isolated so much?

Unfortunately, yes, this is common practice. Possibly not in the boxer community, as I've not been around working boxers much, but absolutely in the GSD/Mal community.

I know of one big name "trainer" in Russia who has dogs flown into him, trains them himself, walks out into the streets and has a "stranger" (a helper) come in and beat him and the dog up (well, the helper doesn't really beat him up, but definitely beats up the dog--nice, eh?), then, he has the real owner come in and "save" the dog and nurse it back to health. Supposedly strengthens the bond. I think it's disgusting.

I've also known other GSD protection services to isolate dogs. There's a facility that trains GSD's for protection that I pass every day coming home from work that has crates set way back at the back of the property in a weedy field, which I'm positive is specifically for that purpose.

I have seen only one instance where this technique has been used that I could actually support it. I knew of a bitch that was scared out of her mind of everything and everyone. There were rumors that she may have been abused as a pup that I can't verify but she was absolutely miserable in her own skin. An individual who has been in the breed for years and years took her in and isolated her in a kennel at the back of her property, only taking meals to her. The point was that this bitch was only comfortable in isolation, and the trainer needed to work up to recreating that human bond because at one point, somehow, in the bitch's head that bond had become so twisted that she was unable to function normally. It took months, but I saw the bitch later and she was a changed dog. She was still a bit funny around other people, but she was at least comfortable in her own skin.

That said, no, I do not feel that this should be used as a part of a normal training repertoire, and as I mentioned above, it's much more widely used in other breeds than what I perceive it to be in boxers.

Ann, how old is Gus now? I have to say that we had at least one specific "episode" growing up with every one of our adolescent males where he tested the waters and tried to take the bull by the horns. Seemed like once those passed, the dog and my father had a firm understanding that the dogs never questioned again, but there were definitely the "come to Jesus" meetings between these dogs and my father. Always around 18 months of age.

My old girl, Nedra, was very much the same way--she's a very dominant dog. With her I also remember our "come to Jesus" meeting. Yes, I did need to keep on her--she was always in training--and I was *much* less lenient with her than I have been with my other two. Her temperament is much harder than the others. Had I not kept on her, I'm sure we'd been in trouble, and I know for sure that had she been in any other home the situation would have likely ended with biting (and her in either rescue or at a shelter).

I don't like describing these dogs as "drivey", rather, to me, they just have harder temperaments. A harder temperament is one that you have to stay on top of. Softer temperaments you want to stay off of. I don't know that you can say that either is exclusive to any dog's background.
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AnnF

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Re: What is a Working Boxer?
« Reply #38 on: February 15, 2010, 08:14:31 PM »
Jessica, interesting that 1-1/2 can be a problem age.  I'm seeing Gus really push it with the neighbor's dog lately.  Both are about the same as far as dominance goes, and he's getting his ear nipped much more frequently.  I read hardness is the dog's ability to recuperate from a disagreeable experience.  We just thought he was a masochist, must be the hardness!

I don't see manipulative, or pushy behavior with us.  He's not a clingy dog, and usually won't even enter a doorway unless we go ahead first.  It would be unheard of for him to sneak a treat from a counter top, or not immediately vacate the couch if we made the request.  His respect makes training much easier, but he may be master con man.  The  high prey drive is like a button on the dash of some James Bond movie.  It's turbo power that is unreal, but can be turned off as quickly as turned on. 

I don't see any other working task where this turbo power, seen in Schutzhund sport, would be so prized.  It is often sadly misunderstood.

Crate and isolate a Boxer?  You'd have nothing to work with because such deep depression would set in.

Ann WI

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Re: What is a Working Boxer?
« Reply #39 on: March 13, 2010, 02:14:00 PM »
I have been searching on the Internet for information on Boxers as boar hunting dogs -- their original function -- and I have found a couple of forums where a few individuals in Europe assert that the Boxer makes a great dog for boar hunting.  However, a few respondents who have Boxers claim that their own Boxers would not hunt if their lives depended on it.  :roflol:

http://www.vegsoc.org.au/forum_messages.asp?Thread_ID=2334&Topic_ID=8

http://www.faqs.org/qa/qa-21242.html

My guess is that we find here a temperamental difference between Boxers from different regions.  I assume that Boxers used for SchH are probably good for boar hunting (plenty of breeds are, apparently) just because they are a little more 'drivey' in terms of prey drive and are a little 'harder'. 

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Re: What is a Working Boxer?
« Reply #40 on: March 13, 2010, 02:25:51 PM »
I'd imagine that lots of dogs could probably do it, as one of my American bred girls tried to take on a steer when she was around 20 months old.
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RocketBoxer

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Re: What is a Working Boxer?
« Reply #41 on: March 13, 2010, 06:15:00 PM »
My guess is that we find here a temperamental difference between Boxers from different regions.  I assume that Boxers used for SchH are probably good for boar hunting (plenty of breeds are, apparently) just because they are a little more 'drivey' in terms of prey drive and are a little 'harder'. 

Don't be mistaken into thinking that "regular" dogs here in the US don't have any prey drive. Both of my girls have tons of prey drive......to-date all they have had the opportunity to hunt is small prey - squirrels, rabbit, mice etc, but I bet they could easily be taught to hunt bigger prey.
Most boxers I know are fairly prey driven.
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Lisa

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Re: What is a Working Boxer?
« Reply #42 on: March 13, 2010, 07:58:27 PM »
My Zaynah was a good squirrel hunter, could catch them in a forest full of trees.  She killed a few chickens before I managed to teach her that they were off limits, she and Artax would both catch and kill raccoons and possums and they developed a team strategy for killing skunks without either of them getting sprayed.  Koda still isn't completely safe around chickens :brood: has killed a few and chases intently after squirrels and deer.
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