Wednesday, February 6, 2008

5 Basic Instincts of German Shepherd Dogs

Versatility of Alsatians is beyond question! A well bred German Shepherd Dog is an all round canine companion of his master, although it's true that not all shepherds are equally versatile. If bred properly a German Shepherd puppy will grow up with all the desirable and mandatory instincts that would make it a real royal dog and truly a protective companion of his owner.

Captain Max Von Stephenitz
emphasized more on the working ability of the breed than the look. When it comes to the working ability (Schutzhund protection work) of the breed we need to know all about the 5 Basic Instincts of well bred German Shepherd Dogs. These five instincts are genetically inherited by a puppy from it's well bred dam and sire. Selective breeding is hence essential.

Wondering why I'm using the word "Well Bred" so frequently over and over again? Because breeding is that scientific art or artistic science (whatever way you look at it) that will give you a near to perfect dog, if not hundred percent perfect. So a good shepherd is the one that has a good parental lineage and have all or most of the the desirable features -- both structural and behavioral. These German Shepherd instincts are those behavioral aspects that cast a deep impact on the dog's character and behavior, making it a more useful companion. Two of these five basic German Shepherd instincts are known as Critical Instincts.

Here are the 5 Basic Instincts of a "Well Bred" Alsatian.

1. Booty Instinct: Also know as "Prey Instinct", this is one of the two Critical Instincts of a well bred Alsatian dog. This German Shepherd instinct makes the dogs chase moving objects like flies, moths, butterflies, mosquitoes, etc. and seize them. This is one of the most vital instincts for excellent Schutzhund protection work. The Booty/Prey Instinct is mandatory part of a shepherd's character, because it acts as the motivator of striking with speed and power. This critical instinct start to develop as the puppy reaches 6 months of age and eventually becomes prominent as it grows.

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2. Fighting Drive: Fighting Drive is the second Critical Instinct of Alsatians. This German Shepherd Dog instinct is also called Active Aggression or Offensive Aggression, which is another very important instinct desirable for of the breed. This instinct helps the dog to deliver "rhythmic & explosive barks" during protection. Each of such rhythmic bark helps the dog to get positively stimulated, and the dog give high degree service of protection. This is why the Fighting Drive instinct of German Shepherd Dog is important for the Schutzhund protection work.

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3. Self Preservation or Defense: Also called Reactive Aggression, this GSD instinct differs a lot from Prey Instinct and Fighting Drive Instinct. This GSD instinct (Reactive Aggression) helps the dog to develop inherent protective nature related to territoriality. This German Shepherd instinct denotes the degree of Sharpness, which is one of the most significant part of a well bred German Shepherd Dog character. Reactive Aggression Instinct or Sharpness is the catalyst of the two Critical Instincts, acting as the stimulating component of Booty Instinct and Active Aggression. Reactive Aggression Instinct of a well bred GSD also stimulates the Social Aggression Instinct.

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4. Pack Instinct: This non-critical instinct is found in almost all the canine breed of the world. But in a well bred Alsatian Pack Instinct is noticed more prominently, compared to any other breed. The Pack Instinct is another most important German Shepherd Instinct that is highly significant for the Schutzhund trial, because this instinct increases the trainability of the dog. Right blend of Social Aggression and Pack Instinct makes the dog stay closer to his pack members. Viewing from the dog's perspective, the pack members includes all the dogs that he lives with, his handler, his trainer, his owner and all the other members of his family. This stimulates the dog's protective behavior.

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5. Social Aggression: This non-critical German Shepherd Instinct also increases the degree of trainability -- especially for the Schutzhund protection services. Social Aggression Instinct makes the dog deliver "deep grumbling bark". Each of such barks stimulates the dog by generating power with him and he tends to express himself more dominantly. This is one of the most important determinants of a guard dog character.

Social Aggression is an exclusively a male instinct found in most canine breeds, but seen prominently in GSDs. Though this is a general desirable instinct for all the German Shepherd males, but this instinct remains dormant until the dog faces a threatening situation.

Apart from these 5 Basic Instincts, there are few more general instincts of Alsatians. Stay tuned to read more about the German Shepherd Instincts.


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All you need to know about German Shepherd Dogs. Read out what I have to share with you regarding the amazing German Shepherd Dog breed. Are Alsatian dogs and German Shepherd Dogs same? Who was Max Von Stephanitz and What is SV? Also learn a bit more in depth on German Shepherd Dog training tips, German Shepherd puppy care tips, German Shepherd Dog behavior, German Shepherd instinct, German Shepherd Dog standard and history of German Shepherds.
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