Caucasian Ovcharka Temperament
After long period due my job's load, I visited the site and just noticed this post and felt the need to state my opinion, I apologize for the timing.
Someone wrote: during '90's there was a Caucasian... off-leash in public, trying to make a point that strangers could (and should?) approach and actually kiss a Caucasian. Also added that this Caucasian been fully trained (and possibly owned I thought by a professional trainer. ...and she actually proved exactly the opposite from what she was trying to, Well this is so funny I cannot stop laughing!!!! because the conclusion for me is like:
During 1990's, ONLY ONE out of hundred thousands Caucasians was off leash in public and even this one happened to be trained by a professional, so the moral is, keep your Caucasian on the leash in public like everybody does because they do NOT like strangers. Make no mistake, this photo (a Caucasian kissing a stranger) here, which is the exception that confirms the rule for the average Caucasian owner, is about a Caucasian, been thoroughly trained by a professional in order to act so, aha ha, ha, ha really cannot stop laughing.
Also I read so many sad things for my perception at least, for the Caucasian's temperament and in general guard dogs breeds here, related to the FCI approach and how some people try to influence the organization for watered-down specimen and softer characters (of course for me the goal is always one, to sell more and make more money).
Trying to synopsize (and hope to be wrong) the same sad path that many magnificent once upon a time breeds took after becoming fashion victims:
From aggressive fearless defenders and guards, ...to alert and aloof... and then to ...marshmallow!!! I am sorry but I cannot see it else way, the real dog's world in relation to this terminology, reminds so to me, all the time.
Silly to my opinion, arguments like we do not have predators threatening us in now days (4legged I agree, but read the authorities report for the 2legged predator's hard criminal activity how insanely rates up from 1960's to 2010's and then come and tell me about, you will feel we need the true Co more than ever, but in a sharper version)
A serious guard dog is dangerous?, yes it is and that's why needs responsible owners, for sure less dangerous compared to the gun chose instead a guard dog (accidents rates comparing both, can easily prove that), also less dangerous from a "guard" dog which we put it in a situation not to be able to make up his mind what he wants to be.. a guard dog? or a friendly ambassador for our guests? This is a timing bomb even after training, ...refer to the video where the police trained k9 gsd tears the face of the journalist while interviewing its handler. The serious guard dog you don't bring it in contact with strangers and no accident happens, period. (you also get an extra benefit because of it, you don't harm its natural suspicion against strangers which is the CORNER STONE for serious guarding.
NO DOG GRADUATES ANY UNIVERSITY OF PSYCHOLOGY TO GET A SMALL CONVERSATION WITH THE SMOOTHLY SPEAKING CRIMINAL THAT BRAKES IN AT 3:00 AM, IN ORDER TO IDENTIFY IF HE MEANS WELL OR NO AND THEN TO MAKE UP HIS MIND FOR THE SO CALLED DISPOSITION HE WILL TAKE AND TO BE 100% ACCURATE ALL TIMES. Common sense and logic helps here, just imagine when you taught the dog since puppy hood, that friendly disposition people they should be treated so as well, even a human can be deceived and here we speak for an animal.
Some people think that the dog that has to be locked when visitors comes, is useless for guarding because the dog is not there to protect if need be.
Completely insane to my perspective, first of all who said that I am in danger from my friends when they visit me?, and who says that my wife cannot hold from the leash our dog when an unfamiliar worker comes by to fix something, while drinking her coffee? and letting our dog singing songs speaking for guarding to the stranger? or as an alternative just be close enough to the door of his cage (if he had something in mind with a friendly disposition dog, NOW HE DOES NOT..., NOT ANYMORE, NOW HE RECEIVED THE ...MESSAGE, BE 100% SURE AND COUNT ON THAT), who says the the 30 minutes we cage the dog during friends visitation, cancels the 23+1/2 hours of tremendous guarding when he roams free? Actually this is the most important part of the job (related to the territory) when we are not present to tell the dog what to do and is the most sensitive time for the dog to be deceived, only the extremely stranger suspicious ones will never fail there.
"Extensive socialization", does not hurt the instincts and the temperament of our guard dog? Agreed, for the specific guard dog, what about for generations to come? when everybody repeats the "technique", offspring after offspring, litter after litter? what was the way to pass a specific trait into a dog breed our ancestors used?, training and breeding for it, litter by litter until they get it, what was the lever to produce the easy-going specimen when GSD's and Dobies came to fashion?, just ask your self.
Ask seriously your shelf if you really believe that the way our ancestors created guard dog breeds was, to introduce their pups from 40 days old to the whole village and make friends just with every one, and then go on with the next village, and the next one, until they cover a distance of 500 square kilometers by the 3rd year of life of their "guard", do you really believe that? Does it makes sense in your logic and mind? I can understand that the dogs use to see their masters as alphas and back off (or they took a bullet), when they had to lead livestock through open areas and meet some people passing by and mean no harm, BUT IS THIS THE SOCIALIZATION MARSHMALLOW THING, EVERY ONE SPEAKS AND WRITES ABOUT NOWADAYS????????
OR YOU SHOULD ASK THESE PEOPLE, THE "ORIGINAL" ONES NOT THOSE THEY STARTED TO MAKE PROFIT, SELLING ABROAD THEIR DOGS AND THEN THERE WAS A NEED TO SELL SOME "STORIES" WITH THE DOGS AS WELL, PERHAPS YOU WILL BE SURPRISE HEARING THESE GRANDFATHERS TELLING YOU THAT IN MOST CASES THE ONLY HAND EVER TOUCHED THESE DOGS IT WAS ONLY THE MASTER'S ONE, OR FAMILY'S MEMBER, THAT'S IT, PERIOD.
Puppy isolation where not uncommon for some shepherds breeders of these times, or even chaining the puppy till it gets hard and sharp enough, or it would take a bullet like exactly if it was overly aggressive or disobedient. Nor the term overly aggressive had the same meaning by then like today. Still remember a friend professor in a university deposit to me his experience from his childhood (his family use to be livestock/farmers), when one of their dogs brutally bit his next-door uncle, when he got in their yard to take some woods for the fireplace. It was tradition coming from his great grandfather that nobody else but the family touches the dogs. After the incident and when the uncle returned from the hospital, not only they did not kill the dog as overly aggressive but it was used as the main stud dog for the whole village and was the pride of his family. His uncle confessed that it was only his mistake by the time he opens the gate to take the woods, by mistake assuming that the dog seen him every day would only just ...bark!!!! He also confessed that his brother had little better dogs than him, because he was not expecting his dog to brutalize such a way, someone they see almost every day!!!
We have to understand that the history of Caucasians and other flock guardians were not written with roses, romance and socialization, as we may want to imagine, but rather with hard conditions living, for both humans and dogs, nor we can easily accuse those people and dogs, for their day living and the bread for their kids, were strictly connected with the suspiciousness, courage and ...AGGRESSION of their dogs, or the predators both 4 and 2legged would have eliminated their livestock in no time.
For the record Caucasians where specially selected against 2 legged human predators and the aversion towards strangers, specially cultivated into them (something like "ogeriza" in fila brazileiros for the ones they know what I speak about) in contrast of cao's. That does not mean by any means that cao's were not capable enough to face a human predator.
We have to admit that even in our "modern days" when we speak for active defense of a guard dog, basically, we speak for AGGRESSIVE (we just try to hide the term aggressive with something more polite) reaction of the dog, more or less, or we otherwise speak for a watch/alert dog, which is completely different job and function, where the alarm's dog job ends, is where exactly the guard's dog begin and not to forget that guard dogs are even better alert/watchdogs because they put all their passion for it, they even ...bite for it!!!
Well none of us ever pressed a button on our dog's back to receive this reaction, nor any of our dogs woke up a morning and said: today is the day I will show aggression, there is serious base on the dogs and people I refer above here.
By the way a few years ago, I had been reading a biologist's report mentioning that in order to pass a trait to the average dog specimen it takes approx. 300-400 years!!!!!
IF YOU WANT TO BREED IT OUT IT TAKES APROX. 4 GENERATIONS BREEDING THE SPECIMEN POSSES IT IN THE LOWER RATE, IN EACH LITTER!!!!! and then you need another 400 hundred years to gain it back!!! Hard to gain easy to lose it. Remember that.
In this point of view, in my opinion, is A CRIME to changer the temperament/instinct and traits of any breed (either we speak for guarding, or hunting, etc).
Imagine..., just imagine how many thousands of people's (our ancestors) and dog's (our dog's ancestors) struggles and efforts we cancel just in no time.
Suppose this happens with CO's and Cao's and fila's and Boerboels even a few more, THEN WHAT? we will realize the need to produce WORKING LINES? like GSD and DOBIES? But then by definition, this means that the original line is destroyed and useless.
Mr. Stefanitz the forefather and creator of GSD never dreamed of a working line out of his dogs, BECAUSE IT WAS WORKING LINE BY DEFINITION AND CREATION, SAME APPLIES FOR THE TAX COLLECTOR MR. DOBERMAN, how do you think they would have felt today if the been watching the pitiful average show specimen OUT OF THEIR BREED, hanging its head out of the fence crying desperately for some kisses and cuddles from the passers-by strangers?
That's what they had in mind when they created THEIR BREEDS? and under which authority some merchants changed the temperament and the instincts along with the health as a side effect? Merchants AT LEAST, they should have been fair enough to use a different name FOR THEIR NEW BREED THEY CREATED, and not to make money selling the glorious protection history of these breeds covering the LAME package of their goofy dogs!!! and actually deceiving people they are interested to buy REAL DOGS, or force them to take out of "special" working lines (still as a lottery) and spend a small fortune for training, to do something that most times looks like a simulation of what their ancestors used to do by heart, ...GUARDING!!!!!!!!
Same of course applies for Rottweilers, Bullmastiffs, Mastiffs, Bordeaux dogs, Boxers, Great Danes (or better German mastiffs to my opinion only) and so many other magnificent breeds once upon a time.
The same applies for herding breeds and hounds.
Sometimes human nature terrifies me of what is capable of, we create wonders then we destroy them and then again we realize we need them back to our lives and we start building them up from the beginning, when profit is the motivation, then we speak for a crime.
I think every one of us should honestly ask this question to himself, what is the future of Caucasian Ovcharka we vision? what is the path we want this dog to take? the path mentioned above or the path sculpted day by day for hundreds of thousands of years, with efforts, struggles, sacrifices, deprivations and ...TEETH, as designed and created by our forefathers?
Note that all these are just my personal perspective and the way I see it, I am no specialist on the subject and I don't claim to be right, many people have a completely different opinion which I respect, as long as I think it is not motivated by profit.