• 94

Co temperament.

Hello Robin,

You post above is a very nicely written and informative response. There are a few points to consider when dealing specifically with the Caucasian Ovcharka. The points I want to bring up are not only breed specific but also depends on the dog, its breeding, social and physical environments. At the basis of their behavior is the serious defensive drive and affinity for their property. A good CO is supposed to be bellicose but not quarrelsome - meaning that if you are looking for trouble you came to the right place - but they don't typically hunt trouble. Understanding the drive or reason for their behavior and form will go a long way in understanding the methods to be used in training and what to expect.

Your post covers all the basics and does so very well. The OP can find other detailed post describing development, training, and behavior in the forum.  I will search and post a few links.

http://molosserdogs.com/forum/topic/What-do-you-feel-is-the-'correct'-temp-of-the-Caucasian.htm

http://molosserdogs.com/forum/topic/CO-Character-Essentials.htm

http://molosserdogs.com/forum/?action=goto&search=1#topic/CO-temperament.2.htm

On the last link - Dkoris gave a wonderful explanation.

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Replies (22)
  • Hi again,

    Question. My pup will be 12 months in a few days. He is extremely friendly to all strangers. Im beginning to wonder if i socialized him a bit too good. From what age should i consider this non typical for a co male? Is there such a thing as over socializing in a co?  or is he still very young and should the protective nature still kick in on its own? 

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    • Is he protective against strange dogs?

      With extreme socialization it may take until he is about 18 months to start distrusting strangers and showing proper guarding temperament. Of course that depends on the level and amount of socialization and the line the dog is from. You would have to tell us more about him, his environment, and upbringing to give a better appreciation for his situation and behavior.

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      • I took him EVERYWHERE groing up with us. My Kids and adult krav maga lessons that i teach , puppyclasses, the vet every week for weighing, dogparks, malls, you name it we did it. As a result he is extremely stable and nothing upsets him. In the dogparks he is more curious and social with other dogs than anything else. He does have dominant behaviour like posturing and such but he is so calm that this is always enough to prevent issues with strange dogs. 

        As you know he is out of ruski isvor kennel,  his father is Ural and mother Lavanda.

        Thanks for the replie  

        Alex

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        • Btw, his guarding instincts are defenately there as he will do his job on our property. Barking at out of the ordinaire stuff. But strangers on the property is no reason for him to be alarmed That much.. De 

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          • Having a drink and cool off after a nice walk.. 

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            • I am not sure if you have read this article regarding the CO Temperament but here is the link. It was written by a member and is  a good read.

              http://molosserdogs.com/m/articles/view/Caucasian-Ovcharka-Temperament

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              • Good read indeed. You have any knowledge on the bloodline of my Dog?

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                • Contactcombat,

                  Before I share information I want to be very clear.  I train guardians who protect human life.  My preferred breeds are generally the herding/working breeds are my bread & butter (Doberman, Malinois, German Shepherd, etc...)   I currently have a Giant Schnauzer.  So I am NOT a CO expert.  Keep that in mind as you finish reading.  Others who read this who are CO experts can jump in & tell the OP if this is good or bad idea.  Your breed is not one I've personally handled so...

                  One of the old ways of training a guardian for the home is that only the immediate family are allowed to handle, feed, pet the dog in the home.  Once the pup is about 8 months old I begin to put the dog away when most company comes to visit.  This builds suspicion in the dog.  It doesn't mean I'm keeping a latch key dog.  When friends I can trust to listen (& no alcohol is involved) I will bring the young dog out on lead.  Turn them out for a bathroom break.  I collect them put the lead on & bring them into the room.  The dog is at a down-stay by my chair.  No contact.  It's very blunt to the dog that he's being held at a hands-off.  The dog must learn he can be in the room without being the wal mart greeter.  Some dogs take to this very quickly & will begin to lash out without provocation at strangers.  This means I must stabilize the dog.  So I suit up a trusted person & NO BITEWORK is preformed.  The equipment is a safety precaution in the event the dog goes on someone & makes contact.  So I will have the person approach, tell my dog "it's okay" which is the sign that no aggression is called for.  I will shake hands with this person so the dog sees physical contact alone isn't a threat.  Every step of the way I am communicating with the dog.  "It's okay", sit... heel... etc... the dog is working all the while I'm meeting & greeting the dog. 

                  No stabilization... no guardian.  A loose cannon is a liability.  So there must be stabilization first.  Next for someone with no training in this the means to set the dog up for testing if he's going to defend is to have someone you don't expect the dog to be kind to.  Have this person come up to the door or windows.  Have them peek in.  Have them scratch at the window.  Have them try the door knob (BUT DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR).  I had one helper who did that & had a face full of Belgian Malinois pup, thankfully I was on top of my game that day.  There needs to be ZERO contact.  Especially with a big brusier like a CO... a mistake in listening by this person could be fatal or in the least require stitches or plastic surgery.  So this is NOT a game.  But the point is to peak the dog's suspicion & gauge his reaction without contact.  99% of the guardian's job is going to be like this unless you live in a bad neighborhood.  My dog is currently collecting chunks of cloth from idiots.  But you as the handler, your job in with your dog is to be calm.  You'll ask the dog, "what is it?"  "Is it somebody?" in a serious but hushed tone.  If you see the person  you tell the dog, "watch 'em"   If the dog woofs, you respond, "Good watch"  You don't get excited & go over the top.  You remain the calm in the storm & just suggest & guide.  Watch his expression.  Sometimes a youngster will step forward with a hard eye... that is the first steps of a guardian youngster so you praise, "good watch".  So you have to read your dog.  If the dog runs to the door in full on assault mode... have this planned out with the person.  If the dog does that... he runs off.  end of exercise.  You praise, "good watch... good watch" & pet your dog.  When the 'bad guy' is safely in his vehicle you open the door (if it's a fenced yard) release him to go sniff where the 'bad guy' was.  If you don't have a fenced yard... put him on leash & walk him out to do his job.  Notice his body posture.  Notice his eyes.  The minute he uses his nose & picks up the stranger's scent often times he will gruff or grumble under his breath.  You say, "good watch".   Males will sometimes mark over the scent of this intruder.

                  Do not have this person come into the house after this exercise.
                  Do not get excited & go into a frenzy yourself.  The young dog in training needs you to be his calm in the storm.
                  Do not treat this as a game.

                  All my guardian pups are started in just this manner.  My old dogs teach my pups.  Even my 3 pound Chihuahua puppy will do the above.

                  No need to do this over & over again.  Especially with a breed who is powerful in defense.  My Giant Schnauzer came pre-loaded so to speak.  One time of someone coming to the door (in this case it was an unwanted visitor) & trying the door handle & it was all I could do to keep her from going through the glass in the door.  So you must think safety first.  Set this up with your helper.  So he or she knows if the dog does (this) you do (that).  I use cell phone connection to tell the person run for the truck & take off.  They use the phone in the event something went wrong. 

                  I hope this helps.  For a lot of reasons there is seldom a requirement with some breeds to go further.  Once you awaken the 'giant within' he doesn't go back to sleep.  Where people get into trouble is they get a kick out of this training & they take it too far, make it a game & soon they have a biting, vicious nightmare.  Or they egg the dog on at the poor postman or UPS driver.  There's no need for that.  You create a problem rather than train solid stabilization.

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                  • Hello Robin,

                    You post above is a very nicely written and informative response. There are a few points to consider when dealing specifically with the Caucasian Ovcharka. The points I want to bring up are not only breed specific but also depends on the dog, its breeding, social and physical environments. At the basis of their behavior is the serious defensive drive and affinity for their property. A good CO is supposed to be bellicose but not quarrelsome - meaning that if you are looking for trouble you came to the right place - but they don't typically hunt trouble. Understanding the drive or reason for their behavior and form will go a long way in understanding the methods to be used in training and what to expect.

                    Your post covers all the basics and does so very well. The OP can find other detailed post describing development, training, and behavior in the forum.  I will search and post a few links.

                    http://molosserdogs.com/forum/topic/What-do-you-feel-is-the-'correct'-temp-of-the-Caucasian.htm

                    http://molosserdogs.com/forum/topic/CO-Character-Essentials.htm

                    http://molosserdogs.com/forum/?action=goto&search=1#topic/CO-temperament.2.htm

                    On the last link - Dkoris gave a wonderful explanation.

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                    • Thank you Gary. 

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                      • Isn't a not waterd down LGD supose to do all the above written, just geneticly ?

                        it would seem strange if a CO ( one of the ultimate breeds for me in this case ) wouldn't do this naturaly.

                        My owczarek podhalanski started to do this naturaly, not teached and not encouraged. Altough she would only charge at someone when she was about 1 year old.

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                        • Polishtatra,

                          I don't know about the CO.  I know I've had experience with other livestock guardians.  I discovered several of them were easily put off a behavior if the handler corrected them at the wrong time.  My Great Pyrenees were fabulous but they did not display the kind of full out combat mode like I have read in the CO.  They were actually quite easy to correct by tone of voice alone.  But if I didn't read them well & corrected at the wrong time & did so consistently I know I would have ruined them for working dogs.  As it was they were wonderful farm dogs & could be trusted unrestrained when the UPS, postal carrier, delivery people, etc... came to the house.  They warned & barked fiercely, when I came out they cued off my response.  If I call out to the visitor in a friendly manner all's well.  They huff & gruff & go on about their duties.  If I said something like, "can I help you?" the boys would move to either side of the visitor & wait.    There have been a couple other livestock guardian breeds I've worked with who weren't as easily bothered by handler mistakes but my Pyrs were.

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                          • Peepers,

                            thank you for your information and expertise ! 

                            In my case with my dog, when she considers someone a threath. 

                            She has to make up her own mind. i can pretty much make her stop barking but the growling and the constant distrust of the person continues and it will not stop untill this Person leaves

                            she only trusts my family and a few people she know from puppyhood but that's it 

                            no training just genetics i believe ...

                            i believe all CO's should be very distrustfull towards all strange people and you should notice this from early on in puppyhood

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                            • As it is happening with all working breeds, each time is harder to find COs with true temperament. I suggest you to test your CO in a few months to see what you should expect from him. I have seen a lot of COs (specially females but males too) that seem to be terrible dogs behind the fence but they are not able to face an intruder. I have owned a couple by the way.

                              Hugo

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                              • ?action=download&hash=xZ87nQBRWn?action=download&hash=TS6fEG5Ji6

                                If "Eurasier" included in the genes is much better companion dogs but not so good guard dogs, but those who have genes from " East Siberian Laika  hybrid" are dogs with great mental strength and selfconfidence and very good guard dogs!

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                                • Thanks for all the input. 

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                                  • Co 12months with kids

                                    I am continuing the socialisation with kids for as long as the dog allows it. Anybody have an oppinion on this? A mistake or wise?

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                                    • Wise,

                                      why would it be a mistake?

                                      You dont want to get a child bitten by your dog.

                                      My co is socialised with kids, thank god they can runn suddenly around the corner without being biten.

                                      Even the young adults are allowed but only when they dont show agression. When they show agression within a second i have a totaly diffrent dog on my leash.

                                      I dont believe in over socialisation. You socialise the dog with the things that are normal to you  and your surrounding.

                                      I live in a street where kids are playing and people need to pass by. So Iar is used to that . That means adults can not pet him,but can pass without an attack. He still growls but so far no further reaction. At night i wait when somebody is coming because he is way more alert and doesnt allow people near me.

                                      You know for me socialisation means that i can keep my dog on a leash so he doesnt dragg me over to attack somebody and if i didnt socialised him i bet i couldnt controle him. If you have the right temperament i believe that you cant over socialise the co.That switchis always there right under the surface never forget that even when you think that he will never do that.

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                                      • I agree with desiree

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                                        • The dog must be able to safely live within his surroundings.  Mine are socialized with children every chance I get.  Mine will bark as the kids pass on their way to & from school but it's not deeply serious.  Around here the kids are the ones who seem to know how to behave around dogs.  They will say, "hi puppy" or whatever but they keep going.  No teasing, taunting or nonsense.  The adults are another matter.  If I didn't know better I'd say I live in Idiotsville. 

                                          I don't see anything wrong with socializing with children.  From a security standpoint, small children are rarely your problem.

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                                          •  Well said!

                                            I dont believe in over socialisation. You socialise the dog with the things that are normal to you  and your surrounding.
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                                            • Glad to hear you feel this way and that im doing good in socialising my first co to the extend that i do. He really is an incredible animal with behavioural features i have never seen in any of my other dogs. 

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