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Taken from another thread, I'm genuinely curious here.

I know that generally when people talk about civil in the dog world, they are referring to a dog who has focus on the man not equipment, willing to engage an unequiped person, and in theory would just as soon bite a guy running around in his boxers as he would a guy running around in a bite suit.

This explanation though is, to me, an "end result" explanation. A fully trained 2 year old dog that has gone thru the appropriate training methods, should engage an unequiped person, but as a puppy they may have been Captain Social.

However, while obviously genetics play a huge role in this, as there are dogs who will bite a sleeve and just do not have the temprement to ever want to engage human flesh -- does it make sense to believe that there are multiple types of civil? Or perhaps just multiple understandings of what someone may consider civil?

For example -- an untrained 8 month old pup that has never been taught anything, who will strain at the end of a leash snapping his teeth at a passive man for no reason other than a desire to bite someone, vs. a dog who is a social friendly pup, grows up to be a friendly but indifferent adult, who has been trained to bite, taught to bite someone without equipment, and has proven himself in the street with actual bites.

The end result is, by the average definition, a civil dog on both counts. However, there's plenty of handler soft police dogs out there. Jeff made a point that a civil dog is a hard dog, and cannot be a handler soft dog by definition. So, is dog A a civil dog? Or is dog B a civil dog? Or is one a natural civil behavior vs. dog B being a learned civil behavior? Or is dog B not civil, even though he will willingly engage and fight a man, but is handler soft?
 

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Interesting thread.

IMO, "civil" is not learned. It's IN the dog, and stems from genetic social aggression, expressed via dominance, territoriality, pack dinamics, and so on.

I'm not including "defense" here, because I see "civil" as forward behavior, ie the dog is willing to initiate fight behaviors as a response to INDIRECT threats. Defensive behavior implies a reaction to a threat ON THE DOG.

The fact that a dog will bite flesh and is not (or is less) equipment oriented, CAN be a product of a dog's level of social aggression, but is very frequently a carry-over from sleeve, suit, agitation...in other words a trained reaction. Showing teeth, etc. CAN also be "civil" behavior, but is also often a result of harassing the dog enough to introduce "defensive" reactions.

If I think a dog is "civil" it's because I see a dog that wants to physically submit me (even if he's self-inhibiting) because I'm too close, because I'm in his space, because I'm looking at him hard, because I "might" be a threat, or competition. I didn't write "bite me", because with a "civil" dog, biting is the next logical step.

My first Malinois bit a bunch of people, but there was no way short of severe physical pressure, to get "teeth" and "growls" out of him. He was very, very friendly. He would only bite on command, and his training was exclusively prey based. My current dog is very friendly, but will self-inhibit if he percieves a possible threat. I never trained him to be "civil". I trained him to CONTROL his "civility". He would try to pick fights at 3 months. With passive decoys, his reaction is to shift on the bite, to try to get under the suit or towards the face and neck. This is increased when the decoy uses a hidden sleeve. However, it's hard for the decoy to remain passive, because he'll push into the bite and put some hurt on. This almost always makes the decoy move.

He has not had a "meat" bite yet, but he spits equipment out of his mouth very quickly, his muzzle work is clear, and his eyes, and position of the head, mouth, tail, ears...all indicate he is very willing to fight.
 

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does it make sense to believe that there are multiple types of civil? Or perhaps just multiple understandings of what someone may consider civil?

Here in lies the problem: There is no globally accepted definition for "civil " in the dog world. Some might consider dog A to be a "hard dog","sharp" dog, having a low threshold, unstable, nervy etc. Some might consider dog B to be lacking, a soft dog, level-headed, stable etc.
 

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If "civil" is accepted as meaning "willing to bite a person off the field and without gear," then with that definition do you (anyone) still say that such a dog is never handler-soft?

It's this fact QUOTE: However, there's plenty of handler soft police dogs out there. END that makes me ask.
 

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Having been a police trainer for many years, I sometimes get confused by terminology. In recent years I've learned that "civil" can mean not equipment fixated. If that's the case then it is an ideal, actually a requisite behavior for a police dog. Few bad guys wear sleeves and suits. In spite of all that, hard or soft, at least in my little world has nothing to do with any of that. It's sensitivity of the dog to the handler. I did say in my little world. Admittedly I don't know all that much about sport. It interests me, and I'm learning little by little. I certain have recognized the differences in terminology however. Civil, again in my little world, is the tolerance a dog has to strangers. Again though, that has nothing to do with hard or soft dogs. There are many soft dogs (my world) that are handler sensitive, need very little compulsion or physical correction or negative punishment for you behavioral purists. Yet it has nothing to do with their ability to perform on the street.

DFrost
 
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"If "civil" is accepted as meaning "willing to bite a person off the field and without gear," then with that definition do you (anyone) still say that such a dog is never handler-soft?"

Connie, as far as my limited experience goes the answer is no.

But there are many people here with more experience and a better understanding of dogs than myself, I could be totally wrong but it's still no to me.
 

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Gerry Grimwood said:
"If "civil" is accepted as meaning "willing to bite a person off the field and without gear," then with that definition do you (anyone) still say that such a dog is never handler-soft?"

Connie, as far as my limited experience goes the answer is no.

But there are many people here with more experience and a better understanding of dogs than myself, I could be totally wrong but it's still no to me.
"No" such a dog is never handler-soft, or "no" you don't still say that?
 

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Quote:However, there's plenty of handler soft police dogs out there. END that makes me ask.

You mean drug dogs? I would hesitate to say that a Po-Po dog is civil. :twisted:

I am thinking of an entirely different creature. Just cause your dog shows his teeth and snaps at a decoy that for whatever reason likes to see this, the dog is not necessarily Civil.

A dog is Civil, or not. Nothing in between that I have seen. I have seen dogs rewarded for threat posturing, but that is all it is.



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Jeff Oehlsen said:
Quote:However, there's plenty of handler soft police dogs out there. END that makes me ask.

You mean drug dogs? I would hesitate to say that a Po-Po dog is civil. :twisted:

I am thinking of an entirely different creature. Just cause your dog shows his teeth and snaps at a decoy that for whatever reason likes to see this, the dog is not necessarily Civil.

A dog is Civil, or not. Nothing in between that I have seen. I have seen dogs rewarded for threat posturing, but that is all it is.
I MEAN "willing to bite a man off the field without equipment." Using that definition, do you maintain that such a dog cannot be handler-soft?
 

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<<<You mean drug dogs? I would hesitate to say that a Po-Po dog is civil.>>>

I've seen single purpose drug dog that were quite hard, being handler specific as was pointed out.

I have a question about your comment about the "po-po" dog however. What exactly do you mean. That you would hesitate to say a police dog is not equipment fixated? Or that a good one is not tolerant of people? Darn terminology.

DFrost
 

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"No" such a dog is never handler-soft, or "no" you don't still say that?"

In general terms I still say no to being handler soft, but as *cough cough* someone else put it Handler specific may come into play.

I will most likely be corrected here but I see that as any handlers idea of what is soft , shovel soft being at the top end.

I like to be in the middle somewhere.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I don't go along with the willing to bite without equipment thing being Civil. This is a trained thing, not what I am talking about.
Thankyou! Thats what I was looking for.

Now, describe the general behavior of your definition of "A Civil Dog" for 200 points. You have 60 seconds, GO!

Assumably a civil dog by your definition does not need any training to be considered a civil dog, right? Or am I way off base here?
 

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Mike Schoonbrood said:
I don't go along with the willing to bite without equipment thing being Civil. This is a trained thing, not what I am talking about.
Thankyou! Thats what I was looking for.

Now, describe the general behavior of your definition of "A Civil Dog" for 200 points. You have 60 seconds, GO!

Assumably a civil dog by your definition does not need any training to be considered a civil dog, right? Or am I way off base here?
what jeff is talking about is social aggression or social dominance, whichever you prefer. it's the dogs need to be top dog in all areas (with other dogs, with people, etc) which also means handler hard. what he means is that it's impossible for a dog with a lot of social aggression to be handler soft.
 

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I also like the term "handler specific" rather then handler soft.
What I'm reading from Jeff then is that we have a difference of what civil means.
My interpretation of it is what I originally said. A willingness to bite for real without equiptment.
What I'm reading from Jeff is that civil is more "social aggression", as per Tim's comments.
Ccorrect me if I'm wrong Jeff.
With my defination, could muzzle work determine if the dog is truly willing to bite for real?
I'm still thinking that a dog that is willing to bite it's handler is often from a lack of early training in leadership.
Many sport and PSD dogs are purchased as adults, and have established their true personalities. I think most here will agree that buying a trained sport dog, or becomming a PSD handler doesn't mean that a handler has a real handle on training or leadership. Both can be great handlers, but lack the leadership to keep the dog from becomming handler aggressive. Just controlling the dog in it field of sport or street work doesn't mean they are good leaders.
 
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