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How do you agitate a dog in social aggression? What is the difference between agitating in social aggression or in defensive aggression? Is this just an automatic temprement thing, where if a dog is socially aggressive they give that response opposed to a defensive response when faced wtih threatening body language from the decoy? Or is there a different technique you use? During agitation, how can you tell/what body language does a dog display in Social Aggression vs. Defensive Aggression?
 

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Terminology

MIke,

I'm not sure how you are using the terms, social and defensive aggression. I'm more familiar with prey and defense and active aggression. Active agression is where the dog likes to bring the
fight to the man. Jago is mostly prey. He'll get serious if he is pushed
enough, but he does fine in prey. Dubheasa is mostly active aggression.
The decoy pushes, she pushes back. He puts pressure on her, her drive
goes up. She is fun to watch, but hard to control :)
I'm happy if the Decoy just does prey or defense moves and doesn't
worry too much about what drive the dog is in?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I first heard the term social aggression from Koos at Tiekerhook kennels, a test I've been shown for this in pups is to cause discomfort to the pup by the sides of their necks and seeing the reaction, a pup that gets pissed off and aggressive trying to get revenge on you is displaying social aggression. Andres Martin made a comment recently about only working his dogs in social aggression without prey movements... I was kinda curious what the decoy does to make the dog react in social aggression opposed to defensive aggression, or whether social aggression is merely the reaction a socially aggressive dog gives when presented with defensive pressure. A socially aggressive dog like my lil dutchie will bite in serious aggression at 5 months old (and even younger, but I only started her helper work at 5 months) if the decoy were to challenge her.... but we work her in prey right now without any tugging while she is teething... as she gets older and her teeth all set then I'm sure my trainer will challenge her during preywork since she is a dog that can clearly handle the challenge. My guess is that social aggression is brought out using defensive/challenging pressure from the decoy, rather than side of body presentation and side to side movement.
 

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Hi Mike

I had never heard those terms before. Thanks for the explanation.
It sounds like social aggression could be a form of defense drive?
Defense is fight or flight, yes? A strong dog will fight when presented with
pressure. A weaker dog will fight if cornered (backtied/onleash) but will
turn tail if he can. A very weak dog will go belly up or hide behind the
handler? An actively aggressive dog will go looking for an opportuninty to fight :)
 

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social aggression

Mike
First of all, in today's K-9 world their are veryyyyy few truly socially aggressive dogs. Society has dictated pretty much that they don't exist. A dog cannot be worked in "social aggression" if he/she is not a socially aggressive dog.

In my opinion Koos is maybe mixing his English up a bit? It sounds to me that he is eliciting an aggressive response do to the pain the he has put on the pup. A socially aggressive pup would get aggressive just by being handled.

Social aggression is the only truly active form of aggression. In other words it takes no real action (stimulus) from the person getting bit, to stimulate the dog to bite him/her. It is a dog that puts everything in a social order and everyone comes after "hopefully" the handler and then the dog. If said dog does not like the way you walked up to him, you will get bit. An anti social dog can be taught to accept strangers, but he will never no matter what kind of training you do become a "social" dog. A social order can also be established if, say the dog and stranger go head to head and either completely submits to the other, then you will have a social order. They tend to be just aggressive to strangers and are not good dogs for inexperienced handler.
Their is a biological reason for this drive. In the wild it would be to maintain order in a pack and to drive off equally strong opposition.

To elicit a defensive reaction in a dog, all you have to do is threaten them, make them worry. Defense is worry, it is a fear. Although I am sure some people will not like hearing that term fear used. Especially if we are talking about a police dog. It does not matter, it is still a fear based form of aggression. It is what the dog does with it that matters. Forward to the threat or sit and watch and see, or run the other way?

This is not the same as a dominant dog either. Dominance in my opinion is more of a behavior anyway. A dominant dog will like to posture and try to over power an adversary. In bite work he will maybe try to knock you down, climb on you, etc. Rott's were full of this behavior, they did not like someone standing over them, they would growl, etc and if it is a strong defensive dog, said stranger will get bit. But, if he is a dominant, weak defensive dog, he will just growl and act like he wants to tear you up, but somehow just can't get the strength to do it. Difference being a truly socially aggressive dog would never let it get that far, he would just whack you and more then likely not give to many warnings. Which makes people believe they are not stable dogs, but they are, as long as you have someone that can read this type of dog correctly and can handle that type of dog and knows what he is walking around with.


The only problem with discussions like this is, many people have different takes on drives, what they are and aren't. So, these are my opinions and beliefs which I stole from someone else :D

Doug
 

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social aggression is merely the reaction a socially aggressive dog gives when presented with defensive pressure.
Mike, I agree with that, but would like to add that defensive pressure is not the only trigger, although it was the initial one. The dog can be conditioned to respond in social aggression to a variety of cues.

Doug, good post.
 

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Doug Wendling

Welcome, and a very good post – and icebreaker – hope you will do more in the future…

Mike, like your self I was baffled with this “new Terminology” and now I can actually say that I know more, on what it is all about.

Thanks to Doug and Martin.

Honestly, we are into drives here – it makes more sense – especially to a K9 cops like me…HaHa. :oops:
 

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Me too! If this terminoligy gets any harder to understand, I may enroll to go back to school. :? I understand now what Mike was explaining.
 

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drives

I think any easy way to look at some of these terms is to put the terms to use in regard to people you know or people you have come across? This is something that has helped me over the years with understanding these terms.
For years I struggled to get a handle on the mystical world of "drives" prey, drive defense drive, fight drive, etc. My favorite over the years is, my question to many trainers, how will I know the dog is working in "fight drive"? Or even has "fight drive"? Trainers answer; well you will know it when you see it, WHAT????? :eek:
Once again looking at these terms in regards to people has helped me simplify all this crap to a useable, provable (provable, meaning I can show someone while I am working a dog exactly what a dog is doing and why) terminology, for myself and other people. Take it for what it is worth? I stole these terms anyway....... :D

Social aggressive, or anti social- I am sure you have come across people that would just as soon punch you in the face then say Hi? Same as a dog.

Dominance behavior, A person that likes to be in control, likes to throw his/her weight around. Again same can be said about the dominant dog.

Defense drive/ Strong aggressive defense drive, Here again it can be seen as something close to anti social, but in defense something or someone has to stimulate that response. Where as in "social aggression" the acting out (the aggression) came from what looks like almost no where.
But, in regards to people think about someone that is ready to fight as soon as someone dares to threaten him in the slightest manner and goes through with the blows.

Defense drive again, but strong passive, someone that is quiet and reserve and may put up with a lot of BS, but push comes to shove the fight is on. Same as this type of dog.

Defense drive again, but weak defense or flight. I am sure we have all seen the big mouth that acts like he wants to fight everyone as soon as he is threatened and as soon as someone takes him up on that, he shuts up. Or someone swings and then he is the guy watching the brawl hiding in the restroom.
Same with the dog, acts tough maybe even looks tough, but push comes to shove he is gone.

Doug
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Is it possible that people who talk about fight drive are actually seeing social aggression? Or is that supposed to be something entirely different?
 

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Mike Schoonbrood said:
Is it possible that people who talk about fight drive are actually seeing social aggression? Or is that supposed to be something entirely different?
mike, i think he's only partially on to something. to me social aggression requires no "outward" stimulus. this is just the dog wanting to be dominant among people, dogs, etc. just the fact of a person who tries to stand over the dog, walk in front of him, these are things that will trigger the dogs aggression. whereas defence requires the dog feel threatened. that his/her well being is in jeopardy. social aggression is just the dog wanting to be pack leader at all times. these are the dogs that are generally "one handler" dogs. they take a long time to "bond" with and will probably for the rest of the dogs life, challenge their owner on a regular basis. my trainer speaks of a doberman he had. he said like clockwork every 6 months or so, he'd act out and have to be "dealt with". this is what i would call social aggression.

these terms are all subject to interpretation. the important thing is that your training group are all on the same page with these definitions...
 

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Tim
I am not sure if this was in response to my post?

mike, i think he's only partially on to something. to me social aggression requires no "outward" stimulus. this is just the dog wanting to be dominant among people
If it was, I thought my first post clearly states that social aggression needs no trigger stimulus and it is the only form of aggression that needs no trigger stimulus. And a dominant dog does not equal a socially aggressive dog. They can be tied into the same package, but they do not have to be.

The problem that some people have when they do have a socially aggressive dog and the dog keeps challenging them is they themselves have allowed the door to open and allowed the dog to think a change in social order is possible. If the dog does not see the "door" open these challenges will not take place.

these terms are all subject to interpretation. the important thing is that your training group are all on the same page with these definitions...
Tim, I think it needs to go beyond the training group. Some of these terms have been labeled and talked about by scientists for years. It is only in the K9 world that we come up with many different meanings of a set scientific term. I am not sure why that is, to me it is a bit baffling? If you talk to a biologist say in Yellowstone Park about Bear behavior and then you talk to a biologist in Glacier National park about bear behavior, they will use the same terms to describe the same thing. Same goes for Marine Biologists. So, why is it that the terms that are used in the K-9 world are so open to interpretation? I want this perfectly clear I am not trying to be difficult here, just asking a question that baffles me. A comment reply to drive discussions is it is just semantics, or they are open to interpretation. This seems to be the answer to everything every time discussions on drives come up. Well, you use it like this, but we use it like that? I just don't get it?

Biologists say to label something a drive it has to have a biological meaning to the survival of the species. It also has to have a beginning and and end goal, i.e. social aggression in a pack of wild dogs. Lets use this as an example; It starts when another strong male comes into contact with the leader of said pack of dogs, this is the starting point, their will be a fight unless one of them completely yields and submits to the other. The end goal is to drive one of the males away from the pack so the strongest will have breeding rights within that pack.
The biological significance of the social aggression in this specific example is the strongest get to breed assuring the future of the species.

I think discussions on drives take on a great deal of meaning. Getting to know and understand the different terms and drives and how to use them in training is super critical to a persons ability to being a dog trainer or a very good dog trainer.

Mike, I think this is where these discussion always get sticky, fight drive. Let me ask you what you think. What biological significance would their be to a dog just wanting to start fights for the sake of fighting with other dogs? (and I am not talking about the twisted breeding practices that went on in the dog fighting world. That is not natural, that is something that was man made) What is the end goal? To have a 20 and 0 record?
But, this is the way many people define fight drive. The dogs desire to actively fight or engage someone for the fun of it. The forwardness of prey, with the seriousness of defense? Sounds confusing? Sounds like a combination of both drives and not a single "fight drive".
I personally don't believe their is a "fight drive" that exists on it's own as a separate drive. I think "fight drive" would be better termed maybe as "fight package"? I think it is a combination of what nature has given the dog in the form of drives and temperament. The fuller a dogs package is the stronger the dog. Say the dog is socially aggressive, he has strong prey drive combined with strong active defense drive and throw a little dominance in there and maybe some frustration aggression and you have a very nice well rounded dog. A very nice "fight package" if you will? If you have a dog that has strong prey drive, but he is a weak defensive dog and that is about it, you don't have a well rounded dog and therefore you are missing some components to this total package.

Just my opinions.

Doug
 

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doug, i agree 100% on your "fight drive" comments. can't say it any better than that...

as for why these terms are so different...you can't compare it to biologists. we're talking about behavior here. you cannot measure or quantify them as you can with a "science". if you have to compare it to something, compare it to psychology. even though their human subjects are able to talk to them, psychologists agree about as often as k9 trainers. with dogs, we don't even have the benefit of being able to talk to them! like i said, i believe it is only important that those who you train with are on the same page. the rest of us can argue about it on the internet!
 

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My view of fight drive...which I believe to exist...is that it indeed does help the species survive. In pitbull circles it's called gameness, in bullfights it's called nobility, in horses it's called heart, in people it's called courage. Indeed...it's what delays or prevents one from giving up, and enables one to carry forth "social agression" longer and in a more intense fashion than the competitor, even in the face of pain...even if the competitor is bigger, etc.

Social Agression makes the conflict possible, fight drive makes it unavoidable.

In no way is it uncontrolled.

I might agree that it's not a drive, but rather a character trait.
 

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OK, I kind of burn out on these threads pretty quick. So I will leave you all with this. For the young to the dog game and looking for great information on drives and how to use them in dog training buy Helmut Raiser's book Der Schutzhund. The only thing that is kind of out dated in the book is the availability of some of the types of dogs he talks about in the book. This was written in the mid to late 70's and that is a lot of dog years. I would be willing to bet that this book will give you better and more acurate information then talking to the majority of the "dog trainers", "training directors" in the US.

Doug Wendling
 

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Doug Wendling said:
OK, I kind of burn out on these threads pretty quick. So I will leave you all with this. For the young to the dog game and looking for great information on drives and how to use them in dog training buy Helmut Raiser's book Der Schutzhund. The only thing that is kind of out dated in the book is the availability of some of the types of dogs he talks about in the book. This was written in the mid to late 70's and that is a lot of dog years. I would be willing to bet that this book will give you better and more acurate information then talking to the majority of the "dog trainers", "training directors" in the US.

Doug Wendling
Or Armin Winkler interprets Helmut Raiser in SchH Village:
http://www.schutzhundvillage.com/drives.html
 

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Connie
What Armin has on the web site is no where near the complete book. The book is VERY much worth getting, some may find they need to read it and reread it until you start to understand what Dr. Raiser is talking about. This book did a tremendous amount of explaining things to me, things trainers I asked were not able to explain or they would make it sound so mystical and confusing you got now where anyway.

Doug Wendling
 

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Doug Wendling said:
Connie
What Armin has on the web site is no where near the complete book. The book is VERY much worth getting, some may find they need to read it and reread it until you start to understand what Dr. Raiser is talking about. This book did a tremendous amount of explaining things to me, things trainers I asked were not able to explain or they would make it sound so mystical and confusing you got now where anyway.

Doug Wendling
I'm sorry, Doug; it was kinda tongue-in-cheek, and also kinda
serious (because Armin Winkler's words were what made me
get the book).

I definitely did *not* mean to say that it was a substitute. But
reading Winkler's words about Raiser does demonstrate that there's
a great source for clarification of every term that's been brought
up in this thread.
 

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Doug Wendling said:
I would be willing to bet that this book will give you better and more acurate information then talking to the majority of the "dog trainers", "training directors" in the US.

Doug Wendling
so we should disregard all of your long posts and just read the book?
 
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