Hunt Drive (Persistence) Hide teaser under foot or in hands (just
barely showing) and encourage puppy to find.
EXC Digs, mouths, and whines for
OK Nudges and uses paws for toy.
IND Tries halfheartedly or not at
Tug Response Using towel, booda, or rag, tease puppy and allow to grab.
EXC Immediately grabs and tugs
OK Grabs with repeated teasing
and/or encouragement, lets go.
IND Grabs only if repeatedly
teased. Won't hold on.
Test 5 (P&S)
Possessiveness Tester lets go of tug while in puppy's mouth.
EXC Shakes toy to "kill"
it, tries to engage tester to play again.
EXC Shakes toy to "kill"
it, runs away with toy.
OK Runs away with toy, drops soon
IND Drops immediately.
Follow (puppies 3 months & under)--Tester calls puppy and jogs
backwards while clapping softly.
Recall (puppies over 3 months)--Helper restrains dog while tester jogs
backwards and calls dog's name one time.
EXC Runs to tester, ramming
shoulder into tester's leg or jumping up.
EXC Runs to tester and solicits
OK Jogs to tester, nudging or
looking for attention.
IND Jogs to tester & leaves, or
doesn't come at all.
Attention Span Using age appropriate teaser, get dog's attention and
bring teaser to tester's face level. Use teaser sparingly to maintain
eye/ facial contact with puppy for 30 seconds.
EXC Willingly looks at tester's
face and toy for duration. Cocks head to listen.
EXC Watches tester for duration,
looking away briefly if background distractions interfere.
OK Watches tester but needs to be
re-engaged a few times.
IND Easily distracted or unwilling
to look at tester's face.
A few people have had great results working their dogs in herding, agility, and of course
OBEDIENCE competitions! This is a very versatile breed! Some people prefer to
"work" them as THERAPY dogs visiting hospitals, nursing/veteran homes, etc. Just
as their ancestral GSD forefathers were known for their multitude of talents, so is the
Shiloh of today. A companion, YES; but one with superior intelligence and confident enough
to become even more! A true partner; be it for the police officer, the
skier-hiker-camper athlete, or the mom that runs a daycare center!
I just want a good family
companion, what type of temperament should I look for?
First of all you need to understand the terminology used by the
Shiloh Shepherd Dog Club of America, Inc./ISSR breeders. In the world of "dogs"
there are many people that see the same things very differently! A
"Shiloh" person may consider a 120 lb. Male, as small, but a GSD owner
would think he was huge! A Great Dane owner may think that a Chihuahua is tiny,
but a toy breeder may think of that particular one as being "large." The same
holds true when different people label temperaments! Is the cup half full, or
half empty? Be sure you understand the breeders perspective, and exact type of
past experience being utilized for their evaluation!
For example; "soft" to a Fila breeder could
describe a dog that may sometimes allow a stranger to pet him. "hard"
to a Golden breeder could mean that the dog might bark at a stranger! Both of these
breeds have very different dispositions, and their personalities are described within
their own (established) temperament parameters.
The Shiloh Shepherd temperament types (written by the breed founder)
have been published many times over the past few decades. A condensed
version is available in our breed intro.
We have several children ranging in age from 2
months 12 years; what temperament "type" is best for our family?
Within the stable variations of the Shiloh Shepherd temperaments,
all can be FULLY trusted with children! Even the "hardest" dogs that were not
raised with children can be extremely gentle & patient with the worst
offenders! They posses a natural instinct to nurture & protect "little
ones." You may have heard stories of GSDs "herding" a small child
away from the road, or some other danger. This instinct has been passed down for
generations, and actually enables these dogs into becoming amazing babysitters although
the various temperament types may react differently in certain situations.
For example: Your children are playing in the yard, uncle Joe stops
over and notices that your 3 year old is about to knock over the BBQ grill, he lets out a
loud yell as he quickly grabs the child swinging him away from danger.
The Soft dog would probably run over to Uncle Joe, watching to
be sure that the child was returned to the ground safely! If Uncle Joe insisted on holding
on to the child, he may start to get a little upset with Uncle Joe. If the child was upset
or calling for help, he may even jump up on Uncle Joe in an attempt to get the child
released from his grip. If he felt the child could be in danger, then he would get a
little more insistent about having his child "returned" to the ground!
The Medium dog would react pretty much the same way, only he
would be a lot more persistent! He would be "grabbing" at Uncle Joes arm
(or clothing) in an attempt to instigate a quick release! He may even challenge him with a
controlled (warning) display of barking.
The Hard dog would not tolerate such behavior from a
semi-stranger! He would let out a warning bark to let Uncle Joe know that he has but 10
seconds to drop that child, or face the consequences! If his warning went unheeded, he
would take the appropriate action needed to insure the immediate release of his child!
The question is, could someone kidnap your child while in the care of a
soft dog? Probably. What about a medium temperament dog? Maybe, but NEVER when in the care
of a really hard dog J The same holds true for your house,
and other possessions! But, what if the "hard" dog makes a mistake and thinks
that the mail-man is stealing your property? The type of dog you need should be determined
by your lifestyle and ability to properly train/control that dog.
What is the best training method for this breed?
Each dog is an individual and responds better to some types of
stimuli then to others. Positive re-enforcement works well in most situations, although a
"harder" temperament type will need some firm corrections, just to prove you
mean what you say! A good place to start would be to purchase some dog
"behavior" books that can help you better understand certain
instincts that your
dog posses. After that, go straight to child psychology! By treating your puppy the same
way you would a toddler, he will learn to understand your expectations, and
you will be able to develop that "special bond" you have always dreamed of
having with a dog. If you treat him "like a dog" then he will act like one! If
you can really dedicate yourself to raising a "genius" then you should purchase
a copy of Chuck Eisenmann's book STOP, SIT & THINK. You can contact
him directly by calling (541) 679-6667. (He also has a training video available, starring
his famous Littlest Hobo dogs, including the original London!)
But the best training method for your Shiloh is the
Method, developed by the breed founder specifically for this breed.
Should I send my dog off to be professionally
Most "professional trainers" that are not experienced
with this breed could end up doing more harm than good. Since these people earn their
living by training dogs, the more they train and the faster they get their job done, the
more money they will make! You need to understand that the Shiloh is basically a very
sensitive-loyal family dog. When taken away from home (kidnapped) and brought to some
(what they will consider to be) abusive stranger, their first instinct will be to escape!
If you found yourself in a situation like that, would you willingly "obey" your
oppressors? Not unless they had a gun pointing at you, right? Well, that is what the
trainers will need to do, "show that dog who the boss is"! If your dog is very soft
this could easily break his spirit! A harder dog may come back only
a bit psychotic. Rarely, if ever, does the dogs behavior improve. Even if he does
learn to obey certain "robot" commands, it will not last long, once he realizes
that you will not enforce those commands! It is far better to search out a good group
class that you both can attend regularly, maybe even more then one, so that you can get
different "pointers" from a variety of trainers. Purchase several books, go to
some obedience trials and talk to the owners, join a local club that does agility or other
types of training. Get involved with your dog, and you will both benefit from it!