Working dogs, whether they are used by police, customs or the military, must be able to withstand special stresses. Therefore, exceptionally good, selected dogs are needed for this purpose.
But what are actually the characteristics according to which one selects a service dog in order to be able to train him. Under the term nature fall all the innate and acquired physical and mental abilities, qualities, and abilities which the dog brings along genetically or has acquired and which regulate its behavior.
The prerequisites are:
Above average functional capacity of the musculoskeletal system
Above average functional capacity of the internal organs
Above average functional capacity of the sensory organs
Above average functional capacity of the nervous system
The experience resulting from this can be broken down into three areas as follows:
These areas are anchored in the genetic material of each individual dog, i.e. are genetic traits. The constitution depends on the breed and of course can be very different between individual dogs. It manifests itself in the willingness of the individual dog to react, which in turn determines its ability to perform, which in turn is the basis for:
Hardness or softness character
Temperament is the dog’s response to various environmental stimuli.
Hardness means not being affected by unpleasant experiences and accepting them and has nothing to do with undergoing an exaggerated exercise in the protection Service.
Softness means the dog is strongly affected by pain over a longer period, negative experiences and experiences that have created fear. Perseverance means bringing an instinctive act to an end, overcoming physical and psychological efforts, and re-pressing the symptoms of fatigue.
Predisposition for instinct and drive
This is also extremely breed dependent and has an individual driver. Urges serve important life functions and, as we have al-ready discussed in the chapter on emotions, the most diverse factors are responsible for urges and behavior. Instincts are congenital and anchored in the hereditary memory. We can also speak of regulatory mechanisms. Domestication and un-natural husbandry can lead to an atrophy of instincts.
The performance of the brain and the resulting psychic abilities form the learning ability of the dog and thus its ability to associate and combine. The dog can store good or bad memories of occurrences and link these with later corresponding perceptions, grasp connections (behavior to praise and blame) and adapt its behavior accordingly. With the help of these abilities, the dog collects his experiences and evaluates them.
Efficiency depends on very different environmental influences and the dog’s general relationship with humans. It also depends on the qualities of the dog’s coach, e.g. how they can bring out the best in a dog.
Emotion, Drive and Behavior
There is no other term in the dog world that has been so fiercely discussed and argued about for years as the term “drive”, and the various parties are subject to violent verbal at-tacks because of their different points of view. To this day, the drive concept has still not been clarified by science. One can only borrow here from findings in human medicine.
The previous understanding was that drive is caused by a kind of internal stimulus that had to come from an organ.
Specific tissue changes in an organ, triggered by a stimulus, would lead to the organ undergoing a certain deprivation and the drive developing from this. Further research has been carried out into this and it has now been established that this assumption cannot be correct.
This has been shown when the concept of hunger or hunger-related behavior has been studied. One study featured a dog whose stomach was removed and nevertheless determined afterwards that despite lacking a stomach, hunger-referred behavior remained. The dog still felt hungry and displayed this behavior. This basically contradicted the hypothesis that the drive as a stimulus arises from a tissue change. Drive was henceforth described as a central condition.
Further research was supposed to prove that certain stimuli that the dog is exposed to, for example interesting or threatening objects, cause an interested approach or an avoidance reaction in the dog. It was found that the approximation first presupposes a state of excitement. And this state of excite-ment then motivates the approach or the avoidance reactions.
Let us first try to further clarify the concept of emotion and instinct. Science says:
More about it you can find it in the Magazine....