Most Endearing and Annoying Habits
German Shepherd Dog Survey
Paul & Welly & Beowulf & Montrose
"The Rin-Tin-Tin Twin" & "Baywatch" & "The Old Grump"
In the GSD Survey conducted in July, 1995 respondents were asked to describe their dogs' most endearing and most annoying habits. This document lists respondents' answers to those items.
Responses were classified into discrete categories with multiple classification. For example an aggressive behaviour could also be scored as a protective behaviour. In addition respondents listed several or more habits in one category. For example an owner would list that their dog was very intelligent, affectionate and was playful under endearing habits. Such an answer would be listed in the three categories covering those subjects.
Content analysis tends to be very subjective in nature, largely dependent on the knowledge (or lack of), experience and background of the persons(s) examining the 'data'. I have included the actual responses and you can examine them and develop your own scoring scheme if you want. The current classification was developed by myself and other family members.
A total of 10 categories were developed that covered both positive and negative attributes of those categories.
The following categories apply:1. LOYALTY/PROTECTION Positive- very loyal and exhibits protective behaviour. Negative- overly protective. 2. EATING/DRINKING Positive- self-explanatory Negative- over eats, messy, glutton, hog, etc. 3. AFFECTIONATE Positive- cuddling, wakes you up, kisses, licks, greetings Negative- overly affectionate, etc. 4. BEHAVIOUR/TRAINING Positive- Follows commands, physical behaviours (lies on back to have tummy rubbed), high stepping dog, not afraid of loud noises, strange situations,etc. Negative- Above reversed or to extreme. 5. FRIENDLY/AGGRESSIVE Positive- Loves to meet people, laid back around strangers, good around other dogs or animals. Negative- Above reversed. 6. PLAY Positive- Loves to play Negative- Takes it to an extreme- wants to play all the time. 7. INTELLIGENCE Positive- Demonstrates an ability to understand what you want and then do it. Negative- Demonstrates an ability to understand what you want and then not do it. 8. INDEPENDENCE Positive- Strong emotional stability. Not scared of anything. Willing to go out there and find out what's going on. Strange situations don't bother them. Negative- Fearful, strange situations bother them, neurotic, etc. 9. ATTENTION Positve- Love attention Negative- demand too much attention 10. OTHER Miscellaneous
CATEGORY POSITIVE NEGATIVE 1. Loyalty/Protection 11 10 2. Eating/Sleeping/Etc. 0 9 3. Affection 43 5 4. Behaviour/Training 13 27 5. Aggressive/Friendly 13 15 6. Play 9 8 7. Intelligence 9 9 8. Independence 8 3 9. Attention 3 6 10. Other 1 3
- Numbers beg that they be analyzed and from this we make conclusions. However, these numbers are derived from a subjective evaluation and may not be really what is going on. As well the sample is restricted to mainly GSDer's and those who have net access.
- THIS IS NOT A RANDOM SAMPLE.
- Given all these restrictions what we love about our dogs are:a) Their affection (they love to lick us) b) Their behaviour/training c) Their friendliness d) Their play (throw this ball for me) e) Their intelligence
What we hate is:
a) Their behaviour training (don't follow orders) b) Their over aggressivness (chase cats, face off postman) c) Their over protectiveness (too smart for your own good) d) Their intelligence (While you are away I'll amuse myself) e) Their I'm playing why aren't you f) Physical Behaviours
What it boils down to is that GSD's are smart and active.
- HERE ARE THE RESPONSES:
- Most endearing habit: Follow my wife everywhere to protect her Most annoying habit: follow my wife everywhere Most endearing habit: Sleeping on her back Most annoying habit: Eating poop Most endearing habit: Loves to be petted Most annoying habit: Uncivilized in the house and a food scavenger Most endearing habit: Morning greeting ritual of snuggling Most annoying habit: Jumping on my lap uninvited (when the Big Kids are after her) Most endearing habit:as soon as I am really awake in the morning she walks over for a lick Most annoying habit:barking at stuff outside Most endearing habit: TOTALLY DEVOTED BAR ALL ELSE Most annoying habit: TOTALLY DEVOTED BAR ALL ELSE(SOMETIME OVER PROTECTIVE) Most endearing habit: LOVES TO GIVE/RECEIVE HUGS Most annoying habit: WILL SMACK YOU IN THE FACE WITH HIS PAWS IF YOU AREN'T PAYING ATTENTION TO HIM Most endearing habit: LOVES TO SNUGGLE Most annoying habit: WHEN CHASING BAVO DOESN'T CARE IF SHE RUNS IN TO YOU Most endearing habit: Friendliness: bestower of many licks Most annoying habit: Barking while we're on phone or in bathroom Most endearing habit: Gets in armchair, puts paws on armrest, and rests head on paws...adorable! Most annoying habit: Jumping on bed when alarm goes off Most endearing habit: A big lovable guy with a beautiful personality who loved to play Most annoying habit: Stubborn; very vocal Most endearing habit: Very inventive, ingenious, creative, full of surprises. Most annoying habit: Stubborn; very vocal Most endearing habit: Never even thinks about going potty in the house. Most annoying habit: She keeps growing up! (sniff sniff) Most endearing habit: Very protective Most annoying habit: Pottied in the house Most endearing habit: Rests her chin on your lap. Most annoying habit: Eats too much Most endearing habit: Woo woo's for luvin's, very affectionate Most annoying habit: Can't stop moving! Most endearing habit: The way he places himself between me and others, especially people whom he doesn't know. Most annoying habit: He paws me when he wants attention. This can be painful. Most endearing habit: Sleeps in my bed and snuffles into my ear, consoling me and making me laugh. Most annoying habit: Eats everything in sight! Especially non-food items. Most endearing habit: oh heavens! Everything from gardening to hovering Most annoying habit: deliberately choosing to ignore a command Most endearing habit: cuddling :) Most annoying habit: whining when he doesn't get his way! Most endearing habit: doing anything for attention Most annoying habit: doing anything for attention Most endearing habit: Checking on "her" pet owners Most annoying habit: Waking us up at 3AM to go outside. Most endearing habit: ball play by herself--she pounces on her ball and sends it scooting. Most annoying habit: aggressive barking at everyone and everything she feels doesn't belong in her vicinity Most endearing habit: The most affectionate boy ever, a real snuggler. Most annoying habit: Has to eat everything in sight. Most endearing habit: Affectionate, always ready to play, or swim, or... Most annoying habit: Prey drive. She's hard on the fingers. Most endearing habit: Steadfast companion, always at my side. Most annoying habit: Growling at strangers that push at her. Most endearing habit: The best with kids and older people. A talker. Most annoying habit: Wants to be alpha bitch. Most endearing habit: kissing & clacking her teeth Most annoying habit: jumping & biting the top of your head as you walk thru the yard Most endearing habit: kissing Most annoying habit: throwing her toy in your lap & barking to have you throw it Most endearing habit: guardian protector & master of the females Most annoying habit: picky eater at times Most endearing habit: Putting his head on couch arm while waiting to have the ball thrown. Most annoying habit: Dropping the ball on the keyboard after he's been told no more ball! Most endearing habit: Running from anywhere in the house to greet me when I get home. Most annoying habit: Taking up half the kingsize bed, sprawled in the middle so she gets a good night's sleep and we suffer Most endearing habit: She waits to go downstairs in the morning until I get down. Most annoying habit: Yodelling Most endearing habit: Lying on her back doing pushups in the air. Most annoying habit: Lunge, snap, bark routine at strangers. Most endearing habit: When she puts her ears back and tucks her butt when she wags her tail to greet me. Most annoying habit: Likes to eat cat shit Most endearing habit: His sad eyes and drooping mouth when he is begging for something really good Most annoying habit: Mouthing and being rough when playing Most endearing habit: licking my nose Most annoying habit: peeing on the carpet Most endearing habit:his sweetness Most annoying habit: curiosity in my sex life Most endearing habit:bathroom visits Most annoying habit:none-This is the perfect dog Most endearing habit: snuggling up to give me nose pokes Most annoying habit: pestering the cat Most endearing habit: sleeping in odd positions Most annoying habit: obnoxious vocalizing Most endearing habit: He woo-woos when we do. Most annoying habit: Torments our 10 yr old deaf Scottish Terrier Most endearing habit: Loves me and shows me by using her ears as part of her
speaking/emotions Most annoying habit: Tries to wake me up sometimes (after I
have hit the snooze button) by licking my face Most endearing habit: She's Nosey, and has to Lick Everything! Most annoying habit: She has to Lick Everything! Most endearing habit: likes to snuggle Most annoying habit: won't stop snuggling Most endearing habit: staring and barking when he wants something Most annoying habit: go thru legs and boinking you in the privates Most endearing habit: running around with something in his mouth Most annoying habit: Jumping on the bed in the morning and rubbing his eyes. Most endearing habit: When I lie down on the sofa to rest or watch TV, she nuzzles up to me and burrows her head under the covers or next to my face as if to say "Can I come up and cuddle?" Most annoying habit: Vicious barking and lunging at any bicyclist, motorcyclist or pedestrian that comes within 50 feet of the car whenever we take a ride. (We're working on breaking this habit). Most endearing habit: total devotion to me Most annoying habit: dog aggressive Most endearing habit: extremely intelligent Most annoying habit: escape artist Most endearing habit: friendliness Most annoying habit: none Most endearing habit: very vocal, intensely protective, very smart Most annoying habit: very low pain threshold, very neurotic Most endearing habit: very affectionate when she knows you well Most annoying habit: afraid of everything new Most endearing habit: Just neat to have around. Most annoying habit: None as of now Most endearing habit: big time snuggler Most annoying habit: removes rubber tip from all door stops in house Most endearing habit: likes to snuggle Most annoying habit: won't stop snuggling Most endearing habit: running around with something in his mouth Most endearing habit: tucks her bottom, and runs full throttle, whenever she sees or smells me, headon into me, stops and jumps up to kiss directly in front of me. Most annoying habit: very sensitive, spends a lot of time hiding under desks and tables-maybe due to being dumped at around 8 weeks of age. Most endearing habit: very maternal towards kittens Most annoying habit: rarely leaves the couch Most endearing habit: gets so excited when our male Kuvasz comes in from outside or from a show, loves him to death and just talks to him all the time Most annoying habit: extremely pushy for constant attention Most endearing habit: loves to lay on her back with her feet up in the air Most annoying habit: afraid of loud noises Most endearing habit: very maternal towards baby animals Most annoying habit: a bit too territorial, hasn't developed his brains yet on how to guard properly Most endearing habit: twists her head like a goose when she plays Most annoying habit: slobbery puppy and loves to wipe her mouth on your clothes Most endearing habit: always slapping her paws at you Most annoying habit: won't listen Most endearing habit: Listening to commands (most of the time) Most annoying habit: Jumping up on the table/bed (front paws only) Most endearing habit: If somebody cries, she comes running to give the person a few kisses. Most annoying habit: Whines a lot Most endearing habit: greets with ball in his mouth all the time Most annoying habit: likes to stick close to people when they are walking Most endearing habit: Nosing me while I doing paper work wanting to go work/play Most annoying habit: same as above Most endearing habit: Doing her baby seal impression Most annoying habit: Sticking her wet nose in my face 10 minutes before the alarm goes off. Most endearing habit: I've only had her a week can't tell Most annoying habit: None (?) Most endearing habit: This 98# GSD sits "Pretty" with paws crossed on his hind legs trying to look like a puppy for a cookie. Most annoying habit: chasing opossum and birds in the yard. Most endearing habit: cuddling up on your side whenever I sit down. Most annoying habit: ripping up the house when there is a storm. Most endearing habit: waking me up with kisses in the morning. Most annoying habit: barking at everything. Most endearing habit: She decides that she has to go into her crate anytime I shower. I only have the crate now because she still likes to use it. Most annoying habit: She thinks I can cure thunder storms; so she wakes me up to make them go away. Most endearing habit: very affectionate Most annoying habit: very affectionate Most endearing habit: very friendly Most annoying habit: hates cats Most endearing habit: eager to please Most annoying habit: very insecure Most endearing habit: snuggling beside my feet Most annoying habit: prefers to avoid men (including my husband) Most endearing habit: affectionate Most annoying habit: high strung and quite mouthy Most endearing habit: independence Most annoying habit: likes to bully his kennelmate (whichever female is with him) Most endearing habit: very gentle Most annoying habit: likes to be boss Most endearing habit: can be very friendly Most annoying habit: quite possessive and aggressive Most endearing habit: very playful on her walks Most annoying habit: very mouthy Most endearing habit: loves affection Most annoying habit: very timid with strangers Most endearing habit: likes to snuggle Most annoying habit: letting her brothers push her around Most endearing habit: her friendliness Most annoying habit: fairly stubborn Most endearing habit: "Talking" personality Most annoying habit: Noisiness Most endearing habit: Loyalty Most annoying habit: Bitchiness with Xano Most endearing habit: Focus Most annoying habit: Circling around rather than coming directly. Most endearing habit: Loves to cuddle Most annoying habit: Get's mad at you if you leave town and don't take her with you. Then makes messes right in front of you for a few days. Most endearing habit: Will turn even the worst small dog hater into a fan. Thinks he's 150 lbs. Most annoying habit: "The Terrorist", Loves to dig in flower beds and attacks our 75 lbs. Chessie Most endearing habit: Fiercely loyal Most annoying habit: Happiest when licking you Most endearing habit: her sweetness with Everyone, esp. children Most annoying habit: barking at the other dogs to keep them in line Most endearing habit: Very sweet, gentle and funny Most annoying habit: sometimes barks when she is left at home, but another dog gets to leave w. owner Most endearing habit: Affectionate and funny Most annoying habit: Lunges/barks at smaller animals Most endearing habit: Sweet and calm Most annoying habit: escape artist Most endearing habit: Curling up on my shoulder and the back of the sofa while I sit in the corner of the sofa. Most annoying habit: Licking/eating the carpet Most endearing habit: Sitting in my lap -- all 50 lbs of her! Most annoying habit: Barking Most endearing habit: Cuddling on the bed. Most annoying habit: Trying to eat all the food Most endearing habit: high stepping prancing trot while heeling , zest for life. Most annoying habit: barks at other dogs when she is in her crate Most endearing habit: wants to be good, no resistance to anything I ask him to do Most annoying habit: eats rocks and dirt Most endearing habit: is a good girl now but Most annoying habit: she was very wild as a young dog Most endearing habit: has "charm" Most annoying habit: hits front of crate with his feet when other dogs approach - huge banging noise Most endearing habit: gets us up every morning with ear licks and nibbles Most annoying habit: same as above but on weekends Most endearing habit: has a very mournful expression Most annoying habit: bugging our 13 yr. old border collie mix
German Shepherd Dog Survey Results
- Background & Methodology:
- In July, 1995 a survey of GSD (German Shepherd Dog) owners who subscribe to the GSD List Server located at Latrobe University in Australia was conducted. The survey was conducted in order to:
a) compile a statistical profile of GSD owners on the server
b) examine whether or not GSD owners varied significantly from other breed owners in various personality traits.
Messages were posted both to firstname.lastname@example.org and rec.dogs.pets on the USENET asking interested persons to contact the researcher. Two research instruments were developed, one for GSD owners and one for other breed owners. Survey instruments were distributed on request.
A total of 98 surveys were distributed and a total of 77 responses were received (71 GSD owners and 6 other breed owners). The most recent information indicates that as of July there were approximately 178 persons subscribed to the GSD server yielding a response rate of 40% (71/178). Assuming that there was no response bias and that this was a random sample of GSD net users the confidence interval is +/-6% and the same estimates would be obtained 95 times out of every 100 surveys run.
Normally response rates of 60% or more provide some measure of assurance that responses are generally unbiased (sic there is no difference between those who answered the questionnaire and those who did not). The 40% response rate does raise some concerns with respect to response biases. As part of the research process it is often worthwhile comparing the selected sample statistics against the population statistics (gender, age, education, income, etc.). If the percentage distributions are comparable then you can have more confidence in you sample being representative of the population you are studying.
The only statistic that was available for comparison was gender and it was derived from the roster (129 on the list as of July, 1995). The sample contained 27% males and the roster contained 30% female thus providing some evidence of representativeness (at least on gender lines).
The other problem that emerged was the low number of 'other breed' owners who responded (6). Normal inferential statistics employed in testing differences between groups produce unstable test statistics. To overcome this special inferential statistics were employed to test differences between groups (SPSS Exact Tests and Monte Carlo Significance- those of you who want a more technical explanation as to how these tests operate let me know).
Here are the results couched in a series of questions and answers.Q. We know how many people responded to the survey. But how many GSD's does this represent? A. The 71 GSDer's owned a total of 271 GSD's of which 45% were male and 55% were female. The median number of GSD's owned was 2 per respondent. Here's the distribution: Number of GSD's Owned Number of Persons ===================== ================= One Dog 28 ( 40%) Two Dogs 15 ( 21%) Three Dogs 15 ( 21%) Four to Ten Dogs 9 ( 13%) Over Ten Dogs 3 ( 5%) Total 71 (100%) Sixteen respondents reported owning other breeds as well. Q. A double question here. What are our reasons for owning GSD's and how do those reasons for owning compare to the other breed owners? A. In the table below is the summary of the reasons for owning. Note that respondents gave multiple reasons. Reasons For Owning Reasons GSD Owners Other Breed Sig. ======= ========== =========== ==== Companion/Pet 93 (41%) 6 ( 40%) NO Breeding 42 (18%) 3 ( 20%) N0 Competition 42 (18%) 3 ( 20%) NO Working 7 ( 3%) 0 ( 0%) YES Security 45 (20%) 6 ( 40%) YES Hunting 0 ( 0%) 0 ( 0%) NO Total Reasons 229 (100%) 18 (100%) The most frequently occurring reason for both groups was 'companion/pet'. The second most frequent reason given for both groups was for security/protection. While this occurred 20% of the time for GSDer's it occurred 40% of the time for other breed owners. While this may appear to be counter-intuitive there is a plausible explanation dealing with personality types. The only other reason to exhibit a statistically significant difference was with respect to 'working'. However, the difference of 3% is not great. The 'Sig.' column indicates whether or not the differences in the frequency of reasons given occurred by chance or represent 'real' differences. Two significant differences emerge. The other breed owners were more likely to have their dogs for security reasons and less likely to have them as working dogs (differences were significant at the .05 level- there were 95 chances in 100 that the observed differences did not occur randomly.) Q. Are there any important differences between GSD owners and other breed owners? Yes there were several differences. The 24 attitudinal questions that you were asked were designed to measure several underlying concepts. While there were 9 conceptual measures only 5 were usable (small sample size made some concepts unreliable. The 5 conceptual measures were: a) Outgoing type of person (extroverted) b) Involved in community c) Optimistic d) Concern with crime e) Religiousness These five factors were examined by group (GSD vs. other breed owners). Significant differences occurred on all 5 factors. The results are summarized below: % of Respondents Agreeing or Strongly Agreeing ============================================== Item: GSD Owners Other Breed Sig. ===== ========== =========== ==== Outgoing 36% 80% Yes Involved In Community 39% 80% Yes Optimism 75% 50% Yes Concern With Crime 38% 100% Yes Religiousness 50% 100% Yes Q. So what does this mean? A. It is important to remember that these differences are tentative due to the low number of other breed owners in the sample. Even if these differences persist with larger samples we are left with the problem of interpreting these concepts which tends to be very subjective. The items suggest we tend to be aloof, optimistic, not fearful and less religious than the other breed owners. I suppose some of these attributes might be associated with our GSD's- aloof & not fearful. Q. Who are the listers on the GSD server? A. That's where those demographic stats come in. Here they are summarized below. Distribution of Respondents By Country ====================================== Canada 10 14% USA 59 83% Other 2 3% Distribution of Respondents By Gender ===================================== Female 52 73% Male 19 27% Distribution of Respondents By Marital Status ============================================= Married/Common Law 50 70% Single 12 17% Separated/Divorced 8 11% Widowed 1 2% Distribution of Respondents By Residential Location =================================================== Urban 12 17% Suburban 39 55% Small Town 4 6% Rural 16 22% Distribution of Respondents By Age =================================== Average Age = 39 years Median Age = 39 years Distribution of Respondents By Income & Socio-Economic Status ===================================== Average Income = $53,000 US (Computed from grouped data) Most Frequently Occurring Income Category = $60,000 + (26 persons reported in this income category). Socio-Economic Status- This was computed employing occupation and income based on the Pineo-Porter Scale.
Upper Middle Class 13 18% Middle Class 34 48% Lower Middle Class 15 22% Unable to Classify 9 12%This should not be surprising. You have to be able to afford it to be able to be on the net. Q. While that's interesting information what can be done with it? A. Further analysis. For example it might be interesting to conduct gender comparisons or age comparisons. Read and review. If you have any questions you want answered contact me. Q. What was the point of the 'Jake' question? A. Well, it had been put in there as a humorous piece and I had been expecting some really funny answers. It turned out that about 52% knew who Jake was and 48% didn't (Jake is Anka Andrews (who is a heavy poster) GSD mix about whom there are numerous funny (and serious- he is a therapy dog) postings. The question was a total 'blowout' and my apologies to people who mistook it as a serious question. It is interesting that while we tend to think of this server as being a group where people know everybody else this does not appear to be the case. I suspect that a significant portion of people conversing over the net restrict their interests (probably due to the cost in money for many netters).
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