What is dog functionality
Not one, even the most intelligent and strongest dog, can master all dog professions and perform all functions without exception. Like no living organism can be universal and operate flawlessly in any conditions. Features of a dog can be divided into: basic features; basic behavioral reactions; functional qualities.
1. The basic features include: breed characteristics; health, physical development; personal psychological characteristics.
Under pedigree characteristics is meant the specificity of behavior and features of the exterior of a particular breed. When buying a dog, it is imperative to take into account the breed characteristics of the selected service. For example, a huge heavy mastiff can knock a person to the ground with one jerk of powerful jaws, but at the same time he is not able to jump high in sports, as a light and graceful Doberman does. The fox terrier can be perfectly developed physically, possess a strong nervous system and even undergo a course of protective training, but in reality it simply is not able to become a bodyguard dog. Thus, an objective assessment of the advantages and disadvantages of the breed is a fundamental factor in choosing a dog. The breed is not only a genetically fixed set of external characteristics of the animal’s appearance, but also its typical nature, stereotype of behavior, character.
In addition to the features of the anatomical structure, the ability to perform a particular activity is determined by the health indicators and physical development of the dog. Naturally, baseline health indicators are of great importance. Congenital malformations are often incompatible with life, so puppies with gross violations of organs and systems die in the first days or months of life. However, there are many hereditary pathologies with which dogs live until old age, but at the same time suffer from various chronic diseases.
Both during the course of training, and during subsequent work, the animal’s body experiences great physical and psychological stress. For example, to obtain a diploma of the III (highest) degree in the German training system Schutz ‑ hund, a dog requires an impeccable completion of an obedience course – in particular, the ability to overcome a dull barrier 180 cm high, as well as completing an apportion of an object weighing 2 kg per even terrain and weighing 650 g with a jump across the meter barrier. The course of protection includes not only detection and barking, but also the detention and prosecution of a “malicious intruder”. In other words, a working dog should not be afraid to engage in battle with a man and have the strength to win him.
It is clear that only a healthy, physically developed animal, not burdened by poor heredity and chronic diseases, can withstand such a hard rhythm. For example, a dog with malformations of the musculoskeletal system that has suffered an injury or has poor development of the skeleton and muscles has a low efficiency of its activity. She quickly gets tired and tries to lie down, is distracted by pain and limps, so she is simply not able to perform a high-altitude jump or endurance run. A dog with a troubled stomach requires a special diet, reacts inactive to food irritants, and is often depressed, experiencing nausea and pain. All this once again emphasizes the need for a responsible attitude to your pet, providing it with a balanced diet, providing active exercise, as well as the necessary veterinary care.
The dog’s functionality is largely determined by its psychological qualities, which are based on temperament, as an inborn set of personality characteristics. For whatever service you plan to use the dog, it must have a strong and balanced temperament. It is this quality that determines whether your dog will work actively and for a long time during training and how intensively the training process will go.
Dominance is associated with a protective instinct and is inherent in the so-called “tough” dogs. Such a dog will not back down and fail in a real battle. She is able to perform defensive work under the onslaught of an attacker who actively resists, shouts, applies blows and other strong irritants. The fury of attack only forces the strength and fortress of these dogs. In contrast, a “soft” dog may at first show serious aggression, bark, grin and growl menacingly, but under pressure from the attacker, she will certainly go into retreat. Physical pain and psychological pressure intimidate her, and the passive defense instinct will prevail over the demand to resist. It also depends on the strength of the nervous system whether the dog is able to follow a long trail, search for explosives for a long time under adverse weather conditions, and generally perform its functions in extreme conditions.