"Protecting the baby"... am I overreacting? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-19-2014, 12:29 AM Thread Starter
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"Protecting the baby"... am I overreacting?

OK... so I have "liked" quite a few of those vine video pages on facebook, and this showed up.


It's a video of a guy trying to touch a woman's pregnant stomach. Showing NO signs of being a threat in any way, just leaning over gently and slowly to touch the woman.

And so this is what I put on my facebook page when I shared it:

There is a problem when people think this is OK. This is how babies and children get bit, and dogs end up put to sleep. It's not the pregnant belly the dog is "protecting"... it's the woman. This isn't funny, this isn't cute, this is dangerous and needs to be corrected BEFORE the baby is born. Not laughed about and misconstrued as a sign of love. If it was just the belly, the dog wouldn't be going after the man when he started trying to touch any part of her. This is not acceptable since there is no sign of aggression towards her by the man. Again, this isn't funny, this isn't cute.
And this is what a facebook friend replied:

I think they trained that dog to do that cuz at the end the guy shooting the video says that "nobody will mess with my baby haha"...the big guy is a "stranger" and they trained the dog to not let any person touch the woman
My reply to that:

Regardless of whether it is trained or not, it is extremely dangerous as there isn't control over it or any "stop" command. Teaching any kind of aggression is extremely hard and requires someone who really know what they are doing. The dog is playing... To an extent, but that "play", since there is no off switch (which, when it comes to aggression training, needs to be on or off, there is no middle ground or sort of stuff with it), that dog could do this out in public, and more importantly, to this future child. It's not cute, trained or not.
And a different friend said:

you don't know if they didn't teach him a "enough" command... You have a video of a short snippet in time.....
And my final reply... so far nothing has said anything... and I'm not going to keep pushing it.

No, I don't know that. But if they trained that in, there isn't a "go" command. When you start doing protection and aggression training, you can't just do it willy nilly. Everything in this video is wrong, and setting the dog up to bite someone... And not in a good protective way. A threat needs to be established. There is no threat. This guy is leaning in to touch her. The dog acting aggressively over that is not a trick, or something cool. He is not acting a threat. The dog learned this, sure. Whether on purpose or on accident. They could have an "off" word. But this dog BASED ON THIS SHORT CLIP does not understand the difference between a threat and someone giving her a pat on the back. There is NOTHING in the "decoy's" body language to indicate a threat. So, this dog could very very easily do the same with anyone who tries to touch this woman. And a "enough" command will always come too late if a kid is running towards mommy and the dog (who lives in a faster world than we do) goes to bite him, or knock him over, or whatever. Unless this dog is constantly on a sit or stay command, this is the most idiotic thing someone can teach their dog to do.

IPO, Schitzhund, Personal Protection Dogs, Attack Dogs, K9 Police Dogs, etc... All of them are trained to clearly identify their prey/a threat. By the way the decoy behaves, by what he wears, etc. And it is made VERY clear from the beginning, for this very reason, so the dog can easily distinguish between a threat and a child running to hug his mom. And based on everything in this video, this dog is just keeping a man from touching this woman. A man who is not presenting anything that shows him to be a threat, but instead slowly moving his hand to touch her.

Release command or not, if this isn't corrected and made clear, this dog will bite someone, or at least scare someone into calling the police.

Am I overreacting? I saw this video... and I know a lot of people go all "awww... that's cute!" or "I wish my dog did that", and so on... but I saw it and just groaned... for the reasons I said above.

So yeah... am I the only one who feels this way? I have done a lot of research into personal protection dog training (because I thought I wanted one)... and I'm not seeing one thing that these people are doing right... apart from the fact that their dogs appear well fed and in good condition.

I mean... in the end the dog actually did bite the guy!!! Not hard, but he wasn't wearing any kind of protection. Had that been a baby, or even a young child, they couldn't move their hands out of the way fast enough. Or be as aware about it.

I just really really hope this family doesn't end up with a child being bit. I really do.
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-19-2014, 12:47 AM
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I don't think the video is cute at all. That behavior would not be tolerated in my house. Almost looks like the dog is resource guarding the woman.
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-19-2014, 12:55 AM Thread Starter
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It wouldn't fly in mine either... as I have several friends with children under the age of 2 (as well as quite a few young cousins) and I want to be able to take my dogs everywhere, I am very very diligent about curbing resource guarding, aggression, and similar. Protection... ehh... only if it's a recognizable threat to me do I not put a stop to it immediately.

But then... the second person who commented has a 2 year old dog that has bitten her at least three times, seriously puncturing her skin and damaging it, and becomes extremely neurotic and aggressive if her feet go anywhere near him... and she just laughs it all off.

She's the same person who fostered my puppy and her litter until I brought her home. Great with puppies... once they get out of the puppy stage though... I think she doesn't quite get the rest of the training process and all that comes with training a standup member of society.

But yeah... not sure about the first person... other than the typical "aww... protecting pregnant mommy!"
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-19-2014, 01:54 AM
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Who knows if that dog will protect the baby or if he will attack the baby ? I want a protective dog that is discerning, not a liability
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-19-2014, 06:39 AM
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Who cares?
Its their dog let them train it how they want. If he wants the dog to protect his wife, her belly, or her purse from even a "passive" threat then thats his perogative. What some people want isnt what others want. Not everyone only wants their dog to respond to an active or stimulating threat. Some people want a sharp/reactive type dog.

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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-19-2014, 09:33 AM
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Looks to me your concerns are valid. The guy trying to touch the woman, by retreating was reinforcing the behavior too, emboldening it. So it resulted in what appeared to be a nip. Next time it may be a more serious bite on an innocent unsuspecting person. Also keep in mind that the dog is probably feeling stressed and that's not fair to the dog either.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-19-2014, 10:05 AM
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Its all fun and games before someone loses an eye.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-19-2014, 10:10 AM
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I just don't get WHY they would want it reactive even to a member of the household. He will think it's funny until he actually DOES want to touch his wife and gets bitten. Do you think he will blame himself? Umm .. no.

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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-19-2014, 10:15 AM
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I personally think it's idiotic, but like Blitzkrieg says, it's their dog. They might think my training is idiotic too, lol. As long as I don't have to walk down the sidewalk next to them, and risk getting bitten - or that the dog is PTS because it does bite someone.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-19-2014, 10:21 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah. They have a right to train as they want. If they want a reactive dog that won't let anyone touch this woman whether or not it's a stranger or a friend... that's their prerogative.

I just worry because this video became somewhat viral... and it gives people an unrealistic expectation of what to expect from their dogs... and thinking that a dog that will "guard" a woman from anyone at all is a good thing... and then these same dogs are often PTS or put on bite lists because really... it's all cute until someone ends up in the hospital.
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