Well, if you want others to be open, you have to be open too. I find this site very close-minded when it comes to training collars. They believe that some dogs require them and that is the end to it. Others believe that they can get better results with one, even if it is not an absolute necessity. It is wrong (close-minded) to believe that they are not necessary, but some people might require one; but it is not close-minded to believe that your dog is too strong, has too much drive, is too hard, is too stubborn, is too alpha/dominant to be trained effectively without one.
I have seen many dogs that do not belong in protection work doing it in various videos. To me this isn't cute and it isn't awesome. To me it is pounding a square peg into a round hole, and the peg is the dog. Training a GR to do bitework, sorry, that isn't what they were made for. Why would we do that. A fellow on here was teaching GSDs to hunt. I don't really like that either. A hunting dog, a pointer naturally, instinctively points. A setter -- that is instinct, you only have to see a baby puppy lock up in a natural set to know that it is instinctive. I know less about hounds, but I don't see the need to take a shepherd and expect it to hunt. Sure it would love to run through woods and brush collecting ticks and drinking lepto-filled water, sure. But they aren't a breed that would set or point or even retrieve, and they aren't natural pack-dogs, like a pack of fox hounds. Some dogs pack up better than others. They certainly aren't dogs that should be set on wild hogs. If they kick up a rabbit, they will chase it given the opportunity, and some will chase deer -- that should always be discouraged, it can get your dog killed. So why try to make a hunting dog out of a shepherd? Or a GR who has been bred to have a soft mouth, so as not to harm the bird when it retrieves to do bitework.
Irritating, for sure. But a badly behaved GR could be in how you raise them. That it isn't going to shine in IPO does not mean it's how you raised it. And if you have a biting GR, chances are that is bad breeding, because a GR should have very little natural aggression, it has been effectively bred out of them, to make them what they are. Where GSDs have natural aggression, and are bred for it. So a GR who is biting people might be more than handler error. So can a GSD, but a lot of the time handler error is the problem with GSDs. People get a dog that has high energy and drive and expect it to live in a box for a good part of the day and part of the night, and then they expect it to lie quietly in the living room the rest of the time. They buy a dog that has the potential to be a protector and an independent worker bee, and then they provide nothing that stimulates the dog's instinct, athleticism, intelligence, etc. Too often people get a dog they have no business owning, and yes, the dog may display behavior that is due to the owner's ignorance. It is NOT always due to bad breeding/poor genetics. But it can be.
The problem is that few people are willing to see their dogs as anything other than how they see them. They believe the dog is strong-willed and dominant, and that is how they are going to treat them. If someone tells the person that the dog is soft and shutting down, and what they are doing to the dog is not working and making things worse, they get angry.
Frankly, too many people are unable to hold their own in a civil argument, because they take any level of disagreement personally. They quickly throw up their wall of defense and start shooting insults or start blubbering poor me, why are you so mean to me?
Ah well, again it is way too late, and if I don't shut up soon, I'll say something I regret. But there are two sides to that open-mindedness. A lot of people want everyone else to be open-minded, particularly when they disagree with them. But that is as far as they can go. They can't be open minded, at least not on some things.
Jenna, RN CGC & Babs, CD RA CGC HIC
Heidi, RA CGC
SG3 Odessa, SchH1, Kkl1, AD
Ninja, RN CGC & Milla, RN CGC
Joy, Star Puppy, RN CGC
Dolly CGC & Bear CGC