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  Topic Review (Newest First)
11-17-2012 11:07 PM
DTS So just an update for anyone who was reading this thread:

we saw a trainer today. She has GSDs, trains and titles in agility and other sports, and has grown up around police K9s.
She started us on doing a front recal and jasmine picked up on that quickly.
we were off leash in an enclosed baseball field. she started by just walking on the outside of the fence. i think jasmine barked maybe once and i called her and she came.
she then stood next to my BF outside the fence and Jasmine ignored her and was focused on the BF. She then joined us in the field.
Jasmine excepted her and she did some commands with her and threw the ball for her. She then had us do some OB with her aorund.
After a while Jasmine met her neutral dog. Jasmine was offleash inside the field and her dog was outside.
At first she barked w/ hackles and they did a nose to nose sniff and she began to wag her tail, play bow, and do an excited high pitched i want to play bark
Her dog was introduced inside the fence and they began to play.
We did some OB around her and her dog and we began clicker training.
She is giving me a book to read called "catious canine" and we will continue with the clicker training, Watch me, and leave it commands
She reccomends anytime we see a dog or person to talk to her very excitedly about this new person or dog.
im pleased with how it went. She said that she is very do able and this can be fixed with training and cosistency which i will am more than willing to do. She also suggested a certain no pull harness with the clip in the front (not too sure what it was called) so we will look into that as well and view our options on what equipment to use. She also suggested a leather leash.
So we will begin working on this
11-14-2012 01:11 PM
RowdyDogs I read your thread with interest, and I guess my question would be: if you're uncomfortable with it, what is wrong with not letting people pet your dog? I think in the US at least we have this idea that strangers have a sort of right to pet our dogs, and if that's not okay for whatever reason then our dogs aren't "good dogs." But it's kind of crazy--makes me think of those people who think it's okay to go up and touch a pregnant woman's belly in way. My dog is my property and when he's on leash with me in public he's basically an extension of my person. If I don't want other people to touch him, then they should respect that.

Maybe it's just because I've owned some reactive dogs, and I'm usually expecting my dogs to do something (even if it's just heel) when on leash, but I very rarely let random strangers pet my dogs, even my super-friendly ones who love new people. I've had some people get upset about it, but that's their prerogative I guess--I'm always very nice about it and give them a plausible reason why not. I also don't generally ask to pet other people's dogs, although I like chat with strangers about their pets. I can admire a dog without petting it (of course if the owner invites me to, that's a different story!).

I'm uncomfortable having most strangers pet my dogs because I've seen even adults do some crazy things--one guy suddenly grabbed and twisted my poor ACD's ears hard, making my dog cry in pain and take a few days before he was comfortable being touched there again. This was just a random encounter on the street with a friendly guy who seemed fairly knowledgeable about dogs. It was bizarre. I know my dogs aren't going to bite, but I don't trust strangers to be nice to them.

So in other words, if your dog isn't lunging/barking at people as you walk by, and she apparently doesn't bite but rather tries to escape when an unforeseen circumstance does arise (like the kids at the campground), then I don't see why you should be apprehensive about taking her out in public at all. Just tell people she is in training or whatever and don't let them pet her.
11-13-2012 08:55 PM
DTS Well thank you everyone for the advice or opinions. It makes sense and it helps me to bounce thoughts and ideas off people to help me get the whole picture.
I hope this trainer contacts me back and we can get help with what we need
11-13-2012 04:41 PM
selzer I think your dog has matured a lot since seven months old. Lots of dogs are butt-heads when they are teenagers. But with training and exposure, they learn to put their faith in you, and they also learn that everything isn't so scary. I think you need to catch up to her. I think she has gotten over herself a bit. There is nothing wrong with being cautious, you should be, practice keeping a safe distance between your dogs and others (human and canine), but also practice confidence. Because if you are nervous about what your dog will do, that is transmitting right down the line.

Think of it this way. If you boss tells you to do ABC, you go and do ABC. If your boss hesitantly tells you to do ABC, then it makes you a little hesitant too. Should I do this? What might go wrong? Why is he so worried about this? Dogs pick up on stuff, pharomones make a breath smell funny. They tell you to pop a peppermint in your mouth at the dog show, to mask the fear smell. Because WE can throw our dogs off.
11-13-2012 04:31 PM
Originally Posted by DTS View Post
I feel like I'm in between a rock and hard place because she is no longer vocally or physically fearful no barking or anything but I remember was she used to be like and how paranoid I am that something could go wrong because this isn't the perfect world
You have done a wonderful job with her! Give both of you credit as credit is due.

It'll never be the perfect world. You can control your girl, but you can't always control her environment.
11-13-2012 04:01 PM
DTS See and that's why I'm confused. My dog doesn't bark or lunge or try and start fights. She's more of the roll on my back and pee when it comes to pack structure with small and large dogs. We can go to stores with out a peep and have done so for the past yr. and from the outside looking in, to me, of you saw her on the street she's a normal dog. She doesn't pay anyone attention and minds her own business. She might give you a look if you have a dog but I give the leave it command and she does what she's told. I give people plenty of space and we only go out now every once a month or 2.
I don't want to ruin it for everyone nor do i feel like I'm going to socialize my dog and force her into things she isn't ready for so she can get better.
All I want is to help her get better with baby steps.
If you saw her in a store she's like any other dog. She doesn't seek out trouble or go looking for it barking at everything that moves. 7 months old yes, today she's quiet.
I feel like I'm in between a rock and hard place because she is no longer vocally or physically fearful no barking or anything but I remember was she used to be like and how paranoid I am that something could go wrong because this isn't the perfect world
11-13-2012 03:46 PM
Originally Posted by DTS View Post
This is what I'm trying to figure out. Where do you draw the line between too agressive for public and acceptable with room for improvement.
When people start looking at you funny because your dog freaks out at things that walk by...its probably not alright for your dog to be there. Yes, we all can say "you shouldn't care what people think" but at the end of the day, if you have a dog that barks at things that walk by it you're kind of ruining the fun for everyone else that now has to worry about your dog doing something.

Last year we took my boy to a pet store that was having a "sit on santa's lap" thing. There are a bunch of dogs there (way more than usual) and with small aisles it got difficult keeping the dogs away from each other. But that being said all the dogs were just fine and friendly with one another. Then a lady comes in with a boxer...the dog was lunging and snapping at every single dog it walked by. At one point the lady couldn't hold it back anymore and it got in a fight with another dog that was quickly broken up. So here is the story...someone wants their dog to be just like everyone else's "stronger nerved" dogs and I completely understand that. But when they put their wants/needs in front of everyone else's they're ruining the fun for everyone else. It's that one aggressive dog in the dog park...the owner doesn't care, the owner doesn't mind, but the other 100 people in the park do mind and their fun is ruined by the one guy that thinks his dog has just as much right to be there as everyone else's.

I'm not saying OP's dog is this bad (I wouldn't know until I met it) so I'm just talking in generalizations. If you want to bring your dog to the fair, and your dog makes the fair more dangerous and less fun for everyone that takes a second glance at your dog, it probably shouldn't be there.
11-13-2012 01:12 PM
selzer It sounds like you have a great dog, and you have worked with your dog.

Good for you, that is awesome, congratulations.

It is a matter of how much liability you are willing to accept. You can take your dog out and if things look to be getting crowded or hairy, walk the dog away, and keep a bit of a buffer zone. No dog should have to be swarmed over.

There are things you can do to decrease the likelihood of your dog ever reacting, and you have already done some of them. Taking the dog to group training classes is awesome because you work your dog around other dogs and their people. You can get a feel for who among them are dog people that you might want your dog to be able to be around more, and who to avoid. Dog people are a funny breed. Most are very willing to help socialize dogs and most of them are unlikely to do anything utterly stupid, but again, you have to watch and choose.

If you have just one dog, just keep going to classes with her. Who cares if you have been through basic more than once. Just keep going. Through training, our dogs learn to rely on us to make the decisions, and we learn to trust the dog.

I, personally, would not muzzle this dog. If she was swarmed by a bunch of kids and just backed up, then the chances are very good that she is very unlikely to snap at or bite a kid that gets too close. You have to manage her so that she does not get into a situation where she feels like she must back up, but that shouldn't really be too difficult. Long before you have a group of kids on top of her, you should be able to get her out of that situation.

I think most people are a little more realistic about horses. Horses can step on, kick, bite, as well as throw you, as I am sure you know. It seems like people still bring these horses to horse shows and fairs, and they may just put a sign on the door of the stall not to pet, etc. I think people expect to watch their kids closer around horses than they do around dogs.

Dog classes and dog shows helped me gain the confidence my dogs needed me to have to take them around people. I still don't let just anyone come up to them. No reason. Same with horses, do people let everyone and anyone pet them, or ride them? No.

I have learned to turn people away with just a look apparently. Last week my 5/6 year old nieces and I took Cujo to the play ground. We were the only ones there for a while, and Cujo had never been. So he was getting used them swinging around and climbing on things, and was doing fine. When a family with a couple of toddlers showed up, we stayed on the big climbing thing, and I just kept Cujo on leash. At one point the little boy come running over, and I felt Cujo was doing enough, and shifted him behind me, and looked at the kid. Poor thing, stopped in his tracks and went back to the other climby thing.

I decided shortly after at that point that we had been there long enough and gathered my girls and headed off. Cujo is not my dog, he is my parents dog, and though I have known him since he was born, I am not willing to let other people's kids have free access to him.

Dogs really do not need to go everywhere with us. They are generally perfectly happy to stay home while we take a trip to grandma's or spend the evening playing cards with friends. They are always ready to head out with us, but that doesn't mean they should go everywhere. I find that I can relax more in some situations if I leave the critters home, and then its not all about me and my dog, then I am free to pay attention to the humans in my life.
11-13-2012 01:07 PM
Originally Posted by kiya View Post
I've been around horses my whole life and I also make the comparison, the same but different. When you get as old as me you learn to not care so much about what other people think. I'm still a work in progress. You sound like you have a pretty good head on your shoulders.
I'm with Carolyn on this as well. We are all a work in progress.

The fact that you are doing your very best for your dog puts you way ahead of the curve, in my book. (IMO)

Again, IMO, having had horses and learning to read & look for body language with your dog gives you an advantage. It takes some people years to learn the ability to do that.

I have a dog who is very aloof. He pretty much ignores everyone. This makes him difficult to read sometimes because he doesn't show stress levels. I take him out with me, but I never take him anywhere that I can't watch him every moment. If I'm in a store and there is a crowded lane, I'll go down another. When he becomes a magnet to children, I remove him. If we are at home and I have guests (at home) and I can't keep an eagle eye on him, I'll kennel him.

I admit, I use the halti on him. Mostly (now) because people think it's a muzzle and won't come near him. But it also gives me control should he decide to lunge or whip his head at someone to bite. He's never offered, never growled in public. But he is no social butterfly.

In the same way you wouldn't ride your fractious horse in the middle of a parade. You respect your animals limitations. But in order to find out what they are, you have to keep the public and your animal safe.
11-13-2012 12:30 PM
Originally Posted by DTS View Post
Now it's in the back of my mind I guess I should have worded it better.
I hate to go back to horses since they are different but horses can pick up on fear. I mainly watch everyone at all times while out and body block, walk away, etc.
a year and a half ago, I was so embarrassed I hated getting out of the car at training.
I constantly worried about what everyone thought.
Now, I just explain the situation to people.
We are a work in progress. I'm trying to make an attempt to better my dog even though its a catch 22. I'm just torn I guess.
Hopefully the prospective new trainer will have some ideas.
But basically I need to keep my dog out of public for everyone's safety
I've been around horses my whole life and I also make the comparison, the same but different. When you get as old as me you learn to not care so much about what other people think. I'm still a work in progress. You sound like you have a pretty good head on your shoulders.
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