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TrailRider 02-23-2014 02:57 PM

Abuse?
 
Ok, so two houses down I am a neighbor to a out of city police officer and his roommate that works for the same city as an officer. Both have two dogs, though one of the home owner's dogs is retired, I presume that both his roommates dogs are active working dogs. The home owner has two Mals, and the roommate a Mal and a GSD. Today I witnessed the horrible thing I think I've ever seen.

I walked to my kitchen window, you can see their whole back yard from there, and I saw the roommate pick the GSD up above his head, had to be at least seven feet, and slam him down on the ground. I could not believe what I just saw. The dog didn't move, I feared he was injured. To my relief he got up when the man called him over to the gate, he trotted over to him, tail between his legs and low to the ground in a submissive posture.

I know working dogs are handled roughly but really? Does it have to be that extreme? I didn't see what the dog did but did he really deserve to be handled like that? My husband is a MA in the Navy, his response when I told him what happened was "what did you expect?"

I could understand had the roommates little girl been in the yard and he like but her or attacked her, but she was no where to be seen. It was just him, his dog, the home owner standing there staring and his two dogs playing and sniffing around near him.

I never see this man act kindly to either of his dogs, besides letting the GSD in the house or taking him for a ride in his truck. The poor Mal stay cooped up in their kennel ALL THE TIME. At least the home owner does play with his dogs and love on them.

Don't know, maybe it's just me but I think his dogs deserve to be treated with little more respect and be given a bit more dignity. I know most LEOs and military refer to their dogs as tools, but they're not. They're dogs, living breathing animals, not machines.

Slamdunc 02-23-2014 04:07 PM

While MWD's and Police K-9's are in fact tools, they have a very important and vital function to perform. Every handler that I know treats their dog very well, cares for their dogs and love their dogs. With out that bond the working relationship is surely impacted. Since I did not see what happened, I'll take your word that the dog in your opinion was strongly corrected. If there are 4 male working dogs living at that house, perhaps the GSD became aggressive or started to instigate aright with one of the Mals. Perhaps the GSD became aggressive to the handler. Yes, shocking as it may sound….some working dogs are handler aggressive. Perhaps the handler was trying to prevent a fight between the GSD and one of the other dogs. That is one way to take control very quickly and assert dominance over an aggressive dog, but must be done quickly and carefully.

From the scenario as you describe it, my thought would be that the GSD probably went for or was about to go for one of the other male dogs. I have been in this situation myself, owning 3 working dogs at one time. A dog fight between two male working dogs is not something to be taken lightly, even if one or both dogs are retired. Fights like this rarely end with out serious injury to one or both dogs and the handlers. Picking up the offending dog quickly changes his state and placing him firmly on the ground will usually end the situation. One must be fast, strong and not afraid to instantly intervene when in this situation. When done correctly, instantly and with significant power the fight is taken out the dog, the dog is not injured and the handler is not bitten. It is a very effective way to gain control and stop a dog fight by a strong handler.

I am not recommending this technique to novice handlers or for owners with "softer" dogs. Having owned some very dog aggressive dogs, handler aggressive dogs and sufficiently hard, strong dogs over the years I have used a similar technique on occasion. With that said, I do not like "alpha rolling" dogs nor do I believe in doing that. But when out in a yard with out a leash, sometimes you have to take charge the best way you can as quickly as you can.

It sounds like you love dogs, as do I. But if you have never handled a working dog you would think this was severe or harsh. If I am correct in my thinking this was not very severe at all.

JMO FWIW<
JIM

K9kodi 02-23-2014 04:32 PM

Very well put slamdunc. Most civilians, outsiders looking in, have no clue what it takes to train, control and maintain a patrol dog. Place in addition to that this observer, has only done just that, observed at a distance. This person obviously took no time to become neighborly with their neighbors or show enough interest to learn and broaden then horizons, instead they wish to quickly blow the whistle and throw a flag in an area they have no knowledge in.

I suppose this observer would be the same person to call animal control if that handler didn't correct his dogs behavior and claim there was a dog fighting ring.

Police dogs are chosen for their characteristics, and as they successfully progress through their career, they become hard and resilient and need praise and corrections accordingly. As slamdunc stated, it could have been a nasty dog fight had the handler not properly intervened.

I suggest the original poster do some research on a proper alpha roll and then tell me wha he did wrong......cause I can guarantee it was proper.

As for the kennel issue, again, this speaks highly of your knowledge outside any realm of pets. When your life depends on a k9 working, you want that, no wait, you need that dog to work. A k9 who is treated as your pet gsd is treated is probably broke before he's got a chance. I want a dog who is ready and willing to work, one that doesn't see a couch and wants to relax, I want a dog that will enter a house and think it's time to work, not let's take it easy and kick back. But once again, I'm sure the original poster already knows this.

TrailRider 02-23-2014 06:00 PM

Slamdunc, thank you for your comment. Everything you said makes sense. Picking a dog up and putting him the ground to stop his line of thinking and to focus on you makes perfect sense to me. But he picked him up over his head and slammed him on the ground. I'm not exaggerating this either. Not trying to be sarcastic, nor do I want to know so I can do it myself, but how high would you pick a dog up to do this? It just shocked me when I saw it. And like I said, I didn't see what prompted the correction. You're probably right about the dog fight. The three dogs get along fine by themselves, even with the home owner in the yard with them. He probably felt he had to assert himself to the other dogs since his human was now in the yard with them. The other Mal stays in his kennel. Thanks again, very informative.

K9kodi, as odd as this may sound coming from an "observer," I would not have called animal control had there been a fight, nor would I ever suggest such a thing as a dog fight ring. I am not that kind of person. And I am smarter than your average "observer," I've live beside the home owner for three years, I think I know better. So do stop judging me before even know me.

boomer11 02-23-2014 06:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by K9kodi (Post 5072986)
Very well put slamdunc. Most civilians, outsiders looking in, have no clue what it takes to train, control and maintain a patrol dog. Place in addition to that this observer, has only done just that, observed at a distance. This person obviously took no time to become neighborly with their neighbors or show enough interest to learn and broaden then horizons, instead they wish to quickly blow the whistle and throw a flag in an area they have no knowledge in.

I suppose this observer would be the same person to call animal control if that handler didn't correct his dogs behavior and claim there was a dog fighting ring.

Police dogs are chosen for their characteristics, and as they successfully progress through their career, they become hard and resilient and need praise and corrections accordingly. As slamdunc stated, it could have been a nasty dog fight had the handler not properly intervened.

I suggest the original poster do some research on a proper alpha roll and then tell me wha he did wrong......cause I can guarantee it was proper.

lol man you sure know it all

JakodaCD OA 02-23-2014 06:11 PM

well k9kodi, I didn't see any of what you are suggesting in the OP's post.

Rather presumptuious of you ..

David Winners 02-23-2014 06:13 PM

I have bounced and/or hung a few dogs when there was danger and the situation needed to stop right now, especially after a bite on the handler.

The height from which this is done is in direct proportion to the mental state of the dog and severity of the infraction, like any correction.

This is not something I suggest by any means. If you aren't working with this type of dog in this type of situation there is no need to even consider it. Slamming or hanging a dog could certainly be abuse if done out of context or improperly.

***Don't do this at home or try it out on your dog!***

TrailRider 02-23-2014 06:23 PM

Wow really? That height is ok? It just rattled me, I've never seen anything like that unless it was to cause harm. They can really take that? And no worries here, I would never do that. I doubt I could pick mine up above my waist lol. And he in no way is aggressive towards anything, he's just the opposite. I've seen the home owner hang his active dog, he was getting really rambunctious.

Slamdunc 02-23-2014 06:26 PM

Trailrider,
Your welcome for the explanation. "How high would I pick a dog up to do this?" High enough to ensure that I immediately stopped the behavior. In a situation like this you only get one shot to do it right. Too soft means the GSD gets back up and fights, the Mal jumps in on you, or you as the handler gets bit. High and hard enough depending on the dog to make a lasting impression. This is more about control, shock and awe and not pain. It is not supposed to injure the dog at all.

When it comes to correcting dogs, the correction has to be strong enough to immediately stop the behavior and so the dog remembers the correction for days, weeks and months to come. I do not nag my dogs and I do not repeat commands that the dog already knows and understands. I train motivationally, users clickers, food, kongs and balls on a rope. 98% of what I do is motivationally. I am very fair, loving and clear with my dogs but I am also firm. I am a benevolent dictator of sorts. For those that are seriously into working dogs, competition or own high drive dogs you soon realize that an effective correction is on that does not have to be repeated. These are not poodles, yorkies or chi's. These are serious dogs that have to handled properly. Dogs do best and work best when everything is "black and white."

Four patrol dogs loose in a yard can get along for years and then fight over a toy, attention from a person or food. Or rough play can go to far and turn into a fight. Some of these dogs will not back down or give up easily. As mark Twain said "It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog that matters." I can assure if this handler was overly hard or heavy handed it would quickly show up in the dogs performance. As you said the dog submissively came when called and no longer wanted to fight. That was probably the right correction for that particular dog.

Please keep in mind when dogs are not properly corrected for inappropriate aggression and allowed to get away with it; it creates huge problems. Inappropriate aggression and dog aggression are things that I will not tolerate in my working dogs. I just can't have my dog going off a high risk track to fight with a loose dog at 2AM. It is just too dangerous for both of us.

My advice would be to go and talk to your neighbors and meet them and their dogs. Most guys would be happy to show your their dogs and even do a little demo. Ask what happened, ask about their dogs temperaments and personalities. K-9 guys love talking about their dogs.

I hope that helps,

Jim

David Winners 02-23-2014 06:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TrailRider (Post 5073522)
Wow really? That height is ok? It just rattled me, I've never seen anything like that unless it was to cause harm. They can really take that? And no worries here, I would never do that. I doubt I could pick mine up above my waist lol. And he in no way is aggressive towards anything, he's just the opposite. I've seen the home owner hang his active dog, he was getting really rambunctious.

I'm not saying anything was OK. If I would have seen this, I would have walked over and asked what was going on. If the correction was given for the dog refusing a command or something, I would take issue with the handler.

In a particular situation, such as handler aggression, I have given this type of correction. I don't know exactly how high the dog was, probably not over my head. I did this with Fama, and it wasn't enough. We ended up on the ground in a fight.

If I saw a handler do this, he better have his own blood somewhere to justify his actions.

David Winners


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