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Old 11-13-2012, 12:03 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I am nervous. I'm a nervous nelly. Not as bad as I used to be and sometimes I don't think I give her enough credit.
I don't want to be one of those people whose dog can't be pet.
I love taking her places and she loves going. I don't want her to be labeled as a bad gsd. I contacted a different trainer and waiting to here back.
My other trainer didn't seem to concerned with her behavior so I'm getting a second opinion.
I don't want to risk anything because people are sue happy and I'm very paranoid about that. I want to correct this problem and we have been working hard I just want to get her thru this next step and over this last hurdle.
Your dog is picking up on this, you have to practice "CONFIDENCE" even if your not, you have to act 100% sure of yourself. Your dog is about the same age as Lakota. I don't have children so she hasn't been exposed to many, but I can walk her thru a jammed packed crowded fair and select people to meet. Of course I always worry in the back of my mind but I'm not going to let her know that.
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Old 11-13-2012, 12:13 PM   #12 (permalink)
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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

Last edited by DTS; 11-13-2012 at 12:17 PM.
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Old 11-13-2012, 12:22 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Ah..you've hit a personal nerve with me. There is no such thing as a "Bombproof" animal. EVER. There are stronger nerved animals that are unlikely to react, but they are still animals and can react.

I hate when someone advertises a horse as "bombproof". A reputable equestrian will never offer a horse as bombproof.

A responsible dog owner will never assume that their dog will not react.
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Old 11-13-2012, 12:28 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Ah..you've hit a personal nerve with me. There is no such thing as a "Bombproof" animal. EVER. There are stronger nerved animals that are unlikely to react, but they are still animals and can react.

I hate when someone advertises a horse as "bombproof". A reputable equestrian will never offer a horse as bombproof.

A responsible dog owner will never assume that their dog will not react.
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.
I've never owned a "bombproof" animal. My horses were green and I learned their quicks, triggers, and language.
I'm doing the same with my dog. Trying to learn what sets her off, her body language so I know.
But I also try to be over protective. Walking away when I see kids body blocking when someone gets to close. Using and constantly practicing leave it.
Always bringing treats and trying to make each experience positive.
Bottom line I want to get her to be a great dog without putting anyone in harms way. I'm just unsure of how to do that.
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Old 11-13-2012, 12:30 PM   #15 (permalink)
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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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Old 11-13-2012, 01:07 PM   #16 (permalink)
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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.
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Old 11-13-2012, 01:12 PM   #17 (permalink)
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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.
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Old 11-13-2012, 03:46 PM   #18 (permalink)
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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.
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Old 11-13-2012, 04:01 PM   #19 (permalink)
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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
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Old 11-13-2012, 04:31 PM   #20 (permalink)
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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.
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