Why are people so close minded? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 178 (permalink) Old 05-15-2017, 05:13 PM Thread Starter
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Why are people so close minded?

It seems as if these days no one seems to want to hear or accpet a viewpoint or truth that differs from theirs. And when it cones to dogs, people are so ignorant. I know because I used to be one of these people. I came into these forums thinking I knew lots about dogs. Then I came into these forums and realized I bought into a lot of common misconceptions and assumptions about dogs. I mean when people who have had dogs all their lifes and have trained and titled their dogs tell me I'm wrong, then I probably am wrong. Had to swallow my ego at some point.

However people on Facebook groups, and in person seem to be ignorant to do so. Let me list some common misconceptions I see.

It's all in how you raise them, and if you see a badly behaved dog you always blame the owner.
While how you raise a dog does play a big role in how a dog turns out there are other factors. Breed is one of them, but so is a dog's genetics, drives, nerves and temperament. With those things into account you will never be able to take a Golden Retriever that loves everyone and turn him into a personal protection dog no matter how hard you try. There's a reason there are different breeds bred to do different things and breeds that are often suggested for different tasks. Speaking of genetics.

Genetics don't really matter
They matter a lot. They're the reason breeds and dogs who perform different tasks exist. I am not super knowledgeable in this field but there are other people who are. Knowledge of the importance of genetics is what separates a Reputable Breeder who understands them vs. a guy who breeds because he'll get money from puppies (BYB). As previously mentioned, people throw around "it's all in how you raise them" but if two overly anxious an fearful dogs breed there's a good chance the puppies will be that way. Raising them won't change that.

My dog barks at everything and is always on the lookout. I heard the wind blowing and the leaves made a funny sound and my dog went nuts. When my dog sees another dog he goes nuts and starts barking. He barks at lots of people which means they are sketchy and untrustworthy. He is the most protective dog and will take a bullet for me!
*sigh* this is unfortunately a very common misconception about dogs that lots of people believe in. Barking dog means the dog is progective and that someone, whether it be a dog or person is not trustworthy and the dog is keeping an eye out. No this means a completely different thing, it means the dog is fearful and poorly socialized. The dog is scared and is making himself out to be big and scary hoping to deter the threat away. He's looking out for himself, not you. Unfortunately mine has fallen victim to this. For some reason, he gets reactive when he sees a flat faced breed, fighting breed, and docked or unnatural tails (Pugs). He's ackwardly reactive towards pugs and it might be because of all of their unnatural features and since I didn't have him around those kind of dogs. He seems to be scared and doesn't seem to like dogs with these features. Every time you tell someone that their dog is fearful and not protective, they look at you like if you're stupid.

Positive Training is the proper way to train dogs, anything else is lazy training and the use of corrections is abuse. Prong collars and e collars are abuse.
This is another one that triggers people when you prove them wrong no matter how much experience you have. I've gone off in another threat about this one and don't feel like going off anymore so I'll just leave this here.

SPAY AND NEUTER. It's the responsible thing to do and your dog will be so much healthier and happier.
For some reason, people associate lots of problem behavior with a dog being inact. That's not always the case. It can go both ways, and you can have happy and healthy inact dogs. Rescues, shelters and other groups of similar agendas will often inform you of the health risks of inact dogs but they don't tell you of the other risks that come with altering a dog. Which are numerous. They also mention that altering dogs will reduce overpopulation, and while that is a serious matter, not every owner of an inact dog plans to breed it.

My dog fights and bullies other dogs who don't submit to him. He is in charge and dogs always wanna fight him because he doesn't submit. He is an alpha dog.
This is one that I unfortunately believed and fell for and even made a thread way back about. Turns out it meant something else. Don't remember what it was but it meant that my dog was not an Alpha like I thought he was.

I've been meaning to write this thread and I knew I had some other common misconceptions, but I ran out of them so if anyone has some to name let me know.
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post #2 of 178 (permalink) Old 05-15-2017, 05:24 PM
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I know what you mean. I recently closed my FB account and and have always avoided social media.
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post #3 of 178 (permalink) Old 05-15-2017, 05:56 PM
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I think you are doing good by learning and implementing knowledge learned. You are also spreading your knowledge ++. People are closed minded for sure but, if you help one person with their dog and issues all those close minded people will be forgotten and then you will be even better and educating people. You are right though. I joined wanting to learn about the breed but I ended up changing my whole training philosophy. A hybrid if you will. I learn from here more than I contribute. I just try and post pics of Jupiter with the kids to showcase the awesomeness of the breed with children and I try and keep my pics fun. Ill try to think and add a misconception if I can think of one.

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post #4 of 178 (permalink) Old 05-15-2017, 06:24 PM
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The one misconception that really bothers me is one that you have already stated. I hear people saying constantly, "certain breeds aren't aggressive. It's all about how the owner raises them!"

While this is true to a degree, people seem unwilling to accept that fact that some breeds are more prone to aggression, no matter how you raise them. I used certain breeds as the example because I hear it about them the most. I always try to explain to people that an aggressive dog might truly be aggressive. I try to explain how the parents' temperaments affect the dog. I try to explain that their dog being a doberman pinscher makes it more likely (NOT guaranteed) to be aggressive than a lab or golden retriever. People continue to restate that it is all how you raise the dog.

Obviously, there are lots and lots of dogs within "aggressive" breeds that are unbelievably sweet and wouldn't hurt a fly, but that doesn't change the fact that the base temperament of your dog really can't be changed, no matter how you raise the dog. The best owner who does everything right, puts tons of time into training, feeding properly, socializing, doing everything possible for their dog, may still end up with an aggressive dog. It is not always about how the dog is raised.

** I removed your specific breed reference since we no longer allow any reference to that specific "grouping" of dogs. It caused too many nasty post and discussions. ADMIN ***
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post #5 of 178 (permalink) Old 05-15-2017, 06:38 PM
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Very true, Pytheis! Genetics DOES play a role! A certain breed was bred for a certain purpose [can't mention the name here] and to expect this breed to be 100% non-aggressive is delusional.

I have rescued 4 GSDs since the mid 1980's. Three of these dogs were wonderful pets, and one became my Hearing Ear dog, and likely save my life one night. The fourth one was dog-aggressive, attacked and injured 2 dogs, then attacked and killed a toy breed dog when I accidentally left a gate open. I had her euthanized after that. It broke my heart, but it was the right thing to do.
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post #6 of 178 (permalink) Old 05-15-2017, 07:04 PM
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Also, I just realized that I shouldn't have specified a breed. I apologize for that, and it won't happen again.

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post #7 of 178 (permalink) Old 05-15-2017, 07:18 PM
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This forum is amazing for me, personally. I love that the knowledge is simply that - knowledge. Whether or not you choose to accept it and bring it into your repertoire is up to you, but you'll lose out on a lot if you don't take an open and critical mindset. I've also changed my own personal beliefs a LOT over time - adopt vs breeders, spat/neuter, "it's how you raise them"... heck, basically everything you've listed I've changed my opinion on because of what I've learned over the past few years lurking on this forum.

It really makes you appreciate the breeders and trainers who put in an exceptional amount of time and effort in producing or training for healthy, sound, and capable dogs.

The world would be a nicer place if everyone had the ability to love as unconditionally as a dog.

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post #8 of 178 (permalink) Old 05-16-2017, 01:50 AM
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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.
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post #9 of 178 (permalink) Old 05-16-2017, 08:09 AM
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I think my opinion is not that "some dogs require" certain tools, but that sometimes it is the best tool for the job.

I also don't begrudge anybody anything if it is working for them and it isn't abusive to the dog. What I mean is:if you can achieve 100 % offleash reliability with no e collar proof, if you can get a big strong energetic dog to walk gently on a flat collar with no training collar GREAT! Good for you. I would love to see you in action and I don't mean that sarcastically. If you can get real results with zero tools, results that last, then hats off to you.

I will just say this, it is absolutely possible to be using prong collars, e collars, anything else without abusing your dog or even handling them harshly at all. It is also more than possible to abuse your dog with those and any other training tool.
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post #10 of 178 (permalink) Old 05-16-2017, 08:12 AM
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Lastly about bitey goldens. I bet there are at least as many backyard bred genetic catastrophes of that breed as there are GSD. and/or puppy mill goldens. In those cases I bet there are all manner of messed up dogs that really aren't the owner'should fault.
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