Crappy story that happened at the show Saturday - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-10-2010, 10:25 PM Thread Starter
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Crappy story that happened at the show Saturday

We were waiting for a pre-novice obedience class to finish up at the GSD specialty so I could do my CGC, when this woman put her black lab in a downstay. That I did not notice. What I notice was her forcing the dog's head into the ground. She did this ten or more times.

At one point I heard the dog wimper. She was really pushing him into the ground.

I was standing near but could not hear everything said.

I heard her say something about training dogs for some type of service.

I heard her say that he hunkered up just enough to pee. I took it that he peed in the ring and NQ'd.

I heard her thank the judge for allowing her to correct her dog in the ring.

I was disgusted. But felt I must just be a total softee. I said nothing and took the test with Joy.

About 1/2 hour later, I was talking to some of the people watching from inside the hotel, members of our club. One was a breeder of GSDs, the other was one of my puppy buyers -- a former breeder of GSDs. I mentioned the woman putting her dog's head in the turf.

The one woman was as mad as I was, saying "what was that all about?" I talked about it for a few minutes, frowns all around.

Later on the way home, my friend who I drove with -- also a GSD breeder, club member, show and performance person, she was insensed about it as well. She was also right there in the tent where I was taking the test, so she also saw the whole thing.

All these people have been doing this stuff for decades, I am the youngster in the crowd. None of them said anything, but all were insensed. My friend I was driving with said I should have said something. Beside the woman with the dog's friend, I was the closest to her, I gues.

I have gotten a CD on Arwen, but that is the extent of my straight obedience experience. I generally find the subject and the people stiff and terse and many of them act like we rally idiots are red-headed step children or more like the servants' brats. I felt unsuited to say anything.

I guess I should have trusted my gut and told the woman that this is still an AKC show, and mistreating a dog could be reported and penalized. I did not though.

So what do you do? You see something that makes you downright mad, at a show, do you say something? Do you complain to someone? Do you keep quiet?

If your novice or pre-novice dog urinated in the ring, what would you do?

It happened to me only at a match once, and while I was embarrassed, I did not do anything to the dog, I thought I should have gotten their earlier and let her eliminate before going in the ring, I blamed myself.

There is no title for pre-novice obedience. What is the big deal if the dog NQd anyway. It is not like they get title legs for it? What a waste of anything positive for the day for that dog and that person.

At what point does a performance sport become all about me and all about winning and not about the dog or having a good time with him?

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE to get ribbons, especially those that accompany the green ones. But I cannot imagine taking it out on the dog.

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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-10-2010, 10:33 PM
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So what do you do? You see something that makes you downright mad, at a show, do you say something? Do you complain to someone? Do you keep quiet?


No, I don't keep quiet, I am one of these people that are flat out straight forward. Plus the judge should have said something.

If your novice or pre-novice dog urinated in the ring, what would you do?
Nothing really, the show must go on and stuff like that happens. If the dog urinates in the ring it's my fault for not giving him the chance to pee outside the ring.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-10-2010, 10:48 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I missed an opportunity to stick up for a dog. I was a little worried about going into the ring myself, and Joy had not been trained for working outside at all, and the hurricane (high winds and rain and cold conditions). But I should have said something. I am just not sure what.

I think I should have something ready to say to someone for such circumstances.

The thing is there are a lot of different types of training, some that are basically positive reinforcement, and some that tend toward corrections and punishment. Even on this site, people are quite tetchy about their training methods. If she would have struck or kicked the dog, then I think I could have walked over and told her off, but I really did not know if I was over-reacting. It took other people's opinion on the incident to justify my own feelings and by then the opportunity was past.

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-11-2010, 12:36 AM
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Originally Posted by selzer View Post
Well, I missed an opportunity to stick up for a dog. I was a little worried about going into the ring myself, and Joy had not been trained for working outside at all, and the hurricane (high winds and rain and cold conditions). But I should have said something. I am just not sure what.
I think I should have something ready to say to someone for such circumstances.
The thing is there are a lot of different types of training, some that are basically positive reinforcement, and some that tend toward corrections and punishment. ........
Selzer,
It would be tough to come up with the appropriate thing to say to someone like you describe without getting into a real argument with them potentially. A word to the judge or other trial official would probably be the best bet for most of us I imagine.

On another note, your later statment about obedience training types seems to indicate there are only two types - totally positive reinforcement only and "corrections and punishment". Just wanted to point out that the use of a correction does not imply or mean "punishment" of a dog. Corrections could and often do mean nothing more severe than a verbal correction i.e. "Uh Uh" or maybe even "No".

Many trainers take this approach to training and it really does work!
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-11-2010, 01:56 AM
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If I saw someone abusing their dog at a show, I would find the show superintendent and report them. I have complained about aggressive dogs and not wanting to be in a group exercise out of sight with them in the ring with my dog and I have gone to refute an idiot handler that complained about a judge that rightfully excused them. I'm not going to put up with any sort of non-sense at a dog show and neither should you. If you need to complain, then complain. The superintendent can look into it and it's up to them after that.

I have never had a dog soil in the ring - thank goodness! - but should it happen, you should tell your dog no to see if they will stop, if not, you wait red-faced until they are done and then get out of the ring.

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-11-2010, 02:04 AM
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Originally Posted by codmaster View Post
On another note, your later statment about obedience training types seems to indicate there are only two types - totally positive reinforcement only and "corrections and punishment". Just wanted to point out that the use of a correction does not imply or mean "punishment" of a dog. Corrections could and often do mean nothing more severe than a verbal correction i.e. "Uh Uh" or maybe even "No".
That's not what she said at all. The terms she used were "basically positive reinforcement" (which is NOT "totally positive reinforcement"), and those that "tend towards corrections and punishment". And if you read her initial post carefully, she was not talking about someone using verbal corrections, (which most of us "basically positive reinforcement" types DO use), she was talking about someone using enough physical force to make the dog whimper:

Quote:
What I notice was her forcing the dog's head into the ground. She did this ten or more times.

At one point I heard the dog wimper. She was really pushing him into the ground.
Codmaster, you make this kind of comment in defense of using corrections often, but most of the time it's not germane to the discussion at hand. Selzer is not saying people shouldn't use verbal corrections or that all corrections are bad. She's saying that the type of physical force this woman was using was not appropriate, and I have to agree. If the only way I could make my dogs comply would be to use a level of force that caused them to cower and whimper out of fear, I would be seriously re-examining my training techniques because they're obviously not working very well.

Whether or not the word "correction" implies punishment or not is completely irrelevant to this particular situation. I really don't think you need to defend verbal corrections here because I've never seen anyone argue against them on this board.

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-11-2010, 06:30 AM
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Originally Posted by selzer View Post
Well, I missed an opportunity to stick up for a dog. I was a little worried about going into the ring myself, and Joy had not been trained for working outside at all, and the hurricane (high winds and rain and cold conditions). But I should have said something. I am just not sure what.

I think I should have something ready to say to someone for such circumstances.

The thing is there are a lot of different types of training, some that are basically positive reinforcement, and some that tend toward corrections and punishment. Even on this site, people are quite tetchy about their training methods. If she would have struck or kicked the dog, then I think I could have walked over and told her off, but I really did not know if I was over-reacting. It took other people's opinion on the incident to justify my own feelings and by then the opportunity was past.
Don't be to hard on yourself. It is not your fault, however the judge is at fault. They have seen what she has done and she even thanked them for letting her correct the dog. That's when they should have stepped up the plate and said something or corrected her behavior.

And codemaster is right it's not easy to talk to people like that and I ALWAYS get in trouble with people at a dog park because I can't keep my mouth shut anymore and that's not good either.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-11-2010, 07:56 AM
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I would also blame the judge, sooooo many times I've seen stuff at shows and IN the ring that the judges do nothing about.

About a month ago, at an agility trial, this BIG WIG, and I mean world team competitor was seen abusing their dog after a bad run. (I'm not exactly sure what they were doing I did NOT see it)..well a novice person told the trial chair, and guess what? The person got the BOOT! YEAH! They were written up and who knows what will happen, but I applaud that "newbie" for ratting on them.

I have no problem ratting on someone who is abusing their dog it peeves me so bad that , that overrides any other thought I may have about keeping my mouth shut

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-11-2010, 09:08 AM
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Although not at a show, I was in the same situation last night. I was in my car at a light, and I saw this very heavy set man walking his black lab. I wouldn't mention his weight other than the fact that he was much more powerful than the dog.
Anyway, the dog is walking along politely, although at the end of the leash but did not appear to be pulling.
But, this man, was yanking on this poor dog, choker chain and all, with every step he took. Step, yank, step, yank....for a good distance. And to the point that the dog was actually forced backwards on each yank.

When the light turned green I had to force myself to keep going....I just wanted to stop my car, grab the leash and put the choker chain around that man's neck and yank on him!

And THAT was how he acted in public! Imagine what he does behind closed doors.

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-11-2010, 12:40 PM
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The judge and the ring stewards should have said something.

I was at a show once where this judge put down the most difficult RA course she could have come up with. I was already judging her and thinking she was going to be a real bitch. Turns out I was dead wrong. She not only NQ'd but excused one handler for verbally correcting her dog in the ring. The dog went to sniff the food in the bowl and the handler said "hey!" not even that harsh but the dog flinched and they were excused. The judge also NQ'd other people for too many tight leashes (not even corrections or exercises done wrong). I was quite impressed, I see way too many tight leashes and total lack of focus or bond in Rally, I like a judge that is looking at the overall picture and not just the exercises and points.
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