Dealing with the public. - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-15-2009, 08:49 PM Thread Starter
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Dealing with the public.

I am very new to Schutzhund. Just 4 weeks. Last night, I went to the local park to work on tracking. While I was laying out scent boxes, a woman walked by with 2 GSDs. I said hello and through brief conversation, mentioned what I was doing. She said that her one dog had a tracking title and the other was working on it. I mentioned that we just started doing SchH. She replied, "Well! WE wouldn't do something like THAT. We don't want any mean dogs!" Then she walked off.

I was so taken off guard. That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard. My dog is a complete sweetie! In fact, last time we worked, he left the field with the sleeve and dropped it so he could greet all the club members before going to the car. We have a hard time getting him to focus during tracking because he wants to see what the people are doing. This sport is making him so vicious!

It was one of those situations where I WISH I would have said something back to her, but I was just too irritated. So, my question is... What do you say to comments like that?

Amy
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-15-2009, 08:52 PM
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Re: Dealing with the public.

I would just roll my eyes and let her go, and then mutter under my breath, "well WE don't need any idiots like you!"

Luckily, around here no one knows what SchH is unless they are doing it themselves, so if people ask, I get to control what they know about it. I generally describe it very vaguely and always emphasize that it's three phases, not the "attack dog training" people are thinking of.
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-15-2009, 09:00 PM
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Re: Dealing with the public.

Really, nothing. Just let it go.
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-15-2009, 09:10 PM
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Re: Dealing with the public.

What can you say to comments like that? It's hard to argue with ignorance. My understanding, and I know nothing about Schutzhund, is the dogs have better obedience. I would let it go...after I laughed myself silly.




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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-15-2009, 09:25 PM
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Re: Dealing with the public.

I would (and do) explain the reason for the sport, the lady obviously said it out of ignorance and would be better informed after an explanation.
Many people have no clue what it is about.
At the UKC Premier event there were hundreds of the general public attending. The sportwork was in the wayback so you'd only see it if you ventured out there, the wandering crowd may believe it is abuse/or creating a vicious dog and leave with their un-informed opinions, when they see the bitework or courage tests.
Now UKC has eliminated this from their affiliation, probably due to a few who have no clue, spouting their opinions.

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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-15-2009, 09:27 PM
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Re: Dealing with the public.

It is frustrating isn't it??? And this from someone who has Shepherds, and has titled them.

I ran into a very similar situation recently where an active breeder/ competitor made the comment that people who do schutzhund are stupid, and putting sick-em-dog-trainers in the same category.
Could not think of a good response either.
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-15-2009, 09:34 PM
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Re: Dealing with the public.

Those who can do. Those who can't don't get it.


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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-15-2009, 09:37 PM
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Re: Dealing with the public.

Unfortunately ignorance is not a crime. You cannot change a persons preconceived notions in a chance encounter. People will hold to what they either believe or are taught and usually defend it with a passion. You could have shown her your wonderfully well adjusted confident friend but alas it would most likely lead to a waste of your time and your dogs vauable training time. The best you could ever hope is that she would become interested in arguing and it would lead her to research the sport and learn for herself. The public in general will always have doubts concerning things they don't fully understand until they want to be educated. This woman most likely would not want to know the facts. Good luck with the tracking and keep your chin up and your dogs nose down.

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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-15-2009, 09:48 PM
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Re: Dealing with the public.

I rarely tell people what I do though I have found the general public far more open to learning than most dog people. If people ask I just tell them I am doing obedience or tracking and leave it at that. My neighbors that stop in out of curiosity, I always explain what we do and let them meet the dogs before they watch the protection. We also have done demo's for 4-H groups to help educate people about our dogs and our sport. This is the best way to deal with ignorance.

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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-15-2009, 10:07 PM
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Re: Dealing with the public.

Do you think its possible that attitudes like this which coincides with the AKC view of Sch is the reason the American dog is what it is today?????????
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