How to handle others who want to "train" your dog - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 54 (permalink) Old 02-03-2011, 07:33 AM Thread Starter
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How to handle others who want to "train" your dog

I have a question here about something that happened and I am not sure if I am over reacting about this or not.

I was a pet food store the other day and the employee there offered Chance a treat. Which is okay with me, but please ask me first instead of just grabbing one to give him?
That was my first annoyance. What if for any reason he had a known allergy to some ingredient and I had to be careful what he is fed?

My second annoyance and a bit moreso with getting ticked, was when the person who was waving this treat in front of his nose commanded him to sit first.

Am I incorrect with allowing a STRANGER to "train" my dog?

My thought with this is, I really do not want him listening to instructions from a complete stranger. I can see the burglar now,
"Sit! Down! STAY!" as he helps himself to my jewelry...

Chance, GSD mix. Had a Corgi head transplant when younger. 2-3 yrs old. Adopted from shelter 01-25-2011

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post #2 of 54 (permalink) Old 02-03-2011, 07:43 AM
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I would also be very upset about a stranger feeding my dog without asking first. A friend of mine has had the very problem you mentioned, her dog has severe grain allergies and there have been times someone at a dog park gave him a biscuit and then he spent the rest of the day vomiting. I do not allow strangers to treat my dog, and if they ask at the pet store I ask what kind of treats they are first and if I'm not familiar with them I say no.

As for the training... I also wouldn't appreciate a stranger trying to train my dog. But I don't think you should be concerned about him obeying commands from a burglar. He would either protect you/your house or not, and being obedient to friendly strangers won't really influence that. I'm very proud of my dogs for obeying simple commands from strangers, and its useful and important during times when I am away or something is happening at the vet.


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post #3 of 54 (permalink) Old 02-03-2011, 07:50 AM Thread Starter
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As for the training... I also wouldn't appreciate a stranger trying to train my dog. But I don't think you should be concerned about him obeying commands from a burglar. He would either protect you/your house or not, and being obedient to friendly strangers won't really influence that. I'm very proud of my dogs for obeying simple commands from strangers, and its useful and important during times when I am away or something is happening at the vet.
good point about the vet.
I just found it very rude all the way around. It raised the hairs on my neck when he started commanding my dog. Nervy.

He even started to push down on his rump to make him sit. I noticed that Chance's expression changed for a moment, like he didn't like that touch at all. That is when I jumped in explaining that is not how he is being trained by me, so please just give him the treat as the socialization was more important to me than whether he sat or not.

Chance, GSD mix. Had a Corgi head transplant when younger. 2-3 yrs old. Adopted from shelter 01-25-2011

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post #4 of 54 (permalink) Old 02-03-2011, 07:59 AM
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I think we all need to be advocates for our dogs, especially out in public.. Don't be a afraid to speak up and tell people to back off.. We all have a voice and need to be proactive!

Leesa~

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post #5 of 54 (permalink) Old 02-03-2011, 08:00 AM
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I would have stepped in as well. That was out of place and the employee should have never done that! They have no idea how you train, and its not their place to interfere. Many dogs aren't trained in english, so sit wouldn't mean anything to them. Many respond to only hand signals. My dog Tessa is my service dog, and I'm hoping Emma will be my next SD when Tessa must retire. I NEVER press on her shoulders if she hesitates for a down or comes back up from a down stay, even though its standard practice for many. Because I use my SD as a brace, pressing on the shoulders and I do NOT want the dog to lay down or buckle to the pressure.

He was completely out of line.


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post #6 of 54 (permalink) Old 02-03-2011, 08:09 AM
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I've never really had anyone try that on one of my dogs..The stores I go into, petco/petsmart, all have always asked first "can she have a treat?",,if I say YES, I also add, tell her to sit first and they comply

I tend to notice ALOT of people (strangers) who do this type of thing (like with chance),,have a preconceived notion that they are a friendly looking dog so it's no big deal to push themselves onto a dog like that.

Masi isn't the friendliest looking dawg so maybe that's why people ASK first or avoid her all together LOL..

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post #7 of 54 (permalink) Old 02-03-2011, 08:13 AM
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I think some of us need to lighten up. I'm sure the person's intentions were good. No wonder we have such a litigious society, everybody's so quickly offended by the slightest thing.
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post #8 of 54 (permalink) Old 02-03-2011, 08:19 AM
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I absolutely do not let strangers give my dogs treats that I do not provide. Sometimes we stand in front of the grocery store and I pick certain friendly looking people to treat my dogs with my treats. I do not let strangers walk up and give them commands at all. If we are in class others in class may do so to help out if I am away from the mat for minute but my dogs know those people and so do I and we are in the same training class. I most certainly would not let anyone come and put pressure on Raina as she would probably bite them. I have told people "Do not approach my dog." before - drunk obnoxious guy at the store. We have to be our dogs advocates. You never know what that "friendly" stranger may think it's okay to feed a dog.

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post #9 of 54 (permalink) Old 02-03-2011, 08:23 AM Thread Starter
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I think some of us need to lighten up. I'm sure the person's intentions were good. No wonder we have such a litigious society, everybody's so quickly offended by the slightest thing.
Lighten up yourself please.
I knew he wasn't trying to be mean, but it was still rude. Nice intentions or not.
You're right about the litigious society. What if Chance turned and bit him for pushing down on his hips? Something tells me that the person would have gone to sue me.

Chance, GSD mix. Had a Corgi head transplant when younger. 2-3 yrs old. Adopted from shelter 01-25-2011

In our memories and hearts always
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post #10 of 54 (permalink) Old 02-03-2011, 08:23 AM
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Was this a pet store where they offer training classes? Maybe the employee just did what, to him, was a natural thing. Personally, I've never had anyone attempt to correct my dogs at a public setting (although many, many people ask to pet them). In MHO, maybe the employee overstepped into your personal boundaries, but it certainly doesn't seem like it was done with any negative intent or consequences. Let it go, and tuck the experience into your memory data file. I, like Lin, don't mind my dog being polite and responsive to friendly strangers. Knowing she will retain her manners around strangers is a good feeling for me.

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