Your experience with expert wannabes - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-07-2012, 12:49 PM Thread Starter
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Your experience with expert wannabes

I don't consider myself an expert when it comes to raising or training dogs, I'm just an average owner that currently has a male GSD mix of 10 months that although is a nice dog, can be a bit challenging in some ways (non compliant unless valuable reward or light correction is presented and often testing everything and is not afraid of any consequences) and is dog reactive.

So we aren't the perfect owners and so our dog is not perfectly behaved all the time. This is our fault for not committing enough to training, but well, this doesn't really matter that much for us (we are working on it that things improved every now and then), although what's annoying is that we've been meeting people who are often acting like experts and giving many advices when they see other dogs not behaving perfectly.

For example, two weeks ago, I was talking with a vet about our dog's separation anxiety coz we just moved to a new apartment. He was used to being crated for long hours in the last apartment, but at the new one he barked for hours whenever we left him in a crate, so I just wanted something light that my dog could take to help him be calmer to get used to the new place in an easier way. The vet then proceeded to tell me a bunch of "if your dog acknowledges you as the leader then everything will be solved" theories, as if all I needed would be just telling my dog that he had to stay there, and then he would have stayed there quietly and all the anxiety would magically disappear. This might be true if I have spent time to train my dog enough so he would be used to being left in any unfamiliar place for a long time, but well... And then the vet continued to talk about how we needed to be the leader and so on, and then said that the dog needed exercise and that we should ride a bike or rollerblade with him (why this sounds so familiar?). While I was telling her how doing that with my dog would be crazy, since he's dog reactive.
(The issue was later solved by us leaving our dog in the kitchen with a baby gate instead of inside the crate - we did it since he was destructive -, and so he didn't bark anymore and gradually felt better about it)

Another situation that annoyed me was with a neighbor. This guy owns a big dog that is medium-low energy (lucky him). The dog is calm, of leash and has excellent obedience.
At first, I thought that it was cool to have met a neighbor that is experienced and has a perfect dog. I've asked him for a few tips, and some were useful. But well, it soon turned to be annoying - first, he told us to just let our dog (that was 6 months old at time) off leash as it was the only way to get him used to walk off leash (in that neighborhood most dogs walks off leash). We only let him run with other dogs off leash if the other dog has good recall (so that ours follow them), since our dog never had good enough recall for us to feel safe. So once, I did let my dog off leash near the neighborhood coffee place, and so he saw what I really meant (jumping on people - the neighbor's friends -, banging on stuffs when running wild, not listening and so on).
And then, he also often told us that we need to do this and that and that the dog must always comply and so on, and even proceeds to correct my dog (this was very very annoying) when sometimes it was his fault. For example, once I was trying to calm my dog down when he was being too excited to see his dog, and then when my dog was almost calm, he just came in and excited him again (jumped on him) before allowing me to take control.



Actually, I do know the importance of assuming leadership with my dog in many forms (NILIF, walks, feeding, playing, correcting certain behaviors and so on) as well as establishing rules, and I do use correction in some situations, but it gets kinda annoying when people start trying to impose all the "you must have your dog obey" and "the dogs can climb over the hierarchy" theories. It kinda makes me want to tell them "leadership is not what cures separation anxiety duh!" (this to a vet that should know it better than me the average owner), that "dogs are more about being opportunists rather than hierarchies", that "you can try tell my dog that you're the leader while you rollerblade him and he sees some dog across the street" and so on.
But well, since my dog is still a work in progress and we can't have perfect obedience out of him yet, no one really cares for our theories and methods when imposing their training theories anyways. *sigh*


Anyways, how about you guys? Have you had conversations with expert wannabes about training theories that were annoying?
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-07-2012, 12:59 PM
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I had my (non-GSD) pup at the vet the other week. He is very mouthy - but at 4 months he is much, much better. The vet was poking and pulling on him, the pup took that as play and started to mouth him. Honestly, if it had been a month sooner the vet would what drawn back bloody stubs. But the pup was being very light mouthed. I use re-direction, and even at the vet I had a back pack full of toys and treats. I had his favorite toy in my hand at that very moment.

The vet said, "Oh, we have a biter!" and stuck his thumb in the pup's mouth and clamped down on his lower jaw. This might work for some dogs, but all it does for this pup is turn up the volume. You can see it in his eyes, "Oh, it's on now!" and full attack mode (playful) came on.

I squeaked his toy - total attention turned to me (like turning the light off again) and I gave him his toy. With toy in mouth, he turned back to the vet as if to offer the toy to the vet. The vet says, "Oh, redirection. This works too."

Honestly, I don't come unglued when watching a professional (vet / trainer) try something new. I like to watch the reaction of my dog to something new.

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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-07-2012, 01:08 PM
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-07-2012, 01:15 PM
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Soooo. . . you asked your vet and your neighbor for advice. You didn't like their advice, so they're "expert wannabees"?


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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-07-2012, 01:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lilie View Post
Honestly, I don't come unglued when watching a professional (vet / trainer) try something new. I like to watch the reaction of my dog to something new.
Lilie, I like this
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-07-2012, 01:17 PM
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A few here and there, nothing too annoying thankfully Mostly walking away cures alot of "wannabees" from continuing the conversation

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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-07-2012, 01:32 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Emoore View Post
Soooo. . . you asked your vet and your neighbor for advice. You didn't like their advice, so they're "expert wannabees"?
No, I asked my vet for calming meds; and for the neighbor, he continued to give advices even thought I ceased to ask him anything for some time.
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-07-2012, 01:34 PM
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I would find an expert wannabe who's advice you like, and fast....if you were my neighbor, you would have been reported to Animal Control and the cops every day until you either got a fine or the dog removed.

If you don't have time to train a dog, you don't have time for a dog. A dog doesn't need to know a single trick. Who cares if it can high five?? But if your dog barks all day while you are gone for 8 hours, it is intruding on your neighbor's rights to enjoy their space.

If you live in the country, ignore everything I just said and let your dog bark all you want, unless you plan on moving into a community some day.

If you dog is barking from his kennel all day, it isn't separation anxiety, it is boredom. I run Rocky an hour at 6am, go to work 7:30-5:00, get home at 5, go on a 45 minute walk, and train for 30 minutes then do homework and chores and gym. Is it convienant? No. But I would never bother my neighbors with a restless dog because I was too tired to walk the dog.
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-07-2012, 01:36 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lilie View Post
I had my (non-GSD) pup at the vet the other week. He is very mouthy - but at 4 months he is much, much better. The vet was poking and pulling on him, the pup took that as play and started to mouth him. Honestly, if it had been a month sooner the vet would what drawn back bloody stubs. But the pup was being very light mouthed. I use re-direction, and even at the vet I had a back pack full of toys and treats. I had his favorite toy in my hand at that very moment.

The vet said, "Oh, we have a biter!" and stuck his thumb in the pup's mouth and clamped down on his lower jaw. This might work for some dogs, but all it does for this pup is turn up the volume. You can see it in his eyes, "Oh, it's on now!" and full attack mode (playful) came on.

I squeaked his toy - total attention turned to me (like turning the light off again) and I gave him his toy. With toy in mouth, he turned back to the vet as if to offer the toy to the vet. The vet says, "Oh, redirection. This works too."

Honestly, I don't come unglued when watching a professional (vet / trainer) try something new. I like to watch the reaction of my dog to something new.
Mine also took the thumb in the mouth method as another version of play. This was one of the many methods we tried to stop our mad shark, but well, we eventually dealt with it with many methods together (redirection, teaching to play with toys by making it fun, ignore bite plays and correct if extremely insisting, and encouraging licking and gentler interaction), and he also grew out of it.
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-07-2012, 01:39 PM
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Sheep, I think we all at some point received unsolicited advise, some good & some bad.

I am pretty good at changing the subject or saying something like every dog is different & training methods vary, etc.

There are some people you know to not even bring a certain subject up around because they will go on non-stop. First example that comes to mind is my co-worker and the housing market! With your neighbor, maybe only bring up the weather
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