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post #1 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-01-2016, 05:20 PM Thread Starter
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Public corrections

I had a weird experience today in a big box pet store. I had my puppy with me to socialize him. Two women with two toddlers, one in a cart and one walking, came over to pet him. He was very friendly with the women and licked the hand of the boy in the cart. The women were very curious about what I was doing (sit, watch, wait, calm). They said they had a bulldog (Pitt?) and had never trained it. I think the women were sisters.

While we were talking the little girl moved closer and my puppy suddenly gave out a huge warning bark. Barking at children is NOT an option. He has been showing a little early reactivity toward dogs, but never toward a child. I had him in a training collar, but instead of using that, grabbed the thick fur on both sides of his neck, gave one firm shake (not hard just firm) looked him in the eye and said No! In a loud, deep voice. He immediately sat down, put his ears down in a submissive pose and did his watch that I've taught him. He didn't budge.

I turned around to the women and said I'm sorry about the bark, it won't happen again. They were backing away from me and looked scared, not of my dog but of me.

I didn't think much of it, was glad I averted a bigger problem and kept walking around the store. My puppy stood in heel position and walked perfectly next to me. We walked by the grooming area. He saw several dogs and for the first time in a week, didn't react at all to them. His behavior was almost perfect and with one correction that was far less jarring than anything my older dog does to him when playing.

The area I shop is very PC. I think those women thought I was abusing my dog. They would rather see him bark at their toddler than be taught not to do it again. I'm puzzled and feeling very annoyed that I can't even feel comfortable teaching my dog in public. I'm mostly doing positive, but I will never risk a child's safety, and all positive wasn't going to get the point across. I may never have to do that again. What would the rest of you do?
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post #2 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-01-2016, 05:33 PM
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Sometimes a single, properly timed, strong enough to be effective, correction is more humane as it nips a problem in the bud so to speak and the dog does not spend any time in the bad place, where they are working themselves up, barking at people, dogs, kids, whatever, and we are trying to work with them slowly and carefully under their threshold.

You really can't explain that well, because the owner has to be savvy enough to know the dog, to have the right timing, to give the correction with respect to the dog, etc. And, frankly, too many of them will be too wimpy, too late, or too heavy handed for the dog they have.

If it worked, good.

Don't worry about the people in the pet store. Let them be afraid of you. Who cares. They do not have to live with your dog.

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post #3 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-01-2016, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by LuvShepherds View Post
What would the rest of you do?
Whatever the situation calls for. Don't worry about what other people think.
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post #4 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-01-2016, 05:49 PM
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yeah don't worry about what people say ... some folks do not have a clue about dog training ... all they see is 'OMG this monstrous animal abusive person is being so cruel to that poor dog' ... I already hate those stupid people.

I was socializing my puppy (he was 4 months old) on walks and I taught him nicely at least 25 times not to start chasing the passing cars. Then one day I grabbed him by the thick fur of his neck and gave him a quick firm shake saying NOOO as soon as he tried to chase a passing car ... some silly woman jogging by stopped and yelled at me "the poor little guy is doing just fine ..stop it" .... well all that matters to me is that my puppy is 7 months old now and he never ever chases passing cars anymore ... he hasn't done it even once after that firm shake.
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post #5 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-01-2016, 05:49 PM
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Nothing short of offering your dog a treat would have satisfied them. Pretty much that simple. I'd be more concerned about where they and their untrained undisciplined "Pit" live??

That is a dog you don't want to be anywhere near! You did good.
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post #6 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-01-2016, 05:58 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you all. I feel better. Seltzer, you and I have too many weird pet store experiences. I thought you would appreciate this one. Yes, one good correction not only stopped it but also the other reactivity which I expected and didn't happen.

Chip, I thought that too. Two small children with untrained Pitt bull. The owner said, my dog knows sit but he jumps on everyone, then she laughed. Maybe it's good my dog interrupted us, as I don't know what I would have said about that if I hadn't been. Who knows, maybe my dog sensed I was getting upset at her comments.

When I got to the register, the salesperson tried to sell me dog training classes.
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post #7 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-01-2016, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by LuvShepherds View Post
The area I shop is very PC. I think those women thought I was abusing my dog. They would rather see him ba I'm mostly doing positive, but I will never risk a child's safety, and all positive wasn't going to get the point across. I may never have to do that again. What would the rest of you do?
You are the one that lives with your dog. Nobody knows it better than you. You can listen to others and decide if you'd like to try to add new tools to your training box. But never second guess a quick correction for behavior that is never tolerated.

My (intact) Texas Blue Lacy is used for breed demos. He's out and about in the public all the time. He must behave. He responds best to positive training. There is no grey area for him. When I see him becoming tired or overwhelmed by a crowd (we could be at a demo for 8 - 10 hours) I put him in his crate for a rest.

One day we were walking (on leash) in a very crowded stairwell in a county arena. I had him against the wall and I was keeping between him and other dogs as we were heading for the arena. A male dog (on leash) passed by us and lashed out, my dog responded (big no-no). Other people were grabbing at the aggressor and all I had room to do was to slip my leash in my dog's mouth (he was openly snapping at the other dog) and pull him back to the wall. My intent was to get control of his face so nobody would get bit. It worked. My dog isn't accustomed to physical corrections. I totally brought him back to me in that second. It could have been different. It could have escalated his behavior. BUT, I know my dog. If he had escalated, I had his face.

I had to spend the rest of the day explaining this "training method". It's hard to explain a split reaction even when it's not a tool you keep in your training box.

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post #8 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-01-2016, 06:10 PM
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You did very well with your correction and your puppy understood you perfectly. To someone who does not understand training this looks like abuse, it is not. It is responsible handling and training.

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post #9 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-01-2016, 06:28 PM
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Public corrections

Who cares what people think -- one properly timed and appropriate correction is better than a dozen nagging ones

Enzo v TeMar
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post #10 of 49 (permalink) Old 02-01-2016, 06:28 PM
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Don't mean to be a prick....but this day and age....a big mean GSD attack killer dog etc... just has to do what yours did...and you could end up with all kinds of problems ( the legal type ). Your dog exhibited behavior which you did not expect, thankfully it was just a hearty bark. Unless I know the kids and they have been properly introduced to my dog, I tend to not allow strangers ( especially little ones ) get too close or pet my dog. Our country is way too litigious and if some kid is "traumatized" because of a seemingly benign moment with certain breeds of dogs.....you may change your viewpoint on who you allow to be in close proximity with your dog.......just saying...........

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