Levels of knowledge for the average pet owner. - Page 4 - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #31 of 106 (permalink) Old 11-22-2013, 04:49 PM
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Nice post Merciel.

One thing I believe that does not help coming from this forum is calling
average pet owners things like.... idiots, jerks, scum, low lifes and other such terms.

I made many of the mistakes with the first dogs I had as an adult that are roundly criticized on here. I didn't make those mistakes because I was any of the above terms. I simply didn't know any better and as Jane says when you know better you do better.

When I was in my 20's I wouldn't have made it past the first person on a forum who said I was an idiot for making those mistakes.

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post #32 of 106 (permalink) Old 11-22-2013, 04:50 PM
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I think one thing EVERY pet owner needs to learn to be REALLY good at is reading body language. It amazes me how a lot of people can miss the signs (before the bigger signs) of aggression, and every other emotion an animal feels.
lol I think all pet owners should become certified decoys in a protection sport of their choosing, but that aint gonna happen either

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post #33 of 106 (permalink) Old 11-22-2013, 06:21 PM
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One thing I believe that does not help coming from this forum is calling average pet owners things like.... idiots, jerks, scum, low lifes and other such terms.
I agree completely.

For a similar reason, I'm not really sure that threads like this help, however well intentioned they might be, because they too often shade into a condemnation of "average pet owners" as apathetic and uneducated. Then people get sidetracked trying to figure out if the label applies to them (and defensive if they think they're being insulted), when really the label is a total red herring and distracts from any substantive discussion.

I've just become more and more convinced over time that use of blanket labels does not help anyone's understanding of a topic and, if anything, actively interferes with meaningful communication.

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post #34 of 106 (permalink) Old 11-22-2013, 06:37 PM
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The girl who answers the phones behind the counter at my vets office feeds her dogs pedigree. So even between vets knowledge varies greatly.
My vet doesn't even have shepherd spelled correctly in their system. A pet peeve of mine, if you are making $ off animals, at least spell the breeds name correctly!

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post #35 of 106 (permalink) Old 11-22-2013, 06:42 PM
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I agree completely.

For a similar reason, I'm not really sure that threads like this help, however well intentioned they might be, because they too often shade into a condemnation of "average pet owners" as apathetic and uneducated. Then people get sidetracked trying to figure out if the label applies to them (and defensive if they think they're being insulted), when really the label is a total red herring and distracts from any substantive discussion.

I've just become more and more convinced over time that use of blanket labels does not help anyone's understanding of a topic and, if anything, actively interferes with meaningful communication.
Good point. That certainly wasn't my intention! Like I said, anybody that makes it far enough to come to a forum is already going above and beyond. As far as I'm concerned, all the folks on here are in the upper echelon, no matter their question. They are taking the time to get educated and invest in their dog-related knowledge.

People who aren't dog-crazy aren't bad people. They're not cruel, abusive, or horrible. They're just ignorant, and I mean that in the first part of the definition; "lacking in knowledge", not "uneducated" or "unsophisticated". And that's totally OK! After all, 'average' is a statistic that incorporates the mega-obsessed and the mega-negligent. I'm totally ignorant about cars. I can still own and drive one, I just have nothing invested in whats under the hood, don't care about dents and scratches, and put whatever type or brand of gas is cheapest to get me from point A to B. I change the oil when it tells me to and if I get a 'check engine' light I go to a mechanic. I'm sure to a hotrod enthusiast I'm just an 'average' car owner.
That's my parallel to dog owners; 'average' dog owners can still own dogs, it just isn't important to them how their dog is groomed, how shiny their coat is, what pedigree they have, and give them whatever dog food is cheapest and keeps them fed and happy. They give shots when they need to and if their pet is sick they go to the vet. So to me, they're average pet owners.


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post #36 of 106 (permalink) Old 11-22-2013, 07:01 PM
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The girl who answers the phones behind the counter at my vets office feeds her dogs pedigree. So even between vets knowledge varies greatly.
What if that's all she can afford in her current financial position? I don't base other's knowledge on what they can or can't buy. It's a bit presumptuous at best...
I overheard a couple some time ago at PetFart discussing what food they could afford. They were comparing ingredients and nutritional content to the "best" food while talking about their issue. I tried not to listen too much. They were in my way of getting my food. I had to go around several times.
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post #37 of 106 (permalink) Old 11-22-2013, 07:06 PM
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Good point. That certainly wasn't my intention! Like I said, anybody that makes it far enough to come to a forum is already going above and beyond. As far as I'm concerned, all the folks on here are in the upper echelon, no matter their question. They are taking the time to get educated and invest in their dog-related knowledge.

People who aren't dog-crazy aren't bad people. They're not cruel, abusive, or horrible. They're just ignorant, and I mean that in the first part of the definition; "lacking in knowledge", not "uneducated" or "unsophisticated". And that's totally OK! After all, 'average' is a statistic that incorporates the mega-obsessed and the mega-negligent. I'm totally ignorant about cars. I can still own and drive one, I just have nothing invested in whats under the hood, don't care about dents and scratches, and put whatever type or brand of gas is cheapest to get me from point A to B. I change the oil when it tells me to and if I get a 'check engine' light I go to a mechanic. I'm sure to a hotrod enthusiast I'm just an 'average' car owner.
That's my parallel to dog owners; 'average' dog owners can still own dogs, it just isn't important to them how their dog is groomed, how shiny their coat is, what pedigree they have, and give them whatever dog food is cheapest and keeps them fed and happy. They give shots when they need to and if their pet is sick they go to the vet. So to me, they're average pet owners.
I think a lot of people were average pet owners, and when their dog had behavioral or health problems, they came here. I don't know that these average owners would fit your description. I think average owners can still find good food, and go to training classes, and care about whether their dog is groomed and healthy. A lot of average pet owners dog learn about their breed. They may not spend all evening every night on a forum, but that doesn't mean they aren't feeding excellent food, training, and managing their dog properly in public.

I think there are average owners, and then there are those owners who are definitely below average, those who abuse their dogs or let them run willy nilly everywhere, those who let their dogs bite people, more than once, those that feed macaroni noodles to their dogs and nothing else. Those that feed ole roy, and benful; those that use the ole rubber band method for neutering, and those that pump out one set of puppies after another from their dog and dump them in shelters.

I think a lot of the average owners that come here with legitimate questions and stick around, maybe become even better owners with more knowledge. But I do not know that I would label the majority of owners out there, people who fit your description. I hope.

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post #38 of 106 (permalink) Old 11-22-2013, 07:13 PM
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Well, I'm certainly not going to argue with anybody. I bet it's also quite regional. I'm in Georgia, after all. I imagine that our 'average' is very different from, say, LA or NY in terms of types of dog owners.

Glad other folks have better experiences!


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post #39 of 106 (permalink) Old 11-22-2013, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by shepherdmom View Post
So if breed specific knowledge is not that important. How do I pick a dog? Or a breeder?

If you're picking a breeder it's important. I was referring to what it takes to own a dog, not purchase one. That's a whole different ballgame.
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post #40 of 106 (permalink) Old 11-22-2013, 08:10 PM Thread Starter
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OK, so tell me how we as a forum can change that.

We can all work in our own little ways, join national or international causes, get into fields that encourage education (outreach, performance, rescue, vets, groomers etc) but thousands of back yard dogs still never see anything but the inside of their fence. Unless we pull a jehovas' witness and start knocking door-to-door there's just no way to get to everyone or a way to make everyone start caring. And even if the person knocking on my door to 'spread the word' was there to tell me how to vaccinate my dog I'd STILL hate them with a passion, lol!
I don't know how we can change it. I'm asking.
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