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Recently there have been a number of threads where advice has been given that is well above and beyond people simply sharing their own experiences.........

Internet forums are great places to meet people and exchange ideas. Sometimes, however, advice is given that is just plain wrong or downright dangerous. As moderators, our job is not to ensure the quality and accuracy of the advice people give each other. As forum members, we put in our own two cents when we agree or disagree just like everyone else on the board [and try to keep the place clean-cut and polite]

That said, here are some considerations when evaluating the advice of a poster or when you give advice.

You should know your source. Everyone can be an "expert" on the internet and people are sometimes not honest about their own lack of experience or knowledge. Often, this is not intentional deception but folks simply not realizing their own limitations. We all go through phases where first we know nothing, then we know everything, then we realize we really don't know very much, and finally we realize we do know more than we thought we knew.

If someone is an excellent writer, heor she may confound you with his/her "knowledge" while taking you down a wrong and possibly dangerous path. Often the most knowledgeable folks have the least to say as they are not interested in hearing themselves talk. Often the least knowledgeable want to make sure you know just how much they know and care more about their own ego than you or your dog.

Ideally, someone giving advice (as opposed to someone sharing their own personal experiences and opinions) should have a real name and verifiable credentials and not stand as an anonymous person.

Time on the board and number of posts do not make an expert.

It is always nice when people give information to back up their assertions, such as links to journal or legitimate magazine articles. And even linked information, such as blogsites etc., can be fraught with errors.

Look for some level of consensus, particularly if an idea seems "out there". It IS true that some of the great ideas of all time are outside of the norm, but most of the paths we go down with training and feeding and caring for dogs are pretty well traveled. Just realize when something is "out there" and do more research on your own to back it up. You are responsible for deciding if the advice you have been given is credible.

When you are dealing with a medical issue, especially an urgent one, SEE A VET. When you are dealing with a serious temperament issue, GET TO A TRAINER. Use the board to help you get ideas and suggestions for selecting these folks and for questions to raise as you talk with them, but go to someone who can actually see your dog, diagnose the problem and help you fix it.

When you are giving advice, please just give it and let others give theirs. The board is not a pulpit for people to preach their ideas alone to the exclusion of others but a place for sharing of ideas. Please also don't jump on new members for not knowing everything, including how to spell "shepherd". People come here to get advice and not be insulted.

It is also very sad when a thread goes down the drain because a "war" between two posters diverts attention from the original post and becomes about the two arguing personalities.

If we can check out egos at the door, we might realize that we ALL have things we can share and things we can learn here.
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:thumbup:
 

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excellent post I think EVERYONE should read this
 

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When it comes to taking advice one should absolutely cross-reference, research and ask questions before putting it to use. Develop your own opinion.

For giving advice, supply the person with evidence and further reading materials to support your advice. Otherwise, state your opinion as exactly that: opinion, not fact.

Both sides must be respectful, calm, and logical.
 

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As Platos's Socrates said: τούτου μὲν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐγὼ σοφώτερός εἰμι· κινδυνεύει μὲν γὰρ ἡμῶν οὐδέτερος οὐδὲν καλὸν κἀγαθὸν εἰδέναι, ἀλλ' οὗτος μὲν οἴεται τι εἰδέναι οὐκ εἰδώς, ἐγὼ δέ, ὥσπερ οὖν οὐκ οἶδα, οὐδὲ οὄιμαι· ἔοικα γοῦν τούτου γε σμικρῷ τινι αὐτῷ τούτῳ σοφώτερος εἶναι, ὅτι ἃ μή οἶδα οὐδὲ οἴομαι εἰδέναι
 

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As Platos's Socrates said: τούτου μὲν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐγὼ σοφώτερός εἰμι· κινδυνεύει μὲν γὰρ ἡμῶν οὐδέτερος οὐδὲν καλὸν κἀγαθὸν εἰδέναι, ἀλλ' οὗτος μὲν οἴεται τι εἰδέναι οὐκ εἰδώς, ἐγὼ δέ, ὥσπερ οὖν οὐκ οἶδα, οὐδὲ οὄιμαι· ἔοικα γοῦν τούτου γε σμικρῷ τινι αὐτῷ τούτῳ σοφώτερος εἶναι, ὅτι ἃ μή οἶδα οὐδὲ οἴομαι εἰδέναι
I went to one who had the reputation of wisdom, and observed him.

When I began to talk with him, I could not help thinking that he was not really wise, although he was thought wise by many, and still wiser by himself; and thereupon I tried to explain to him that he thought himself wise, but was not really wise; and the consequence was that he hated me, and his enmity was shared by several who were present and heard me.

So I left him, saying to myself, as I went away: Well, although I do not suppose that either of us knows anything really beautiful and good. I am better off than he is,—for he knows nothing, and thinks that he knows; I neither know nor think that I know. In this latter particular, then, I seem to have slightly the advantage of him.



Is that it?
 

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I went to one who had the reputation of wisdom, and observed him.

When I began to talk with him, I could not help thinking that he was not really wise, although he was thought wise by many, and still wiser by himself; and thereupon I tried to explain to him that he thought himself wise, but was not really wise; and the consequence was that he hated me, and his enmity was shared by several who were present and heard me.

So I left him, saying to myself, as I went away: Well, although I do not suppose that either of us knows anything really beautiful and good. I am better off than he is,—for he knows nothing, and thinks that he knows; I neither know nor think that I know. In this latter particular, then, I seem to have slightly the advantage of him.

Is that it?
My greek is pretty rusty, but yes it is basically that... Really the last paragraph.

It was *supposed to be* one of those, folks who would benefit from the quote will figure it out themselves, those that wouldn't be bothered to research it would have read and not understood, dismiss as philosophical nonsense, or otherwise been of no use, type of posts... Cryptic by design lol. Oh well
 

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This is a great piece of advice and should be pinned...

It also goes for breeder references - sometimes I shudder when I see posts pushing breeders - pretty photos and expensive websites do not make great breeders

Lee
 

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It is. ;)

Agree on the posts pushing breeders, same with good breeders who may have bad websites, but as we have people of all ages and experience levels participating on here I don't know what can be done about it.

This is a great piece of advice and should be pinned...

It also goes for breeder references - sometimes I shudder when I see posts pushing breeders - pretty photos and expensive websites do not make great breeders

Lee
 

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Thanks for posting jocoyn. I wish i had the ability to read it before i started on this forums. I think it would have helped me in lots of ways. :)
 
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