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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone heard about a petition circulating to change or do away with the long sit and down in Obedience? My trainer mentioned it yesterday. Apparently a Pom was attacked and badly hurt by a Dobie during the out of sight long down at a show in Big Spring, TX (not sure of location). Now some people are demanding changes. They say that ring stewards aren't staying close to dogs in case of probs, etc. Wondering if anyone's heard about this?

I'm editing my post - just got a link to the post about this. It's from a Golden forum: http://www.goldenretrieverforum.com/showthread.php?t=36786
 

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Terrible situation.

I've seen bad situations with 2 teams checking in off leash in for SchH obedience, or dogs that leave the long honor down in SchH as well. If I knew the other dog I was paired with had dog aggressive tendencies, I'd refuse to go in with them. Not worth the chance. The catch is, you may not always know.

Bad thing with AKC obedience is that there can be so many dogs in the ring at once.

I like the Rally honor, and the UKC honor system. The UKC protection program also has a safer ("just in case") long honor down too.

Is this the first time this has come up with AKC? Seems like it wouldn't be.....

Christine
 

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I've heard the discussion has been on and off for quite a while. I seem to recall one or two opinion pieces in Front & Finish over the last year that talked about it and the risks associated with it.
 

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Have not heard about it.

I was showing Kayos in Open and a lady with a Sheltie asked the judge if he could be moved as she did not want her dog next to the GSD. (Scary you know....) The judge refused her, Kayos never even looked at the Sheltie for the long 8 minutes out of sight.

There is so much of the "I don't want FiFi next to Fang at AKC shows that I figure this is just another one. A well trained and socialized dog should be able to do a Stay next to another dog.
 

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This is what was posted on another forum with permission to cross post...

Quote:Hi folks,

Debbie and I have been asked many questions about Jasmine's attack during the Group Stays. It has been very difficult to discuss the occurrence. But, we wanted everyone know what happened. Hopefully, this will help with questions about the incident.

In early May 2008, during the long downs stays of the Open B Obedience Trial in Big Spring, TX, Jasmine, our eight pound four year old black Pomeranian was lying perfectly still and had dozed off awaiting my return from out of sight. Two steps after the judge called out "Return to your dogs" the sixty pound strong male Dalmatian, placed next to her, leaped up and pounced on her with extreme aggression and shook her like a rag doll. She screamed in terror as she tried to escape from his jaws.
Just a few moments before the attack, the environment was a good as anyone would want; nice clean indoor show on mats, quite room with only two rings for obedience with respectful spectators (competitors, families with children, etc). Conditions were perfect. Jasmine had been in stays, previously, with this dog. Harm from him was not a concern. We will never know why it happened.
25 feet away, I could not have gotten there fast enough. When the owner of the Dalmatian and I got to within three feet from him he broke off the attack and let her go. Jasmine took off behind the row of downed dogs. With horrifying screams, she ran from the other dogs as they broke their stays and pursued her at an amazing speed. It was total chaos. Some dogs ran in fear, few were contained by their handlers and most were running free in prey mode. Having the dogs arranged by height would not have made any difference. As Jasmine ran around the ring screaming in terror, I placed my self in a position where I thought she would run, the ring gate. I was amazed that she did run in my direction and actually saw me standing away from the alerted crowd of scattered teams. When she jumped to me, my first priority was covered - to get her away from the pursuing dogs, of which, at least four were closing in from behind. Her screaming did not stop until long after we left
the room and made our way to where we thought the Vet was located. There was nothing any steward, judge or bystander could have done to prevent or stop the attack quickly enough. I firmly believe if the attack had occurred while we were in the out of sight portion of the exercise, then Jasmine would have been killed.

Jasmine had surgery Tuesday, May 20, to remove a large cyst and scar tissue that had formed as a result of the bite wound. The Vet had to remove a large amount of tissue deep in her muscle. It has been very painful for her and heartbreaking for us. But, we are thankful that she is making a good recovery.
We will send the American Kennel Club a petition, complete with signatures, asking for the removal or replacement of the Group Exercises in Novice and Open. We just can't bear to think of another dog being attacked, large or small. If you would like to sign and ask others to sign the petition, you may contact me at [email protected] We would like to have the petitions signed and returned by 8/1/08.

Thank you for your interest and concern,
PH and Debbie Cantwell
 

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It wasn't a dobie actually, it was a Dalmatian.

This petition has been circulating, and the Pom attacked was a 4 year old UD titled dog. The Dalmatian was working on his OTCH.

Ironic.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yeah, sorry 'bout that. I posted right after I heard about it and was told it was a Doberman. It was a Dalmatian. What a weird and terrible thing. Wonder what made the Dal go off. Can you imagine how bad the Dal's owner must feel? I would be completely freaked out.

As far as the AKC is concerned, what happens to the attacking dog and his owner in a situation like this?
 

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I posted while umzilla was posting too ,lol

The attacking dog I'm sure is banned from all future AKC events especially since the attack was unprovoked.
 

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I haven't done formal obedience yet but...yikes! Couldn't they compromise and tether the dogs on a 6' lead for the long down? I agree that a well-trained dog should be able to hold the long down next to other dogs in the absence of the owner. Why not tether them as a precaution? The stewards will still have to watch for them getting up, but then they can't run off or lunge at another dog.
 

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A dog knows very well when it's tethered and when is not. I think in this kind of situations the problem is not the long down, but the allowance of aggressive dogs to trials.

I don't know AKC obedience very much, but I believe the whole idea is to have a controlled dog after all, if the exercise is taken away you will loose an important part of what you want to test and will win nothing on the long run. I would prefer, if this is happening too often, to ADD another exercise to show how reliable a dog is in presence of their peers.
 

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I watched a Pomeranian break the down and attack a Viszla at an AKC show year before last. That was the deciding factor in me never putting my Kenju or Domingo in AKC (except Rally). They may stay in their down, but I guarantee if another dog broke and came over to them, it would be ugly.
 

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Originally Posted By: LicanAntai I think in this kind of situations the problem is not the long down, but the allowance of aggressive dogs to trials.

I don't know AKC obedience very much, but I believe the whole idea is to have a controlled dog after all, if the exercise is taken away you will loose an important part of what you want to test and will win nothing on the long run. I would prefer, if this is happening too often, to ADD another exercise to show how reliable a dog is in presence of their peers.
I agree, but sometimes you don't know until it happens. Like Jackie said that Dal already had plenty of titles/trials so who knows why it attacked the Pom after that long.
 

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Something similar happened to us twice.

Once during out of site downs, a dobe broke and stood right over Jake, and hovered and challenged him. Lucky for all of us Jake kept his down and ignored him. The handler was able to get back in time and grab the dobe.
Could of been scary.

Then another time, different show, also in out of site downs, a cocker got up left the ring, then another dog got up and and went after the cocker, one golden attacked another dog, every dog broke and started to leave the ring, except Jake. We couldn't believe it, it was total chaos. We knew every one of the dogs and handlers in the ring, and they all had a great reputation, so why all this happened, no one knows, completely out of the ordinary.

I do believe no matter how well trained our dogs are, they are dogs, and there is a risk of this type of thing happening. This is the very reason I couldn't wait to get done with open and move on to the utility.
 

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Originally Posted By: LicanAntaiI don't know AKC obedience very much, but I believe the whole idea is to have a controlled dog after all, if the exercise is taken away you will loose an important part of what you want to test and will win nothing on the long run.
I agree with this and I do not want to see the sits and downs go away.

But, having said that, I do have very strong feelings about dog aggressive dogs in obedience (and agility) having been on the receiving end. Last year I did a drop-in class with Starine at a GSD Club and she was attacked by a GSD during the S/Ds. I was standing next to her waiting for the downs when the dog next to me came around my back in a flash and nailed her. After the woman pulled her dog off Star (and this dog had Star on her back), her only comment was "It gets tight in here sometimes." Nothing was said by the trainer and the class went on. A few minutes later there was fur flying again when the same dog attacked a Golden during the Figure 8s. Again nothing was said to the woman and the class continued like nothing had happened.

Since that incident I've given serious thought to this issue and I believe that attacks are going to continue until owners start acting responsibly by keeping their dog aggressive dogs out of trials and matches! I think that in most of these cases the owner knows their dog has a problem, you simply can't get to that point of training and not know. But some people think that their dog HAS to compete, "he's so good after all." Not every dog is meant to compete! There's a reason for these exercises being part of the titling process, the dog must have a stable temperament.

I also think trainers and clubs are part of the problem when they allow/encourage people to compete when they know there's a problem. They must take responsibility too. I have no problem with dog aggressive dogs being in general training classes under proper supervision by the trainers and on-leash. However, when you get to competition classes and matches where the dogs are off-leash, then trainers and clubs are acting irresponsibly, IMO, by allowing known dog-aggressive dogs to continue on.

So, I don't think changing the obedience regulations will prevent attacks because even with the S/Ds gone, there still will be ample opportunity for attacks at shows. The only thing that will help is self-regulation and if the owners aren't able to recognize or refuse to acknowledge a problem, then it's up to trainers and clubs to step in.

I want to add that I'm not talking completely off the cuff here, because I have a dog-aggressive GSD. She has incredible drive and would make a great obedience or agility dog. But, I will never show her and she will only train off-leash at home. Sure it's disappointing, however, I refuse to put her in a situation where another dog could be injured or worse.
 

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What are everyone's thoughts on requiring muzzles in these types of group exercises? Obviously bar the dog-aggressive dogs, but sometimes, "dog happens," and a good basket muzzle would help prevent these disasters. No matter how well we think we know our dogs, they may still pull a fast one on us, usually when we least expect it and at the worst possible moment.
 

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Originally Posted By: DianaMWhat are everyone's thoughts on requiring muzzles in these types of group exercises? Obviously bar the dog-aggressive dogs, but sometimes, "dog happens," and a good basket muzzle would help prevent these disasters. No matter how well we think we know our dogs, they may still pull a fast one on us, usually when we least expect it and at the worst possible moment.
I guess I'd be OK with that b/c I agree with Agile and Lican that these exercises ARE important and an important part of training. Honestly, I need my dog to down-stay in various situations on a daily basis as opposed to directed jumping or perfect retrieves...can't say I've ever needed those skills. I'm kind of on both sides b/c of course I have a GSD so others always assume that SHE is aggressive when really she can be very sensitive, so a dog attack on her (or even near her) would probably take us quite a while to get over, unfortunately. I have never muzzled her for anything, but I guess that alone would be good training, should there every be any other reason I'd ever need to muzzle her.
 

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Muzzles would never fly in AKC. AKC is all about public perception and I can guarantee it would never be considered.

And besides, a muzzled dog can still do some damage, albeit not as severe. Several years ago in agility class I saw a muzzled dog take down a Golden. It was quite violent and the owner had a hard time getting the dog off the Golden.
 

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And public perception should be changed by saying, "Dogs still have teeth, and we want to see our competitors safe." AKC could help in the shift of perception from a muzzle equating a scary thing to an important safety net. But I hear ya, this country still sees muzzles as a sign of a vicious dog.

What kind of muzzle was that other dog wearing?! If it were a police-grade leather or wire basket muzzle, I'd have a hard time seeing this, but I guess it could happen if it were incorrectly put on or the dog moved the muzzle in relation to its mouth just so. Of course, dogs can still wrestle and use their paws and I'm sure it looked violent, but the damage would not be as severe if the proper muzzle were used. The muzzled attacker should still be permanently DQ'd but the muzzle would have done its job in saving the other dog.

Quote:I have never muzzled her for anything, but I guess that alone would be good training, should there every be any other reason I'd ever need to muzzle her.
A new exercise in and of itself.
 

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I have never gotten myself together enough to get Bella's CD. But in the many obedience classes I have gone to with all the dogs (except Nina-she is retired from everything stressful
) I have always been amazed at the "eh" attitude toward dog aggression. Or maybe it's my hypersensitivity to it that makes it seem so.

I could not imagine, in good faith and ethically, ever encouraging a DA dog to be in any competition would be off lead. Yet there we would sit, next to dogs that were just itching for another dog to flinch and they were taking the classes in preparation for competing. EEEK.

And when you are holding a much smaller dog, believe me, you notice it all the more. In one class Bella was the only large dog who could do group recalls with the poodles. The GSD, Terrier, and Labs were unable to do so-in AKC Novice class.

When my small dogs are in a class I am on guard doubly so for dogs out of control. It has gotten to the point, after attending so many classes with so many dogs looking to get into it with anyone who glances at them, that I don't even train formally anymore and just work in the backyard with all the distractions of the other dogs playing around them.
 

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Interesting comments. As a long time AKC competitor I know stuff like this can happen. But in all truth I have never seen a dog get up and attack another dog while on stay exercises. I have seen dogs get up and go sniff, or go to the handler or attempt to leave the ring.

In this case I would assume that AKC will ban the dog. Many years ago my Max jumped out of the agility ring and went after a border collie on the warm up jump. Not excusing Max's behavior but the BC jumped in his direction on a jump that should not have been where it was (it got moved after that) and most likely made hard eye contact with Max. The dog was not injured in fact Max never got his mouth on it, just made a lot of noise. I received a warning letter from AKC that said one more incident with this dog and he would be banned. I chose to retire him immediatley. He has never been on a show grounds since.

In this case, given the severity, I would expect AKC to not give the second chance.

This stuff does happen, it happens at dog parks too. Who knows what provoked the Dal, something did. It is very rare that dogs truly initiate "unprovoked" attacks.

Dumbing down the exercises will just put poorer trained dogs in the ring and perhaps increase the chance that an attack could occur. This weekend I spent all day Sat and Sun stewarding in obedince for the Yakima kennel club in Yakima, WA. The obed rings were quite and event free. I heard all kinds of snarling and growling going on from the breed rings.

For the most part I see few dog aggressive dogs in obedience. Are they truly dog aggressive or just over aroused with poor handler awareness?

Every judge I have seen has always been proactive with dogs that break stays or go visit another dog.

Glad the Pom is going to be okay.
 
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