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Discussion Starter #1
It is raining out today and it got me thinking. I have clients that when I suggest solutions to their problem (housetraining comes to mind), they answer with, "But he doesn't like it," when I tell them to take them out in incliment weather to have them go potty.

Why do you think this is? I mean we all do things that we don't like to do, but need to do. I figure same for the dogs. Just because they don't like getting their feet wet or walking under an umbrella or sitting in wet grass or having to do a sit-stay in the sun (for reasonable amounts of time)... it doesn't mean they don't need to do it!

What do you do with your dogs in situations like this? I am sure those that are active in sports have more of my mindset, but average joe pet owner, why do you not do some things just because your dog doesn't like it?

Shouldn't you train your dog to do what he needs to do no matter what? Regardless of weather or not liking the nails clipped or being brushed, etc, don't you agree it needs to be done?

Just trying to delve deeper into why people are so worried about hurting a dogs feelings for mundane things that have to be done, like it or not, and why they don't just train rather than make excusses??
 

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Maybe they're doing a bit of displacement. Maybe THEY don't like doing it.


Or they're personifying their dogs too much. I think in some instances, if the dog doesn't want to do it, you shouldn't push it. Like if your fearful dog doesn't want to go through the automatic doors at Petsmart. Pressing the issue will make things worse. But for stuff like going outside in the rain. . .dogs are dogs. They don't melt when they get wet.
You can desensitize a dog to baths and nail trims so that it doesn't become a huge fiasco. So maybe they're lazy too.
 

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Maybe they need to look at less-than-enjoyable things the dog needs to do or learn as a fun project of breaking it down into smaller, easy steps that can be rewarded positively.

But yup... when we were 6 years old, we wanted to run and play outdoors, not sit in hard chairs at schooldesks and learn ABCs. But if we didn't, we'd not be able to read a perscription bottle from the pharmacy, read a great novel, or even this site.
 

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My dog doesn't like to eat anywhere but in her crate, and I do cater to that. I actually like it b/c she doesn't go around counter surfing, getting into trash, or begging from other people. If it's in her crate, it's fair game, but if it's not then it belongs to me. Also, when we are on the road, I feed her in her crate and it's "normal" to her. It helps associate the crate with good things and being her personal space.

Other than that, my dog pees/poops in the rain and snow, I trim her nails regardless of whether she is pulling or mouthing me, I brush her no matter how much she wants to get up and leave, when I say "off" she gets off, if I give her plain kibble with no toppers she will eat it in 10 minutes or she doesn't eat.
 

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It's part of my letting go of control issue.


Some things they don't want to do but have to do.

Some things they don't want to do and don't have to because I don't feel it's essential. Mariele doesn't like to eat Merrick's Brauts and Tots (I KNOW!) so she doesn't have to. She still eats, so it's not a big deal.

But basically they need to be able to do what I ask of them *for the most part* for safety sake and because I am looking out for their best interest. However, if they have a preference not to do something, I won't ask them to do it if I can help it and if it isn't something that will endanger them.

So while I want them to go to the bathroom, if Nina doesn't like going out while it's very windy, and will hold it, Nina doesn't have to go out while it's very windy, even if I have to change something in my life a little bit.

I generally try to ask myself is this something I am making them do because of them or because of me. Sometimes I forget of course and get all authoritarian on them.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Aaah ok ... So perhaps the clients are more on the right side in this issue...

I am a control freak lol I do like to control a lot of things. I rarely am able to lol But I am able to control (in general) what my dogs do. I do like being in charge.

Just a foreign concept to me to have a dog go in the garage to potty when there are potty training issues instead of outside, or to let them go in the house just because they dont like the weather.
Or forgo brushing and just send them off to a groomer to get bitten every 6 weeks for a shave down instead.

Now don't get me wrong. I do not force an issue on a dog, especially when it is fear based. I want to train accepted/acceptable responses instead. i want to make things like bushing and nail clipping a pleasant if not tolerable exercise.

So I am starting to think... either they are correct in many cases and just cater a little more to their dogs whims... Or I am a control freak.... Either they are lazy.... Or I am a training fanatic!


Interesting perspectives though! Thanks!
 

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I cater with some of my dogs to a point. I know DeeDee doesn't like thunder and lightening, BUT if it is getting to be bedtime, then she has to go out. What I will do for her instead of just going out in the fenced in yard is to put her on leash with me in the fenced in yard. She isn't happy, but she will go potty for me, but not my hubby. If the wind is from the west and DeeDee wants to spend the day in our bedroom I will cater to that. She has problems with noises and storms so I try not pushing her past her point of coping.

Raya I cater a bit on the eating thing, but she is getting much better about eating.
 

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Or maybe something in between...

Like if Nina were saying to me-I don't like it outside when it's windy and I said fine, just don't go in the house and she did...then Nina would go out when it was windy!

And other than Nina they have all had to learn to be groomed and have their nails trimmed-even Anna-and that is EXHAUSTING!


For Nina-she is too strong, I got her when she was 8 and she thought I was going to kill her so it's a two person job we do at the vet office. But in the three years I've had her, she has stopped trying to bite the person who is the nail trimmer!
And as far as the groomer-that is one of her favorite things-I can give her baths but I am no where near as good as a groomer at getting that hair out.

So they can't bite or misbehave and get out of something. If they are doing as they are supposed to and have a preference I then make the choice not to ask them to do something. So I guess that's still kind of control freaky...huh...
 

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Sometimes I think it is a human thing. Turn dogs loose to paly on their own and they will find every mud puddle to run through. But heaven forbid to take them on a walk and their little feet get wet, I feel in most cases it is because humans don't want to dry them off when they get home.

I actually practiced with Cheyenne about walking, sitting and platzing in water or mud. When she was out in the fence she would do it, but on leash she would balk, so I said you will do it on your own you will do it when I ask you.

Talk about a control Freak.... Yep that can be me.
 

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Like Jean said, unless it's a safety issue, I'm not big on forcing things on my animals. More and more I view what's going on between the dogs and I as a relationship instead of a top/down totalitarian dictator style government. This has paid off because although I might not be able to do something right away (nail trimming or whatever), once I build trust with the dog then I can do anything. For example, both Basu and Chama were quilled (Chama twice!) and all three times I was able to pull the quills out of their mouth and nose with a needle nose pliers. In Basu's case, I had no help so I had to sit on him and do it. He was absolutely perfect. This was a dog who had been severely neglected and abused for 4.5 years.

I have never had the rain issues because I go out with my dogs in all weather so they're used to it. But if there is a thunderstorm I might have to wait until it is over to take Chama out and that might mean I have to stay up later than usual, but relationships mean compromises and I wouldn't want anyone forcing me to go to the bathroom when I was terrified.

Chama likes particular stuff in her food or she won't eat so I give her that stuff. I'm sure some people would just take her food away but I prefer to have her eat. She also likes to go certain ways on walks so a lot of times I let her decide where we're going or if we do another lap around the park. That said, if I go a particular direction she always follows willingly (Chama is rarely on a leash) and if we have to leave to the park she also always comes willingly.

Rafi didn't like being dried off or brushed when he first moved in. He would jump around and bite me and go nuts. So I didn't push it. If I had to dry him off after he was in the house and lying on his bed then that's what I did. Now that he trusts me and knows the ropes around here he is relatively patient about being dried and getting brushed, even on his tail which used to drive him crazy.

Same goes for the crate. I know some people would force the crate issue but he was in such a panic when I'd leave him in there, drooling and panting with his eyes rolling around in his head and his tongue hanging out of the side of his mouth...so I decided I would take him with me until I could get him comfortable staying in the house loose.

Although my dogs are very well behaved and trained, I structure my life around them. I try to remember that they're dogs and are completely at my mercy and so I try to be sure they do get to be dogs and have some say in their lives.
 

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I think it very much depends on the dog and the situation.

On one hand, you have dogs that are extremely fearful. I wouldn't make a dog that is terrified of fireworks go to the Fourth of July Parade with me, for example.

On the other hand, you have dogs with levels of discomfort about certain things - like going out when it's raining or cold. Some dogs don't like it, but does that mean they shouldn't be taken out when the weather is not so nice? In that case, I do press the issue and "make them".

My girl dislikes going out when it's wet and cold, too. She will stand outside with the most pitiful look, as if she's saying, "Why are we out in this? I don't wanna go potty in this." Of course I sympathize - after all, I'm out there getting wet and cold, too. But she needs to go potty outside, so not going out is kind of not an option.

Different levels of "he doesn't like it" need different approaches, IMHO.
 

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I probably cater to my dogs more than I should, BUT, if it's raining outside and they don't want to go out and think it's ok to potty in the house,,well it just isn't !! LOL..

Fortunately I don't have a "rain" problem with my dogs, they like going out in the mud and muck, and I'm not to "lazy" to go with them. Must be from those days of doing obedience/agility in pouring rain or herding in 2 ft of muck and monsoonal weather :)))

Jessi I think some of the incidents you mention sound like more "laziness" on an owner's part vs catering to their dogs. For example, the potty issue again,,I'm not going to let Fido go potty in my garage cause the weather isn't suitable for him or me :))

Thunderstorms/fireworks, oh yeah, I have to cater to a couple of them, they are terrified but luckily recover fast.
Diane
 

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I have a rescued 2.5 pound tea cup poodle that walks like all of her legs are broken when it's wet outside! I sitll make her go out but I do carry her most of the way!


Look at that face....would you make her go out in a storm?
 

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My dogs don't care what the weather's like..they love being baffoons outside. I'm the one who hates being out in the rain and cold lol.
But, just like the dogs..I have trained myself to do what needs to be done, regardless of whether I like it or not.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Just a few things.... Let me state, I currently don't have the issues with my own dogs lol rain/sleet/snow whatever, if it is potty time, its potty time. We train in weather so as to prevent a break down if it happens to rain/snow whatever at a trial. I do insist on things that need to be done, but I do not insist to the point of total freakout. Instead I train for them and teach through trust also. If a dog is phobic about things, of course I do not insist they do it anyway (fireworks example was perfect).

It just seems like the clients who call want a magic answer and when I give it to them (stop taking the dog to the garage, go outside).. it just isnt what they want to hear lol.

I was just pondering why it seems people do these things that to me seem silly lol I mean if it is disrupting their life so much, why not do something different? I think I agree that in the majority of cases it is more a matter of laziness...

Oh BTW...TNGSD, She is very cute!!! and YES I would take her out in a storm if it was just a matter of her not liking to get her legs/feet wet
 

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Sounds like sometimes your clients are using their dogs as and excuse. The human doesn't want to train in the rain.
I do agree that dogs need to learn to do things they don't like (nails trimmed, down when told, come when called even if a nice juicy rabbit just ran by, etc.) but I do think you need to be aware of your dog too.
Dog doesn't want to down in the woods, maybe there's a stick poking up where it shouldn't--yes, this happened.
On a super cold windy day, should you really be practicing down-stay on wet pavement? (I don't)
If it's really hot and sunny, why not park your dog in the shade, then practice stay.
That's just being thoughtful and doesn't give up control.
And anytime your dog suddenly develops an uncharacteristic stubborness or refusal, see if there is some discomfort going on. Did you just ask your dog to sit on a thorn? Does your dog have a bad stomach? I remember taking classes and seeing a dog that always seemed reluctant to sit or down, and always looked bored by the training. Months later, the owner said her dog had been diagnosed with stomach cancer.
PS. In our house, dogs and humans go out in ANY weather, sometimes even during a tornado watch and storm watches never stop anything (I do try to pay attention to tornado warnings though)
 
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