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Ten Myths in Dealing With an Aggressive Dog

2055 Views 6 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Dainerra
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It sounds like the alleged myths and the article are both full of hot air.

It sounds like all parties (the dog owners, the breeders, vets, and the person that written the article) have misconceptions and have a lot to learn about dogs.
It might be hard to believe, but dogs don't discriminate by breed, nor do breeds make up their own social structure. Dogs are more pliant and plastic in their early behaviors than we are, and play with any dog is wonderful.

hmmm ok.. sure. I wonder if she's ever met a GSD? Personally, I've never met one who didn't prefer another GSD over anything! Ronnie calls him a "breed-ist snob" lol
what's confusing is that she even says in the article that this "breeder" is one of a rare few who haven't been fully supportive of their pups/owners in seeking the advice of a behaviorist. Sounds to me like she had a client who got a pup from a crappy breeder and now has decided to paint everyone with the same crappy brush
Actually she isn't trying to slam breeders at all, in fact she states at the end of the article:
"I confess to being surprised at this breeder. I am now so accustomed to breeders and trainers coming with their clients to behavior appointments, that I thought enlightenment was more far-reaching than it is."

The author is very an extremely well respected veterinary behaviorist and you can read about her work here: ABRI: Karen Overall, VMD, PhD, Diplomate ACVB

What exactly did you feel was off base about the article?

I thought it was a really good take on some very common issues. Breeders, even good ones often get defensive when things go wrong with their puppy buyers. I have heard these very same things from countless breeders about dogs of their's who have issues. I don't totally blame them for being defensive - breeding dogs is no longer PC and by many people's standards if you produce anything but dogs with ideal health and temperament, you're a "bad breeder". A lot of very bad things go on in the name of training due to the misguided "dominance theory". Dogs who serious issues may need a veterinary behaviorist, as they may need the help of behavioral drugs in addition to behavior modification. And she pushed for structured "rules" and "manners" to be put in place from puppyhood.

As hard as it is for GSD people to accept, GSDs are dogs and behave like dogs. All breeds have differences in their behavior but they all still behave like dogs. GSDs don't require interaction with other GSDs to be well socialized (and sometimes GSDs even fight with each other :eek:), which is the point that was being made about RRs. The other point was that it is important that puppies be exposed to a wide range of dogs. IME puppies who are only accustomed to interactions with dogs who look a certain way can be quite fearful of other dogs. Not because they are "snobs" but because the other dogs look "wrong" to them. My parvo puppies couldn't be around other dogs until they were 12 weeks old. Prior to that they were only around other Belgians, GSDs and a corgi - all long nosed, pointy eared dogs. The first time they saw PWDs and Doodles (dogs with floppy ears and hair in front of their eyes) they were quite afraid of them.

My GSD went through a fear period and during it, a Skye Terrier went after her out of the blue. For a good year or so after that (well beyond her getting over the fear period), she was afraid of dogs with faces like that - Skye Terriers, Briards and Beardies. Do you know how embarrassing it is to have your GSD hide from a Beardie? She never seemed to care one way or another for other GSDs though - she liked my boy GSD but she likes my boy Belgian and the boy corgi too. She fights with other girls she lives with regardless of breed and she is usually pretty disinterested in interacting with strange dogs of any breed. She always remembered her mom dog though and always was soooo happy to see her (and her mom dog was always soooo annoyed and so unamused).
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oh Rayden has been exposed to lots of different dogs, of a lot of breeds.. He just isn't interested in them. If we are out somewhere and a dog starts barking, I can instantly know that it's a shepherd. Rayden's ears will perk and he starts dancing around and gets super excited. Any other dog barely gets an ear twitch.
He would play a little with our neighbor's lab, but it just wasn't the same as when he would even see a shepherd.

I just got the tone that this one bad breeder had undone all the good thoughts and perceptions that she had. She didn't seem to be looking at it as one person making excuses.
ETA: I guess it's because those aren't what I would consider "myths" - just pathetic attempts to shift blame to anyone other than themselves..
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