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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I don't like strangers correcting my dog. It doesn't feel right. I'm a bit hotheaded so I try my best not to say anything about it. About two months ago the pet store owner's wife repeatedly asked (in a demanding voice) my pup to sit, pointing her finger at him. I'm still baffled by how I retained myself to not yell, "GO SIT YOUSELF!"
That level of absurdity hasn't happened since, wooptiedoo, but small corrections and or commands are still given sometimes by strangers or friends/family.
I don't mind if friends/family correct him when I'm not there when he starts biting/jumping etc. I do mind it when I'm standing next to him, or when I hear people tell him repeatedly to sit/go down etc, when there is no logical reason for him to do so. He is not a performing monkey.

What should my 'policy' regarding this be. I can be a bit black and white when it comes to family (my pup is family), so I want to ask some opinions here first.
My pup is used to my family (mother and sisters) since I got him, they also look after him when I have to go somewhere, so I understand when they feel the liberty to correct him. What about friends? Should they just ignore if he does something wrong instead and let the correcting up to me or my family?
And strangers? Should I just tell them to **** off in a (maybe) polite way?

ps: my main cause for asking this is that I wonder if any of these behaviors of others can interfere, or even worsen, my progress with training my pup. Or will he clearly see the difference of my corrections and commands and those of others and will mine not lose meaning because of that.
 

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People who consider themselves trainers almost can't seem to resist testing new dogs. Many times these trainers will raise a fist and say "sit". If my boy does sit they smile and feel good but if he doesn't I simply ask him to sit, and then I grin at the "trainer". And I make sure my dog is looking at me, not some stranger making demands of him. Then I may explain how my boy is trained for IPO...etc.

Family visiting us have the right to correct our dogs if they start being pesky. I try to teach my family which vocal commands to use and we watch the interaction. Our house isn't that big so usually we are nearby the dogs anyhow and can step in if needed.

So bottom line is, No strangers shouldn't be commanding my dog unless the dog jumps on them...which would be my fault for allowing it. Family, yes, since they are pretty good about trying to all be on the same page.
 

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"About two months ago the pet store owner's wife repeatedly asked (in a demanding voice) my pup to sit, pointing her finger at him. I'm still baffled by how I retained myself to not yell, "GO SIT YOUSELF!""

You could have mirrored her body language and given her the 'Quiet' command ;-)
 

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I have mixed feelings about others giving my dog commands. The couple times it has happened Rosko basically ignored them. Others have brought it to my attention that at some point a stranger may need to give my dog commands. Basically any scenario where an emergency responder emt, cop, firefighter would need to interact with my dog and we aren't around. A dog that is able to listen to a stranger and remain calm could be the difference between your dog getting a treat and put in the back of a car. Or getting shot.
 

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My dogs ignore people outside of the family that try to give them commands.They won't accept food either 99% of the time.Perhaps tell people he's being trained to focus on you and ignore other people and dogs?
 

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I don't really mind it. I have experienced it was when I was training her not to jump on strangers. It was thru using strangers as a "help tool" that habit was broken. I asked them to say "no- stay down" and they were happy to help. I wanted her to stay down and so did the strangers. She got it. Same with staying seated and gentle with strangers on first introductions.

I don't worry so much about her obeying strangers because somebody might steal her some day. What I worry more about, is that some day she may accidentally get loose. If that ever happens, obeying strangers may save her life...specifically if she wanders into the street with traffic- It's not a pretty picture when you see helpful strangers trying to call a dog and have them ignore and get hit by a car.

When you can get a stray to come to you and sit stay on command, it gives you time to create a quick makeshift slip leash. I have done this many times. Walking the dog around the neighborhood asking those you see if they recognize this dog and know who owns him can bring a happy ending. Other times, you have to call the shelter but it's better than the dog getting hit by a car in front of your eyes.

This kind of help can't happen if they only respond to your commands.

My last GSD got out of the yard only once in 14 years. It was during a thunderstorm and I was at work he was 10 years old. He did cross a busy street.

As the story came out by his "rescuer" (a few blocks away), she had just arrived home from grocery shopping and was unloading bags from her car. My GSD ran straight into her house! She said "well hello there" and told him to sit - he did. She could see how scared he was. She calmed him, had him lay down and stay and called animal control.

She told ac she wanted to adopt him if they couldn't locate the owner. But, I already had a call into them so when they arrived they explained to her "sorry, we have a frantic owner who is going to be very happy you helped". AC said Smoke hopped right in the front seat of the ac vehicle when he opened the door, so that's how he was transported. None of this could have happened if my dog was only trained and used to following my commands.
 

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if I give you the leash, then yes my dog will obey you. If I'm holding the leash and you start giving commands, it's "mom, what's up with this moron?" If I nod, they comply. Otherwise they just stare.

that's the reason that the trainers at PetCo avoid me. Don't be afraid to step in and say "I've taught him to keep his focus on me"
 

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My policy is to just laugh to myself when my dog turns to me with the, "Who the heck is this idiot?" expression on her face.
 

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My pup is used to my family (mother and sisters) since I got him, they also look after him when I have to go somewhere, so I understand when they feel the liberty to correct him. What about friends? Should they just ignore if he does something wrong instead and let the correcting up to me or my family?
And strangers? Should I just tell them to **** off in a (maybe) polite way?
I guess I didn't answer the meat of your question.

My dog doesn't really listen to strangers. She behaves well with the groomer and trainers and daycare staff, but some random person who walks up to us? No. I also noticed her balking when our friend (someone she knows well) told her to sit. I had coached him to tell her like he meant it, but she still wouldn't do it until I stepped in and gave her the mom look and said sit. She kind of had the attitude that she didn't need to listen to him if my husband and I were right there.

So all that to say I don't really want a random stranger correcting her or giving commands when I'm right there. (A random stranger at the dog park who reacts faster if they don't want their dog approached and calls out Leave it? That's fine and really more of a cue to me to call her back.) I'm trying to think back to whether I ever had a situation that warranted anything more than me just walking away vs telling the stranger to back off, and I don't think I have.

Friends and family members who come to the house? That's fine if they catch something and correct her. Like last year she could be kind of an aggressive beggar. She was getting very forward with her nose and our patio table when one guest was trying to eat. I had stepped into the kitchen for something and didn't catch her, but the friend just said firmly, "No. Leave it" and gently nudged her away. I came out at that point and dealt with her, but I appreciated that the friend just stepped in and gave the verbal correction in the moment and I followed up. I have done the same with friends' dogs, never more than a verbal correction, but if the dog is doing something that I know my friend doesn't allow and thinks it can try it with me, I'll tell it otherwise.
 

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If a stranger tries to make my dog do something I consider it a training opportunity amidst distractions (so I don't have to get stressed) and call her (Deja) name and recall her to ME. Then I tell the stranger that she is not allowed to listen to strangers in my presence. (because I think dogs need to listen to their caretakers during your absence).
 

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I have handed my dogs off to trainers on occasion for training purposes, demonstration purposes, in my presence.
Let some random person correct my dog? Not gonna happen. Someone pointing in my dogs face? You would lose your finger. And it wouldn't be the dog.
I picked up a leash for Sabs years ago that said " One of us is a real bitch". I wasn't referring to Sabi.
 

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Interesting question.

Normally, I would say, tell whoever it is, "I am training her to respond only to my commands." You can say this politely, it is clear, and if they persist, tell them not so politely to get their own dog.

Unfortunately, these days, people have few manners and can be utterly stupid about their pets. We think our sweet little princess is so cute that everyone just loves her so much and no one minds her jumping up on them, licking at their hands and face, sniffing embarrassing areas, barking annoyingly, shoving a soggy slipper or tennis ball in our laps. Even dog people can be annoyed by clueless actions of owners, and if they say to your dog, "Go Lay Down!" It could be a queue to you that your dog is annoying the person. You should try to put yourself in the other person's shoes and determine whether they are commanding/correcting because they are some Armchair Cesar Milan, or is it because you aren't being a considerate dog owner.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Wow, such great answers. Quite different, but all with valid points. Even though it's not necessary, I'll answer a few. :)

I'm a first time dog owner, with zero experience beforehand, so I was (and still am sometimes) too inexperienced to counter unasked advices. I also don't have much control over my pup (unless I success luring him with treats) outside my home when other people/dogs are around.
Today at obedience I had some mixed feelings of my teacher. She is great at controlling the dogs, quite amazing to see and the literal proof that there is no issue with most of the dogs, just the owners. Mine was completely ADD with me, but far more focused when she demonstrated how I should do it.
She does however correct him (when he bit her hand when she gave a treat) with a little slap on the muzzle. My pup runs his face against the wall numerous times at home and that definitely hurts a lot more than a little slap. But it feels really strange when someone else does it.
@car2ner
I also feel it that way, I my dog is able to jump on a stranger, bite him, etc, than it is definitely my fault and I should look at how I am controlling my dog.
@cdwoodcox
I haven't though about the getting shot part, but that's mainly because I have hardly heard of it happening here. I know of two cases where the dogs had bitten and attacked other people and so the police shot them when they charged them.
@dogma13
My dog may love food more than he loves me.. haha. I still have to teach him to not accept candy from strangers. :)
@Stonevintage
I understand your point and I would definitely appreciate it if another person can get the control over my dog if he runs away. Around ten years ago the Lab of my friend ran away from his side because he saw a dog far away. He didn't listen to any of us calling him back and was hit by a car. He broke his leg and had some other small wounds, nothing serious though. But that marked me. That was the main reason I was afraid to walk off leash (even when the roads were relatively far away).
@Dainerra
I really liked your comment. This is probably the way I would want it (although I have no clue how to get there).
@WateryTart
You have the certainty that your dog will listen where it is most necessary. I don't go to a groomer yet, nor daycare. But at this point my dog will listen to anybody, I think. He keeps his eye on me though.
@wolfy dog
That's a good one indeed. Using such moments as training opportunities.
"The glass is not half empty, it's half full." :)
@selzer
I guess that is an issue. I have experienced people handling my dog the way they (would) handle their own. I don't really mind if someone is harder with their dogs, but don't do that with mine please. But you see this everywhere. I remember parents of my friends letting me drink a beer, even though I shouldn't be doing it because my mother told me not to. Some people just aren't capable of seeing that there is no ultimate truth, don't impose yours.

All of the times I've seen someone correct my pup it was sorely as if they were mister Milan himself. But I will keep an eye on it for certain. :)
 

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I had a bad experience years ago with my terv so I am extra careful. When Freddie was a puppy I took him to a new class after puppy socialization class. The trainer asked him to down and as he was a little worried he wouldn't so the trainer put his hand on his back and shoved him to the floor. Freddie being a very sensitive terv wa traumatized (bit of a drama queen). Suffice it to say I never went back but from then on I couldn't use the word down again or he would panic and shut down. My GSDs have never been that sensitive but I now won't let anyone put their hand on my dog without **** good reason
 

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Just no. Don't touch my dogs or tell them what to do. My dogs. My kids. Did I mention I was an only child who has serious sharing issues? Yes, everything is mine. Keep your hands off my stuff. Get your own. lol!
 

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Once upon a time, we were beginning a training class, and me and my dog were closest to the door. A woman was coming in with a large dog, but she was paying attention to the individual she came in with rather than the dog. The dog was paying attention to my dog, who was paying attention to me. I was paying attention to the environment and saw the dog lunge for my dog. I leaned forward and grabbed her leash and held her dog so that it could not get to my dog. It wasn't a correction. I don't believe I correct other people's dogs. But it was taking control of her dog to prevent something bad happening.

I can't remember the outcome.

Another time in class I stepped in front of someone's dog and blocked it from making a bee-line to my puppy.

My trainer doesn't correct my dogs. I have seen her correct dogs that have jumped on her though. She doesn't allow that. I suppose self-defense does apply to dog training.

I wouldn't correct another person's dog because I have no idea how they are training, and what the make up of the dog is. If your mind says GSD -- strong prong collar pop, then you will be way overboard on a lot of GSDs. Dogs are individuals. Unless the dog is encroaching on your self-space, leave the owner of the dog correct their dog. And if they are unwilling or unable to see that it needs to be done, then increase the distance between you and your dog, and the other owner and his dog.
 

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Just no. Don't touch my dogs or tell them what to do. My dogs. My kids. Did I mention I was an only child who has serious sharing issues? Yes, everything is mine. Keep your hands off my stuff. Get your own. lol!
I'll not correct your dog, but your kids? Yeah, I correct kids, especially kids who come running up to GSDs and try to pet them without asking first, kids who start to pet while asking without waiting for an answer, kids that are trying to kill themselves somehow, kids that seem to need to think about their actions, and kids who are doing stuff with my puppies that I don't want done. When you have a litter of puppies, I think people think that you will tell their kid if you don't want them to do something. It is up to parents to correct their children, but it is up to me to protect my dogs/puppies. So if I need to, I will correct a child.
 

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Once upon a time, we were beginning a training class, and me and my dog were closest to the door. A woman was coming in with a large dog, but she was paying attention to the individual she came in with rather than the dog. The dog was paying attention to my dog, who was paying attention to me. I was paying attention to the environment and saw the dog lunge for my dog. I leaned forward and grabbed her leash and held her dog so that it could not get to my dog. It wasn't a correction. I don't believe I correct other people's dogs. But it was taking control of her dog to prevent something bad happening.

I can't remember the outcome.

Another time in class I stepped in front of someone's dog and blocked it from making a bee-line to my puppy.

My trainer doesn't correct my dogs. I have seen her correct dogs that have jumped on her though. She doesn't allow that. I suppose self-defense does apply to dog training.

I wouldn't correct another person's dog because I have no idea how they are training, and what the make up of the dog is. If your mind says GSD -- strong prong collar pop, then you will be way overboard on a lot of GSDs. Dogs are individuals. Unless the dog is encroaching on your self-space, leave the owner of the dog correct their dog. And if they are unwilling or unable to see that it needs to be done, then increase the distance between you and your dog, and the other owner and his dog.
I totally agree with you that disaster prevention is just that, and not a correction.

Jumping, putting a paw on me, or trying to steal food are behaviors where I've just chosen to go ahead and correct someone else's dog. Those are behaviors where I would be fine with other people issuing a correction to my dog also if for whatever reason I wasn't right there.

My dog has been trained not to jump, and I keep a close handle on her anyway if my visitor is a child, elderly/frail, or pregnant, but that's a behavior that is absolutely unacceptable to me, so I'd be right on top of her for it and that's one where I feel totally free to correct someone else's dog as well if they aren't as on top of their dog as I am with mine. (I know people don't like this one...I truly do not care.)

The paw thing gets a firm, "No paw" as I gently but firmly place the paw back on the floor. If the dog tries to push it, I may hold on to the paw for a brief moment as I say it. (It's been my experience that dogs do not like having their paws held.) I wouldn't do a hard correct because I don't know where that particular dog's threshold is (I know my own dog's well).

Rude begging will net a more forceful verbal correction ("No! Leave it!"). Again, I wouldn't do more than that and maybe nudging the dog away because I don't know the dog's thresholds as well as I know those of my own dog.

I've done a really hard collar pop on someone else's dog with a prong when I was dogsitting, but that dog was absolutely horrible on leash and I'd given it several opportunities to behave itself (I wasn't sure if it knew "heel" so I tried that, and I tried letting the collar do its thing a couple of times paired with, "Uh-uh"), and it did not choose to obey. So POP! and a firm, "Heel!" Evidently the dog knew heel after all, because it fell into perfect position and stayed there for the rest of the walk.
 

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I'll not correct your dog, but your kids? Yeah, I correct kids, especially kids who come running up to GSDs and try to pet them without asking first, kids who start to pet while asking without waiting for an answer, kids that are trying to kill themselves somehow, kids that seem to need to think about their actions, and kids who are doing stuff with my puppies that I don't want done. When you have a litter of puppies, I think people think that you will tell their kid if you don't want them to do something. It is up to parents to correct their children, but it is up to me to protect my dogs/puppies. So if I need to, I will correct a child.
I don't have litters of puppies but I do this too. I don't really care what a kid does on its own time, but the second it involves my dog, I'll feel free to correct or body block a child and walk off.
 

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I'll not correct your dog, but your kids? Yeah, I correct kids, especially kids who come running up to GSDs and try to pet them without asking first, kids who start to pet while asking without waiting for an answer, kids that are trying to kill themselves somehow, kids that seem to need to think about their actions, and kids who are doing stuff with my puppies that I don't want done. When you have a litter of puppies, I think people think that you will tell their kid if you don't want them to do something. It is up to parents to correct their children, but it is up to me to protect my dogs/puppies. So if I need to, I will correct a child.
Oh, I agree completely, under those circumstance. Just wouldn't be those circumstances with MY kids. I was a very strict mother. Of course, my children are now 26, 22, and 18, so you know - can't anybody tell them what to do. HAHAHA!
 
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