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Just a little story to illustrate something I harp on all the time: the importance of having someone experienced observe your interaction with your dog and the dynamics in your pack to be able to see where mixed signals are given out confusing the dog, and how people-to-dog communications break down.

A person at work got a Rottie a few years ago. She told me her goal was to have her dog as well behaved as mine.

As the pup grew, they had the normal puppy issues, that I tried to give advice on, but it was challenging: the pup got no training, no exercise, pup chewed everything. Took things and ran away with stuff and would start a chase game, was possessive of their daughter (well, at least we know she'll protect her they said when the dog wouldn't allow the parents into the daughter's room), etc. All she talked about was 'getting the dog to submit' to her, etc . . .

I wanted to scream!!! But she was a good friend, and I stayed supportive, encouraging, helpful. Gave her 9 "What a great job you are doing with your pup" for every 'tip' I gave her.

Dog did stop being possessive about their daughter and the girl's room (I told her straight blank that this was huge trouble if it was allowed), and at 3 years old, the dog is turning out to be a nice family pet. My friend is very proud of herself because when the dog takes something, she just tells him to drop it and he does, well done, I thought!

Well, saw this in action for the first time last night at her house: Dog grabbed something (a shirt), went to his bed with it. She went up to the dog, took hold of the shirt, told him to let go, he did. She puts the shirt down, turns around to talk to me, dog sneaks in, grabs the shirt again, but this time, goes and wedges himself between the coffee table and the sofa, pushing his snout against the sofa, with his paws on the shirt.

She looks at me and says: this is were he guards his things. So she moves in, pulls the coffee table out, and wedges herself in between the coffee table and the dog, and bending over her dog, leans down to take a hold of the shirt while telling her dog to give - I hear a little growl coming from the floor - she waits him out and the dog gives up the shirt.

She looks at me all proud of herself: "See! No conflict!"

That's from me telling them to NOT chase the dog around the house yelling, pinning it down, and forcefully taking stuff from him (which is what they used to do; and her working with her dog to give her things when she asks was her attempting to re-create the easy, effortless interactions I have with Gryffon)

Well . . . . hmmm . . . . how do I tell her that her going after her dog and wedging herself in between the dog and the furniture and bending over him like that is extremely dominating and creating a huge amount of conflict?

Seeing what she does, and hearing what she does is completely two different things!
 

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I know, but hard for people to "get" stuff. I did tell her that she needs to have her dog come to her and not her go after the dog. If she is the leader, the dog will come to her, and give up the shirt when she asks. I told her that's the next step, so I'm hoping she will work on that.

That's like she is telling me that sometimes he won't get off the sofa when she tells him to (he is allowed up), and has to push/pull him off. He just braces himself and makes the pushing/pulling off harder - and she laughs - hahaha, what a lug!). So I try not to wince too visibly, and tell her that she should be at a point where she only has to look at her dog and he'll get off the sofa. "Oh, I know! That is my goal!" she says - dog is 3 years old, had him since hi was a pup - if she can't get him off the sofa by now, not sure how that will happen with only a look from her.

I have to say, it kills me every time I think of her looking at me all proud with "See? No conflict!" LOL! Funny, but not.
 

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I know exactly what you mean.So many well intentioned owners just never quite "get it".I often wish I had someone to follow me around video taping my interactions with my dogs.I could play it back and see all of the mistakes and the couple of things I did right,lol!

That would be a good idea for private training I think.Video a demo of the right way and the wrong way to achieve a behavior.

A pet peeve of mine is people that yell their dog's name as a correction.
 

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Perhaps she just doesn't know the language, signs her dog is giving. You probably have pointed them out though.

I love this topic because last Dec I had an epiphany of sorts after my boy lunged at another very nice easy going dog. I knew I had to get back with his trainer.

I also knew he needed more than just walks and back yard play.

So we went back to his trainer for a serious session and then I also got him into private agilities classes.

I did this for 2 reasons: I absolutely needed professional eyes watching and critiquing how Sonny and I communicate with each other. And I wanted it coming from 2 different venues. One from an obedience slant and one from a sports discipline where it was something novel and new to him.

He is going into group class that his obedience trainer put together in May.

This 2part plan with professional eyes on us has helped us a lot. Tips IMay never have learned otherwise. Also, even though both trainers had a different go-to way of training, I do use both with him and it's fun learning and watching how each trainer uses their methods with finesse and expertise.

I also have a very dear friend with a sweet yorkie that I have made suggestions to. I have learned to back off. The yorkies issues don't pose a threat so it's not worth it. My friend does admire how well behaved my boy is though (other than his DA)
 

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It did take me a very long time to admit to myself that I could not help Sonny and me on my own. A very very long time. I call it my "get over yourself" issue.
 

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I know exactly what you mean.So many well intentioned owners just never quite "get it".I often wish I had someone to follow me around video taping my interactions with my dogs.I could play it back and see all of the mistakes and the couple of things I did right,lol!

That would be a good idea for private training I think.Video a demo of the right way and the wrong way to achieve a behavior.

A pet peeve of mine is people that yell their dog's name as a correction.
That video idea is great. So many coaches use it during pre-game workouts to prepare human athletes. It would be a great advantage for handlers and their dog in training.

Someone took a snap shot of me and my boy walking downtown. The pic was a shot from behind. I always wondered what we looked like. In the pic, the leash was loose and surprisingly, my stride and his matched perfectly. My right foot back, his right hind foot back.

Note: had to revisit this thread. I don't like being a thread killer and the topic is worth discussing.:smile2:
 

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The problem is that she is a Cesar Milan fan, so to her, "getting the dog to submit" is the sign of her being a respected pack leader. To her, that her dog went and laid down with the shirt means that the dog is being submissive. I just don't want to beat her down too much. I feel they are doing everything wrong, and they are just lucky to have a soft dog that I doubt is ever going to do anything more than hide behind furniture and put his paws on the stuff he is trying to keep possession of.

They did take my lecture about allowing their dog to be possessive of their daughter seriously, about taking priveledges away, about not allowing the dog to get up on the girl's bed, heck, don't even allow the dog in her room! That is a priviledge he will have to re-earn.

The waiting him out to give up something is also a huge step forward (from screaming at the dog, chasing it around the house, and alpha rolling him - which was a daily event).

I really, really, really stressed the importance of on-going training and daily exercise to help with behaviour problems (and CM also stresses daily exercise - but that is not as cool and human self-rewarding as feeling that one is "Alpha" over their dog - even if they are not). I can talk about how I never think in terms of being dominant, I never think in terms of "making my dog submit", I always think in terms of building a relationship and shaping behaviors that I want by rewarding. She sees me bringing Gryffon to work on a daily basis (weather permitting), and walking with him daily, doing OB games, playing fetch in the fields until Gryff's tongue hangs to the ground - she wants her dog to be as well behaved and easy as Gryff, yet they won't do any of this.

I think the members on this board are all more involved with their dogs, and not representative of "most dog owners" who would be more like my friend. They want a dog for the companionship (and the wow factor of owning a certain breed, like in their case, her husband wanted a Rottweiler because of the macho dog thing (she's more of a Golden Retriever person), but he is never home. His work has him away from home for weeks at a time. He feels that the dog needs to adapt to his expectations and not for him to be a slave and servant and change his daily routine for the sake of the dog - AAAAAAAAGGGGGHHHHH!!!! Get a pet rock then!
 

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Situations like this is why I hate giving advice on a forum, not enough information and most people just start dishing out advice without asking questions.
 

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Ugh. If the dog is growling at her while she's bending over it trying to take something away, it's not just conflict it's a recipe to get bit!
 

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Situations like this is why I hate giving advice on a forum, not enough information and most people just start dishing out advice without asking questions.
I think it is hard sometimes to ask for advice for a problem, especially on a public forum because you are opening yourself to so many people. It can make you feel really exposed so info that the poster deems not pertinent (but could be very important on how to help) is left out.

It is probably why op (in general) can take offense to some of the questions asked or misinterpret the advice as if they didn't know anything.


Castlemaid, with what you have said, you did a ton for your friend and their dog.

My friends dog has energy galore and once when we were over (dh and I w/o Sonny) I asked her if I could do a little traning with him. I wanted to see if I could get him to sit still enough for eye-contact/focus.

That little guy was so responsive and enthusiastic and my friend d kept saying WOW. I told her all it takes is just a bit of patience and 10mins out of a day.

Last time I was there all she did was no this, no that w/o any praising when he responded appropriately. I kept my mouth quiet but I know for a fact that if I had taped it and showed it to her, she would have been surprised at what she was doing and would adjust accordingly.

She does love him and he is incredibly bonded to her (in a good way). She could get him to jump over the moon if she knew how.
 

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I think the members on this board are all more involved with their dogs, and not representative of "most dog owners" who would be more like my friend. They want a dog for the companionship (and the wow factor of owning a certain breed, like in their case, her husband wanted a Rottweiler because of the macho dog thing (she's more of a Golden Retriever person), but he is never home. His work has him away from home for weeks at a time. He feels that the dog needs to adapt to his expectations and not for him to be a slave and servant and change his daily routine for the sake of the dog - AAAAAAAAGGGGGHHHHH!!!! Get a pet rock then!

This is so true. I silently cringe sometimes when someone gushes over my dogs and goes on about how they're going to "buy a German Shepherd just like her, but bigger!" or whatever.


I don't usually say what I'm thinking, because it's very easy to sound like an elitist snob - implying that while it's okay for me to have these dogs, clearly you are not worthy. Never a good conversation tone.


And I agree, the membership here is not representative of John-Q-Public. If you walked into a random room full of North American dog owners and started explaining your raw diet proportions, trial entry fees, custom vehicle crate plans (heck, I selected my last vehicle to fit the dogs' crates), training collar brand preferences, and holistic food supplements, you would probably be judged, or considered ridiculous and silly. Here? Heck, that's par for the course.


At the end of the day, that's probably why we all ended up seeking likeminded others, in an online setting....
 

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Dog grabbed something (a shirt), went to his bed with it. She went up to the dog, took hold of the shirt, told him to let go, he did. She puts the shirt down, turns around to talk to me, dog sneaks in, grabs the shirt again,
Probably good advice to tell the lady to not let the dog be cheeky like that. Simply tell her the dog won't respect her unless she starts to have conviction when she wants to take something from the dog. Allowing it to resteal the item weakens her chances of getting dog to release or not take the item in the first place.

To nip it in the bud is easier than to deal with the dog in possession of something.

Allowing a dog to go to a place and hide is also weakening her position. She should be advised not to allow the dog to do this and a place command should be taught. Instead of going into the dogs zone, he is then ordered back to his place, bed where the item may be easier to take, or bribed with another item or promise of a treat.

Off command would be a must too. Ball and string or 2 and he gets one when he drops the other. Build up games and obedience around the ball. Dogs wins, owner wins.

For people like that basic dog behavior or socializing classes should be taken. Training methods considered and direction created for the dog.
 

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This is where you weigh your friendship against your dog knowledge/understanding.

If she isn't asking for advice, sometimes it is best to just leave it alone. I know that the longer stuff goes on, the harder it is to fix issues, but unsolicited advice is rarely acted upon.

For some reason she is competing with you. For you to tell her she needs to get a handle on this behavior or that, I think will be seen as a put down. When she asks, be ready with a couple of trainer's name in your pocket, and maybe some clear, simple advice for the mean time. But if she is competing, then she may never ask you. She may drop the dog at the pound because she cannot manage it rather than let on to you that she couldn't handle it. Of course, I don't know your friend.

If she rants or gushes at you about the dog -- don't take this as asking for advice. Instead, ask, "Do you want to know what I would do?"

Hope it all works out ok for her. It's a lot of dog to manage if it is out of hand. Add children into that mix, and it could be bad for everyone involved.
 

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I agree with everything everyone here said - my friend had wanted to get rid of the dog many times over, and I supported her in whatever she would decide - she never really wanted this dog - it was her husband who did, bought it, brought it home without consulting her - then, he's gone!!! She is stuck with this thing, and a handful at that.

We laugh all the time that my Keeta and her dog must have been related somehow, their behaviours and idiosyncracies are almost identical. Keeta was over my head when I got her, but I swallowed my pride, and went to training with her, and look at me now!! (haha!) ;0)

So I have to give her credit for trying, and trying, and trying. I try to be an example, and don't want to push her away, give her credit for what she did so far, and along the way she went from resenting the dog, to openly and fully loving him. That came from me too. I told her that I would support her in any decision she made (keep the dog or rehome), but instead of seeing him as a problem, she should try and start to appreciate her dog, and enjoy him. She did listen to this advice, and put in an effort, and all her stories about what a bad dog he was did change gradually to what a fun and sweet goof-ball he is and how she fully sees this dog as a part of the family now, no question of rehoming - not sure if I did the dog a service that way or not, but I'm glad that the dog is being appreciated more.

If she wants to play "corner the dog and take things away from him" for ever, that is her choice. But I say baby steps. I offer suggestions here and there, don't want to come across as lecturing, or judgemental.
 

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Today I was standing in the kitchen at my niece's house when she let her lab mix and pit bull inside.The pit rushed to me,jumped up and bit me on my forearm!I had a sweatshirt and jacket on or it definitely would have drawn blood.She yelled"Ivy!" and put her in her crate!Sigh.

Both dogs are familiar with me,I've known them since puppy hood.I've gently encouraged my niece to work with Ivy on her increasing aggressive tendencies.She says Ivy just gets nervous sometimes so then she crates her.I hope she doesn't get "nervous" when her daughter's friends are there.
 

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Dang! If I knew that my dog 'got nervous' around people, that dog would be on leash whenenver someone was around. Why give them the chance to practice completely un-acceptable behavior all the time?
 

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Dang! If I knew that my dog 'got nervous' around people, that dog would be on leash whenenver someone was around. Why give them the chance to practice completely un-acceptable behavior all the time?
Exactly!And Ivy the pit is a little worse every time I see her.Maybe this will make her take more precautions now.I'm glad it was me and not one of my little grand niece's friends.:|
 

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I agree with everything everyone here said - my friend had wanted to get rid of the dog many times over, and I supported her in whatever she would decide - she never really wanted this dog - it was her husband who did, bought it, brought it home without consulting her - then, he's gone!!! She is stuck with this thing, and a handful at that.

We laugh all the time that my Keeta and her dog must have been related somehow, their behaviours and idiosyncracies are almost identical. Keeta was over my head when I got her, but I swallowed my pride, and went to training with her, and look at me now!! (haha!) ;0)

So I have to give her credit for trying, and trying, and trying. I try to be an example, and don't want to push her away, give her credit for what she did so far, and along the way she went from resenting the dog, to openly and fully loving him. That came from me too. I told her that I would support her in any decision she made (keep the dog or rehome), but instead of seeing him as a problem, she should try and start to appreciate her dog, and enjoy him. She did listen to this advice, and put in an effort, and all her stories about what a bad dog he was did change gradually to what a fun and sweet goof-ball he is and how she fully sees this dog as a part of the family now, no question of rehoming - not sure if I did the dog a service that way or not, but I'm glad that the dog is being appreciated more.

If she wants to play "corner the dog and take things away from him" for ever, that is her choice. But I say baby steps. I offer suggestions here and there, don't want to come across as lecturing, or judgemental.
This! The dog does not have to be the biggest, the best behaved, the best trained. It just has to be your best friend. Relax and enjoy him.
 

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This! The dog does not have to be the biggest, the best behaved, the best trained. It just has to be your best friend. Relax and enjoy him.
Please, the dog, a rott is growling at the owner, when she tries to take away a towel or whatever. That dog needs to be trained.

I'd rather give a dog the cold shoulder and let it know it needs to behave in a way i expect rather than give it affection. Best friends don't growl at each other.

No offense but the owner sounds clueless enough and 'your advice' is 'relax and enjoy him'.

No, they need to be educated on the responsibility of having a large guardian breed dog, for their own sake and others.

A bit of discipline goes a far way imo.
 
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