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"Bad Dog!" show on Animal Planet

ChloeTheGreat

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Has anyone watched this?
They show clips of dogs (and sometimes other pets) doing "bad" things. They also have the owners tell stories about how the dogs issues/habits started and how much they love their pet despite the issues/habits.
It bothers me.
Many of these pets have behavioral issues that are not funny...I would argue that some of these dogs need major help.
They just showed an American Bulldog who they lovingly refer to as "protective" of her owners. She attacks the door when someone tries to come in. When her owner and his friends get rowdy, she bites at their clothing and sometimes bites through the clothing to their body. Not to mention, this dog lives in a home with children. Episodes frequently show situations like this. Seems to me that behavior like this should not be rewarded and allowed because someone thinks it's funny. It could turn into a dangerous problem.
Another episode showed a chihuahua (if I recall correctly) who displayed aggressive behavior, but of course the owners thought it was cute. The dog would not allow the owners to sleep in their own bed and if they did, they would wake up to a turd on their pillow. I think they may have slept in the guest room so the dog could have their bed.
I need to stop watching this ridiculous show, but I feel bad for the animals. Why haven't any animal behaviorists expressed concern about these animals?
 

sonnyjane

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Unfortunately most of these pet reality shows are pretty irresponsible. The only one I somewhat agree with is "It's Me or the Dog" because she actually uses the notion of positive reinforcement, but I still don't agree with some of her tactics. Caesar Milan and his damn "Dog Whisperer" is worse. Have you seen the hidden footage that was posted on YouTube several months back? He had it removed because it was unauthorized, but it showed him kicking several of the dogs on the show that he "transformed" during training sessions. Hmm...they seemed to have left that part out of the show. I haven't seen the show your talking about, but I can say that Animal Planet's stance on animal behavior leaves much to be desired.

I am a professional animal trainer and I assure you that 99% of my field not only doesn't like these shows, but we are actively against them and speak out against the trainers that we feel are doing more harm than good. Aggression in animals is certainly not funny. If they let those poor animals rehearse that behavior and something bad happens to a guest visiting the house, the dog could be put down and it will have been the owner's fault entirely.
 

iugurl

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sonnyjane|1317529118|3031001 said:
Unfortunately most of these pet reality shows are pretty irresponsible. The only one I somewhat agree with is "It's Me or the Dog" because she actually uses the notion of positive reinforcement, but I still don't agree with some of her tactics.
May I ask what you disagree with? I watch that show occasionally. I find it interesting, but would like to know what she does "wrong." I don't have a dog, in fact, that show has almost scared me away from getting a dog. Some of the dogs are very scary on that show. I know the owners (or previous owners, and the current are clueless how to help) are at fault, most of the time.
 

Hera

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sonnyjane|1317529118|3031001 said:
Unfortunately most of these pet reality shows are pretty irresponsible. The only one I somewhat agree with is "It's Me or the Dog" because she actually uses the notion of positive reinforcement, but I still don't agree with some of her tactics. Caesar Milan and his damn "Dog Whisperer" is worse. Have you seen the hidden footage that was posted on YouTube several months back? He had it removed because it was unauthorized, but it showed him kicking several of the dogs on the show that he "transformed" during training sessions. Hmm...they seemed to have left that part out of the show. I haven't seen the show your talking about, but I can say that Animal Planet's stance on animal behavior leaves much to be desired.

I am a professional animal trainer and I assure you that 99% of my field not only doesn't like these shows, but we are actively against them and speak out against the trainers that we feel are doing more harm than good. Aggression in animals is certainly not funny. If they let those poor animals rehearse that behavior and something bad happens to a guest visiting the house, the dog could be put down and it will have been the owner's fault entirely.
I can see how Caesar Milan's techniques can be harmful to animals. I think I'm a little perturbed at why such large organizations have not taken a more public stance against him. It seems even that American Humane Association changed their stance regarding him for some reason.

Also, it seems like there's still quite a bit of irresponsible animal trainers out there still. When my Rottweiler was 4 months old (we got her at 3 mos), she started displaying aggressive behavior so we interviewed 3 trainers and they ALL advocated death rolls, choke chains and such. One seemed to be much more about positive reinforcement but I do have my suspicions. (My dog came back from 3 week camp with a gnarly choke chain.) A few years later when she was still displaying aggressive behavior, I made a simple call to my local humane society who suggested clicker training and soft blinks. She improved dramatically even though the behavior never went away completely. Our dog is 12 years old and we feel confident that she won't hurt anyone. We are still extra careful though.

Sonnyjane, it sounds like you are of a good group of trainers with a positive methodology. I'm glad that you have written about your stance because if it just reaches a few people it will make a difference.
 

Miss Sparkly

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Has anybody seen Dogtown? I am in love with that show! They treat the animals wonderfully and I always cry with every episode :cheeky: I'm such a doggy sap.

My grandmothers dog could be on that bad dog show. He is the only animal that I truly hate. He will walk up to her, growl and she'll get up and feed him. Then, if he ignores his food and growls at her again she will put gravy, meat, or some other tasty tidbit on top of his food. He has her very well trained and she doesn't understand that he is being aggressive/dominate with her :angryfire:
 

Miss Sparkly

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sonnyjane|1317529118|3031001 said:
Unfortunately most of these pet reality shows are pretty irresponsible. The only one I somewhat agree with is "It's Me or the Dog" because she actually uses the notion of positive reinforcement, but I still don't agree with some of her tactics. Caesar Milan and his damn "Dog Whisperer" is worse. Have you seen the hidden footage that was posted on YouTube several months back? He had it removed because it was unauthorized, but it showed him kicking several of the dogs on the show that he "transformed" during training sessions. Hmm...they seemed to have left that part out of the show. I haven't seen the show your talking about, but I can say that Animal Planet's stance on animal behavior leaves much to be desired.

I am a professional animal trainer and I assure you that 99% of my field not only doesn't like these shows, but we are actively against them and speak out against the trainers that we feel are doing more harm than good. Aggression in animals is certainly not funny. If they let those poor animals rehearse that behavior and something bad happens to a guest visiting the house, the dog could be put down and it will have been the owner's fault entirely.
Would you mind sharing what qualities/techniques one should look for in a trainer? We had a male min pin a while back with several issues and although we took him to a trainer and did our best to continue training it became apparent that either he wasn't trained properly or just was not a good fit for our family dynamic (It seemed to be more not a good fit). We're looking at adopting a young little girl pup and want to make sure that we invest in quality training for both her and our current resident doggy (he is 3 and has been through two levels of Petco training).
 

JewelFreak

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When evaluating trainers, first look for one who realizes he or she is training the people most of all. Training them to communicate with and understand signals from their dogs & how to be a confident pack leader. Next, positive reinforcement rather than punishment -- and timing thereof, which is very important. I hate the boot camp approach for the very reason that it does not train the owners; the dog comes home obeying the trainer, to inexpert leadership from its family. A half hour on arrival of saying, "When he does this, act like so..." isn't enough.

Neat to see others disapproving of those shows -- I really dislike them. One episode of "Me or the Dog" concerned a Siberian who was rambunctious & headstrong, as the breed always is. GF hated her. They need tons of exercise & firm compassionate CLEVER leadership -- if you can't speak Dog, you will never succeed w/Siberians. They're sweet unaggressive dogs but when they get rowdy, can knock somebody over or scratch or nip if not taught not to. This "trainer" told the GF -- "You have to get a handle on this breed. They are very dangerous." Bulls**t. Typical misunderstanding of substandard trainers. I never watched the show again.

My sister knows someone who worked w/Cesar Milan on one show & confirmed that he does get mad & kick dogs. Outrageous! To me his methods are too confrontational anyway -- you need to LEAD a dog w/confidence & understanding, not DOMINATE like a bully. With independent breeds, e.g., boxers, Mals, Siberians, bassets, etc., dominating the wrong way only sets up a contest of wills where nobody wins. Instead you need to show the dog what's in it for him (reward) to do it your way.

That pack at Milan's facility gives me the total goosebumps. It looks like a slasher movie waiting to happen -- I would never consider leaving a dog of mine there. Looks more like an ego trip for him than anything healing for a dog.

--- Laurie
 

JewelFreak

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P.S. Best Friends, the organization about which Dogtown is made, is fabulous. One of their founding members was a college classmate of mine & we're still in touch. She lives there & does fundraising for them. They've contributed enormously to behavioral knowledge & research and veterinary advancement. Not to mention respect for all animals for being what they are. This friend stays on my case to come out there for a visit -- I'm definitely planning it.
 

packrat

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Oh wow, I used to watch Cesar Milan religiously..I had no idea he did that!!

I did see an infomercial on Don Sullivan, the Perfect Dog or something like that, a dog training dvd..I thought about getting that. There aren't any trainers around here and the closest obedience classes I think are an hour away.

I've never seen any of the other shows.
 

sonnyjane

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JewelFreak|1317554684|3031085 said:
When evaluating trainers, first look for one who realizes he or she is training the people most of all. Training them to communicate with and understand signals from their dogs & how to be a confident pack leader. Next, positive reinforcement rather than punishment -- and timing thereof, which is very important. I hate the boot camp approach for the very reason that it does not train the owners; the dog comes home obeying the trainer, to inexpert leadership from its family. A half hour on arrival of saying, "When he does this, act like so..." isn't enough.

Neat to see others disapproving of those shows -- I really dislike them. One episode of "Me or the Dog" concerned a Siberian who was rambunctious & headstrong, as the breed always is. GF hated her. They need tons of exercise & firm compassionate CLEVER leadership -- if you can't speak Dog, you will never succeed w/Siberians. They're sweet unaggressive dogs but when they get rowdy, can knock somebody over or scratch or nip if not taught not to. This "trainer" told the GF -- "You have to get a handle on this breed. They are very dangerous." Bulls**t. Typical misunderstanding of substandard trainers. I never watched the show again.

My sister knows someone who worked w/Cesar Milan on one show & confirmed that he does get mad & kick dogs. Outrageous! To me his methods are too confrontational anyway -- you need to LEAD a dog w/confidence & understanding, not DOMINATE like a bully. With independent breeds, e.g., boxers, Mals, Siberians, bassets, etc., dominating the wrong way only sets up a contest of wills where nobody wins. Instead you need to show the dog what's in it for him (reward) to do it your way.

That pack at Milan's facility gives me the total goosebumps. It looks like a slasher movie waiting to happen -- I would never consider leaving a dog of mine there. Looks more like an ego trip for him than anything healing for a dog.

--- Laurie
Laurie summed up a lot of what I was going to say. I first must provide the disclaimer that I don't currently train dogs. I work primarily with exotics, but I have to believe that the principles are the same, and that the techniques that I have used with such a large variety of species would also work with dogs. Where I train, we are entirely focused on positive reinforcement. That means we reward the good and ignore the bad. We do not punish, or yell, or dominate, and CERTAINLY never kick our animals if they do something we don't want. We simply look away or sometimes even walk away entirely until the animal figures out "the game".

I can't even take a trainer seriously who endorses bullying or "pack" training techniques. Obviously I can't put myself in the mind of a dog, but I just can't imagine that using those tactics builds a positive relationship with your pet and in some cases it could just create a pressure-cooker of backlash.

As far as what to look for in a trainer, it depends on what you want to accomplish. There are of course basic training courses that cover sit/lay down/come/fetch etc. As Laurie mentioned, all of that training can go out the window if the owners aren't also trained on how to maintain those behaviors and the criteria. I also have several friends that train dog agility, which I highly recommend if you have a dog that is high-energy and is becoming a problem because they aren't getting enough exercise. Most of the trainers I know in the dog agility/dock-diving circuit are great, positive trainers. It's the ones at the basic levels that can be treacherous. I guess whatever you do, just make sure that you don't ship off a pet expecting it to come back perfectly trained and that all the work is done. Having a well-trained pet involves EVERYONE in the family! :)
 

sonnyjane

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I'll also add that our main motto is "There's no such thing as a bad animal, just a bad trainer." Basically, if a trainer is trying and trying to teach an animal a behavior and the animal just isn't getting it, it means that the trainer isn't presenting it in a way the animal can easily understand, or the trainer isn't rewarding the behavior enough to make the new behavior worth it. If we have a hard time getting an animal to do something, the FIRST thing we do is critique ourselves and see how we can make things easier on the animal, how we can communicate more clearly, etc. If ANY trainer ever escalates their behavior or tries to "break" an animal that seems to be a "problem", get the heck out of there!
 

Karl_K

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nothing makes me madder than a pet owner who thinks a dog being bad is funny.
One time I went to a Lady's house to fix her computer.
I kneel down to look at the computer and her poodle attacks my pants leg and draws blood on my leg and she is laughing about it.
I get up and yell at her to remove the dog now.
She puts the dog out back.
I then tell her she owes me $50 for my pants her dog ruined and I was leaving.
She said im calling the cops, I said go for it.
I go out front off her property and wait for them to arrive.
She did call 911 and said I yelled at her dog???
I told them what happened and showed them my leg and my appointment book.
They had animal control remove the dog and she paid for my pants after the cops scared her by telling her because she laughed and didn't call off the dog I could have her charged with battery and he dog would be put to sleep.
They wanted to call an ambulance and said I could sue her to cover it but I didn't want that.
eeeerrrrr I get ticked just thinking about it, I felt so bad for the dog and hope they didn't put it down.
 

tyty333

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Karl_K|1317564051|3031136 said:
nothing makes me madder than a pet owner who thinks a dog being bad is funny.
One time I went to a Lady's house to fix her computer.
I kneel down to look at the computer and her poodle attacks my pants leg and draws blood on my leg and she is laughing about it.
I get up and yell at her to remove the dog now.
She puts the dog out back.
I then tell her she owes me $50 for my pants her dog ruined and I was leaving.
She said im calling the cops, I said go for it.
I go out front off her property and wait for them to arrive.
She did call 911 and said I yelled at her dog???
I told them what happened and showed them my leg and my appointment book.
They had animal control remove the dog and she paid for my pants after the cops scared her by telling her because she laughed and didn't call off the dog I could have her charged with battery and he dog would be put to sleep.
They wanted to call an ambulance and said I could sue her to cover it but I didn't want that.
eeeerrrrr I get ticked just thinking about it, I felt so bad for the dog and hope they didn't put it down.

Yep, not funny. It really bothers me when people put their pets "needs" above their guest or other people that they
have invited into their house. If you know that your animal may not react well to other people that you have invited
into your house then put the pet outside or close them up somewhere.

I used to belong to a Mom's group with about 8 women. We would take turns meeting at each others houses. We all had kids
that were around 1 years old. We had it at one girls home who was taking care of her Mom's dog. This dog was running around
and licking all the kids on the face. If you tried to push it away it acted a little agressive towards you...like it was over excited
and you were trying to take away its fun. The girl just kept saying he'll calm down in a minute. She finally figure out that we
were upset with the dog and put it out. Thinking back I should have just left. How was I to know I could trust that dog and
besides, who wants dog slober all over their child's face? It was rude in my book and I should have spoke up (or left).
 

JewelFreak

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What an unpleasant experience, Karl. I hope she learned something, but people like that usually just think the injured party is the jerk.

It is essential for your animal's sake to make sure it's trained, as Karl can tell us. Dogs are put down when they're not really vicious, simply undisciplined & never shown what's not appropriate. Same with cats. I have one who constantly bit me as a kitten -- whenever he did, I stood up immediately, dumping him off my lap & walked away, game or petting, whatever, is OVER. He got the picture after a while & hasn't bitten anybody (except my other cat!! :D) in the 8 yrs since. Like children, animals do what comes naturally & need to learn what's not acceptable behavior. And like children, those who do know boundaries are much much happier & better adjusted.

I'll also add that our main motto is "There's no such thing as a bad animal, just a bad trainer." Basically, if a trainer is trying and trying to teach an animal a behavior and the animal just isn't getting it, it means that the trainer isn't presenting it in a way the animal can easily understand, or the trainer isn't rewarding the behavior enough to make the new behavior worth it. If we have a hard time getting an animal to do something, the FIRST thing we do is critique ourselves and see how we can make things easier on the animal, how we can communicate more clearly, etc. If ANY trainer ever escalates their behavior or tries to "break" an animal that seems to be a "problem", get the heck out of there!
The old motto applies in training: "If what you're doing isn't working, do something else."

When I gave a little course to 6th & 7th graders at a local school on "How Dogs Think" & how to work with your dog, I wanted to demonstrate how it feels to be a dog -- not understanding when you give a command. I had a volunteer sit in a chair at the front of the room & gave him instructions in Italian: "stand up by your chair." He, of course, was flummoxed & stared at me. I said it louder. Then I shouted it. I raised my hand as if to hit him. Red-faced by now, he was resentful -- I asked him, "Did you get it any clearer when I yelled at you? If I had whacked you, would it make it easier to understand?" NOOOO, shouted all the kids -- and the light turned on in their heads. We forget that we're asking an animal in a "foreign" language to do something that isn't a natural behavior for him -- sort of a double negative. Patience & ingenuity are required.

Yes on agility, etc., Sonnyjane -- great stuff, mentally and physically!

--- Laurie

P.S. -- What animals do you train? I'm fascinated.
 

sonnyjane

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JewelFreak|1317571431|3031208 said:
!! :

When I gave a little course to 6th & 7th graders at a local school on "How Dogs Think" & how to work with your dog, I wanted to demonstrate how it feels to be a dog -- not understanding when you give a command. I had a volunteer sit in a chair at the front of the room & gave him instructions in Italian: "stand up by your chair." He, of course, was flummoxed & stared at me. I said it louder. Then I shouted it. I raised my hand as if to hit him. Red-faced by now, he was resentful -- I asked him, "Did you get it any clearer when I yelled at you? If I had whacked you, would it make it easier to understand?" NOOOO, shouted all the kids -- and the light turned on in their heads. We forget that we're asking an animal in a "foreign" language to do something that isn't a natural behavior for him -- sort of a double negative. Patience & ingenuity are required.

Yes on agility, etc., Sonnyjane -- great stuff, mentally and physically!

--- Laurie

P.S. -- What animals do you train? I'm fascinated.
We do a similar game here to stress just how clear you have to be with your bridging and reinforcement since they don't speak our language.

I am a trainer at a zoo and work on animal shows. Right now I work with birds and have been with them for almost three years, but I have worked with smaller mammals like foxes, pigs, and binturongs and marine mammals (dolphins and sea lions). To be honest I find birds the smartest and fastest learners, even more so than dolphins.
 

JewelFreak

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What a fabulous job, SJ!!! I'm green w/envy. Birds are terrifically smart, I'm not surprised to hear your opinion. Must be a job you enjoy immensely -- and the bond created w/the animal would be total joy.

I just read in National Geographic, BTW, that elephants, in addition to dolphins & some apes, recognize themselves in a mirror. Patronizing humans, we are!

We do a similar game here to stress just how clear you have to be with your bridging and reinforcement since they don't speak our language.
The kids just loved it -- had to spend the entire rest of that class letting each eager trainer-in-training be the "dog." They were still begging to do more the following week. They were most surprised by how frustrated they became, trying to do what I wanted but not understanding what that was. Some of them looked ready to bawl. Good object lesson. I hope they remember it forever.

--- Laurie
 

sonnyjane

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JewelFreak|1317599912|3031606 said:
What a fabulous job, SJ!!! I'm green w/envy. Birds are terrifically smart, I'm not surprised to hear your opinion. Must be a job you enjoy immensely -- and the bond created w/the animal would be total joy.--- Laurie
I certainly can't complain :) I love it because I get to have about 20 pets, but I don't have to pay for any of them lol. I will admit that since I train animals all day, my cat that I have at home is very much lazy and untrained haha. He is trained to eat twice a day and sleep on my bed ;-) Training free-flight birds is really challenging because well, if they don't want to be there, they can fly away to Mexico! So, our relationship is really important. We spend months and months building our relationships and solidifying our behaviors indoors with each bird before we take them out to the open sky to fly. It's an aspect that a lot of my fellow trainers that handle animals that work on a leash don't understand... if a cheetah tries to get away from you while she's on a leash, no big deal, you just hold on to the leash. If a bird wants to get away from you...you best set aside the next several days of your life for bird-watching! :sun:
 

maplefemme

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Karl_K|1317564051|3031136 said:
nothing makes me madder than a pet owner who thinks a dog being bad is funny.
One time I went to a Lady's house to fix her computer.
I kneel down to look at the computer and her poodle attacks my pants leg and draws blood on my leg and she is laughing about it.
I get up and yell at her to remove the dog now.
She puts the dog out back.
I then tell her she owes me $50 for my pants her dog ruined and I was leaving.
She said im calling the cops, I said go for it.
I go out front off her property and wait for them to arrive.
She did call 911 and said I yelled at her dog???
I told them what happened and showed them my leg and my appointment book.
They had animal control remove the dog and she paid for my pants after the cops scared her by telling her because she laughed and didn't call off the dog I could have her charged with battery and he dog would be put to sleep.
They wanted to call an ambulance and said I could sue her to cover it but I didn't want that.
eeeerrrrr I get ticked just thinking about it, I felt so bad for the dog and hope they didn't put it down.
I couldn't agree with you more, Karl. One of my biggest peeves is small dog owners who think their dog's aggressive behavior is funny or something not to be taken seriously. If I allowed my large dogs to behave in such a way, though I never would, then they'd not be so amused, they'd be very upset.

I work with dominant breeds, training them in Search and Rescue, PP (Personal Protection) and I have worked in K9 rehab for decades, I agree, positive training is absolutely key, however, ignoring negative behavior as though it doesn't exist isn't effective either.
I hear many times "it's not the dog" it's the owner, and yes, in most cases that is true, BUT you cannot change nature by nurture. Some individual dogs are aggressive due to genetics in their own particular line, not "breed", I'm talking specific to the dogs direct lineage, and no matter what training you implement to modify their behavior you are always going to have aggression issues, this is why we do temperament tests on puppies. They have had hardly any exposure to their environment enough to influence behavior, yet their genetics are already dictating reactions and temperament.
It's not merely my personal opinion, many studies have been done, especially by the Russians who have done research on canid genetics and relating behaviors in domestication for over 50 years. For e.g they would take kits (young foxes) that were born to aggressive parents and place them at birth with domesticated, calm, sweet, fox parents. They'd remain aggressive and grew into extremely aggressive adult foxes still, no matter how they were nurtured and trained.
They also did the opposite and the calm, gentle, kits raised by aggressive parents still resulted in calm, friendly, non aggressive adults.

We do not pick aggressive puppies for PP training, it's an undesirable trait, we want confident, high drive, fearless, puppies who are driven to please. They must be balanced and temperamentally stable.
Regardless of why a person's dog is displaying undesirable behavior, I just wish more owners would step up to the plate and be accountable, it's their responsibility after all...
 

NewEnglandLady

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I wish I could just "ditto" all the posts on this thread.

I'm by no means a training expert--I mean, I've been to my fair share of obedience classes, but have only owned two dogs in my adult life.

That being said, I could not agree more with Jewel about effective training based on the breed and personality. Heck, my two dogs are both Newfoundlands and I had to modify much of my training for our second based on what worked for him. My good friend owns multiple Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs, which are very independent dogs--like Jewel said, if you were to approach her dogs like a bully they would completely shut down and not respond at all.

I also have to admit that my pet peeve is bad behavior percieved as being "cute" with toy breeds. The other day I was on a little hiking trail with Bo and an owner came in with her 5 Chinese Cresteds. They started going crazy when they saw Bo and immediately started barking and then biting at his ankles once he was in their range. I had to walk off the path to get away from them and the owner laughed and said "my babies get intimidated by big dogs" as though that was a reasonable excuse for the biting. I replied that I bet he wouldn't think it was cute if my dog started biting his dogs. Luckily Bo was very laid back about it and ignored them completely, but the incident just really annoyed me.
 

sonnyjane

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maplefemme|1317671923|3032259 said:
I work with dominant breeds, training them in Search and Rescue, PP (Personal Protection) and I have worked in K9 rehab for decades, I agree, positive training is absolutely key, however, ignoring negative behavior as though it doesn't exist isn't effective either.
I just want to be clear, in case you were addressing the part in my post where I said we reward the good and ignore the bad, I meant we ignore the bad within a single training session - for example if an animal isn't very focused during a session, we might look the other way for a few seconds until the animal realizes that their current behavior isn't getting them any treats and starts to pay more attention. I did not mean that we ignore behavioral issues altogether.
 

JewelFreak

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I didn't mean that either. You're right, MF, ignoring bad behavior as if it doesn't exist is not gonna get anyone a well-behaved dog. The idea is not to give the dog any perceived reward for behavior you want to discourage. There are plenty of ways to deny gratification immediately when a dog misbehaves. Sometimes more is required -- I've stared down my puppies when they try Big Dog behavior (little squirt version), for instance, such as growling at me. On rare occasions I've growled & bared my teeth -- dog language works for me with Siberians; it may not for others or other dogs.

I've never worked with aggressive dogs -- thank you for specifying individuals, not breeds -- other than puppies or adolescents. That demands special skills & methods. Good for you, Maplefemme! My sister has done a lot of that with GSDs in Colo. Amazing to see the control she achieves over them & they are totally devoted to her. You folks are a blue-ribbon breed of your own!

--- Laurie
 

maplefemme

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sonnyjane|1317685387|3032465 said:
maplefemme|1317671923|3032259 said:
I work with dominant breeds, training them in Search and Rescue, PP (Personal Protection) and I have worked in K9 rehab for decades, I agree, positive training is absolutely key, however, ignoring negative behavior as though it doesn't exist isn't effective either.
I just want to be clear, in case you were addressing the part in my post where I said we reward the good and ignore the bad, I meant we ignore the bad within a single training session - for example if an animal isn't very focused during a session, we might look the other way for a few seconds until the animal realizes that their current behavior isn't getting them any treats and starts to pay more attention. I did not mean that we ignore behavioral issues altogether.
Hi Sonnyjane,

Oh no, I wasn't referring to your post specifically at all, just making a generalization ;))
Your work sounds fascinating, challenging, and utterly rewarding!
 

maplefemme

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JewelFreak|1317686866|3032487 said:
I didn't mean that either. You're right, MF, ignoring bad behavior as if it doesn't exist is not gonna get anyone a well-behaved dog. The idea is not to give the dog any perceived reward for behavior you want to discourage. There are plenty of ways to deny gratification immediately when a dog misbehaves. Sometimes more is required -- I've stared down my puppies when they try Big Dog behavior (little squirt version), for instance, such as growling at me. On rare occasions I've growled & bared my teeth -- dog language works for me with Siberians; it may not for others or other dogs.

I've never worked with aggressive dogs -- thank you for specifying individuals, not breeds -- other than puppies or adolescents. That demands special skills & methods. Good for you, Maplefemme! My sister has done a lot of that with GSDs in Colo. Amazing to see the control she achieves over them & they are totally devoted to her. You folks are a blue-ribbon breed of your own!

--- Laurie
Jewelfreak - same, I wasn't responding to your reply specifically, just making a generalized statement :)
My Step Mother used to breed and train Sibes, beautiful dogs. Like you, she found the "evil eye" worked too!
I agree, pups tend to be very responsive to "dog language", they are little sponges...
I'd love to go see one of the Schutzhund shows with GSDs, I'm impressed by some of their trainers like your Sister, they do great work!
 

JewelFreak

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Maplefemme, it is totally rivetting to watch a good schutzhund trial! There are 2 schutzhund orgs -- I forget their names -- but the one my sister works with gives marks on how much fun the dog seems to be having. If he's a robot or looks cowed or simply doesn't appear to like the exercises, it's major marks down or even disqualification. I went to a national trial w/her once and was just thrilled. She lives in s.e. Colo & travels all over the country taking workshops, practicing w/various trainers & groups, and trialing. I'm always amazed at how much fun she manages to make the training for her dogs -- they get all smiley & hoppy-around when she gets out the equipment.

Example of the incredible control & trust she achieves: once we were hiking in the woods when a loose Siberian zoomed up to us at warp speed. Very very aggressive animal -- obviously lousy breeding to start with & lack of training. My sister's GSD, being high drive, was no petunia either. The Siberian was truly scary & had bloodshed on his mind -- no handler anywhere in sight. Tense moments w/serious steady eye contact, you know the drill. With this dog growling & posturing, dominant as heck, my sister very quietly -- almost whispered the command -- put her shepherd in a down-stay on the path. He obeyed & stayed immobile, seething w/testosterone himself, for loooong minutes until the Siberian's owner finally sauntered along, a young guy who considered himself cool to have a "macho" dog -- he verbally flipped us the bird as he passed by & collected his furry time bomb. Facing major provocation -- as well as having been trained to protect -- her dog trusted her judgment enough to remain in a submissive posture until she released him. I was awed.

--- Laurie

P.S. Cool about your stepmother! I've found you need to know from wolves & their behavior to stay ahead of Siberians. They speak Wolf better than any other language. :)
 

maplefemme

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874
JewelFreak|1317732438|3032818 said:
Maplefemme, it is totally rivetting to watch a good schutzhund trial! There are 2 schutzhund orgs -- I forget their names -- but the one my sister works with gives marks on how much fun the dog seems to be having. If he's a robot or looks cowed or simply doesn't appear to like the exercises, it's major marks down or even disqualification. I went to a national trial w/her once and was just thrilled. She lives in s.e. Colo & travels all over the country taking workshops, practicing w/various trainers & groups, and trialing. I'm always amazed at how much fun she manages to make the training for her dogs -- they get all smiley & hoppy-around when she gets out the equipment.

Example of the incredible control & trust she achieves: once we were hiking in the woods when a loose Siberian zoomed up to us at warp speed. Very very aggressive animal -- obviously lousy breeding to start with & lack of training. My sister's GSD, being high drive, was no petunia either. The Siberian was truly scary & had bloodshed on his mind -- no handler anywhere in sight. Tense moments w/serious steady eye contact, you know the drill. With this dog growling & posturing, dominant as heck, my sister very quietly -- almost whispered the command -- put her shepherd in a down-stay on the path. He obeyed & stayed immobile, seething w/testosterone himself, for loooong minutes until the Siberian's owner finally sauntered along, a young guy who considered himself cool to have a "macho" dog -- he verbally flipped us the bird as he passed by & collected his furry time bomb. Facing major provocation -- as well as having been trained to protect -- her dog trusted her judgment enough to remain in a submissive posture until she released him. I was awed.

--- Laurie

P.S. Cool about your stepmother! I've found you need to know from wolves & their behavior to stay ahead of Siberians. They speak Wolf better than any other language. :)
I really admire other trainers like your Sister! There's a stereotype, outside the working field, that dogs trained in Schutz and PP are out of control, dangerous dogs, and that they are a risk to to the community, when in fact they are quite the opposite.
Well trained, balanced dogs, are really the safest. Clearly shown with your Sister and her GSD in the woods with an aggressive, untrained, dog. I agree, it's really awe inspiring to see that kind of relationship and training!
 

JewelFreak

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You're absolutely right -- and for that reason I never mention that she does schutzhund, only that she trains in difficult obedience, tracking (& omit protection). It is incorrect & too bad, because it's one of the most exhilerating sports I've ever seen.

If you don't know what you're looking at, the protection part seems really fierce. But watching the exercise to the end, the dogs stop the nanosecond they're told to -- and are SO proud & waggy when they get praise, it's hilarious. Same principle used on police dogs now.

The exercise that always knocks me over is one of the obedience ones. Handler sends dog out to retrieve, only it's a very long distance -- all the way across a field, & the handler tells the dog to STOP & SIT at various points along the way. Dog has his back to handler, of course, as he trots out, and must obey instantly on voice command. It's really incredible -- I try to imagine my Siberians doing it, haw haw. :lol:

--- Laurie
 
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