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"Helpful" advice from strangers

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

  
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Lily

Woof!
 
 
Barked: Tue Nov 27, '12 3:07pm PST 
Since Lily is so shy I've had random people offer their suggestions to me. A few people have told me that Lily is shy/anxious because she just wants attention. I had someone else tell me that once she finds her place in the pack then she will gain confidence and will turn into a normal dog. What's the weirdest advice/comments you have received when dealing with a shy/anxious/reactive dog? What's the best advice you've ever received when dealing with a shy/anxious/reactive dog?

Edited by author Tue Nov 27, '12 3:09pm PST

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Jax (earned- her wings- 5/30/12)

Give me your- toy.
 
 
Barked: Tue Nov 27, '12 3:22pm PST 
The weirdest was with Jax. I would tell people she came from a bad place, was not friendly and she might bite. They would tell me " Oh, but I like dogs" then reach for her. Like thats going to change her mind?!! confused The best advice I ever got was from the Dogster community. Actually, many types of advice. (esp. dealing with Koby, like to use low impact exercise, continue training, and all sorts of tips for keeping him busy so I can keep him from becoming a real problem). applause
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Lily

Woof!
 
 
Barked: Tue Nov 27, '12 3:36pm PST 
I swear if you tell someone that your dog is shy/fearful/reactive/not friendly that it makes them more determined to "make friends" with your pooch. I agree, fellow Dogsters have been very helpful all around. smile

Edited by author Tue Nov 27, '12 3:37pm PST

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Missy

Miss- Pig!
 
 
Barked: Tue Nov 27, '12 3:50pm PST 
Like Jax said, the best advice i've received is from people here on Dogster actually. Helped me understand Missy's behaviour in greater detail.

The worst advice i ever received with Missy was from a regular walking companion, a guy in his late sixties/early seventies. He'd had dogs all his life and was in most respects much more experienced than my 16 year old self at the time. He knew of Missy's issues, i'd told him all about her behaviour, he'd witnessed her aggressive displays for himself. But Missy was fine with his dog ( had known him since she was a pup ). Anyway, one day, when approaching another bunch of regular walkers, he and a couple of others persuaded me to let Missy off lead! I was hesitant, i told them i didn't trust her, but being so young i was backed into feeling maybe i didn't know what i was talking about. The other walkers just might be right in what they was saying, that Missy would snap a few times but being dogs they'd all work it out for themselves. So, i let her go. I'm sure you know what happened after. Yep, all hell broke loose! Missy beelined her half sister and just ploughed straight into her. Lots of screaming, lots of noise and initially everyone is telling me still that they'll work it out!! A few seconds later, which felt like an eternity, there was no let up and we had to intervene. I pulled Missy off the other dog by the fur on her back! Of course while i was apologizing profusely to the other owner she couldn't really say much because she'd encouraged me to let her off too! It was one of those moments where it's evident even 16 year olds can and DO know more than their elders, especially when it comes to their own dog wink No one ever asked me to let her off again and i also learnt a valuable lesson to always stick to my guns and not to trust that others know what's best for my dog.

Edited by author Tue Nov 27, '12 3:53pm PST

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Rigby

Dingbat
 
 
Barked: Tue Nov 27, '12 4:06pm PST 
As with others, some of the best advice I have received has been off this site.

One example of some less than helpful advice is something I'm currently "fixing" Rigby from.
A few months ago a woman who was annoyed by Rigby's barking at the dog park (Admittedly it was excessive, but she is vocal when she plays....very quiet at home thankfully).
She told me that Rigby was clearly a dominant dog by the way she was barking. I tried to mention that it took months to break Rigby of the habit of turning belly up and peeing on herself every time someone approached her; but this woman wouldn't have it.
She made unsolicited eye contact with Rigby and stood with a "domineering" stature over her. Then proceeded to chase her around the park.

I pulled Rig from that situation, but it left it's mark. Her eye contact is impeccable with the people she knows, and it's appropriate. Now however, when a stranger makes prolonged eye contact with her she becomes unnerved and barks at them. shrug

I've also had many situations with Cobain due to the way he holds his tail. To the "typical" owner, he looks absolutely miserable 90% of the time because he tucks the tail. But truth be told, that's his relaxed state. Even when he wags his tail, it's set between his legs.
When his tail goes up is when I start to get a little nervous as he's usually stressed or unhappy about something.
I've been told everything from I shouldn't take him on walks because he doesn't like them, to holding his tail up whilst he walks to make him happier.
I've informed many of the BC standard, but few choose to listen to that aspect.
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Jackson Tan

Lad about town
 
 
Barked: Tue Nov 27, '12 10:35pm PST 
The stupidest advice I ever got was from a woman whose son apparently had a dog training business. She was looking after his American Bulldog pit mix and every time he passed off his halter she grabbed him by his collar (fly ball type with a handle) and dragged him in circles as a correction. She tried to grab JTs collar when he refused her sit and I had to stop her. Needless to say, I don't walk dogs with her anymore (JT got into a snark with the AB mix and she told me she never wanted to see me again .... lucky, really.)
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Star

247510
 
 
Barked: Tue Nov 27, '12 11:22pm PST 
Star has always been rocky with strangers, and it seems everyone we meet who asks about her has some suggestion as to hat we should be doing differently. She's a coyote hybrid, she is NOT a normal dog. We worked with a behaviorist who has a great deal of experience with coydogs, and while we got her to a much more relaxed state when out in the world, she has simply never been comfortable around strangers and we've been diligent her entire life about introducing new people to her slowly.

Now that she's so old the advice has gotten even weirder. One person even said she should be PTS....she's "clearly unhappy" because she doesn't let anyone other than a select few people near her. Never mind that she bounces around the yard, plays with her dog friends, eats with gusto, and cuddles her favorite people.
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Jax (earned- her wings- 5/30/12)

Give me your- toy.
 
 
Barked: Wed Nov 28, '12 3:49am PST 
Some people are just so stupid...........shrug
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Lily

Woof!
 
 
Barked: Wed Nov 28, '12 9:12am PST 
The person who told me that Lily would become a normal dog once she found her place in the pack had assumed that we had just adopted her (he assumed we had for a few weeks to a month), he asked how long we had her for and at that point in time we had for probably like 5 or 6 months. He seemed surprised at first and then told me that it would happen any time now, that once she was comfortable in the pack and knew she was part of it that she would be a normal dog.

Edited by author Wed Nov 28, '12 9:29am PST

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Sanka- I'll Miss- You

The ground is my- newspaper.
 
 
Barked: Wed Nov 28, '12 12:08pm PST 
Honestly, I haven't really gotten any serious advice. I just tell them Kato is shy, and the people, if they do comment on it, just say something along the lines of just needing some time.

These aren't really dog savvy people or people crazy about training. Just your average run of the mill dog owner.

Really, when I think about it, every person I've run into has said basically the same thing on shy dogs. They just need time.

Now other aspects of dogs....yeah, I've heard just about everything.laugh out loud
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