Are we exaggerating or is there a surplus of lucky dog owners?

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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More Bored- Collies
Barked: Tue Feb 19, '13 4:56am PST 
I think a lot of these sites over exaggerate things in attempt to get people to realize just what they are getting themselves into.
We all know there's an issue with overpopulation in shelters, so maybe these are sort of techniques to get people to put a little more thought into things before they purchase a dog?
I know when it comes to Border Collies I've been known to make them seem a little more "crazy" than the typical ones are. Just to ensure prospective owners are ready for the worst of the breed.

On top of that, simply encountering these dogs in public may not give an adequate look at what the dog is "really" like. Or the steps employed to reach that state.
- Or maybe those that aren't as well socialized aren't being taken to places such as the daycares.

Now that's obviously not to say that there aren't those dogs that have been dealt a good hand and are genetically predisposed to being great specimens.

Cobain I believe is one of those dogs. Yes, he's got his quirks, but all in all, he's been a pretty solid dog from day one.
Whereas Rigby I'm sure has some sort of genetic mishap as well as whatever affected her life prior to my bringing her home. Yes, for the most part in public she's a great dog. I took her to Woofstock a few months back and she did wonderfully. But it wasn't so easy in the beginning.

Then again, I suppose most of us here on Dogster do take the time to ensure that our dogs behave a certain way.

Mischief is my- middle name
Barked: Tue Feb 19, '13 9:24am PST 
I'm either very lucky, or huskies are more resilient than most dogs. I thought my daughter was just lucky with Kale. He was older and his previous owners had obviously taken time to train him. But Teeko came along for me, and after at least two previous rotten owners, he's overall a very sweet boy with no aggression or phobias that I've seen to date.

Ace, even though probably part husky, has been more temperamental. She's still a good dog, no aggression or phobias, just a relentless prey drive and stubbornness that makes her a handful at times. She had a bit of separation anxiety when I first got her, but that's improved dramatically. Having other dogs in the household helped with that a lot.

All in all, for a first time owner, I feel fortunate I haven't screwed up my dogs too badly laugh out loud

Barked: Tue Feb 19, '13 10:05am PST 
I don't know of any studies about this but my guess would be that people who pay to take their dog to a doggy daycare care about their dog enough to at least try and make sure its needs are met, and are therefore more likely to have been invested in puppy raising/having a well behaved dog at least a little.

Also dogs are domesticated animals. We call them man's best friend for a reason. If it were super super rare for a "carelessly" raised puppy to become a rockstar, they wouldn't have that collective best friend title. So yes, a lot of people are lucky. And a lot of people are not lucky and rescues and shelters are full of dogs that aren't perfectly behaved. (I don't mean that there is something fundamentally wrong with them, just that most of them could use at least a little work so they don't pull on leash etc). Should a person be responsible and know they can handle the absolute worst case scenario before they get a puppy? Yes. But, that doesn't mean that tons of people won't be lucky. Do many of the posters here have first hand experience with zillions of rescue dogs, making them even more likely to feel strongly about how responsible a person should be? Yes, and I don't think they're necessarily exaggerating. Again I don't know numbers for this but I'd be interested to see how many dogs with behavior "issues" end up in the shelter/rescue system for every lucky rockstar.


What'd you say?- I wasn't- listening.
Barked: Tue Feb 19, '13 11:32am PST 
I know a lot of people that bring their dogs to daycare because they do care for their dogs but a lot of these people fundamentally messed up the whole raising thing technically.

And surprisingly people don't seem at all concerned about taking their vicious kujo to the dog store. They either watch cesar milan (not discussing whether he's good or bad) but try to poke their reactive dog's neck when they get close to other dogs and say "can't you tell I watch a lot of CM? lol" Or the people who are in denial about having aggressive dogs or the people that just don't care.

I have been bitten quite a few times.

When it comes down to it then, it seems more like it's the dog's personality thing, than a raising him the right way thing. So if everyone got from reputable breeders and got sound temperament doggies we'd have more success stories?

I mean, I did everything I was told raising Chaplin and he's stellar, but I can't help but wonder if he would have still be stellar if I didn't make huge adjustments in my life to raise him "right".

Baby was a stray for a while after a neglectful family let him go at a ripe young age because he sucked at herding. He's one of the most even-tempered, gentle, obedient soles I've met in a dog; that isn't to say he didn't come with his quirks but getting at what was beneath those this was revealed to me.

Now of course, if you do have a problem dog it is up to good raising to salvage it, that's undeniable.

I feel like the desire to cut down on pet overpopulation may play into some things too actually.

But I am still "naive" to the dog world (compared to folks on here) though consider myself pretty knowledgeable in the common world and this is a question I've had. Because after the hours I spent on researching to raise my puppy right, those "froofy" tips and recommendations I listed were things I actually encountered (though the number 100 was exaggerated as I didn't remember the real one off the top of my head). And then I look at these uneducated and unread owners that could be seen as neglectful in comparison to all the work I've done with stunningly awesome dogs prancing around.

Edited by author Tue Feb 19, '13 11:34am PST

Czarka, CGC- UJJ

Why walk when- you can run?
Barked: Tue Feb 19, '13 12:34pm PST 
Charks and I agree with Ezra. Dogs have been domesticated for a looong time. The average canine is rather adaptable... so most owners will be 'lucky' without effort. If you happen to have the time, interest and inclination, that 'OK' dog can become a creature that will leap tall buildings in a single bound.

And there are, of course, dogs that require someone to work with them just so that they can survive in this world.
Shiver Me- Timbers- "Charlie"

My Little Dog, a- heartbeat at my- feet.<3
Barked: Tue Feb 19, '13 1:04pm PST 
I haven't read the rest of the thread... but I think it depends. For example, I had to WORK to get Charlie as good as he is now. And even then, I could have done better, or he could have been better if he'd been in A better home prior to me. Instead, he was in four crappy homes prior. It took A LOT of socialization and training. He wasn't one of those dogs that left me feeling very lucky in terms of just being a generally good dog naturally.

My MIL got one of those dogs once. And it breaks my heart that she did, because this dog was STELLAR. Just naturally a VERY good dog. A shepherd mix. Protective, well behaved, KNEW what to do and when to do it without training whatsoever. However, now they think NO dog needs training and that every dog can naturally be that way, and they went and got a Shepherd/Aussie mix. This dog gets NO exercise, no socialization, no mental stimulation, NOTHING. She's locked up in a 28 foot camper trailer that they live in and gets nothing. And they assume she should naturally be a calm, good dog. Instead, this dog has NO manners, and a ton of pent up energy. I wish someone had informed these people of how much work a dog can truly be.

My SIL's Irish Wolfhound puppy is LOCKED UP in a KENNEL(which his poor back is completely touching the top of) every time I go over there and never gets walked because "they can't be walked"... er.. what? This is a dog bred to hunt and he can't be walked?! So.. while he's the typical Wolfhound in his calm, sweet demeanor, I feel terribly for him. Kenneling him all the time is going to do more damage to his joints than walking him once or twice a day!

I would rather give people the worst case scenarios, and the insane amount of work it CAN take, than see more people such as my MIL or SIL.

I KNOW we should have socialized Ria better. But that is incredibly hard to do when most of the dogs I know are... well.. like my MIL's Shepherd/Aussie. And that Shepherd/Aussie is a trainwreck when it comes to other dogs. I don't need my puppy socializing with her. Instead, she has Charlie, her Irish Setter friend Jersey, and my moms Rottweiler, Grizz to play with and socialize with on a regular basis. I also know we should have gotten her out and socialized her better with people, and I'm largely regretting not having done that.

When the night- closes in I will- be there
Barked: Tue Feb 19, '13 2:25pm PST 
I know when I am screening potential adopters I over play the 'bad shepherd' bit. They need a TON of exercise and attention, They NEED a job to do, They are LIKELY to be DA, etc. I give them a really worst case picture, then if they are still interested we talk training and conditioning.
There are dogs like Sabs who are just GOOD, just inherently well mannered and willing. She may have her quirks but I don't really remember training her so shrug And she would have been a good dog for anyone who loved her. My Dane on the other hand BECAME a great dog but not for lack of blood, sweat and tears.
I think a vast majority of dogs are just born good, maybe not spectacular but good. I also believe a huge majority of issues are created by us, and that only a very small number of dogs lack the fortitude to bounce back.
Thats just my opinion, and hey, I also believe in Santa Clauslaugh out loud
Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
Barked: Tue Feb 19, '13 3:03pm PST 
It also is a matter of perspective. A lot of dogs get dropped off in shelters, a LOT, with faux "problems" that seem to be ruining their owners lives. Problems easily worked on. I mean destructive? Get a crate. Puller? Train or get different equipment. Rowdy? Well he's one....he outgrows it. I have counseled quite a few people considering getting a Giant, and no matter how much warned, so many of them end up returning to the breeder before they are even a year. Good word, that's when they are GOOD dogs.....give them another six months and then you'd REALLY see laugh out loud So I just now say they are psychos big laugh Which is half true, given that so many people trying to raise run from them as if crazed gremlins. I am much more pro on GSDs because they are very adaptable, or even Cockers, who are darling enough to keep the person invested. Whereas there is no Giant breeder worth their salt who isn't expecting some returns in a few months. They bark a lot, have insane energy, are destructive, incredibly mouthy, rough house something terrible....like get you in a leg lock and tumbling down you go when they get in one of their energy frenzies. Ignoring behaviors only turns them on, and waiting for a behavior to extinguish is a fine idea until you end up with a puppy this strong, determined and absurdly vigorous. I consider it a big adventure and very fun....love those crazy days....but most aren't cut out for it, so I just call them psychotic now. Funny, but I was rather taken aback, going years back here, when an all breed book I really admire said that anyone who wants to own a Giant has a mental problem. I thought it was a bizarre statement, but on the breed now, I get it. Beat as many off as you can. Whoever doesn't panic at that statement may be exactly who qualifies most wink

Edited by author Tue Feb 19, '13 3:06pm PST


When the night- closes in I will- be there
Barked: Tue Feb 19, '13 4:27pm PST 
Tiller you are right about the perspective. And I know I get crap from people all the time about the training 'aides'. The Halti and the Easywalk harness,among the others. However in Shadows case she was growing faster then she was learning. She had injured my shoulder, sprained my wrist and pulled me off my feet a few times, I'm not really petite either. I suspect most people would have given up and either locked her in a yard or dumped her in a shelter. She is freakishly strong, strong to the point that my friends who own PBs and Rotts wouldn't even hold her leash for a minute. I commented once that walking her was like being dragged behind a truck. laugh out loud At least with the harness on I can exercise her without risking bodily harm and now that I can safely manage, and she isn't freaked by her collar, her manners are slowly improving and we can both enjoy the walk.
But as long as 'trainers' continue to malign training aids, dogs like Shadow will continue to get the short straw.
Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
Barked: Tue Feb 19, '13 4:57pm PST 
You really only have to work in shelter or rescue to get that. What we interpret as a modest challenge is oft a HUGE deal to an average pet person.

I still chuckle, and *always* will, about a failed adoption I did last summer. This very cute and sweet Japanese girl loved dogs. She always wanted one, but her brother was allergic. So she dutifully waited for her big moment when out on her own to get her dog. This was a HUGE moment for her. A life's fantasy fulfilled. She was like a kid at Christmas, all her friends were abuzz with joy for her. She had spent her entire life reading every book she could. She was incredibly well versed. Really "knew" what puppyhood entailed. Her fantasy was a Chow and I had in a stunning Chow mix puppy, and a lovely one at that. Great first puppy puppy. Her name was Hailee. Her adopter worked at home, so it was perfect. Happy match!

It lasted about three weeks. Fantasies turned to reality. This poor girl, who really should only have a cat, was having a crackup. So bad that by the time she surrendered and pleaded with us to take the puppy back, she'd brought the puppy to her mother's until the turnback could be arranged. Just so she wouldn't lose her mind.

Prior to this moment, I received a long email from her "warning" me of the "problem behaviors" I really needed to impart to Hailee's next adopter. They included that she chews things, pees a lot, incessantly demands attention, and that....my fave.....after taking her out for exercise she takes a nap but in "only one hour" is awake again wanting to play!!!! big laugh Dear word....let's call a behaviorist right away laugh out loud

Hailee was here only a couple of more weeks. We found a lovely home for her. Alls well that ends well, but it's just a great case in point.
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