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Old 01-30-2009, 09:43 PM
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Sweet72947 Sweet72947 is offline
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Default So I read "How to Raise a Puppy You Can Live With"....

I just finished reading "How to Raise A Puppy You Can Live With" 3rd Edition (published in 1999) by Clarice Rutherford & David H. Neil.

There is a lot of good information in it, but it seemed a little biased towards dominance theory. Also, the use of the "scruff shake" doesn't sit right with me. The book says the scruff shake is the way to communicate a correction to a puppy like its mother might; its a way for us correct the puppy quickly since we can't snap at it.

From p. 82

Quote:
1.For the small pup the scruff shake is one hand on both the collar and the scruff. A brisk shake lifts the front feet off the floor.

2. For the older and larger pup, the scruff shake is with both hands. Make eye contact as soon as the shake is finished.
The book talks about ways to desensitize food/toy guarders for example, but in the same sentence tells you to scruff shake your pup if it growls at you! I'd think this would be rather counterproductive, as it wouldn't really teach your dog that humans coming near its valuables is good, and it might teach them to skip the warning (growl) and go straight for the bite.

The book seems to contradict itself because on one hand it tells you to scruff shake your dog, and on the other hand it says that you are responsible for teaching your dog that hands are good, that people are good, etc.

I guess overall the book is ok.
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Old 01-30-2009, 09:45 PM
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I haven't read that book. Strange though.

I wish there was a website with boor reviews of all these books....

hmmmm
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Old 01-30-2009, 10:11 PM
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As a breeder , that book was my bible , but you have to add common sense ! I never had to " scruff " an older pup , but putting a youngster in it's place for early ' issues' made it's point . Doesn't take much ! The thing I liked was the week to week guidance . Wore me out , but it was well worth the time !!
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Old 01-30-2009, 10:21 PM
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I disagree Grammy. So many people don't know what is 'right' and what is 'wrong'. You should NEVER scruff a puppy. NOR punish it for growling. If this book says to do such things then IMO it should not ever be recommended to puppy people as they will have no idea. And when you recommend a book-people then tend to assume you recommend all things in the book, unless you tell them all the things in the book you don't agree with.
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Old 01-30-2009, 10:56 PM
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been ages since I read it. It was along the same lines as the Monks book...they were kinda out around the same time. I prefer Good Owners Great Dogs. Scruff? meh...their mothers do far worse to correct bad behaviors like semi serious fighting. I have seen Nonnie and even Cleo fling a pup with their muzzle to the point they roll a couple feet, sometiems yipping all the way...

The pup gets up...shakes and sometimes goes right back to what it was doing (Shirley) or gets up...shakes and toddles back to the discipliner and gives appeasement gestures and accepts it's reward of licks and resuming the game (Laverne).

I don't think anyone who has raised a litter can say physical correction is not a part of a puppies world and everyday life. Many bitches are downright mean when they wean for example. But the arguement is should PEOPLE go that route...ah yes that is the touchy bit. I won't even go there since that always turns into a contest of who can affix the most labels, and toss out the most "hot button words and phrases", the fastest.

I don't recall the book being horrible...or great...just kinda, semi interesting.
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Old 01-30-2009, 11:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dekka View Post
You should NEVER scruff a puppy.

I scruff Morgan all the time. But I don't shake, and it's not punishment. It's how I grab her when she does not have a collar on - she's quick! - and she doesn't mind it. She could fall asleep with me holding her scruff.

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Originally Posted by HoundedByHounds View Post
I don't think anyone who has raised a litter can say physical correction is not a part of a puppies world and everyday life. Many bitches are downright mean when they wean for example. But the arguement is should PEOPLE go that route...ah yes that is the touchy bit. I won't even go there since that always turns into a contest of who can affix the most labels, and toss out the most "hot button words and phrases", the fastest.
I agree that dogs do correct each other and sometimes quite severely.

The difference with dogs correcting each other like that and people attempting to mimic it is that we really do a poor job of it. Our timing is way off and we are physically incapable of all the necessary body language. We also have access to management and communication tools to use with our dogs that another dog wouldn't have.
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Old 01-31-2009, 05:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corgipower View Post

I scruff Morgan all the time. But I don't shake, and it's not punishment. It's how I grab her when she does not have a collar on - she's quick! - and she doesn't mind it. She could fall asleep with me holding her scruff.
LOL You know what I mean.. I have grabbed some slippery dogs that way too. But there its like play wrestling vs fighting... looks similar but all seem to know the difference.


I agree that dogs do correct each other and sometimes quite severely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by corgipower View Post
The difference with dogs correcting each other like that and people attempting to mimic it is that we really do a poor job of it. Our timing is way off and we are physically incapable of all the necessary body language. We also have access to management and communication tools to use with our dogs that another dog wouldn't have.
And we are not dogs. Dogs know we are not dogs... you don't see the family cat trying to be a dog when dealling with a puppy.. no its cat. Dogs know that too. We don't want to teach puppies that they need to respect us cause we are bigger and meaner. Dogs HAVE to be dogs with eachother. And its very important. BUT we should be people with dogs... that too is important.

Interestingly none of my moms ever actually corrected a puppy with physical contact. Riley would put the fear of mom in the pups but never touched them-though they would still yelp. The pups would play rough and sometimes an adult (usually a clumsy larger dog lol) would knock a puppy and puppies would yelp.

And while yes some adult dogs do use physical contact with their pups.. I don't think that is what we should be telling JQP to do with his pups.. or we end up with more of that 'force them into a state of learned helplessness and you will have a good dog' crap.
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Old 01-31-2009, 08:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweet72947 View Post
I just finished reading "How to Raise A Puppy You Can Live With" 3rd Edition (published in 1999) by Clarice Rutherford & David H. Neil.

There is a lot of good information in it, but it seemed a little biased towards dominance theory. Also, the use of the "scruff shake" doesn't sit right with me. The book says the scruff shake is the way to communicate a correction to a puppy like its mother might; its a way for us correct the puppy quickly since we can't snap at it.

From p. 82



The book talks about ways to desensitize food/toy guarders for example, but in the same sentence tells you to scruff shake your pup if it growls at you! I'd think this would be rather counterproductive, as it wouldn't really teach your dog that humans coming near its valuables is good, and it might teach them to skip the warning (growl) and go straight for the bite.

The book seems to contradict itself because on one hand it tells you to scruff shake your dog, and on the other hand it says that you are responsible for teaching your dog that hands are good, that people are good, etc.

I guess overall the book is ok.

Exactly. It's very counter-productive. To teach a puppy that humans coming near the food or valued toys is a good thing, good things must happen....bringing and adding something tastier to the food, trading something better if you're going to take a toy...then giving the toy back, in fact. If a puppy growls, then your offering isn't good enough and you have to find something better to trade and/or not give the puppy as high a value toy until he's conditioned to thinking that it's great to have his stuff taken.

And absolutely, punishing a growl is universally known to be a very stupid move.

As far as humans emulating a mother dog, that's ridiculous. When it comes to human-dog relationships, humans need to be trusted, never feared. It's the rough stuff that people do which causes "aggression".....defensiveness really. Two dogs I'm working with right now have been treated with Cesar Milan type methods and they've both bitten people several times. They need to learn that humans are completely trustworthy and that humans bring on good things....nothing but.

Grabbing a dog's collar or scruff for other purposes, such as needing to keep them from bolting or whatever CAN be conditioned to being associated with good things. Lots of dogs bite when their owner grabs their collar quickly because it's been previously associated with punishment. If a dog's collar is grabbed and the dog is pulled closer, rather tightly, and the dog is at the same time given a yummy treat and affection, then this action can come to mean a good thing. It's a good thing to condition a dog to in case one has to grab the collar fast or tightly. But linking it to punishment is a dangerous game.

I always heard good things about the book, but never read it. Now, from the sound of it, I don't like it. There are plenty of other much more sensible books out there. Messing around with imagined and unproven hierarchies, dominance theory and trying to mimick another species is all counter- productive and a big mistake... IMO.
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Old 01-31-2009, 08:47 AM
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Quote:
And while yes some adult dogs do use physical contact with their pups, I don't think that is what we should be telling JQP to do with his pups..
I didn't see that "we" were actually..."we" were discussing a book.
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Old 01-31-2009, 09:11 AM
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I don't think grabbing a small puppy by the scruff damages it mentally or physically in anyway. I don't think it teaches them to fear hands, or will teach them not to growl and just bite later in life. Grabbing them and swinging them around the room for every little thing, might teach them that, but a few well timed scruff grabs won't.
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