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Old 09-01-2012, 07:17 AM
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Default Non-discipline for rescue dogs?

In conjunction to my other thread about being accosted by smaller dogs and their stupid owners who don't bother to teach them anything - I've also noticed that people with rescue dogs - and again - small ones in particular at that - are quite lenient in their training and dicipline.

"He was just about to be killed when the rescue pulled him - he's really been thru hell and back..." - I've heard exactly this and variations of this in reference to people's smaller rescue dogs. It may very well be the truth but it has sounded equally frequently like an excuse. To not train them, teach them, for not having them under total control, for misbehavior, for letting them slack on basic manners. I'm not saying that rescue dogs or rescuing them is a bad thing - I'm saying that people need to get their heads out of their as$es pronto and get their sh!t together and dogs in line - regardless of them being teacup or giant, high kill shelter rescue or bred and bought. Larger rescues are no exception either.

Does anyone else notice this? General leniency on rescue/shelter dogs?
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Old 09-01-2012, 07:33 AM
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I have not noticed that myself, but I can understand it. If people believe that training a dog requires hitting, shouting, collar corrections, and alpha rolls I can see why it would really bother them to do that to a dog that has already been abused or neglected, especially if they are already hand shy. Many people are unaware that you can train a dog without such uses of force, I think if they did know that they may be willing to train their dogs that way.

But of course there are always going to be people who think any form of training is cruel, or at least unenjoyable for the dog. I like to feed my dog his meals out of a toy or through training sessions and my parents repeatedly ask me "wouldn't he rather just be given his food" or "I would hate to have to work for every bite of my meal". They can't fathom that he might actually find the training fun or view working to get the food out of a toy as a fun activity. But I think this comes from people who have never trained a dog, only seen dogs trained with force, or dislike training themselves.
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Old 09-01-2012, 07:39 AM
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I have definitely noticed this, especially since I became a groomer. Somehow it makes it ok for their dog to bite, because they came from a big scary shelter? Of course I'm sympathetic to dogs who have had horrible life experiences. I know how that goes, Gonzo was a mess when I got him. But to use that as an excuse for bad behavior and not work with your dog is doing them no favors! I see so many people sheltering and babying and coddling fearful dogs, encouraging their timidness. I wish those dogs were adopted out with a copy of Click to Calm. What they don't get is that it's unhealthy for their dogs to be fearful/aggressive... the chemicals associated with those feelings, constantly, are very unhealthy for any animal. Dogs do not want to be afraid and their owners can change that with a little bit of effort and training.

I also believe that "discipline" can be exchanged with "guidance". I don't tolerate any sh!t from my dogs, but I wouldn't say I "discipline" them. I show them what I want from them, I block them from doing what I don't want, and I teach them that things they don't want to do or that scare them are really the greatest things on earth! I guess it's more like brainwash.

I see it in small dogs and big dogs just the same. Except, small dogs get babied & held. Big dogs get left in a backyard or, if they're lucky, "dog whisperer"ed.
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Old 09-01-2012, 07:42 AM
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Maxy,

Yes that point is valid - but part of helping a dog recover from being abused or neglected or a general traumatic experience is providing them structure, teaching them, helping them build confidence, and continuing to develop their social skills, manners, gain life experience, and just be good citizens in whatever situation they are in.

Being rescued from a bad situation is also NOT a excuse to provide sloppy training, slack on expectations, or not exercising a good level of control over them.

Gonzo,

I agree about the guidance - when possible. There are very willful dogs out there though and each one is a individual of course - the blocking technique for wrongdoings and encouragement of desired behaviors will work with some. For others though I prefer a more direct approach - nip any issue in the bud straight away and make things crystal clear to the dog. Yes is yes, No is no.

Encouraging the correct behavior I find quite easy - the wrongdoings are more difficult to block though and I really find that with Katalin at least - addressing it at the root, head on, at it's first sight works best. She hasn't acted up like she used to on her leash for about 4 months now on walks, and for the past 3 group training classes (she was apprehensive about doing a down/flip in front of everyone and mouthed/flailed during her first few classes). I tried blocking her leash issue before - it just didn't help. I just became firmer and stood my ground, I'll admit a leash correction or two was in order - but she's great now. Our relationship is flourishing and she's just turning into a wonderful dog =) Had I not taken the steps of being alot more solid and balanced in her handling - we would be at a very different level of progress today I am sure.

Dogs - like people, are all individuals. They don't respond equally well to a certain form of communication; so I try my very best to be a good handler for Katalin - whatever is clearest for her, works best, and is productive for her is what will be implemented. It may not please certain people or consensus of opinions and may even contradict certain principals of one or another - but it's what works for us and IMO - that is what counts the most. Understand your dog, find a good way of communicating and teaching it - and go from there. Don't worry about "showing off" in front of others or trying to look good. If only a few more people took that principal into mind rather than going the most fashionable/"cool" route of training (whatever it may be in their eyes) - the dogs of the world would be in a much better place.
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Last edited by StephyMei1112; 09-01-2012 at 08:00 AM.
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Old 09-01-2012, 07:47 AM
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Our Lunar is a rescue dog and compared to the other three he’s seriously undertrained. He knows come, sit, and get off the sofa, that’s about it. Oh, and he walks OK on a leash the rare times we put him on leash I really should teach him down. Hrm... maybe that will be our next project...

That said, we have put a good bit of time in to training him to be well mannered. He won’t fight you for food, he no longer bites people, and his only phobia left is thunderstorms. I can even shake a plastic bag open now without him freaking out.
So while we have put a lot of “training” in to him, all we really have to show for it is three commands LOL. It is and its isn’t rescue related. In Lunar’s case, he has a body full of shot and a shattered front leg, and I feel he is better off moving freely however he is comfortable.

Edit: I should add that Bates is also a rescue dog and he has 3 rally titles, an obedience title, his CGC, passed his TDI, and APDT’s C.L.A.S.S. test.
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Old 09-01-2012, 07:48 AM
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Not all fearful/reactive dogs CAN be cured, and if they could it can take a very, very long time. And most people don't know what to do, they get a different answer from every source. They should give it treats, flip it on it's back, shock it, comfort it, be more confident, walk it away, correct it, flood it, etc.
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Old 09-01-2012, 07:49 AM
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Quote:
Maxy,

Yes that point is valid - but part of helping a dog recover from being abused or neglected or a general traumatic experience is providing them structure, teaching them, helping them build confidence, and continuing to develop their social skills, manners, gain life experience, and just be good citizens in whatever situation they are in.

Being rescued from a bad situation is also NOT a excuse to provide sloppy training, slack on expectations, or not exercising a good level of control over them.

I didn't say it was a good excuse, I said i could understand it. If I thought the only way to train my dog was through force I probably wouldn't train my dog very much either. Luckily it's not the only way, people just don't always realize that.
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Old 09-01-2012, 08:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxy24 View Post
Not all fearful/reactive dogs CAN be cured, and if they could it can take a very, very long time. And most people don't know what to do, they get a different answer from every source. They should give it treats, flip it on it's back, shock it, comfort it, be more confident, walk it away, correct it, flood it, etc.
This. Sally is a rescue and is timid with strangers. We have worked with her a lot she is definitely the better trained of my two dogs), but there are still certain situations that I am just not going to force her into, like large crowds of people. It's not coddling, it's that I think it would be setting her up to fail and I don't see a point in that.
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Old 09-01-2012, 08:09 AM
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You are doing wonderfully - keep up the great work

Quote:
Originally Posted by Danefied View Post
Our Lunar is a rescue dog and compared to the other three he’s seriously undertrained. He knows come, sit, and get off the sofa, that’s about it. Oh, and he walks OK on a leash the rare times we put him on leash I really should teach him down. Hrm... maybe that will be our next project...

That said, we have put a good bit of time in to training him to be well mannered. He won’t fight you for food, he no longer bites people, and his only phobia left is thunderstorms. I can even shake a plastic bag open now without him freaking out.
So while we have put a lot of “training” in to him, all we really have to show for it is three commands LOL. It is and its isn’t rescue related. In Lunar’s case, he has a body full of shot and a shattered front leg, and I feel he is better off moving freely however he is comfortable.

Edit: I should add that Bates is also a rescue dog and he has 3 rally titles, an obedience title, his CGC, passed his TDI, and APDT’s C.L.A.S.S. test.
Maxy,

Too many people are just under-informed then I suppose. What do they think they should do though - between having a dog that is out of control and wild and thinking that cruel training methods are the only way to go? I take the example of Sylvia Bishop into account now - when she started out it was the age of aversion, chokes, and beatings - she was unsatisfied with such methods and improvised her own...to pretty good success if I do say so myself. Not everyone has to be a master trainer - but at least do some research and take some initiative. IMO there is ZERO excuse or reason to have no control over your dog or for your dog to have no basic education.

"It's just a puppy" - All the more reason NOT to allow bad behavior.
"It's a rescue" - Training is part of rehab and recovery. You do the dog a disservice if you coddle, indulge, or allow it to get out of hand.
"He/she's SOOO tiny!" - It's what you do with it that counts. (No pun intended)

These past few days I am coming across more and more stupid f$cking people that have zero business owning anything close to a dog. I want to yell out do some research and get a g*ddamned grip.
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Feudin' and fightin' and a-fussin,'
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We are such neighborly people, peaceful and sweet!
All except when we happen to meet.


Stories, Poetry, and Musings
http://inugami1112.wordpress.com/

"And it's all been lost before, so there's nothing to lose..."


"There are those that love dogs insanely and those that don't. But once you like a dog, you're sunk. You're a dog person for life."

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Old 09-01-2012, 08:11 AM
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Dunno. I hold Kim and Webster to the same behavior standards that I do Mira, while also acknowledging that they are individuals. Works for our house. But to each their own.
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