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  #11  
Old 02-15-2013, 03:42 PM
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Stan creates such a problem. Everybody who meets him falls in love with him. He's beautiful, quiet, non-reactive, bombproof, super social with all species, just awesomeness.

Sounds just like most Malinois, eh?
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  #12  
Old 02-15-2013, 05:42 PM
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Well, sometimes I get told really funny things about the breeds of dogs I have/have had. Often by people who have meant or known one dog. Even GSDs though, which are really common I feel are often misunderstood or thought of in a bad light for the wrong reasons.

I think it's human nature to want to form generalizations and stick with them. It's easier to just say XYZ breed is untrustworthy or freaky or whatever and not have to think about it any further. Dog people especially love to weigh in with their, often strong opinions on how XYZ breed is or is not and how good or bad they are for _________. Sometimes these opinions are accurate and well founded and sometimes they're not.

There are certain characteristics of breeds for sure and just about all dogs of any given breed have at least some typical breed characteristics. Then there are certain issues that are more commonly found in different breeds. This can apply to certain temperament "faults" associated with the ideal character of the breed. Say a breed is supposed to be aloof towards neutral strangers but naturally protective and guardy. That is the ideal but of course, not all dogs will be ideal. Dogs who are less than ideal may be overly friendly towards neutral strangers or they might be shy, reactive or overly guardy seeing some (or worse all) neutral strangers as threats. While those things are less than ideal in terms of the breed's character, they are all possibilities and should be given consideration both in terms of choosing the breed and choosing a breeder or line. If being very friendly towards strangers is important, your best to select a breed who's ideal is to be very friendly because even dogs less than ideal are still unlikely to be extremely antisocial. A breed who's baseline is to not care about neutral strangers and to have guarding instincts doesn't have all that far to stray from the ideal to end up on the anti-social side of things.

These issues can also apply to dogs who have correct breed character but are poorly managed or who's owners have unrealistic expectations for the breed. These are the people who are shocked when their APBT damages a friend's dog during a "play date" because the thought of the dog being so willing to fight never, ever crossed their mind. Or the people who can't understand why their GSD bit their cousin who walked into their house unannounced. After all that person isn't a "stranger" (sure the dog's never met him but he's family!) and he didn't break in or anything. In cases like that the behavior of those dogs is well within what is proper character for the breed but unfortunately, the dog is a poor match for the owner's expectations. Too many people give little to no consideration for what a breed was bred for and how those breed characteristics may play out in their every day life. People hear "protective" and they envision Lassie - a dog who always bites the bad guys and welcomes friends and family. People hear about things like dog aggression and want to believe that "normal dogs" would never behave that way unless trained to or abused.


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Originally Posted by JessLough View Post
It bothers me when people make generalizations about a breed when the only experience they've had is... grooming said breed. Because really, you're not getting a real feel for how the breed really is. They're away from home/their owner, often stressed, etc.
I agree with this for sure. Some breeds just tend to react poorly towards having strangers handle them in that setting. And most dogs that come into the average grooming shop or boarding kennel or vet clinic are pet bred dogs who often haven't had great training or socialization. Some of the dogs I see at work only go out to go to the vet or groomer, so it's no surprise they are stressed and poorly behaved.

That said, I can make some generalizations about how certain breeds act at the grooming shop that are usually pretty accurate
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  #13  
Old 02-15-2013, 06:07 PM
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This is part of the reason I feel it is important to get a dog from a good breeder. This way you can talk to the breeder and say, "tell me about your dogs."

Obviously, there are still going to be individual differences, but it gives you a much better grasp of what to expect.

With Walsh, I was afraid of the always go, go, go Jack and I asked like 90million times to make sure he would be able to chill. And he does chill out, he has enough energy to go out with me and do whatever crazy idea comes to mind, but he will curl up and lay down when we get home.
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Old 02-15-2013, 06:51 PM
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Quote:
It bothers me when people make generalizations about a breed when the only experience they've had is... grooming said breed. Because really, you're not getting a real feel for how the breed really is. They're away from home/their owner, often stressed, etc.
Definitely. But I also think how a dog acts when handled by strangers in a stressful environment says a lot about the dog in general. Maybe not so much about the breed, but I've swore up and down that if I were ever to adopt an adult dog, I want to have it with me at the clinic for the day and see how it reacts to everything. It's the dogs that take it all in stride that appeal to me.

And I agree with Aleron that you definitely learn the quirks of the breeds in the clinic setting. LOL
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Old 02-15-2013, 09:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JessLough View Post
It bothers me when people make generalizations about a breed when the only experience they've had is... grooming said breed. Because really, you're not getting a real feel for how the breed really is. They're away from home/their owner, often stressed, etc.
I actually think you learn a lot about breeds by how they behave in a stressful situation. I learned a ton when I was working for a vet. And of course the dogs don't necessarily act the same at home as they do at the vet, I never thought they did, but seeing how dogs behave around stressors tells you a lot about them.

Some breeds stay calm, cheerful, and friendly. Some breeds are more easily stressed by the situation. In boarding, some breeds are really clean keepers (likely to be easy to housebreak), others don't care so much. All of this is information you don't necessarily have if you never see the breed in anything but controlled situations.
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  #16  
Old 02-15-2013, 11:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyinsbt View Post
I actually think you learn a lot about breeds by how they behave in a stressful situation. I learned a ton when I was working for a vet. And of course the dogs don't necessarily act the same at home as they do at the vet, I never thought they did, but seeing how dogs behave around stressors tells you a lot about them.

Some breeds stay calm, cheerful, and friendly. Some breeds are more easily stressed by the situation. In boarding, some breeds are really clean keepers (likely to be easy to housebreak), others don't care so much. All of this is information you don't necessarily have if you never see the breed in anything but controlled situations.
Eh, IMO a clinic is different than a groomer as well.


Sure, you can say "I know how some dogs of a certain breed act at the groomer" or "act under stress", but I think it's a little ridiculous to tell people who have owned the breed for years that they are completely wrong because you once had 2 clients that were different away from their owners, as I've seen people do before. Boarding is also different, IMO, because you are spending more time with the dog and observing longer.

I mean, I watch Jessie's chis on her house while she's gone. I don't go fighting her about the breed she's had for years because of how they act with a stranger. Unless she said "with a stranger in my house, they (blank)" and it wasn't true.
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  #17  
Old 02-16-2013, 07:34 AM
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This is why whenever I'm talking about Jack I call him a pointer X most of the time because even though he could full bred. Including pointer people. But I don't know pointers that well and I wouldn't want to give people the wrong idea about the breed.
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  #18  
Old 02-17-2013, 09:20 PM
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I think it's not a good idea to make blanket statements, but at the same time, it's hard not to. If I went by most of the border collies I met in real life around here, I would not want one at all. Every single one I've met outside of sheepdog trials has been really dog aggressive, very reactive, horribly behaved on leash, ball-obsessed to the point of ignoring *everything*, and all-in-all unpleasant to be around. Then again, the owners were just as unpleasant, so I guess that speaks volumes.
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