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  #81  
Old 03-22-2013, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Flyinsbt View Post
For people who think they'd rather deal with timid or suspicious than an "OMG HAI" dog, you need to have a dog like my friend's oldest Standard Poodle. He goes right up to everyone, and if you touch him, he bites you. Deal with that, and you'll appreciate the friendly ones a little more.
But the choices aren't just "OMG HAI" or "bites strangers who touch me" - there are all sorts of happy mediums where it's possible to have a dog who is timid or suspicious without biting, much like Adrianne's point that aloof doesn't mean fear or overt aggression. Having lived with both kinds of dogs - I find aloof and timid/suspicious quite a bit easier when out in public than OMG HAI. Pip is perfect for me for the dog park because neither one of us really wants to socialize with others, we just want to go for our dang hike, yet he responds to pushy, affectionate strangers with extreme tolerance.

And although honestly I enjoy the OMG HAI dogs, too, at a certain point (coughMaisycough) it gets taken it to such an extreme degree that it can annoy the every-loving %$^! out of me.
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Old 03-22-2013, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by SaraB View Post
Here's a random question for everyone:

How much of the "everyone's best friend" do you think is a training/relationship issue with the handler? Anyone who has met Zinga (or even Zuma) knows she's very much everyone's best friend and loves to be in everyone's faces looking for attention. However, through premack work and training, she now will go say hi to a stranger and come straight back to me and offer great focus.

I have never had a dog that even though they loved people and are over the top with greetings, that they prefer the company of another person to that of mine. So I'm curious about that. What training/relationship building has been done with that sort of dog? Are they just a house pet or do they actively engage in training or other activities with their handlers?

This isn't meant to tick any one off, I'm just really curious.
Probably a bit of both. Just depends on the dog.

Kim was, I thought, naturally an "omg hai!" dog to where if we were working and someone walked in she would zip off to greet them. After working through it for a while (bear in mind this was my first dog lol) I realized that it was actually more insecurity on her part...she figured they were going to come up to her and wanted to beat them to the punch and show them how very friendly and meaning-no-harm she was. She's obviously been able to work through this, and she really is a very gregarious dog in social situations, but while she will happily work a crowd if I stand up to go, there she is. The flip side is, she is utterly bombproof in social settings. I could drop her off at a preschool right now and pick her up 8 hours later and never worry about her even giving a child a sideways look. She just genuinely likes all people regardless of their shape or size or insanity level. For a dog with so many environmental fears and who was so nervous around people at first, she is a huge social extravert.

I'll skip over Webster because he is a special case and not really relevant to the O Hai vs. Aloof discussion

Mira's on the flip side and even as a puppy she would maybe greet people but mostly just hung out by me hoping for work work work. She didn't mind if people greeted her but she would be looking at me the whole time hoping for attention from me or work or... and it would annoy people. I'm including hubby on this list too...he was just that person who fed her when I wasn't home. I'd just laugh and tell them I am getting all the credit for their petting since she's looking at me :P. She does have favorite people, though, from whom she will seek attention...mostly people we train with and a local gal who used to have Flat-Coats and gives the most divine butt scratches . But if I so much as shift my weight she's swiveling around seeing if something's up and will drop them cold. But for agility...we went from training on a few items in a sideyard to her first agility trial with basically no segue. She just doesn't even see the people, and couldn't care less that they are there for the most part. It is just so easy...it's like cheating.

I honestly don't really have a preference. Both are stable in social settings and working in working settings. Kim's was more work, Mira's is easier. I don't really want a dog that is naturally suspicious of everyone all the time...both Kim and Mira have shown they can recognize when something isn't quite right and act appropriately. I'd rather have a dog who's happily engaged and trends toward to thinking everyone is okay than the other end.

But I mean, to each their own. Most of the gah-gah yay happy dogs I know have owners who either don't mind it at all or who don't know how to get them back. Quite a lot of the people I know with suspicious dogs like them that way and get upset/jealous if their dog loves on someone else. I'm just not a jealous partner I guess lol.
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MACH ARCHX U-CD Webster MXB MJB RL3/2X/1X-COE CGC -- Flying Houdini, b. ~Jun'07
Mira CD JH MX MXB MXJ MJB CGC WCX -- Princess Cheeseface, b. Jul'09
Lodin -- Crazy Monkeybean, b. Dec'13

Last edited by Shai; 03-22-2013 at 09:21 AM.
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  #83  
Old 03-22-2013, 09:17 AM
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I got asked "Is she shy?" a lot by pet people, which is kind of weird for a dog who's standing there letting you pet them without any sort of fear or resentment. She wasn't shy, she just didn't care if strangers existed or not.
I get this with Cohen a lot too. She's completely ambivalent about the existence of strangers unless they happen to be offering her food. People seem to interpret disinterest as fear - I think it's an ego thing. :P Most people need to buy her affections with a steady stream of food, but once you've done that you're let into the inner circle and she'll greet you enthusiastically from there on out.

I don't know if Premack has much to do with it in my case. She's always been naturally handler focused and not overly interested in meeting new people. Though every once in a while she'll meet someone who she's immediately interested in - normally a big burly gruff guy.
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  #84  
Old 03-22-2013, 09:17 AM
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Summer loves everyone to an obnoxious extent. It's not the same as beau or rose or Nikki 'friendly'. They all liked people and were social with everyone. Beau especially tries to get people to play. Summer is absolutely driven by her love of everyone. Great for therapy dog work but it is something we are constantly battling in agility and other classes. When she's engaged she's fine but the reward for her running off and saying hi is HUGE.! That's why we're in distractions class. She is great overall while working however once her perceived reward with me is down... It's a battle. It's one more distraction I have to work through compared to Mia. And the potential reward for her is her favorite thing with the biggest payout.

Don't get me wrong, summer knows she's with me. If we're out on a walk off leash she sticks with me but I do work recalls a lot more with her.

Mia has zero desire to say hi 99 percent of the time. She's not a bite risk at all. I've never seen her growl at a person or snap. She just doesn't trust people and doesn't want to mess with them. Keeping her engaged is often easier because her environment is less rewarding to her. It's not that you can't keep Summer engaged its just more work. I just really prefer Mia's attitude about strangers. It fits my personality better.
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  #85  
Old 03-22-2013, 09:36 AM
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To me, Argon was perfection with strangers. He had the aloofness of the whippet. When he saw strangers, he would first study them, then approach if they passed his mental muster. No amount of them calling or asking him to come over could sway him before his opinion was made. If all of my dogs could have that, I would die happy.

God, I miss Wee Willy Whippitus.
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  #86  
Old 03-22-2013, 09:40 AM
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A lot of you guys would sure hate Merlin I dunno, I love having a dog that is a walking OH HAI I LOVE YOU lol he just wants to love everyone and so many people comment on how he makes their day.

He knows who is person is and always comes back and when working, he is 100% on me... but I love that he has a big heart and room for all in it.

This is seriously Merlin 99% of the time

Maybe I wouldn't have marked that as a "trait I want in a dog" a year ago

but I love Merlin and it's who he is, so I love it kind of by proxy
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Old 03-22-2013, 09:42 AM
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Dug is totally Summer. It is kind of fun sometimes because she makes so many people laugh. I love my little socialite but I also love my antisocial little brat.

Eta: it is also pretty fun to see people cooing at cute little Mia only to totally get blown off. Then they act offended, lol.
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  #88  
Old 03-22-2013, 09:44 AM
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I just re-read what I wrote and realized I completely did not say what I intended to say, lol.

Basically...a huge O Hai! attitude is, to me, just another thing to proof. It's not a big deal. It's no more difficult than proofing calling off chasing squirrels or something like that. Yeah it takes work but it's doable. And I'd much, much rather deal with that than overcoming shyness. I don't mind aloof either as long as it is well and truly stable. As long as the dog has focus and drive and biddability, wanting to greet the world is just another thing to train. Kim knows when I say "Go say hi" she is free to be a crowd slut. It's really not a big deal.
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MACH ARCHX U-CD Webster MXB MJB RL3/2X/1X-COE CGC -- Flying Houdini, b. ~Jun'07
Mira CD JH MX MXB MXJ MJB CGC WCX -- Princess Cheeseface, b. Jul'09
Lodin -- Crazy Monkeybean, b. Dec'13
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  #89  
Old 03-22-2013, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Shai View Post
I just re-read what I wrote and realized I completely did not say what I intended to say, lol.

Basically...a huge O Hai! attitude is, to me, just another thing to proof. It's not a big deal. It's no more difficult than proofing calling off chasing squirrels or something like that. Yeah it takes work but it's doable. And I'd much, much rather deal with that than overcoming shyness. I don't mind aloof either as long as it is well and truly stable. As long as the dog has focus and drive and biddability, wanting to greet the world is just another thing to train. Kim knows when I say "Go say hi" she is free to be a crowd slut. It's really not a big deal.
This! Looking at extremes only, I would much rather want to proof an overly exuberant dog than to work through stranger reaction issues. Obviously that is extremes only, and not taking in account proper temperament of either.
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Old 03-22-2013, 09:53 AM
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For some reason dealing with Mia's over exuberance towards squirrels was much better for me than summer's exuberance with people. Logically it should be the same, I know.
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