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Old 10-03-2013, 02:10 PM
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Default R E S P E C T...find out what it means...

My Curly Tails have got me thinking and wondering...

Respect from your dog is it something freely give or is it hard earned? Share your thoughts and experiences please.

This all comes from an occurence that happened when we took a trip to visit my future in laws with the dogs recently...and I really want to know what my fellow chazzers think and what their dogs are like.
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Old 10-03-2013, 02:32 PM
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Well I think trust is earned and relationships are built. But what is respect exactly? A dog listening to you? That's taught. A dog being tolerant of you when you do annoying things? That stems from trust and relationship or from training. For example my dog growls at my dad for things that he would never growl at my mom or me for. In some cases a dog like that has been taught (often with punishment) not to growl at certain people but we have not done that. In our case Tucker doesn't growl at us because he has a strong relationship with us and he has barely any relationship with my dad. It's harder for him to be upset with us, he enjoys us and wouldn't want to drive us away (that's my take on it anyway). plus he has a big history of positive interactions with us so expects good things when we do stuff with him (or to him). Dad pretty much ignores Tucker and steps on him an absurd amount, not a whole lot of positive feelings there.

But I don't know exactly what your idea of respect is. Some think it means the dog listens, follows the rules. I think that's training more than how the dog feels about you. The dog will listen to those who have trained him/her. My dog listens to me when I ask him to drop something. He listens to no one else. You could suggest that he respects me more, but it's really just because I'm the one who trained him to do it and am the only one who has ever reinforced him for that behavior. Why drop something for mom and dad if there is no history of reinforcement for doing so from them?
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Old 10-03-2013, 02:36 PM
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I hate your thread title.

I think my dogs and I have mutual respect for each other. I wouldn't say it's been earned exactly, but rather something that's developed as our relationships have grown.
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Old 10-03-2013, 02:43 PM
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with my own dogs that i've owned, I'd say they were fairly trusting from the start unless something was done to give them pause. and definitely thru training and hanging out and just living our bond and mutual respect and relationship has grown tremendously. They're kind of like me i guess. I generally give everyone I meet a certain level of respect and our interactions will either add to it, or erode it.

I know it muddies some waters and some don't like giving "human" emotions to animals or whatever. But I think trust and compliance and willingness to do the crazy things we ask, and maybe not for others is a sign of respect, whether you're a dog or a human. I might not jump off a bridge for anyone, but someone that has earned my respect might get me to at least think about it

I think in trying to get away from scary dog training words like alpha and dominance, a big group has tried to minimize just what dogs are capable of thinking and doing. I mean we could all be broken down into tiny pieces and say it's only what pleases or what doesn't or we've learned in this instance and not that, but all those pieces, to me at least, add up to larger emotions like respect and even love.
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Old 10-03-2013, 02:57 PM
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I totally agree dogs are capable of deep emotions. But we see those emotions through actions, so everyone is going to interpret different actions as being signs of respect. My uncle considers it respect for a dog to greet him by slithering on the ground or rolling over. That's how he got bit by my neighbors dog. when he recounted the story to me it went something like this "He came over to me holding himself low, ears back and when I put my hand out he rolled over, you know showing me respect, being good and submissive. So I bent over and started petting his belly and that's when he suddenly lunged and grabbed my shoulder, barely missing my neck. I didn't expect it at all". My uncle continues to consider fearful behavior a sign of respect, that and obedience are his two measures of respect. Some people consider fear respect, I do not but I do think it's a difficult thing to define.

and I think it's important to understand some behaviors can stem from emotions like love and trust and respect (if that's an emotion lol), but could also stem from logic gained through training. You need to figure out which it is. I don't think my dog lets me wipe out his eye boogers because he loves or respects me, he lets me wipe them out because I let him eat them after but who knows, it's all guessing.
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Old 10-03-2013, 02:58 PM
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I go back and forth on the idea of respect and dogs. I'm not sure they are capable of that complex a thought. I think of relationship and trust more than respect.

Summer is very straightforward. Everyone in the world is her friend and she behaves the same with everyone.

Mia... There is definitely a huge need for relationship building before she will pay you a lick of attention. Her trust is also easily shattered when it comes to people- ie: if you mess up your first meeting it will probably never go well. She will hold a grudge for several years. And yet... She trusts me implicitly and has since day1. But only me and my sisters. She also likes my dad. And that's about it. It is very interesting to me that we took up so fast.
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Old 10-03-2013, 03:10 PM
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I'm trying to think of what my definition of respect is in regard to a dog. But I think, for me, it all comes from expectation and what a dog knows they can get away with with one person but not another.

I've been the main trainer and caretaker of all of my dogs, and they're all much more polite and well mannered with me than anyone else. They wouldn't dream of stealing food from me or anywhere within my vicinity, and if I tell them to go away or stay out of a room, they oblige and respect that until I say otherwise. They don't push and shove their way in for attention from me and instead politely wait for me to finish with another dog. Just all kinds of things. And I believe it stems from the fact that they all have more of a working/training/playing relationship with me (vs. just a "petting and occasional treat" relationship with someone else) and therefore have a different bond with me, but they also know that I just will not tolerate certain things and will enforce their rules, so they (most of the time) don't bother pushing those boundaries.

They, well mainly Keira, really disrespect my mom. She tries hard, but they know that the follow through is less with her and an actual clear reward is less (because she doesn't do any of the training - she'll just give them cues that I've taught and rewarded for, but she herself forgets to reward even with a "good job" sometimes) as well. So therefore, in Keira's mind, breaking a rule and disrespecting my mom has more reward in it for her than just listening in the first place. She walks all over my mom and pushes all kinds of buttons that she would never, ever attempt with me, and the only reason I can see is simply that my mom doesn't have any kind of relationship with her at all other than she feeds her dinner sometimes and pets her and loves her and tells her to get lost when she does something naughty when she turns her back for .2 seconds haha. And she accidentally rewards for pushy too.

I think it's more just a training and management/enforcement thing than an earned thing, although I guess if I really think about it, I've kind of earned their respect by building a relationship with them and they've learned what is expected of them.

I don't know. I've never put that much thought into it. I just know my dogs respect me and and know my expectations of them, and that they clearly don't feel the same toward anyone else we live with.
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Old 10-03-2013, 03:17 PM
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I guess it is difficult to define and express...

My future mother in law is under the impression that Watson harbors dislike for her because he is not the type of dog to transfer deference he has toward me and/or my SO to someone else simply because they happend to have opposable thumbs and walk on two legs.

I told her that I have never seen him actively dislike anyone...it is just that he is not immediately impressed with or gaga over just any human. He frequently seeks out people he has never met before when at the dog park just to say hello...but that doesn't mean he would then want to allow them the same level of interaction he allows me.

When we visited my inlaws last week my mother in law was loading the dishwasher and Watson took an interest and wanted to stick his pointy nose in. I was in another room. She wanted him to stay out and told him to get out and he did not heed her shooing him, he gave her a basenji grumble when she physically pushed him. I had to come in and handle it...so she feels that he is a difficult and not very nice dog.

So I have been thinking about it...is it training, is it trust, is it respect?
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Old 10-03-2013, 03:36 PM
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Mia actively dislikes most people. And a lot of people take it rather personally, which I find strange. Then they try even more and more to convince her to like them and she gets less and less tolerant of them.

I don't know what it comes down to. I tend to think trust and a built relationship over anything else. There are a lot of times I'd love to get into her head.
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Old 10-03-2013, 03:57 PM
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To me, respect is the willingness to, when in doubt, take my word for it. Respect is the trust that I might have information you do not, and even though what Im asking you to do seems like a bad idea, that you respect my intelligence and my care for you to try to do it anyway.
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