Dog Site - Dog Stuff
Dog Forum | Dog Pictures

Go Back   Chazhound Dog Forum > Dog Discussions and Dog Talk Forums > Dogs - General Dog Chat

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 08-05-2014, 05:00 PM
Sekah's Avatar
Sekah Sekah is offline
The Monster.
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Toronto
Posts: 1,337
Question Public perception vs dog community norms

A recent post in the "No, It's Not Starving..." FB group got me thinking about how the public perceives the dogs of 'dog people'.

In this post someone posted up a photo of them holding their BC by the hips with rear feet on her thighs and it's evident that she's lined him up to run at a flyball tournament. The photo is completely innocuous and not particularly noteworthy at all, but apparently the poster had experienced some criticism on her feed for looking like she was hurting her dog. The dog sport people guffawed about the silly reaction. Of course she wasn't hurting her dog, and her dog looked happy and healthy. A lot of people on the "... Not Starving..." FB group experience flack from people who fear that their dogs are underfed (and some of them are) so generally the opinions of Joe Public aren't held in terribly high regard.

The aforementioned post and the apparent issue someone took with the dog looking mistreated reminded me of the way my team handles our dogs during a performance. We're just coming off of 3 days of performances this long weekend. The dogs and people all love it and many of the dogs are often higher than a kite prior to a race. I noted a few teammates holding their dogs' collars so that their front feet were lifted clean off the ground prior to lining up. The people were excited, the dogs were high and I doubt either of them realized what was happening. It was a bit rougher than what I'm used to seeing which is why I took notice, but it wasn't anything that concerned me.

But we do these shows in front of crowds of not-dog-people... I wouldn't be surprised if some of this rough handling would bother folks who noticed, considering how the benign flyball photo bothered people. We also keep our dogs in crates between shows and when they're not running and many of them bark their heads off. The barking clearly does bother people who watch our shows, but it barely registers to some of the dogs' handlers since, again, this behaviour is considered pretty par for the course in flyball circles and (to a lesser degree) in other dog sport circles.

So, all of this just got me thinking about what I do with my dogs, how it might be perceived by other dog people and non-dog people. Some people feel that trick training is demeaning, or that forcing a dog to run an agility course is cruel -- some pretty bonkers stuff -- and let's not even mention the craziness that seems to be getting stirred up when dogs are left in cars despite extenuating circumstances.

What's normal for you? What do you change up about your behaviour with your dogs when you're in public vs with other dog people? What kind of craziness have you encountered?

I know this post is sort of stream-of-consciousnessy and messy. I've not organized my thoughts on the matter yet.

Cheynat's O' Lady Midnight CD RE ADC SGDC FDCh-S CGN HIC, Esq.
Megatron, Heat Vampire
Cohen the Australian Shepherd
Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2014, 05:23 PM
sillysally's Avatar
sillysally sillysally is offline
Obey the Toad.
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: A hole in the bottom of the sea.
Posts: 5,074

I don't do dog sports, but I don't change my behavior with my dogs around the general public. Jack is thinner than most other labs I see, but fortunately he's rather fuzzy and people don't seem to notice to give me flack.

It's nothing like when I worked at the horse barn. I cannot tell you how many times I had to explain that no, the horses are not lying dead in the pasture, they are sunning themselves. No, we are not blindfolding our horses, those are fly masks, etc.

~Christina--Mom to:
Sally--8 yr old pit bull mix
Jack--6 yr old Labrador
Sadie & Runt--12 yr old calico DSHs
Pickles & Kiwi--3 yr old white winged parakeets
Yoda--1 yr old Quaker parrot
Solo--12 yr old Senegal parrot
Sheena--Quarter Horse--3/24/86-6/23/11--Rest Easy Sweet Girl~

Labs do it in the lake.

Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2014, 06:10 PM
Red.Apricot's Avatar
Red.Apricot Red.Apricot is offline
Top Dog
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Southern California
Posts: 2,982

Elsie was low at a rally event, so to perk her up I played 'foot stomp' with her, which is her FAVORITE GAME, where she attacks the bottom of my shoes as I pretend to stomp on her. There's growling and barking, and I'm afraid I'm going to get written up. I haven't yet, though. (Don't worry; we were well away from the rings, off behind trees in the 'regular park' area of the show, so I wasn't disrupting other handlers.)

I've had people tell me that I was mean to demand she keep her focus on me while we were practicing heeling in public; I should 'just let the dog be a dog.'
Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2014, 06:29 PM
StillandSilent StillandSilent is offline
Top Dog
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,547

Gambit loves being spanked and will shake his booty for someone to smack it as hard as they can. Obviously in public, we can't do that, since he already looks and acts like he's been abused

ResQ 99 Problems but a Glitch Ain't One "Glitch"
ResQ Opening Night Jitters "Gambit"
ResQ Something Whippet This Way Comes "Gimmick"
"Just Remember, Baby: When Life Gives You Lemons, Tuck 'em!" Marbles, Bobs Burgers
Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2014, 06:37 PM
release the hounds release the hounds is offline
Top Dog
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Midwest
Posts: 4,367

Most times our interactions are pretty positive, but there's always someone somewhere it seems. By now I've largely learned to smile and move on, but since i've learned that tactic, I haven't been able to employ it recently
Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2014, 07:23 PM
*blackrose's Avatar
*blackrose *blackrose is offline
"I'm kupo for kupo nuts!"
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 7,056

Abrams is thinner than what most people expect to see. If he were a Labrador, being fattened to pet standards, he'd probably be over 100lbs. As it is, he's around 85-90. Not really sure! A plus side is that you can't really tell how lean he is until you actually feel him - he's thick, so he looks rounder than what he actually is.

He's also intact. Which most people see and go *GASP* howcouldyoubesoirrisponsibletohaveanintactdogOMGyo u'regoingtoburninhell. I'm tired to having to explain my decisions to people, and to hear them assume that he must be an aggressive/peeing everywhere all over my house/humping machine that doesn't listen simply because he has balls. Annoys the **** out of me.

He wears a prong in public. Another *GASP*.

DH and I frequently talk about beating him with things or smacking him. ("That would be a perfect Abrams' beating stick!") Abrams LOVES it. I handle him rougher than I would other dogs, because, well...he enjoys it and/or it doesn't phase him. So I have to watch exactly how physical I'm being because people who don't know him or me may go O.o when they see it.

Cynder is always commented on in a positive light, so at least we're doing something right. LOL
Cynder, Daddy's girl Little Lab muttly and Abrams, Momma's boy Chesapeake Bay Retriever
~*~ DOB 1/28/2006 ~*~ DOB 4/11/13 ~*~

Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2014, 07:43 PM
Maxy24's Avatar
Maxy24 Maxy24 is offline
Top Dog
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 8,041

I know a lot of non-dog world people think head halters are muzzles/the dogs wearing them are aggressive.

I'm a crazy dog person and even I cringe when I watch handlers yanking on dog's necks in the conformation ring, when I've watched dog shows with my roommates it bothers them too.

Thank you ~Dixie's Mom~ for my awesome siggy!
Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2014, 07:50 PM
Dogdragoness's Avatar
Dogdragoness Dogdragoness is offline
Happy New Year!
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Gillett/Flower Mound TX
Posts: 4,138

Originally Posted by sillysally View Post
I don't do dog sports, but I don't change my behavior with my dogs around the general public. Jack is thinner than most other labs I see, but fortunately he's rather fuzzy and people don't seem to notice to give me flack.

It's nothing like when I worked at the horse barn. I cannot tell you how many times I had to explain that no, the horses are not lying dead in the pasture, they are sunning themselves. No, we are not blindfolding our horses, those are fly masks, etc.
Hahahaha the old "why is they horse blindfolded?" Our two ponies wear fly masks because for some reason, the flies really bother them. I think it's because the one pony has a white eye and a large blaze on his face so maybe they are attracted to that.

I just mess with people how and are like "yeah, it's a blindfold, we don't want them to see." And then laugh at their reactions. I mean come on, my dad knows NOTHING about horses and even he knew that fly masks weren't blindfolds.

In reference to dogs, no, I don't alter my behavior in the general public, as opposed to the "dog people" public my dogs are well behaved but they are allowed to be dogs. I also will treat them as I please (know am not abusive, but I know them and I know what they like and don't like) I will use whatever training aid I please and I don't care what what one thinks, and if they say anything I tell them flat out that it's none of their business.

Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2014, 09:52 PM
crazedACD crazedACD is offline
Top Dog
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: West Missouri
Posts: 3,047

Out in public...I think I get a little weird about "training", I don't really like to go out to a pet store or go into a busy parking lot to run obedience exercises. I feel like people think I am being mean "making" them work. I'll get after my dogs to behave if necessary out and about only if not doing so would make them continue the behavior. I'm not ashamed of using training aids.

My store hosted Dock Dogs and I did have someone approach me and tell me they thought it was totally cruel that we made dogs jump off docks for the public's entertainment . Also it was way too hot for dogs to be outside.

I do think some of the dogs on that group are underweight. Not necessarily starving, but definitely in need of some groceries. I used to be really, really conscious of my dogs' weights, almost obsessive. I look back now and they were too skinny. I don't care as much anymore, as long as they don't look like a barrel with legs, they don't need to be in optimal fit condition.

Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2014, 10:13 PM
Southpaw's Avatar
Southpaw Southpaw is offline
orange iguanas.
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 7,777

I don't know that the public has any idea what's going on, but I always feel funny when Cajun has her e-collar on and I have a treat bag strapped to me. If the public thinks anything, they think that I'm just electrocuting my dog left and right. How is it possible for treats and clickers to be involved in that abuse.

Juno CGC 2009 :: Sawyer 2015 :: Cajun CGC 2013 :: Lucy 2006
Run free, Molly :: Happy
Reply With Quote


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:19 AM.

1997-2013 Chazhound Dog Site