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  #11  
Old 01-31-2009, 09:26 AM
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I disagree r.h.....I have seen dogs many times shrink back when their owner's hands come toward them and these people use scruffing as a means of trying to tell their dog something. It is every bit as aversive as slapping a dog IMO. I had my dog in a class and the trainer did this to her own dog. He shrunk backwards and the whites of his eyes were showing. This is not good. Hands coming toward them then, equal a potentially scary time delivered from their owner.

Dogs' sensitivity varies...some are more calloused than others and I agree that sometimes it won't affect them too badly.... but you can not predict positively how it's going to affect a given dog, at a given time in a given context. All that varies too and can affect how the dog perceives the aversive. It is further not always likely that he's connecting the scruff with his own behavior, but rather with some other thing in his environment or simply with the owner himself. The owner then becomes a likely "attacker" and trust is eroded. I do not agree that using hands to grab a dog as a means of punishment is a very wise idea. Being an animal, this has a high probability of eliciting a defense response.
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  #12  
Old 01-31-2009, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by release the hounds View Post
I don't think grabbing a small puppy by the scruff damages it mentally or physically in anyway. I don't think it teaches them to fear hands, or will teach them not to growl and just bite later in life. Grabbing them and swinging them around the room for every little thing, might teach them that, but a few well timed scruff grabs won't.
It can. I have seen it happen with ONE scruff. In a puppy class I was assisting with. The pup then shrank from the owners hands from then on. Why teach dogs your hands are something to be feared? I mean there are so many better ways to teach pups to respect people.. even if it is only a moderate to low chance of causing issues-why do it or recommend a book that does when there are better and 'safer' ways to go about it?
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  #13  
Old 01-31-2009, 10:03 AM
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I don't know, cause maybe they have found it works. I've also found it to work too. Especially with young dogs. I'm not swinging them around, it calm and effective. I'll gladly video my and my younger dog (the one I last did it to) she's 2.5 now and you can tell me what to do for the video and then show me where our relationship is poor because of the scruffing.
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  #14  
Old 01-31-2009, 10:07 AM
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Yours might be fine. (or it might be slight) BUT the issue is you don't know until AFTER you have done it. So why play russian roulette with your puppy? Especially when its not necessary to begin with.

Why scruff a puppy? Would you spank a 7 month old baby? Why not set boundaries and teach the pup what you DO want and not try to suppress what you dont' want?
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  #15  
Old 01-31-2009, 10:08 AM
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With 48 (minimum) puppies of every breed and mix imaginable coming through my classes every 6 weeks, I can tell you that scruffing by human hands absolutely does do damage. Your puppy knows you're not a dog. Why would you try to establish a new and very different relationship with a puppy (often in one of their fear imprint stages) with physical methods. This really has nothing to do with what 'mama dog' does or doesn't do.

There was another version of this book released in 2003, still with the scruffing corrections, and it is still very poorly reviewed in todays professional community. Remember, now that we know better....we're really obligated to do better for our dogs.

This was considered a good book for it's time when it was released. The industry has evolved, the book has not.....yet. I still have hopes that another release may just be void of the 'old' stuff. Look at New Skeet...while it's still a very poor series in todays standards, it has DRASTICALLY improved.
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  #16  
Old 01-31-2009, 10:23 AM
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because it is my puppy and I do what I feel is best for that puppy. I"m sorry, people can try and scare me as much as they want, but putting my hand on the back of my puppy's neck instantly stops the behavior and they don't shrink away from me and act scared either. Why do I do it?? Because I found it works at certain times and just because I can set things up to do them "differently" doesn't mean I really want to. Call me crazy, but quick and effective works for me if I get the working relationship I desire then where is the harm? Because somebody told me its bad? If my puppy is growling at me and I put my hand on the back of it's neck and it stops, do I really care if it thinks i'm a mamma dog or not? I'm serious, tell me what to video and I'll do it, then you can show me where my relationship is poor.

I could also find a butt load of dogs that have never been scruffed or even seen a person and put your hand towards its head or over its eyes and they will shrink away. it's a natural response and not just in dogs.
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  #17  
Old 01-31-2009, 10:39 AM
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This stood out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by release the hounds View Post
If my puppy is growling at me and I put my hand on the back of it's neck and it stops, do I really care if it thinks i'm a mamma dog or not? I'm serious, tell me what to video and I'll do it, then you can show me where my relationship is poor.
YES you should care!!! You don't want to stop growling by scruffing or any kind of aversive. All it does is teach your pup that growling is dangerous.. it doesn't teach the dog to not 'want' to growl. You pup will still have the same 'issues' as before.. but now you just won't see it. You have lost a valuable 'barometer'. How can you work on issues if you punish the indicator?
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  #18  
Old 01-31-2009, 10:47 AM
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my dogs growl and they don't just lash out at people or the other dogs or the cats. I'm not the only one. I get that some people don't like it and why they don't. I've done it and have had great results. I care very much about my dogs, which is why I put all the training I do into them. I'm told my dogs should fear me for all that I do to them. I'm putting myself out there to be judged by the world of internet dog training. give me something to do, I will do it, and people can point out my poor relationship with my dog. People can tell me what I have taught my dog and what i've covered up, but I live with them and think I know better.
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  #19  
Old 01-31-2009, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by release the hounds View Post
I don't think grabbing a small puppy by the scruff damages it mentally or physically in anyway. I don't think it teaches them to fear hands, or will teach them not to growl and just bite later in life. Grabbing them and swinging them around the room for every little thing, might teach them that, but a few well timed scruff grabs won't.
The problem I have with this statement is this: JQP (and the lurkers taking advice from this thread) don't know how much is too much. They don't know how hard to shake their dogs. They don't know how to get the timing right. They don't know when they've used the scruff shakes too many times. THIS is why I try to NEVER suggest anything aversive to anyone without actually seeing them and their puppy, and showing them exactly how and when to use it. Am I a "pure" positive reinforcement trainer with the dogs I work with? No, I do use punishment occasionally. And I do suggest it occasionally for other trainers and dog owners.... BUT, it's only after I've gotten to know the trainer and the dog and know it's not going to cause more harm than good.
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  #20  
Old 01-31-2009, 11:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by release the hounds View Post
my dogs growl and they don't just lash out at people or the other dogs or the cats. I'm not the only one. I get that some people don't like it and why they don't. I've done it and have had great results. I care very much about my dogs, which is why I put all the training I do into them. I'm told my dogs should fear me for all that I do to them. I'm putting myself out there to be judged by the world of internet dog training. give me something to do, I will do it, and people can point out my poor relationship with my dog. People can tell me what I have taught my dog and what i've covered up, but I live with them and think I know better.
I think you are making this personal. And if your dog's still growl then how was scruffing them to stop it successful? Sure maybe your dogs are great. BUT I know a woman who is VERY successful in obedience who trains with e collars. She will tell you how her dogs and her have a fantastic relationship (and she really does love her dogs) BUT to all of us outsiders we see stressed dogs who are NOT experiencing a fantastic relationship. So unless we see your dogs-we can only go by what we see of people who DO tend to punish such things.

I used to punish growling. Then I had an Epiphany and realized that while this was 'working' to some degree wouldn't it be better to cure the problem than halt the symptom? Halting the symptom may be just fine for you. BUT that doesn't make it the best way.. or the recommended way to train dogs.
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