While what I’m about to list here in no way is indicative of ALL owners within a state, it is snippets of what I experienced while within that particular state. If these demonstrations of attitudes, actions, reactions, and ignorance are any indication of what our dogs are facing, it’s a wonder the dogs aren’t all psychotic.
1) I had not been at our location for more than 20 minutes, I had unloaded my dogs, they were SITTING on the sidewalk, minding their own business, waiting for me, when a fat, ill-tempered golden retriever came charging off her front porch from the yard next door, growling, snarling, barking and hell-bent for trouble. I said ‘aahhtt’, and of course she had no manners, didn’t listen, was highly focused on my two and didn’t stop until she had positioned herself OVER Niamh (now lying down), her tail stiff and erect, and was growling down at my dog.
I walk toward the dog with the promise of a short life in my attitude, aahhtt her hard, and she suddenly became unsure. Her owner called her, twice, never corrected her, never apologized, simply put her in the house.
On all three sides the house had yards with dogs. ALL of them charged the fence-line, growled, barked incessantly, and tried to raise hell with my dogs. Not one owner came out to correct or quiet the dogs.
The owner’s attitude? Offended that anyone would take umbrage, much less make a foray into correcting, her sweet little hellion.
My question: Who in the world would allow a dog to learn to become a bully and/or obnoxious and not see it as a problem and correct the behavior?
2) An interesting mix of emotional over-indulgence coupled with the knowledge that something is wrong. A LOT of aggressive acting-out by dogs. However, all the owners I met and talked with were more than willing to put down the trainer-sold equipment and tell the dogs ‘no’ and mean it.
Still, most of the problems arose due the fact that the dogs were considered the person’s ‘baby’. Case in point, two bassets, one of whom had been worked with by owner and trainer for almost a year and simply would NOT sit. The owner believed, and the trainer substantiated the belief with statements about stubbornness, basset behavior in general, this dog’s ‘previous life before being rescued’, believed the dog to be stupid.
We had him sitting in less than 15 minutes. Also, both bassets were walking off-leash by the afternoon. The bassets’ owner, along with others watching, all experienced an epiphany and began treating the dogs more like the thinking, intelligent dogs they are and created an atmosphere of behavioral expectation, rather than helicoptering and making excuses. The dogs were much happier and fights ceased — even between two focused, long-time adversaries.
The owners were treated to an example of a dog they ALL considered a ‘good dog’. They saw a dog that OBEYED, but his behavior sucked. His owner, wanting to show off as it was clear he knew his dog was ‘better’ than the others, allowed the dog to enter a group in a challenging manner, whereupon the dog, Max, lunged growled, and became an outright bully. The owner told him to sit, he did, but still cut the attitude from hell…spoiled little sh*&. The owner petted, told him it was okay, had to PICK HIM UP and then walked into the middle of the dogs and put him down. I thought we’d have a real donnybrook on that one and I had to ‘herd’ him out.
However, NONE of the dogs being instructed in manners broke a down or reacted. Their manners were wonderful…and after only about 4 hours work.
My question: Is it trainers, the industry, or both, that lead owners to be unable to see and understand the difference between behavior and obeying?
3) A small poodle on an expando-leash, heretofore previously believed by me to be one of the most AWFUL inventions of all time. I WAS WRONG!!!!! Next day I see the same dog off-leash, because the owners’ saw MY dogs off-leash, and she runs to me. I say she’s a nice dog, and she is, the owner regales me (with this bizarre prideful attitude that many have of, “I saved this dog from his previous life which was just horrible”) with how they had a trainer come in and help with calming the dog down.
How did they do it, you ask? They put a frickin’ small “containment” collar, aka “remote training collar”, aka SHOCK COLLAR on the poor dog. Now, every time she gets beyond a certain “safety” zone, the owner zaps her. The industry, to ease the guilt, or perhaps to increase the unthinking public, make it just like a TV remote. Change your dog as easily and painlessly as changing a channel. I have choice words for both the industry AND trainers at the moment.
My question: How can owners so readily deceive themselves into believing they have “saved” a dog when they go on to simply create psychosis and pain for the dog in another manner?
Due to the high heat and humidity, and the fact that the motel won’t allow dogs to remain in the rooms unattended, even in crates, I’ll have to put my dogs in Dog Daycare today. Oh, Sweet Jesus save us all. This is an anathema to me and I hate the entire concept, actuality, and what my dogs will have to suffer.
I have made it very clear I have working dogs, which the girl confused with Service Dogs. I do not want them out playing with the rabble. I have apologized to my dogs up-front for this, but I’m certain they’ll be less than pleased.
The outcome of today will be posted tonight, hopefully.