Meeting breeds

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by Laurelin, Mar 20, 2013.

  1. sassafras

    sassafras mushinois

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    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.
     
  2. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2013
  3. Sekah

    Sekah The Monster.

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    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.
     
  4. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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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.
     
  5. StillandSilent

    StillandSilent New Member

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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.
     
  6. Fran101

    Fran101 Resident fainting goat

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    A lot of you guys would sure hate Merlin :rofl1: 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
    [​IMG]
    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
     
  7. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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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.
     
  8. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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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.
     
  9. SaraB

    SaraB New Member

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    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.
     
  10. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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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.
     
  11. Taqroy

    Taqroy Active Member

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    This is super interesting. Tipper is my only O HAI dog and she is very insecure with new people. To the point of submissive peeing a lot of the time. She's gotten a ton better but we're not anywhere near where I'd like to be (mainly due to me not working on it as much as I should). I never considered it in terms of "I am not a threat, see how friendly I am!"

    Mu is very much so a "I can neither see nor hear nor care about you even a little bit" kind of dog - unless they have food. And then she still doesn't want to be touched but she'll get right up in someone's personal space until I call her off. I love it but it does offend people when she deliberately moves out of their touching range. Lol.
     
  12. Linds

    Linds Twin 2

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    After having Kaylee and having to manage who she could see, where people were, if she was going to be ok with said people, body blocking children or adults I really really wanted a love everyone dog. And I have that in Traveler and I adore it. I love how his whole body shows how much he wants to be loved by the masses. It so totally him. Everything he does is done with his whole self including loving (and being loved by) people.

    But, he also can turn that off and focus on me and when out if I say something to him he's right back onto me. I like that. He can get overstimulated easily sometimes in crazy people environments and his love of people can exasperate that but overall him growing up and coming into his own has helped that a lot.

    You wouldn't know he's mister love everyone though when he met up with Shai and Mira. We just had two blurs retrieving the whole time. It was only in the parking lot he said "Oh, wait. Another person!"

    Didgie is much more into me and less into people but she still loves to say hi. It just lasts so much shorter than Traveler's greetings and then she's right back to "Lets go do something!" People are interesting for about 30 seconds, then it's boring and things need to be happening.

    But honestly, I think it was a little bit of their core personality and a lot of how I handled them different. After Traveler I was coming off of Kaylee so I was like "YES! GO SAY HI!" and he's a natural crowd worker and proud of it.

    With Didgie I focused more on coming back to me and being the reward in those environments.

    At the end of the day though I'll take love everyone extreme over the other extreme.
     
  13. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    It's clear, IMO, that most every dog prefers its owner.

    With a normal, average dog, I actually enjoy that when walking my Malinois they can greet strangers (Backup more so, now, than ever before) but they don't care to. They don't seek them out and no matter how much smiling, crooning, or baiting a stranger offers they just look relatively disinterested. I get "shy" a lot and that is frustrating because it is presuming there is something wrong with my dog that really just doesn't hold any value in a stranger. However, why does my dog need to? I can easily respect a desire for a party with everyone dog but I don't prefer that behavior in my Malinois.

    The flip side would be my pit bulls, I can use Arnold as a more reasonable example because Shamoo is not trained at all and she wildly seeks out strangers with screams and hugs (and it cracks me up aside from worry that she'll scare some people). Arnold is always looking for people, he loves them and management is required to avoid giddy wiggling and over the top hoooooman hellos. He will work for anyone and snuggle anyone, clearly he has dependency issues with me because when I leave for work he sulks and sleeps in the guest room away from even Denis but when I'm around he is extremely the life of the pet me, love me party(as a good pit bull should be).

    The same management is required for his dog awareness (which is aggression, not overt social butterfly, nor aloof) and my Malinois again just do not care about strange dogs as long as they are not crowding them. Arnold has been intensively trained in this aspect from corrective and aversive to positive and it's your choice, it's still and always will be a management issue, although approaching 9 he's a bit less trigger finger.

    While I am sure you can train and manage every dog breed to be relatively the same in some breeds you're going up stream and some you're not. I am sure it has to do with my personality but whatever it is I just click with the stereotypical shepherd aloofness and handler obsession.
     
  14. SaraB

    SaraB New Member

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    This is where I get a bit lost? I have great handler obsession with my dogs out in public, they are focused and working, but they still love people. It's not one or the other and I feel like people think it is. Much like aloofness and reactivity, same deal. You can have aloofness without reactivity. You can have stranger friendliness without the urgent need to say hi to everyone they meet.

    So basically what I'm saying is, I like the way each of these are SUPPOSED to be, however if things go wrong and the dog springs to the extreme end of the spectrum, I would much rather deal with the crazy happy extreme.
     
  15. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    Shai, your inbox is full. :p.

    Sorry for the totally irrelevant post. I guess to make it on subject: summer is insecure sometimes but not when it comes to new people. She just really really loves everyone.
     
  16. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    Well but to be fair Summer had years of being rewarded for being stranger-focused before she came to live with you. If Mia had had equal time of gleeful free-for-all squirrel-chasing, it may have been less fun to deal with lol. Summer had been on a variable reinforcement schedule for years and probably has just enough people respond to her now to keep that desire burning bright.

    He was very sweet for those seconds of greeting though lol. He managed to pack a full on "ILOVEYOUILOVEYOUILOVEYOU" into about 3 seconds before the tennis balls came out. And then yeah I don't think he even knew I was there except when we briefly threw toys for each others' dogs haha. I honestly don't know if Mira and Traveler even met, despite hanging out together for what, an hour or two? They were even touching shoulders some of the time and racing back and forth past each other.

    Ball? Ball. Ball ball ball BALL BALL BALL!
     
  17. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    I am sure that was part of it. Summer was her main therapy dog and spent her time going from lap to lap to lap. And it is an issue nowadays with people reinforcing her even I they don't mean to. One of my class mates picked her up a few weeks ago when she ran over to him mid run. He was trying to hand her back to me but I know summer was thinking 'oh, he loves me and he is holding me!' But yeah I'm sure I could have raised her slightly more in line with what I like in more ways than one.
     
  18. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    I worry that you think I've made any attempt to insult your dogs or their personality, I've said from forever that I love the way Traveler sounds and in turn all of the following Koolies, the ability to work like a border collie without the potentially freaky social issues is awesome. I *like* the way they sound, I also enjoy my dogs and their aloofness paired with handler obsession and above all else drive for the reward. When I previously said it's a selfish thing and referring to the "I'm more important that society to my dog" I wasn't saying it's impossible to have both, I just enjoy that aspect about my aloof dogs.

    It is also possible to have a dog who is aloof and doesn't give a real crap about their owner. Tucker, my almost 16 year old wheaten, he's always been that extreme of "meh, I'm not into play, food, praise, toys, so whoever has a warm bed and a yard is cool, I'll be outside wandering and eating plants." I have an airedale like this at work as well, very little human bonding and respect.

    I prefer the aloof dog who's not thrilled to be pet by strangers but OMG MY FAMILY. It doesn't mean any other dog is putting their family at the excitement of strangers nor does it mean they're lesser for being excited to see people. Additionally aloofness can be easily misunderstood by both the public AND the handler for badness and vice versa.

    This obviously is an issue with generalizing and labels, it's so hard for everyone to agree on them and it causes confusion and frustration.
     
  19. Fran101

    Fran101 Resident fainting goat

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    Being cajoled by strangers cooing and kissing and enticing them over..that's a training problem. Not a side-effect of loving people.

    Merlin LOVES people.. yes. But if I don't tell him to go say hi or he isn't at the store (a place where being a crowd slut is something I encourage).. he barely acknowledges them. They will get a glance at most if they are making really annoying sounds (like kissy noises)

    As per his SDit work, I did extensive socialization with him. All kinds of people, all kinds of places, crowds, kids etc.. so of course he LIKES people, but Merlin is handler obsessed to a fault :rofl1: I often have to remind him to get a life.

    tell him to go say hi or put him in an environment where he KNOWS he isn't working, and you get Doug. OH HAI I LOVE YOU SO MUCH PLEASE SCRATCH MY BUTT WIGGLE WIGGLE
    but that isn't to say that he doesn't give 100% to his work and to being with me.

    Aussies kind of get that kind of rap of being these fuddy duddy happy dogs that love everyone and don't work.
    But even at 6 months.. Merlin gives 110% to his work with enthusiasm and great focus.
    Doesn't mean that when I tell him it's ok he doesn't enjoy a good butt scratch from some strangers :rofl1:

    I totally get what you are trying to say, I just think it's important to re-iterate that being the social butterfly doesn't mean you have a dog that doesn't love to work or focus on you.

    Merlin's just a baby, so of course he is a goofy love bunny when he can. I just think that the "Shepherd aloofness" can manifest in more than one way, if that makes any sense.
     
  20. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    Yes, but would you propose it is equally as training intensive with every breed?

    I have found with my malinois they never sought out those cajoling strangers, it's never been an issue to proof.

    Purely talking raw dog, out of drive. I can distract and work Shamoo through offers of affection but deep down she wants that lovin from that stranger, it's in her blood and I love it, a pit bull should be nothing less than a people slut. This doesn't mean it's not trainable nor workable, but it is there.

    My malinois, out of drive, sitting, waiting for something to happen might investigate a stranger but it's extremely unlikely unless prompted by us, they just doesn't hold them at a high value of interest beyond "I see you, we're cool".

    Does that help explain a bit of the difference I am trying to reach?
     

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