Non-discipline for rescue dogs?

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by StephyMei1112, Sep 1, 2012.

  1. StephyMei1112

    StephyMei1112 Blackout

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    In conjunction to my other thread about being accosted by smaller dogs and their stupid owners who don't bother to teach them anything - I've also noticed that people with rescue dogs - and again - small ones in particular at that - are quite lenient in their training and dicipline.

    "He was just about to be killed when the rescue pulled him - he's really been thru hell and back..." - I've heard exactly this and variations of this in reference to people's smaller rescue dogs. It may very well be the truth but it has sounded equally frequently like an excuse. To not train them, teach them, for not having them under total control, for misbehavior, for letting them slack on basic manners. I'm not saying that rescue dogs or rescuing them is a bad thing - I'm saying that people need to get their heads out of their as$es pronto and get their sh!t together and dogs in line - regardless of them being teacup or giant, high kill shelter rescue or bred and bought. Larger rescues are no exception either.

    Does anyone else notice this? General leniency on rescue/shelter dogs?
     
  2. Maxy24

    Maxy24 Active Member

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    I have not noticed that myself, but I can understand it. If people believe that training a dog requires hitting, shouting, collar corrections, and alpha rolls I can see why it would really bother them to do that to a dog that has already been abused or neglected, especially if they are already hand shy. Many people are unaware that you can train a dog without such uses of force, I think if they did know that they may be willing to train their dogs that way.

    But of course there are always going to be people who think any form of training is cruel, or at least unenjoyable for the dog. I like to feed my dog his meals out of a toy or through training sessions and my parents repeatedly ask me "wouldn't he rather just be given his food" or "I would hate to have to work for every bite of my meal". They can't fathom that he might actually find the training fun or view working to get the food out of a toy as a fun activity. But I think this comes from people who have never trained a dog, only seen dogs trained with force, or dislike training themselves.
     
  3. ihartgonzo

    ihartgonzo and Fozzie B!

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    I have definitely noticed this, especially since I became a groomer. Somehow it makes it ok for their dog to bite, because they came from a big scary shelter? Of course I'm sympathetic to dogs who have had horrible life experiences. I know how that goes, Gonzo was a mess when I got him. But to use that as an excuse for bad behavior and not work with your dog is doing them no favors! I see so many people sheltering and babying and coddling fearful dogs, encouraging their timidness. I wish those dogs were adopted out with a copy of Click to Calm. What they don't get is that it's unhealthy for their dogs to be fearful/aggressive... the chemicals associated with those feelings, constantly, are very unhealthy for any animal. Dogs do not want to be afraid and their owners can change that with a little bit of effort and training.

    I also believe that "discipline" can be exchanged with "guidance". I don't tolerate any sh!t from my dogs, but I wouldn't say I "discipline" them. I show them what I want from them, I block them from doing what I don't want, and I teach them that things they don't want to do or that scare them are really the greatest things on earth! I guess it's more like brainwash.

    I see it in small dogs and big dogs just the same. Except, small dogs get babied & held. Big dogs get left in a backyard or, if they're lucky, "dog whisperer"ed.
     
  4. StephyMei1112

    StephyMei1112 Blackout

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    Maxy,

    Yes that point is valid - but part of helping a dog recover from being abused or neglected or a general traumatic experience is providing them structure, teaching them, helping them build confidence, and continuing to develop their social skills, manners, gain life experience, and just be good citizens in whatever situation they are in.

    Being rescued from a bad situation is also NOT a excuse to provide sloppy training, slack on expectations, or not exercising a good level of control over them.

    Gonzo,

    I agree about the guidance - when possible. There are very willful dogs out there though and each one is a individual of course - the blocking technique for wrongdoings and encouragement of desired behaviors will work with some. For others though I prefer a more direct approach - nip any issue in the bud straight away and make things crystal clear to the dog. Yes is yes, No is no.

    Encouraging the correct behavior I find quite easy - the wrongdoings are more difficult to block though and I really find that with Katalin at least - addressing it at the root, head on, at it's first sight works best. She hasn't acted up like she used to on her leash for about 4 months now on walks, and for the past 3 group training classes (she was apprehensive about doing a down/flip in front of everyone and mouthed/flailed during her first few classes). I tried blocking her leash issue before - it just didn't help. I just became firmer and stood my ground, I'll admit a leash correction or two was in order - but she's great now. Our relationship is flourishing and she's just turning into a wonderful dog =) Had I not taken the steps of being alot more solid and balanced in her handling - we would be at a very different level of progress today I am sure.

    Dogs - like people, are all individuals. They don't respond equally well to a certain form of communication; so I try my very best to be a good handler for Katalin - whatever is clearest for her, works best, and is productive for her is what will be implemented. It may not please certain people or consensus of opinions and may even contradict certain principals of one or another - but it's what works for us and IMO - that is what counts the most. Understand your dog, find a good way of communicating and teaching it - and go from there. Don't worry about "showing off" in front of others or trying to look good. If only a few more people took that principal into mind rather than going the most fashionable/"cool" route of training (whatever it may be in their eyes) - the dogs of the world would be in a much better place.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2012
  5. Danefied

    Danefied New Member

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    Our Lunar is a rescue dog and compared to the other three he’s seriously undertrained. He knows come, sit, and get off the sofa, that’s about it. Oh, and he walks OK on a leash the rare times we put him on leash :) I really should teach him down. Hrm... maybe that will be our next project...

    That said, we have put a good bit of time in to training him to be well mannered. He won’t fight you for food, he no longer bites people, and his only phobia left is thunderstorms. I can even shake a plastic bag open now without him freaking out.
    So while we have put a lot of “training†in to him, all we really have to show for it is three commands LOL. It is and its isn’t rescue related. In Lunar’s case, he has a body full of shot and a shattered front leg, and I feel he is better off moving freely however he is comfortable.

    Edit: I should add that Bates is also a rescue dog and he has 3 rally titles, an obedience title, his CGC, passed his TDI, and APDT’s C.L.A.S.S. test.
     
  6. Maxy24

    Maxy24 Active Member

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    Not all fearful/reactive dogs CAN be cured, and if they could it can take a very, very long time. And most people don't know what to do, they get a different answer from every source. They should give it treats, flip it on it's back, shock it, comfort it, be more confident, walk it away, correct it, flood it, etc.
     
  7. Maxy24

    Maxy24 Active Member

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    I didn't say it was a good excuse, I said i could understand it. If I thought the only way to train my dog was through force I probably wouldn't train my dog very much either. Luckily it's not the only way, people just don't always realize that.
     
  8. sillysally

    sillysally Obey the Toad.

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    This. Sally is a rescue and is timid with strangers. We have worked with her a lot she is definitely the better trained of my two dogs), but there are still certain situations that I am just not going to force her into, like large crowds of people. It's not coddling, it's that I think it would be setting her up to fail and I don't see a point in that.
     
  9. StephyMei1112

    StephyMei1112 Blackout

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    You are doing wonderfully - keep up the great work ;)

    Maxy,

    Too many people are just under-informed then I suppose. What do they think they should do though - between having a dog that is out of control and wild and thinking that cruel training methods are the only way to go? I take the example of Sylvia Bishop into account now - when she started out it was the age of aversion, chokes, and beatings - she was unsatisfied with such methods and improvised her own...to pretty good success if I do say so myself. Not everyone has to be a master trainer - but at least do some research and take some initiative. IMO there is ZERO excuse or reason to have no control over your dog or for your dog to have no basic education.

    "It's just a puppy" - All the more reason NOT to allow bad behavior.
    "It's a rescue" - Training is part of rehab and recovery. You do the dog a disservice if you coddle, indulge, or allow it to get out of hand.
    "He/she's SOOO tiny!" - It's what you do with it that counts. (No pun intended)

    These past few days I am coming across more and more stupid f$cking people that have zero business owning anything close to a dog. I want to yell out do some research and get a g*ddamned grip.
     
  10. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    Dunno. I hold Kim and Webster to the same behavior standards that I do Mira, while also acknowledging that they are individuals. Works for our house. But to each their own.
     
  11. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    Shamoo gets away with murder. She's 14 and sometimes I think I'll train her but usually I say, meh. Arnold, my other rescue, is held to very serious standards.

    Some of it is people just being lazy and using the guilt as an excuse, IMO.
     
  12. StillandSilent

    StillandSilent New Member

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    I see this all the time at the daycare, and unfortunatly, the boss buys into it. What, that boxer just attacked Gambit and put punctures in him? You know that he's a resscueee and the owners don't know what to do with him. That dog enjoy doing 'puppy nips' on staff at 8 months old? He's a reeescueee and doesn't know any better! (BTW, the puppy was rescued at 8 weeks old. I would be more sympathatic if it had been rescued two weeks ago and the owners were actively workign with it).

    That said, both of my boys are rescues, and, yes, they come with issues. Argon's are workable, Gambits are less so. Gambit with never be friendly with strangers, unless I figure out a way to do a personality transplant on him, or possibly laser out the coyote like it's a tumor or something. That doesn't mean that I let him be obnoxious in public, though.
     
  13. CaliTerp07

    CaliTerp07 New Member

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    I don't see it as rescue vs. purchased. I see it as a difference in owners. I see very few people with dogs from both sources who have drastically different training philosophies for the two dogs.

    The people I know who have dogs that get away with murder would do it regardless of where they got the dog from.

    I also think you have to acknowledge that it is sometimes harder to train a rescue. I have put 4 years worth of relaxation protocol, crate games, and general training into Lucy, and she still won't lay calmly in a crate without spazzing. Then people bring home a brand new puppy, can put it in a crate from day one, and glare at me when my dog won't lay quietly. There are definitely limitations to all dogs.
     
  14. BostonBanker

    BostonBanker Active Member

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    I can't say I've seen that any more than I've seen purchased dogs getting away with bad behavior. Nor have I really seen more small dogs being terrors than big dogs. In our area, the worst offenders are the labs. Few of whom were rescued.

    I'd put Meg (pulled from 'death row') against any purebred, purchased dog as far as behavior.

    Gusto (rescued from being killed at a few weeks old/abandoned in a trailer/rescued for good at 6-ish weeks old), maybe less so, but it is hard being a spider monkey :p And I have very different wants and expectations from him than most people have for their dogs.
     
  15. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

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    I agree all dogs are individuals and often that comes into play. Also some people just don't care that much about teaching their dogs to have manners. My dogs tend to be a bit on the unmannerly side, especially Savvy because I find wild dogs to be amusing. That said, Rou (the rescue LOL) is being held to a higher standard than most of my dogs but he's still allowed to be plenty wild.

    Where I worked people could bring fosters to our drop in puppy and basic training classes for free...and almost none did, which I thought was too bad. I had one foster come in with a lady who freaked out on me when I suggested she put the puppy on the floor for a little of the class so the pup could interact with the environment and see if she could get her interested in treats. The pup was a little nervous but not abnormally so for a first night in class. The woman started yelling at me stuff like "I'm not dragging this puppy around! I refuse to do that to one of my dogs and nothing you say will make me think otherwise!". I tried to explain to her that was not the sort of training this was and asked if she had seen anyone else dragging puppies around that night and she was like "Well I'm not doing it" and left :yikes:

    She never did much with the puppy and ended up keeping her because she was "too fearful" to adopt out. IME a lot of foster homes for all-breed rescues are well meaning, love dogs but just don't have a clue about training or behavior at all. And in our area, it seemed they weren't interested in learning either. I'm sure that isn't the case every where but it was frustrating.
     
  16. sillysally

    sillysally Obey the Toad.

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    I do think that different owners have different tolerance levels in general. I don't know how people with with dogs that bark for hours don't go insane-I couldn't stand that. Then again, there are some people that insist that there dogs heel for an entire walk and I really don't care about that.
     
  17. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    I don't know. I don't see this at all. I DO however see people that have gotten rescue dogs that are older and already very set into a pattern of behavior that the owner doesn't know how to handle it. I honestly just think a lot of people are in over their head. Especially things like reactivity.

    There's also the fact that the person may have gotten the rescue dog recently and is still finding out the behavior. I know when we found Ada on the side of the road, taking her to the vet was awful because she was not ever socialized or taught to behave. So I have this yorkie mix that is lunging on the end of the leash, barking up a storm, being wild in general... I'm sure people assumed things.

    Since then I've tried to not assume as much. You never know the back story on the dog or what the owner has/hasn't tried with that dog.

    I find people tend to try to make small talk when they're embarrassed by their dog's behavior. I don't see it as an excuse more of an 'I'm sorry but I don't know what to say' in a lot of cases.
     
  18. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

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    I do notice people are extremely quick to attach "must've been abused!" to any sort of bad behavior. I have people, even dog people constantly asking if the Stick Dog is anti-social at such a young age because he was abused or telling me "someone must've done something awful to him for him to be this way".
     
  19. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    Yep, but I get that with Mia too just because she's not a dog that enjoys being petted by strangers.
     
  20. joce

    joce Active Member

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    I see it more with horses but maybe its just so much more noticeable when a giant animal that can easily kill you is disrespectful. I had to explain this to a lady at an old boarding barn and she just didn't get it. I guess she carried her saddle back on rides so her horse knew she knew his pain :confused: Other people will never even pick up a lunge whip because the horse has been abused. Sorry- start them over and get over it. Your the one giving them issues now. You project yourself onto these animals.
     

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