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Old 01-11-2012, 02:20 PM   #31
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I misread the thread title as 'helicopter penis'. Boy was I disappointed
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Old 01-12-2012, 04:08 PM   #32
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Puppetry of the Penis? Do they do that one right after the Eiffel Tower?
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Old 02-09-2012, 05:46 AM   #33
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Parents are too controlling and it's beginning to hinder their kids. I always listened to my parents and let them be involved in my life, but financially they cut the cord when I was a teenager. Since I'm the oldest, they had the hardest time "letting go" with me. My brother just turned 21 and he's having a much easier time of it. I went to college in 2004 and graduated in 2007 with a B.S. in Computer Science. I was very lucky with how my parents handled it. However my experience with helicopter parenting comes from Erica, my fiance.

She went into the real world at 17 knowing nothing about resumes, cover letters or what the work place was even like. Despite being an honor roll student at a private high school and making dean's list at her college, she had a very hard time. She was never taught how student loans, scholarships, etc worked because her father didn't believe in student debt. Despite being accepted into several top schools with <50% acceptance rates, she was not allowed to attend them. Eventually she ended up leaving school because she was forced to attend a public college that she hated (she went from 10 people in a class in high school to 40-50 student lectures and it overwhelmed her) and she was not allowed to study what she wanted.

Now she's completely independent. She intends to go back to school and get her degree after the wedding and she wants to leave her dad out of it this time. I can't say I blame her. She's had to work her butt off and scrape by on nothing for a long time because the parenting was a little too overbearing. She was not allowed to have the opportunities that other kids had. Her time in the real world has countered that somewhat and she is a lot more mature than many of the kids I see today. She's almost 21 and my 21, 20, and 17 year old brothers all view her as a mentor and go to her for advice.


I think helicopter parenting is extremely detrimental and has lasting effects. I also think that parents shouldn't be paying to put their kids through college and should let the kids leave the nest at 18. I'm all for supporting kids, but controlling them the way many of these over-bearing parents do is just ridiculous.
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Old 02-12-2012, 09:07 PM   #34
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first Tiger Moms, now this? what's an American parent to do?

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Why French Parents Are Superior
While Americans fret over modern parenthood, the French are raising happy, well-behaved children without all the anxiety. Pamela Druckerman on the Gallic secrets for avoiding tantrums, teaching patience and saying 'non' with authority.


By PAMELA DRUCKERMAN

When my daughter was 18 months old, my husband and I decided to take her on a little summer holiday. We picked a coastal town that's a few hours by train from Paris, where we were living (I'm American, he's British), and booked a hotel room with a crib. Bean, as we call her, was our only child at this point, so forgive us for thinking: How hard could it be?

We ate breakfast at the hotel, but we had to eat lunch and dinner at the little seafood restaurants around the old port. We quickly discovered that having two restaurant meals a day with a toddler deserved to be its own circle of hell.

Bean would take a brief interest in the food, but within a few minutes she was spilling salt shakers and tearing apart sugar packets. Then she demanded to be sprung from her high chair so she could dash around the restaurant and bolt dangerously toward the docks.

Our strategy was to finish the meal quickly. We ordered while being seated, then begged the server to rush out some bread and bring us our appetizers and main courses at the same time. While my husband took a few bites of fish, I made sure that Bean didn't get kicked by a waiter or lost at sea. Then we switched. We left enormous, apologetic tips to compensate for the arc of torn napkins and calamari around our table.

After a few more harrowing restaurant visits, I started noticing that the French families around us didn't look like they were sharing our mealtime agony. Weirdly, they looked like they were on vacation. French toddlers were sitting contentedly in their high chairs, waiting for their food, or eating fish and even vegetables. There was no shrieking or whining. And there was no debris around their tables.

Though by that time I'd lived in France for a few years, I couldn't explain this. And once I started thinking about French parenting, I realized it wasn't just mealtime that was different. I suddenly had lots of questions. Why was it, for example, that in the hundreds of hours I'd clocked at French playgrounds, I'd never seen a child (except my own) throw a temper tantrum? Why didn't my French friends ever need to rush off the phone because their kids were demanding something? Why hadn't their living rooms been taken over by teepees and toy kitchens, the way ours had?

Soon it became clear to me that quietly and en masse, French parents were achieving outcomes that created a whole different atmosphere for family life. When American families visited our home, the parents usually spent much of the visit refereeing their kids' spats, helping their toddlers do laps around the kitchen island, or getting down on the floor to build Lego villages. When French friends visited, by contrast, the grownups had coffee and the children played happily by themselves.

By the end of our ruined beach holiday, I decided to figure out what French parents were doing differently. Why didn't French children throw food? And why weren't their parents shouting? Could I change my wiring and get the same results with my own offspring?

Driven partly by maternal desperation, I have spent the last several years investigating French parenting. And now, with Bean 6 years old and twins who are 3, I can tell you this: The French aren't perfect, but they have some parenting secrets that really do work.

I first realized I was on to something when I discovered a 2009 study, led by economists at Princeton, comparing the child-care experiences of similarly situated mothers in Columbus, Ohio, and Rennes, France. The researchers found that American moms considered it more than twice as unpleasant to deal with their kids. In a different study by the same economists, working mothers in Texas said that even housework was more pleasant than child care.

Rest assured, I certainly don't suffer from a pro-France bias. Au contraire, I'm not even sure that I like living here. I certainly don't want my kids growing up to become sniffy Parisians.

But for all its problems, France is the perfect foil for the current problems in American parenting. Middle-class French parents (I didn't follow the very rich or poor) have values that look familiar to me. They are zealous about talking to their kids, showing them nature and reading them lots of books. They take them to tennis lessons, painting classes and interactive science museums.

Yet the French have managed to be involved with their families without becoming obsessive. They assume that even good parents aren't at the constant service of their children, and that there is no need to feel guilty about this. "For me, the evenings are for the parents," one Parisian mother told me. "My daughter can be with us if she wants, but it's adult time." French parents want their kids to be stimulated, but not all the time. While some American toddlers are getting Mandarin tutors and preliteracy training, French kids are—by design—toddling around by themselves.

I'm hardly the first to point out that middle-class America has a parenting problem. This problem has been painstakingly diagnosed, critiqued and named: overparenting, hyperparenting, helicopter parenting, and my personal favorite, the kindergarchy. Nobody seems to like the relentless, unhappy pace of American parenting, least of all parents themselves.

Of course, the French have all kinds of public services that help to make having kids more appealing and less stressful. Parents don't have to pay for preschool, worry about health insurance or save for college. Many get monthly cash allotments—wired directly into their bank accounts—just for having kids.

But these public services don't explain all of the differences.
The French, I found, seem to have a whole different framework for raising kids. When I asked French parents how they disciplined their children, it took them a few beats just to understand what I meant. "Ah, you mean how do we educate them?" they asked. "Discipline," I soon realized, is a narrow, seldom-used notion that deals with punishment. Whereas "educating" (which has nothing to do with school) is something they imagined themselves to be doing all the time.

One of the keys to this education is the simple act of learning how to wait. It is why the French babies I meet mostly sleep through the night from two or three months old. Their parents don't pick them up the second they start crying, allowing the babies to learn how to fall back asleep. It is also why French toddlers will sit happily at a restaurant. Rather than snacking all day like American children, they mostly have to wait until mealtime to eat. (French kids consistently have three meals a day and one snack around 4 p.m.)

One Saturday I visited Delphine Porcher, a pretty labor lawyer in her mid-30s who lives with her family in the suburbs east of Paris. When I arrived, her husband was working on his laptop in the living room, while 1-year-old Aubane napped nearby. Pauline, their 3-year-old, was sitting at the kitchen table, completely absorbed in the task of plopping cupcake batter into little wrappers. She somehow resisted the temptation to eat the batter.

Delphine said that she never set out specifically to teach her kids patience. But her family's daily rituals are an ongoing apprenticeship in how to delay gratification. Delphine said that she sometimes bought Pauline candy. (Bonbons are on display in most bakeries.) But Pauline wasn't allowed to eat the candy until that day's snack, even if it meant waiting many hours.

When Pauline tried to interrupt our conversation, Delphine said, "Just wait two minutes, my little one. I'm in the middle of talking." It was both very polite and very firm. I was struck both by how sweetly Delphine said it and by how certain she seemed that Pauline would obey her. Delphine was also teaching her kids a related skill: learning to play by themselves. "The most important thing is that he learns to be happy by himself," she said of her son, Aubane.

It's a skill that French mothers explicitly try to cultivate in their kids more than American mothers do. In a 2004 study on the parenting beliefs of college-educated mothers in the U.S. and France, the American moms said that encouraging one's child to play alone was of average importance. But the French moms said it was very important.

Later, I emailed Walter Mischel, the world's leading expert on how children learn to delay gratification. As it happened, Mr. Mischel, 80 years old and a professor of psychology at Columbia University, was in Paris, staying at his longtime girlfriend's apartment. He agreed to meet me for coffee.

Mr. Mischel is most famous for devising the "marshmallow test" in the late 1960s when he was at Stanford. In it, an experimenter leads a 4- or 5-year-old into a room where there is a marshmallow on a table. The experimenter tells the child he's going to leave the room for a little while, and that if the child doesn't eat the marshmallow until he comes back, he'll be rewarded with two marshmallows. If he eats the marshmallow, he'll get only that one.

Most kids could only wait about 30 seconds. Only one in three resisted for the full 15 minutes that the experimenter was away. The trick, the researchers found, was that the good delayers were able to distract themselves.

Following up in the mid-1980s, Mr. Mischel and his colleagues found that the good delayers were better at concentrating and reasoning, and didn't "tend to go to pieces under stress," as their report said.

Could it be that teaching children how to delay gratification—as middle-class French parents do—actually makes them calmer and more resilient? Might this partly explain why middle-class American kids, who are in general more used to getting what they want right away, so often fall apart under stress?

Mr. Mischel, who is originally from Vienna, hasn't performed the marshmallow test on French children. But as a longtime observer of France, he said that he was struck by the difference between French and American kids. In the U.S., he said, "certainly the impression one has is that self-control has gotten increasingly difficult for kids."

American parents want their kids to be patient, of course. We encourage our kids to share, to wait their turn, to set the table and to practice the piano. But patience isn't a skill that we hone quite as assiduously as French parents do. We tend to view whether kids are good at waiting as a matter of temperament. In our view, parents either luck out and get a child who waits well or they don't.

French parents and caregivers find it hard to believe that we are so laissez-faire about this crucial ability. When I mentioned the topic at a dinner party in Paris, my French host launched into a story about the year he lived in Southern California.

He and his wife had befriended an American couple and decided to spend a weekend away with them in Santa Barbara. It was the first time they'd met each other's kids, who ranged in age from about 7 to 15. Years later, they still remember how the American kids frequently interrupted the adults in midsentence. And there were no fixed mealtimes; the American kids just went to the refrigerator and took food whenever they wanted. To the French couple, it seemed like the American kids were in charge.

"What struck us, and bothered us, was that the parents never said 'no,' " the husband said. The children did "n'importe quoi," his wife added.

After a while, it struck me that most French descriptions of American kids include this phrase "n'importe quoi," meaning "whatever" or "anything they like." It suggests that the American kids don't have firm boundaries, that their parents lack authority, and that anything goes. It's the antithesis of the French ideal of the cadre, or frame, that French parents often talk about. Cadre means that kids have very firm limits about certain things—that's the frame—and that the parents strictly enforce these. But inside the cadre, French parents entrust their kids with quite a lot of freedom and autonomy.

Authority is one of the most impressive parts of French parenting—and perhaps the toughest one to master. Many French parents I meet have an easy, calm authority with their children that I can only envy. Their kids actually listen to them. French children aren't constantly dashing off, talking back, or engaging in prolonged negotiations.

One Sunday morning at the park, my neighbor Frédérique witnessed me trying to cope with my son Leo, who was then 2 years old. Leo did everything quickly, and when I went to the park with him, I was in constant motion, too. He seemed to regard the gates around play areas as merely an invitation to exit.

Frédérique had recently adopted a beautiful redheaded 3-year-old from a Russian orphanage. At the time of our outing, she had been a mother for all of three months. Yet just by virtue of being French, she already had a whole different vision of authority than I did—what was possible and pas possible.

Frédérique and I were sitting at the perimeter of the sandbox, trying to talk. But Leo kept dashing outside the gate surrounding the sandbox. Each time, I got up to chase him, scold him, and drag him back while he screamed. At first, Frédérique watched this little ritual in silence. Then, without any condescension, she said that if I was running after Leo all the time, we wouldn't be able to indulge in the small pleasure of sitting and chatting for a few minutes.

"That's true," I said. "But what can I do?" Frédérique said I should be sterner with Leo. In my mind, spending the afternoon chasing Leo was inevitable. In her mind, it was pas possible.

I pointed out that I'd been scolding Leo for the last 20 minutes. Frédérique smiled. She said that I needed to make my "no" stronger and to really believe in it. The next time Leo tried to run outside the gate, I said "no" more sharply than usual. He left anyway. I followed and dragged him back. "You see?" I said. "It's not possible."

Frédérique smiled again and told me not to shout but rather to speak with more conviction. I was scared that I would terrify him. "Don't worry," Frederique said, urging me on.

Leo didn't listen the next time either. But I gradually felt my "nos" coming from a more convincing place. They weren't louder, but they were more self-assured. By the fourth try, when I was finally brimming with conviction, Leo approached the gate but—miraculously—didn't open it. He looked back and eyed me warily. I widened my eyes and tried to look disapproving.

After about 10 minutes, Leo stopped trying to leave altogether. He seemed to forget about the gate and just played in the sandbox with the other kids. Soon Frédérique and I were chatting, with our legs stretched out in front of us. I was shocked that Leo suddenly viewed me as an authority figure.

"See that," Frédérique said, not gloating. "It was your tone of voice." She pointed out that Leo didn't appear to be traumatized. For the moment—and possibly for the first time ever—he actually seemed like a French child.

—Adapted from "Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting," to be published Tuesday by the Penguin Press.


French Lessons:

Children should say hello, goodbye, thank you and please. It helps them to learn that they aren't the only ones with feelings and needs.

When they misbehave, give them the "big eyes"—a stern look of admonishment.

Allow only one snack a day. In France, it's at 4 or 4:30.

Remind them (and yourself) who's the boss. French parents say, "It's me who decides."

Don't be afraid to say "no." Kids have to learn how to cope with some frustration.


Why French Parents Are Superior by Pamela Druckerman - WSJ.com



kind of hard to believe that these are exclusively French parenting traits or that Americans don't do this -- rather hard to generalize about 300m people, but i do distinctly remember from the short (3 week) homestay i did with a French family when i was in high school that there was a much more structured, ritualized feel to family life, at least compared to my own (which in general was very stable, but dominated by child-centered activities/extracurriculars/etc.) there was something wonderfully comforting about it. though, of course, i could just be wrapping this article around that experience, but on the whole, this makes a boatload of sense to me.
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Old 02-12-2012, 11:57 PM   #35
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I wonder if it might be that the general American tendency to dislike authority figures (and therefore to resist becoming one) affects parenting style. I've really only known one French child, so not enough to generalize from, but one thing I did notice when teaching there several years back was how well-behaved French *dogs* always seemed to be. I saw dozens of people walking their dogs every day while I was out running or doing errands, and I don't think I ever saw a dog pulling its owner along by the leash, straining to get at another dog, or jumping excitedly around when its owner stopped to talk to someone. It couldn't possibly be the case that all those owners had dutifully studied obedience books and taken their dogs to classes! (Only downside was, their dogs weren't very friendly either. Even when visiting the homes of friends with dogs, I got the sense their dogs had all been trained to completely ignore anyone outside the family, so no presenting themselves to be petted etc.)

The thing about letting kids constantly interrupt or distract you from interactions with other adults, that's always been a minor pet peeve of mine, too. Our younger son, who has Tourette's, doesn't have the greatest concentration and could occasionally get fairly distracting when he was younger, but I've had quite a few friends who let their kids get away with considerably worse and don't even seem to recognize this as a problem to be worked on--like the author says, they seem to assume it's "inevitable."
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Old 02-13-2012, 10:07 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by yolland View Post
I wonder if it might be that the general American tendency to dislike authority figures (and therefore to resist becoming one) affects parenting style. I've really only known one French child, so not enough to generalize from, but one thing I did notice when teaching there several years back was how well-behaved French *dogs* always seemed to be. I saw dozens of people walking their dogs every day while I was out running or doing errands, and I don't think I ever saw a dog pulling its owner along by the leash, straining to get at another dog, or jumping excitedly around when its owner stopped to talk to someone. It couldn't possibly be the case that all those owners had dutifully studied obedience books and taken their dogs to classes! (Only downside was, their dogs weren't very friendly either. Even when visiting the homes of friends with dogs, I got the sense their dogs had all been trained to completely ignore anyone outside the family, so no presenting themselves to be petted etc.)

The thing about letting kids constantly interrupt or distract you from interactions with other adults, that's always been a minor pet peeve of mine, too. Our younger son, who has Tourette's, doesn't have the greatest concentration and could occasionally get fairly distracting when he was younger, but I've had quite a few friends who let their kids get away with considerably worse and don't even seem to recognize this as a problem to be worked on--like the author says, they seem to assume it's "inevitable."
It's American nature to rebel (just think about our country's history). We do have a tendency to dislike bossing each other around, though. Mydad was very strict in many areas (while giving me complete autonomy in others--I never had a curfew) and my brothers and I would never have dreamed of disobeying him. He didn't have to threaten us, ground us, or do any of those things. It was just the way we were raised. I'll have to sit down and have a talk with him some day about how he managed to get four boys to listen to him all the time but right now it beats me.

What I have noticed is that we're a little too compassionate. We're constantly trying to emphasize and baby the children because we care, and that's causing problems. Children aren't nearly as sensitive as they're made out to be, but yet we have schools that forbid competition and have an "everyone is a winner" mentality. It's not giving children a realistic outlook on life.

In my house growing up we were never rewarded for doing expected behaviors. We got straight As because that's just the way things were done. If I ever came home saying "Dad I got an A!" he would respond with "Yeah, so what? Do your chores". We were only rewarded for real accomplishments, something I don't see a lot of parents doing anymore.

I'd say it worked out well, considering how successful all of us have been in both academics, our interests, and our careers.

My parents and I still get along great.
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Old 02-13-2012, 11:01 AM   #37
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I wonder if it might be that the general American tendency to dislike authority figures (and therefore to resist becoming one) affects parenting style. I've really only known one French child, so not enough to generalize from, but one thing I did notice when teaching there several years back was how well-behaved French *dogs* always seemed to be. I saw dozens of people walking their dogs every day while I was out running or doing errands, and I don't think I ever saw a dog pulling its owner along by the leash, straining to get at another dog, or jumping excitedly around when its owner stopped to talk to someone. It couldn't possibly be the case that all those owners had dutifully studied obedience books and taken their dogs to classes! (Only downside was, their dogs weren't very friendly either. Even when visiting the homes of friends with dogs, I got the sense their dogs had all been trained to completely ignore anyone outside the family, so no presenting themselves to be petted etc.)
I'm not a parent but THIS I can relate to, lol! What I see is very much what you describe and I call it the self-fulfilling prophecy syndrome. I see so many dog owners that are uptight about every little thing it's like the more they over-analyze their dog's behavior and training, the worse their dog actually behaves. Whereas in Europe it seems dogs are given much more freedom from the very beginning. Crates are far less common, for example, and in many places considered inhumane. Spaying/neutering dogs is not as automatic as it is here yet you don't see millions of unwanted dogs being euthanized. I watch European dog training programs like Victoria Stilwell and always see people walking their dogs through the country-side off leash. Often times these dogs really aren't any better trained or more well behaved (many of them are making nasty messes in the house or ignoring recalls) but the owners just aren't as obsessed with the behavior and the training, more the overall picture of how the dog fits in as a family companion. Around here (in the USA) I see new dog owners fret about every little thing as if their dog is automatically coming out of the womb a Cujo and can't possibly succeed unless it is micro-managed from day one. It's not uncommon among dog fanciers to hear someone say they are adopting a "European" style of raising their dog.
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Old 02-13-2012, 11:33 AM   #38
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At least in Germany, though, the ratio of aggressive dogs who come barking, jumping or even biting at you to those dogs who are well-behaved is at least 50:50. If it's really that much better in the other countries I'd love what they are doing. I sometimes wish it became mandatory to at least visit obedience school in the first couple months of a dog's life.
Still, I must say, when I was in Australia the situation was much worse. I did this door-knocking job for World Vision for a while and I did not happen upon a single dog who came with a viciousness towards the fence even when I was just passing on the street. I don't know if it's the sun or the way they raise their dogs over there, but suddenly I felt like Germany wasn't all that bad in this regard.

As for kids, society these days tends to be way more protective of children than they used to. And many parents indeed want only the best for their kids so much, they forget they have kids. And you shouldn't be your son's or daughter's best pal, seriously. So far, however, I have not heard of a single school where winning in a contest or sports match was forbidden, nor do I see the mentality of "everyone is a winner" be put up so high. Usually there is a time lag for things to come across the pond. But what keeps me hopeful is, we don't adopt everything from the US.
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Old 02-13-2012, 08:10 PM   #39
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Not being an effective authority figure, trying to be your kids' best friend, micromanaging/fussing, and subjecting your kids to the 'achievement treadmill' (too many extracurriculars etc.) aren't necessarily all the same thing. The first three *could* be seen as interrelated in that micromanagement and inappropriate buddying-up (in the workplace as well as at home) are fairly common ways to avoid taking authority, allowing you to rationalize putting off that role "until I've earned their respect." I'm not sure how the syndrome of constantly chauffeuring your kids from one organized activity/lesson to the next might fit into that--could be seen as a form of micromanagement, maybe?? I dunno, we've never been big on pushing our kids into lessons or activities they haven't asked for, though it does seem like mere exposure to peers who are enrolled in a bazillion-and-one things has made them more eager to join in those pursuits than my own siblings and I were growing up.
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What I see is very much what you describe and I call it the self-fulfilling prophecy syndrome. I see so many dog owners that are uptight about every little thing it's like the more they over-analyze their dog's behavior and training, the worse their dog actually behaves...I see new dog owners fret about every little thing as if their dog is automatically coming out of the womb a Cujo and can't possibly succeed unless it is micro-managed from day one.
I saw an example of this, I think, with a friend who bought a French bulldog recently and has been having lots of problems with it. I don't know much about French bulldogs, but the issues she was describing sounded very...familiar--basically, problems arising from a surplus of tenacity--so I offhandedly suggested that in my experience a good activity for addressing that is the old 'I ask for the toy, you give it up' drill. Not long after that, she told me she'd tried that and "it just made him aggressive" so she'd stopped doing it. When I finally met him over at her house a few weeks later, of course I had to try doing it myself and didn't see any aggression at all, just the usual slowness any puppy from a breed like that will show in grasping the point, but after a couple minutes of me patiently blocking his grab he figured it out and backed off with no attitude and no problem. I think she was so fixated on the idea that 'these dogs are bossy and dominant' that she actually created that result by getting flustered and upset with the dog, thus setting up a contest of wills--exactly what you don't want to invite a breed like that into...

I'm not well-traveled enough to generalize about "European" dogs, and Paris and Toulon are the only places in France I've spent enough time in to have accumulated any impressions of local dogs. (Well, that and we actually did one of those Blurb photo books about 'The Dogs of Athens' for friends because we were so fascinated by the canine city-within-a-city we saw there: dogs accompany their owners to work in the morning, but during the day they're basically given the run of the place, you'll see them alone or in pairs freely wandering the streets and even the Acropolis, and Greeks don't bat an eye nor do they need to, because the dogs mind their own business and bother nobody.) All I can say is there sure appear to be a lot more out-of-control dogs here at home, even if there surely are some 'bad' dogs everywhere. I don't think dogs who bark and growl behind the fence are necessarily a problem (provided they're not jumping over it! or braining themselves hurling against it); that could be turf-defending work their owner actually wants them to do--the real test is how they react to others when they're out and about with their owners, or inside the house with their owners with guests present.
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Old 02-14-2012, 02:40 AM   #40
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I'm not a parent but THIS I can relate to, lol! What I see is very much what you describe and I call it the self-fulfilling prophecy syndrome. I see so many dog owners that are uptight about every little thing it's like the more they over-analyze their dog's behavior and training, the worse their dog actually behaves. Whereas in Europe it seems dogs are given much more freedom from the very beginning. Crates are far less common, for example, and in many places considered inhumane. Spaying/neutering dogs is not as automatic as it is here yet you don't see millions of unwanted dogs being euthanized. I watch European dog training programs like Victoria Stilwell and always see people walking their dogs through the country-side off leash. Often times these dogs really aren't any better trained or more well behaved (many of them are making nasty messes in the house or ignoring recalls) but the owners just aren't as obsessed with the behavior and the training, more the overall picture of how the dog fits in as a family companion. Around here (in the USA) I see new dog owners fret about every little thing as if their dog is automatically coming out of the womb a Cujo and can't possibly succeed unless it is micro-managed from day one. It's not uncommon among dog fanciers to hear someone say they are adopting a "European" style of raising their dog.
I can relate to this. My fiance has a German Shepherd puppy named Viking (I say it's her dog because she takes care of him, not me). She adopted a more European approach and allows him to just be a puppy. Several times our friends have made comments like "aren't you going to correct him for that" and "why don't you confine him more often". The answer is simple: puppies are puppies and you have to let them experience life organically. Sure, we crate trained him and use an ex-pen, but he's out more often than he's confined and he's allowed to make mistakes.
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Old 02-14-2012, 07:11 AM   #41
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I guess French dogs are just very romantic, English dogs very polite and German dogs... well

In my experience, a dog can be trained to be protective when there is danger, but stay calm when people are just visiting. It's true, many dogs are perfectly calm when they are with their holders, but as soon as no one's around but strangers they feel like they have to protect the vicinity. And these dogs do indeed jump against the face ferociously. I don't think it's acceptable behaviour at all. As someone just passing by, you cannot tell how far the dog would go to "protect" his grounds.
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Old 02-14-2012, 11:42 AM   #42
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I can relate to this. My fiance has a German Shepherd puppy named Viking (I say it's her dog because she takes care of him, not me). She adopted a more European approach and allows him to just be a puppy. Several times our friends have made comments like "aren't you going to correct him for that" and "why don't you confine him more often". The answer is simple: puppies are puppies and you have to let them experience life organically. Sure, we crate trained him and use an ex-pen, but he's out more often than he's confined and he's allowed to make mistakes.
Not to be totally creepy but I "know" your fiance and Viking! She has a very nice dog and I predict she will go very far with him.

And now that this thread has gone totally off track.....

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I guess French dogs are just very romantic, English dogs very polite and German dogs... well

In my experience, a dog can be trained to be protective when there is danger, but stay calm when people are just visiting. It's true, many dogs are perfectly calm when they are with their holders, but as soon as no one's around but strangers they feel like they have to protect the vicinity. And these dogs do indeed jump against the face ferociously. I don't think it's acceptable behaviour at all. As someone just passing by, you cannot tell how far the dog would go to "protect" his grounds.
I don't think that European dogs (or UK dogs or French dogs) are overall better behaved than American dogs or German dogs...but there is definitely a different approach when it comes to basic training and house manners (I'm talking about your average pet dog, not working dogs). Some of the nastiest most ill-behaved dogs I've seen were on Stilwell's show (UK) but still the approaches they use even with these naughty dogs is a bit different yet if the owners stick with it the results are pretty impressive. I also think that in general Europe is more accommodating and "dog friendly". You have more chances to get control of your dog and get it right.

Boundary aggression....I won't really get into that here. If you walk up on my property you will have two male German Shepherds in your face. I know exactly how far each of my dogs will go to protect me, themselves, or their property.
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Old 02-14-2012, 12:08 PM   #43
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Not to be totally creepy but I "know" your fiance and Viking! She has a very nice dog and I predict she will go very far with him.
Small world etc etc Thanks I'm glad you think so, she spends a lot of time with him every day and I think she's go very far with him too (and I'm having fun along the way too). Where do you "know" her from?
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Old 02-14-2012, 12:44 PM   #44
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Boundary aggression....I won't really get into that here. If you walk up on my property you will have two male German Shepherds in your face. I know exactly how far each of my dogs will go to protect me, themselves, or their property.
And I think that is something that shouldn't be taken as the right way to be. Especially not if your mailbox is on your property and you expect mail or newspapers delivered to your home (in Germany mailboxes are usually right next to the door).
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Old 02-14-2012, 12:55 PM   #45
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Depends on the breed and other factors. My dogs are kenneled in the basement when I'm not home so they don't even notice the mail lady. Sometimes when I'm home sick they are outside when she comes by but she feeds them dog treats (she loves dogs) and they like her. I would never expect, or allow a stranger to go over my fence into my BACK yard with my dogs out without my permission. There's no reason for anyone but me and my dogs to be back there and anyone else would be trespassing. I consider the front walk and front yard like public domain but my fenced off backyard is like an extension of my house, no different than a stranger barging in my front door uninvited.
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