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Old 02-14-2012, 01:00 PM   #46
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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?
The two GSD forums and iDog.
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Old 02-14-2012, 01:44 PM   #47
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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.
Yes, fair enough, the backyard. But that's, as you say, something completely different from the way towards the front door. If a person owns dogs who for whatever reason think they need to "protect" the entire grounds, then they should make sure it's still safe for people to approach at least the front door without fear of getting attacked. Which, unfortunately, is often enough not the case.
I got jumped at by a German shepherd when I was on the neighbour's ground while delivering the weekly newspaper. He would run under the fence. The neighbour came over and gave the typical excuse which you always hear: the dog normally doesn't do it and it's the first time. Well, 1. I knew the dog and it has always been aggressive as hell. Sometimes I wondered how long the rope would last he was normally on. And 2. the neighbour whose ground I actually was on also came out and said the exact same thing happened to his nephews while they were playing in his yard. And I don't give a damn that the dog just jumped at me, not biting, shit like that can't happen in the first place. Especially if they have a breed like German shepherds (who figure prominently in the statistic of most attacks by dogs with a comfortable lead) I find it sheer irresponsible of owners not to train their dog. Especially German shepherds, as you know, are a breed that can be trained very easily.

Also, when I pass by a property in the streets, there's no excuse for a dog to think it should "protect the property".

My grandmother delivered the mail for many years and got bitten a few times. She'd also get the usual excuse, and of course it would be her fault. Even from people where it happened the second time.
I don't know why people like their dogs to be like that at all, but many don't seem to care the least.
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Old 02-14-2012, 04:16 PM   #48
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GSDs are easy to train but they are also suppose to possess an instinctual protectiveness and social aggression. The issue is not the presence of these (very desirable and correct) traits but dogs that don't have sound nerve to back it up and/or too low of a threshold for their defense drive. Honestly I'd sell or give away any GSD that didn't feel it should protect me or our property, but that doesn't mean I don't have family and friends regularly dropping by my house. My dogs are trained and titled in multiple protection venues and I've never had a bite incident. In fact I just made arrangements today for an acquaintance to come into my home while I'm at work and take my young dog jogging. People that are known to the dogs and not doing anything threatening are of no concern to the dogs. Trying to enter my backyard without my permission is threatening to me and my dogs and they will react appropriately.

Dogs that are left unattended where they have access to complete strangers going about their business on public walkways is not acceptable regardless of breed or training. The only times I ever have a dog in front of my house is when I'm actively training or have the dog tied to my car while I'm working on the car. If people walk by I make sure the dog is not near the public sidewalk and tell him to platz until they pass by. I used to deliver papers and had two houses where I'd just drop the paper at the end of their driveway b/c they both had huge dogs that would come barreling out from nowhere and charge us. Incidentally, both dogs were labs but they always scared the pants off us so we stopped bringing the paper to their doorstep and just dropped it out by the street. Dogs biting mail and paper deliver persons is not acceptable because it implies that those dogs were left unattended in front of the home where people are passing by. Even though my driveway, front yard, and front walk are technically mine I treat them as public domain. I don't care if a little kid rolls his ball into my front yard or someone's dog pees on my tree. Leaving any dog unattended in an area that has no physical barrier both to keep the dog in and keep other people/kids/dogs out is just asking for huge problems.
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Old 02-14-2012, 06:14 PM   #49
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My Mom was terrorized as a child by a neighbour's GSD who came charging out the side of the house (apparently he had learned how to get out through a gate that had been rotting and falling apart) and bit her on the thigh, ripping through the jeans. The neighbour's excuse was that neighbourhood children would routinely come up to the fence and agitate this dog, sometimes throwing rocks at him or banging on the fence or whatever. Which very well may have been true but my mom was a 6-year-old girl who didn't play with the older kids and therefore had no knowledge of this dog beyond the fact that he existed three doors down and barked a lot. It took her forever to allow us to have a dog at all, and I think a large part of is that my Dad had a GSD when they met, who was a wonderful, trained dog and who ended up doing police work. But even when she finally relented when I was in elementary school, she would only agree to get a Collie, a breed which she didn't find threatening.

As for children - I have observed this phenomenon in Europe more generally. I was born there and I remember many a dinner party where we'd play with the kids of our parents' friends, oftentimes outside, even in the dark, climbing trees and doing heaven knows what else while our parents played cards, talked, drank. Here I often avoid going to visit people with young kids because there is no way you can have a normal conversation with them without them rushing over to attend to little Mikey 75 times because he doesn't like the toy he's playing with, because he's bored, because his sister is teasing him, because he's throwing a tantrum in the corner or getting extra cookies from the kitchen cabinets or what have you. I get that children need supervision, but some of these are wild and the supervision is a total failure. You'd have a better response from a wild animal trying to kill you than some of these kids.
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Old 02-14-2012, 09:26 PM   #50
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^ That used to be the norm here too, though. When my parents had friends with children over, or when they brought us along to gatherings at other families' houses, the routine was always that the kids were expected to amuse themselves playing together in the yard or some designated play area in the house. If it was a very small group of kids, or one child was odd man out by virtue of age, then you might be invited in to socialize with the adults for awhile, in which case you were expected to be on your best behavior. Families were larger then though and that did make some difference; for instance, a kid who was maybe 12 or so could be tasked with keeping an eye on kids 3 or under, who couldn't be fully relied on to stay interested in playing with older children. When our kids were that young, or when none of the guests were bringing children, we hired a babysitter to be on the safe side. I don't mind at all having children playing nearby at a party, I enjoy talking to them, but it does make me a bit when they're acting up so much that the parents never get to complete a story and this is treated as normalcy.

My parents and especially my mother were also both very afraid of GSDs from childhood experiences, but even so my father liked dogs in general and we wound up keeping collies, several over the years, for the same reason your family did; my mother saw them as a sweet, gentle breed she could live with. Ironically, *one* of them did turn out to be a rare instance of a collie with dog-aggression issues, which we didn't do a good job addressing; more than once he attacked other dogs unprovoked, in one case hurting the other dog (a Dobie) quite badly. No warning, he'd just suddenly charge and attack in total silence. I cringe now thinking about the lawsuit they'd probably have been slapped with if it hadn't been the 1970s.
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Old 02-14-2012, 09:47 PM   #51
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Collies are wonderful family dogs (and very, very different from GSDs, GSD people often make jokes about Collies because the two are so unlike), especially for people like me who can't bring themselves to get a small dog. I was bit in the face by a GSD when I was three years old but don't remember it or the wounds on my face. I suppose that's just as well!

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Here I often avoid going to visit people with young kids because there is no way you can have a normal conversation with them without them rushing over to attend to little Mikey 75 times because he doesn't like the toy he's playing with, because he's bored, because his sister is teasing him, because he's throwing a tantrum in the corner or getting extra cookies from the kitchen cabinets or what have you. I get that children need supervision, but some of these are wild and the supervision is a total failure. You'd have a better response from a wild animal trying to kill you than some of these kids.
This drives me nuts and is really kind of sad because I actually really like babies but I have nieces and nephews that I've never held because their parents are so completely overwhelming, making me feel like I'm going to kill their baby. As if I wasn't a nanny for several years including many babies under a year old.... honestly I have more experience with various babies than a lot of new moms.
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Old 02-14-2012, 10:16 PM   #52
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They are great family dogs. I loved all the collies we had growing up so much.

This has nothing to do with anything, but probably my earliest memory is of my father presenting me with a big red balloon--I think he'd set me on the floor and weighted it with something so I could watch it swaying in the breeze. All of a sudden Argos (the aforementioned dog) appeared in the doorway, took one look at the suspicious object hovering inches above my head and POP! I was just a baby, so I didn't understand what had happened and the noise scared the shit out of me--to this day I still momentarily flinch when someone makes like they're going to pop a balloon.
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Old 02-14-2012, 10:24 PM   #53
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Haha! Hey, I got a shoe lace stuck in an escalator as a little kid and still step over the very top and bottom (where it disappears back into the floor) onto the second step.
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Old 02-14-2012, 11:05 PM   #54
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Coincidentally, today is Samson's 10th birthday. Best Collie I've ever had the pleasure of meeting.
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Old 02-14-2012, 11:10 PM   #55
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Samson I think we need picture proof.
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Old 02-15-2012, 08:19 AM   #56
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GSDs are easy to train but they are also suppose to possess an instinctual protectiveness and social aggression. The issue is not the presence of these (very desirable and correct) traits but dogs that don't have sound nerve to back it up and/or too low of a threshold for their defense drive. Honestly I'd sell or give away any GSD that didn't feel it should protect me or our property, but that doesn't mean I don't have family and friends regularly dropping by my house. My dogs are trained and titled in multiple protection venues and I've never had a bite incident. In fact I just made arrangements today for an acquaintance to come into my home while I'm at work and take my young dog jogging. People that are known to the dogs and not doing anything threatening are of no concern to the dogs. Trying to enter my backyard without my permission is threatening to me and my dogs and they will react appropriately.

Dogs that are left unattended where they have access to complete strangers going about their business on public walkways is not acceptable regardless of breed or training. The only times I ever have a dog in front of my house is when I'm actively training or have the dog tied to my car while I'm working on the car. If people walk by I make sure the dog is not near the public sidewalk and tell him to platz until they pass by. I used to deliver papers and had two houses where I'd just drop the paper at the end of their driveway b/c they both had huge dogs that would come barreling out from nowhere and charge us. Incidentally, both dogs were labs but they always scared the pants off us so we stopped bringing the paper to their doorstep and just dropped it out by the street. Dogs biting mail and paper deliver persons is not acceptable because it implies that those dogs were left unattended in front of the home where people are passing by. Even though my driveway, front yard, and front walk are technically mine I treat them as public domain. I don't care if a little kid rolls his ball into my front yard or someone's dog pees on my tree. Leaving any dog unattended in an area that has no physical barrier both to keep the dog in and keep other people/kids/dogs out is just asking for huge problems.
Yes, as I said, the backyard is something different than the front yard or street level. It's just unfortunate when people get a dog and are not equipped to properly handle and train them. I love German shepherds (though I'd probably rather go for a labrador myself if I were to get myself a dog), but they have a rather bad reputation.
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Old 02-15-2012, 11:35 AM   #57
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Collies are wonderful family dogs (and very, very different from GSDs, GSD people often make jokes about Collies because the two are so unlike), especially for people like me who can't bring themselves to get a small dog. I was bit in the face by a GSD when I was three years old but don't remember it or the wounds on my face. I suppose that's just as well!
Erica always says that the most aggressive dog she ever met was a Golden Retriever that attacked her when she was a kid (she needed stitches) and caused her dad to be afraid of having a dog. German Shepherds, Pitbulls, etc are more "aggressive" because it is bred into them but a well bred/trained dog will not attack kids like that.

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This drives me nuts and is really kind of sad because I actually really like babies but I have nieces and nephews that I've never held because their parents are so completely overwhelming, making me feel like I'm going to kill their baby. As if I wasn't a nanny for several years including many babies under a year old.... honestly I have more experience with various babies than a lot of new moms.
That always seems bizarre to me. I'm the oldest of many cousins and my aunts and uncles would always pass babies around for everyone to hold. I always babysat and helped out a lot with kids. It's kind of scary to think that parents out there are that controlling because I've never met parents like that. I've met 30-year-old women who have never held a baby. When a couple I know had kids they asked me for a lot of advice during the first few months because they'd never dealt with children before in their entire lives. It's scary how little some people can know.
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Old 03-27-2012, 07:08 PM   #58
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I didn't know that an Easter egg hunt was something anyone had to have an EDGE in. Pathetic.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) -- An annual Easter egg hunt attended by hundreds of children has been canceled because of misbehavior last year. Not by the kids, but by the grown-ups.

Too many parents determined to see their children get an egg jumped a rope marking the boundaries of the children-only hunt at Bancroft Park last year. The hunt was over in seconds, to the consternation of eggless tots and the rules-abiding parents.

Organizers say the hunt in Old Colorado City has gotten too big for the hundreds of children and parents now attending. They canceled this year.

Last April's egg hunt, sponsored by the Old Colorado City Association, experienced a few technical difficulties, said Mazie Baalman, owner of Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory and sponsor of the event.

There was no place to hide the plastic eggs, which were filled with donated candy or coupons redeemable at nearby businesses. So thousands of eggs were put in plain view on the grass. A bullhorn to start the event malfunctioned, so Baalman, master of ceremonies, used a public address system that was hard to hear.

"So everybody thinks you said `Go,' and everybody goes, and it's over in seconds," Baalman said. "If one parent gets in there, other parents say, `If one can get in, we all can get in,' and everybody goes."

Parenting observers cite the cancellation as a prime example of so-called "helicopter parents" - those who hover over their children and are involved in every aspect of their children's lives - to ensure that they don't fail, even at an Easter egg hunt.

"They couldn't resist getting over the rope to help their kids," said Ron Alsop, a former Wall Street Journal reporter and author of "The Trophy Kids Grow Up," which examines the "millennial children" generation.

"That's the perfect metaphor for millennial children. They (parents) can't stay out of their children's lives. They don't give their children enough chances to learn from hard knocks, mistakes."

Alsop and others say the parenting phenomenon began in earnest when baby boomers who decorated their cars with "Baby on Board" signs in the 1980s began having children. It has prompted at least two New York companies to establish "take your parent to work day" for new recruits as parents remain involved even after their children become adults.

Lenny Watkins, who lives a block away from Bancroft Park, took his friend's son, then 4, to the hunt in 2009. "I just remember having a wonderful time, him with his Easter basket," Watkins said, adding he can understand why a parent would step in.

"You have all these eggs just lying around, and parents helping out. You better believe I'm going to help my kid get one of those eggs. I promised my kid an Easter egg hunt, and I'd want to give him an even edge."

Jennifer Rexford, who used to live near the park, said she participated in public Easter egg hunts with her boys, ages 3, 8 and 14. She doesn't anymore, because of "pushy parents" that she said she has dealt with at the hunts.

"It just seems to be the mindset. People just want the best for their kids," Rexford said.

Alsop said that dynamic is at play with parents who hover over their children, even into adulthood.

"I don't see any sign of it abating," he said. "It seems everything is more and more and more competitive, fast paced, and I think parents are going to see they need to do more to help their kids get an edge."
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Old 03-27-2012, 07:55 PM   #59
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"You have all these eggs just lying around, and parents helping out. You better believe I'm going to help my kid get one of those eggs. I promised my kid an Easter egg hunt, and I'd want to give him an even edge."
What an idiot.
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Old 03-27-2012, 08:19 PM   #60
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Alsop and others say the parenting phenomenon began in earnest when baby boomers who decorated their cars with "Baby on Board" signs in the 1980s began having children. It has prompted at least two New York companies to establish "take your parent to work day" for new recruits as parents remain involved even after their children become adults.
What the...?

Who the hell wants to bring mommy and daddy to work with them? I mean, those who actually do that are in dire need of growing up and detaching from their parents. After all, they won't be around forever.
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