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Old 08-04-2011, 06:40 PM   #1
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"Why most of what you believe about dogs is rubbish"

Why most of what you believe about dogs is rubbish – Telegraph Blogs
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Old 08-04-2011, 09:16 PM   #2
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Yes and no
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Old 08-04-2011, 09:36 PM   #3
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the comments are pretty good

Quote:
iancrompton
Yesterday 09:28 PM

Domestic dogs are menace and should be banned by the EU due to -
- increased environmental impact through all the food they eat, and their excretions
- spread of disease through their poo and wee on our streets
- excessive noise through incessant barking
- attacks on innocent runners (like me)
- attacks on babies and children
- chavs have them to intimidate people
Quote:
coldfinger
Yesterday 11:32 PM

I'll forgive them the rest just for attacking runners.
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Old 08-05-2011, 02:10 PM   #4
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want a dog want a dog want a dog ...
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Old 08-05-2011, 02:13 PM   #5
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Same here. Hopefully this fall. We're thinking about a Boxer at this point.
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Old 08-05-2011, 02:23 PM   #6
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Boxers are awesome. we have friends with one and he's a love.

we'll have to move from our high rise before we can own a dog. not quite ready for that yet, and the apartment is empty a good 10+ hours a day, so our present work-centric lifestyle would prevent us from being ideal owners, and the last thing i would ever do is neglect a dog.

we both love bulldogs, French or English, and if not that then something no bigger than 50lbs and one that can easily adapt to city life (i.e., no golden retrievers for us).
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Old 08-05-2011, 02:56 PM   #7
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To be fair, most of what they likely believe about us is probably rubbish too.
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Old 08-05-2011, 03:12 PM   #8
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Boxers are awesome. we have friends with one and he's a love.

we'll have to move from our high rise before we can own a dog. not quite ready for that yet, and the apartment is empty a good 10+ hours a day, so our present work-centric lifestyle would prevent us from being ideal owners, and the last thing i would ever do is neglect a dog.

we both love bulldogs, French or English, and if not that then something no bigger than 50lbs and one that can easily adapt to city life (i.e., no golden retrievers for us).
French are smaller, probably have less health problems too b/c they are not as "exaggerated" as the English. I've heard Italian Greyhounds are good for apartment/city living. As for smallish dogs, the ones that interest me are the Patterdale terrier, Pembroke Corgi (I've heard the Cardis have better energy and drive but I just can't stand the dwarfed type legs), or the Swedish Vallhund.

I like Boxers but probably won't ever have one because they have so many known health issues and the brachycephalic dogs do not fit my environment/lifestyle (they do not handle extreme temps well and of course we have long, cold winters and hot, humid summers, plus with all the training I do the dog needs to be able to adapt to this). Phil has always wanted one but I think he's finally changed his mind.

In reality I will probably never own anything but German Shepherds and we will probably just get a shelter lab mix as our next family dog.

Anyway, as to the actual article....I find it difficult to respond. Making such sweeping claims about dog training and how dogs learn in one short, mainstream .com type article is almost not worth responding to. The first thing that stood out to me was that it was written by a biologist, not someone with advanced degrees in applied animal behavior (which is more like psychology). Second, he is writing off entire quadrants of operant conditioning based on extreme, outdated examples. Third, what a lot of these people who like to make sweeping generalizations about dog training seem to overlook is the vast differences in breed and breed type with regard to a dog's drives, threshold, recovery, things that make up temperament. When you study how a German Shepherd is trained vs. a Pug you might as well be comparing two different species. Also, I always have to wonder if someone like this has, you know, actually trained any dogs? Not just the sit, stay, don't counter surf but trained to the level of competition and titling that takes years to develop a working relationship with the dog (also something largely ignored....the nature of the relationship between dog and handler and how that motivates the dog's training and work). You'd be surprised at how many people haven't. Studying the history of dog training and actually training dogs on a daily basis leads to very different conclusions.
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Old 08-05-2011, 04:25 PM   #9
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Italian greyhounds are great apartment dogs, though I doubt most folks with an affinity for bully breeds would be much drawn to them since their looks and temperament are so different. French bulldogs have always reminded me quite a bit of pugs in temperament, actually--same little-Napoleon tendencies, same strong obstinate streak (both of which can be endearing or annoying, depending on your perspective and mood), though they are more self-contained, less mischievous, and not as spazz-prone. I do like Corgis, handsome little dogs and very smart, though in my limited experience they can tend to be a bit barky and nippy?

For basic family-dog purposes though, honestly my (thoroughly unprofessional) feeling about this is that too many people exaggerate the '"lazy, wheezy, couch-potato bully breed" stereotype then turn that into an excuse to allow their bulldog/pug/whatever to deteriorate into, well, a lazy, wheezy couch potato, to the detriment of its health, longevity and quality of life. If you want a dog you can take on a vigorous run, play hard-hitting games with for hours on end, take on long hikes in the hills at the height of summer, or make live in a doghouse outdoors, then no, these definitely aren't the breeds for you. But Falstaff (pug) went on many a 6-mile hike in all but the hottest weather with us, trooped along on camping trips, swam with the kids in shallow water, loved playing mini-Frisbee and fetch at picnics and cookouts, etc. etc. (I shake my head at how fat and slack so many pug owners let their dogs get--these are supposed to be muscly little dogs, people!--and to my surprise in China it was even worse; most of the pugs I saw there were downright obese.) Several people we've known with Boxers take them for regular light jogs and on long hikes in the country, even in very hot and humid weather, and they seem to do just fine. It just depends on your lifestyle and what activities you expect to share with your dog--it's a balance thing, and you'll have to keep aware that high temps and high speed really wear on them, but at the same time most of the short-muzzled/bully breeds are tenacious, tough-minded dogs who can take a challenge as well as put up one.
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Old 08-05-2011, 05:38 PM   #10
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My friend got this Corgi - well we all have German Shepherds, but she needed a "height dog" for flyball competition (all the dogs on the team jump the jump height of the shortest dog) so she got a Corgi too - and it actually has a deeper bark than Pan, my 11 month old German Shepherd, lol. I'm really picky about dogs and I like a certain coat, ear set, overall "look" so to me the Corgi is about as close to a German Shepherd I can get in that size. That is probably why I'll never move away from German Shepherds - I need a normal jaw/muzzle (for biting and breathing), I prefer standing ears that I don't have to crop, I like a natural tail, a medium sized dog, and a "stock" (short) double coat. For temperament I prefer medium-high prey and defense drive, high fighting drive with a medium threshold across the board. I prefer raw aggression over the terrier tenacity or the reactive defense of many of the other larger German breeds (Rotts, Dobes, Boxer, etc). The other breeds that sometimes fit that description I just don't like (Giant Schnauzer, Bouvier, some Belgian and Dutch working dogs). Of the German breeds besides the GSD the Boxer is my fave but again, with that mouth the biting isn't what I would like to have for protection and they do their little hoppy Boxer thing when doing the guard/hold&bark which is generally frowned on as it wastes energy (not that it's their fault, the breed test was design to showcase a different breed). I love how Rottweilers track, they can be amazing trackers, but overall don't really like them, at least not the ones I'm seeing enough to go out and get one. Having a personal protection dog that will tear a man's arm through a padded bitesuit one day and then sit in a classroom and be manhandled by second graders the next day, there's a very small dot on the dog spectrum that I can afford (from a liability standpoint) to land!
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Old 08-05-2011, 08:47 PM   #11
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Apartment dogs?

Americans are weird.
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Old 08-06-2011, 09:20 AM   #12
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Dogs are wonderful. I really don't think I'm the same person I was when I had my last dog, I think it has changed me in a negative way. I just feel diminished somehow. Unfortunately life circumstances don't allow me to have one. It's so tough when they get old and have all the physical problems that they do, but that goes along with having any pet.

I had two Border Collies and they are genius dogs, and both of mine were also the most sensitive dogs and the best companions anyone could ask for.

I aspire to be the person my dog thinks I am
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Old 08-06-2011, 12:18 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liesje View Post
Anyway, as to the actual article....I find it difficult to respond. Making such sweeping claims about dog training and how dogs learn in one short, mainstream .com type article is almost not worth responding to. The first thing that stood out to me was that it was written by a biologist, not someone with advanced degrees in applied animal behavior (which is more like psychology). Second, he is writing off entire quadrants of operant conditioning based on extreme, outdated examples. Third, what a lot of these people who like to make sweeping generalizations about dog training seem to overlook is the vast differences in breed and breed type with regard to a dog's drives, threshold, recovery, things that make up temperament. When you study how a German Shepherd is trained vs. a Pug you might as well be comparing two different species. Also, I always have to wonder if someone like this has, you know, actually trained any dogs? Not just the sit, stay, don't counter surf but trained to the level of competition and titling that takes years to develop a working relationship with the dog (also something largely ignored....the nature of the relationship between dog and handler and how that motivates the dog's training and work). You'd be surprised at how many people haven't. Studying the history of dog training and actually training dogs on a daily basis leads to very different conclusions.
I think you might be overlooking the fact that the biologist didn't write this article. It's an article written by someone else about his book. I don't think it's fair to write him off either without reading any of his book. Just sayin'
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Old 08-06-2011, 06:52 PM   #14
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Apartment dogs?

Americans are weird.


the two of us live in 750 square feet. i can't see subjecting a big dog that needs to run to 10th story jail.
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Old 08-06-2011, 08:13 PM   #15
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I think you might be overlooking the fact that the biologist didn't write this article. It's an article written by someone else about his book. I don't think it's fair to write him off either without reading any of his book. Just sayin'
There hundreds of so-called dog behavior/dog training experts and most of them have written books. Heck I already have enough articles I could slap them into a book if I felt like it. If this book is even half like the article I doubt I'll read it. Unless the article is inaccurate, I don't think that's unfair of me either. The few points touched on in the article are plenty enough for me. In fact I'd written it off completely just based on the comments regarding forced retrieves. But, if one has no idea what that is, how, or why it is done, it's easy to overlook or not understand why that would matter to someone that actually trains dogs. I'm quite familiar with the movement and ideas expressed in the article/book and I just don't agree with most of them.

If a person only reads one book about dog behavior or dog training in their lifetime it should be "Don't Shoot the Dog" by Karen Pryor.
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