Rudeness In Dogs (why Your Da Dog, May Not Actually Be Da)

Discussion in 'General Dog Training' started by sara, May 20, 2012.

  1. Anneke Honored Member

    Yes, you KNOW your dog. And I mean really know your dog.
    Most people I meet, that call out: My dog is friendly!!, have absolutely no clue about dogbehaviour. They think it is "friendly" when their dog goes barging into another dog. Their explanation of this is: Aaww he really wants to play!!!
    And that's when thing can go so horribly wrong.
    Something I also hear a lot: he wags his tail, so he likes your dog....For these people wagging tails mean happy dog...
    But there are different types of wags. And a stiff wag with a high held tail(combined with a stiff body and staring) is NOT friendly, it is a challenge. But they don't see the bodylanguage, they only see a wagging tail.
    And I know someone, who has had about 15 dogs in her lifetime. I knew her dog for only a few days. At one point her dog attacked another dog. She was completly surprised by this. To her it came out of nowhere. But I had seen all the signs. Two male dogs, circling each other, staring, stiff postures, the other dog trying to dominate her dog by putting his head on his back. And every other sign I can't think of right now.
    I was already on my way to step between them, but because I had a dog on leash, I didn't make it on time.
    She thought her dog was just making friends... She was very upset by this and after another run in with the same dog, she rehomed her dog. Because he was aggressive...
    But he wasn't. He could play with a lot of dogs and was very tolerant with most rude dogs.
    It was just this one dog, that he couldn't get along with.
    So very, very sad.

    It's not just the agression(or thought to be agressive behaviour) that is misunderstood.
    Cooper smiles... When he is very pleased and happy. But showing teeth is also a sign of aggression, that is common knowlidge. A little less known is that showing teeth can be a sign of fear. But noone knows that the showing of only the front teeth(of course alway accompanied by a wiggling body, a happy face and a wide wagging tail) can just be happiness.
    Most people who see this for the first time, are afraid. Because he is showing teeth! It is only when I point out that the rest of his body is showing "happy signs", they see it for what it is.

    I have had a neighbour that got a very cute westie pup. After about a week she told me her pup was agressive. So I asked her why, because I had not seen any sign of this in this little ball of fluff. He was just a happy little, social fellow.
    She explained: he bit her all the time.
    I couldn't believe it, so I asked her to show me.
    When she played with her pup, she would tickle his tummy and he would bite her hand. Like every little pup does. Not really biting hard, just using his mouth a lot, like he would when playing with his littermates.

    And yes there are agressive dogs out there, ones that have it in their genes.
    But there are more clueless owners out there, that cause a dog to go bad. I don't neccessarely mean that they make a dog agressive, but that is a label that is easier to stick on the dog, then to look for the reason in themselves. No, it is usually the dogs fault, not the owners.
    My dog doesn't come when called. Have you taught him to come? No, he knows his name, so when I call, he should come...
    There is this lady in my neighbourhood, who has this little white fluffy thing. She has kept this dog away from other dogs from the moment she got him as a pup. Every time a dog came over to meet her little one, she would pick him up and act hysterical, because this "big" dog could hurt her little pup.
    Well, her dog is a teacup maltese, so even a jack russel is big, compared to this tiny dog.
    Now, every time this dog sees another dog, he barks his head off. She can't let it off leash, because he will charge the other dog. And now she complains that he is so agressive to dogs.
    I am certain that she is the cause of this. Had she let her pup meet other dogs(most of the dogs around here are very friendly) and not pick it up and act all hysterical, her pup would have learned, that dogs are ok. Instead she taught her dog, other dogs are really scary things.

    Unfortunately for dogs, there aren't so many people, like us, that take time to teach their dogs and really get to know their dogs. Most people simply give up, when there is a problem. ( Just look at the amount of dogs in shelters)
    And being the owner of a dog-agressive dog, I can get so mad with these people who mess a perfectly good dog up.

    Sorry, had to get this out of my system:oops:
    Ripleygirl likes this.

  2. Anneke Honored Member

    Story about a golden retriever being put down after biting a child. The vet discovered 20 staples in the dogs ears. Turned out the parents had left the child alone with the dog and the child wanted to pierce the dogs ears. The dog only acted after 20 staples....
  3. bekah1001 Honored Member

    OMG that is crazy!!! Poor dog :(
  4. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    true, true, i so agree, with everyone saying that ppl do make mistakes about improperly labelling dogs as "aggressive" when the dog is NOT a DA dog, 100% agree.

    but, i still disagree that "almost all" cases when someone says there dog is a dog-aggressive dog,
    that it is instead, just "stupid", "ignorant" "rude", "misinformed" etc etc etc humans.


    usually, whenever i discuss DA dogs, i usually go to great pains, to repeatedly point out, what i refer to, is a lifelong pattern of persistent, inappropriate aggression, which is resistant to rehab efforts. anyone whose ever read any of my posts on DA dogs can probably vouch, that is what i am talking about, and that i frequently point out, not all dog aggression is sign of DA dog, etc etc.

    this author IS indeed, talking about stoopit people, who do not correctly understand dog behavior (i'm not entirely certain this author does either, though, based on her interpretation of her GSDs attacking a dog in their yard).
    and then,
    the author, having seen a few stoopit ppl------
    makes sweeping conclusion, that "ALMOST ALL" humans who say their dog is dog-aggressive,
    are just "stupid", "ignorant", "rude", "careless", etc etc.

    It's possible, if the author had NOT banged on
    and on
    and on
    about it's "ALMOST ALL" dog owners are all just wrong, i could have agreed with many of her points, but, she ruined it all by assuming "almost all" DA dogs are caused by human error,
    and are also mislabelled by human perception.
  5. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    //And yes there are agressive dogs out there, ones that have it in their genes.
    But there are more clueless owners out there, that cause a dog to go bad. //


    I disagree. there is a difference in dogs who are genetically wired to be wrong, this type of DA dog is very resistent to rehab efforts.
    If a dog IS aggressive, due to abuse, training, neglect, mishandling,
    that can be rehabbed out of the dog. what a dog learns, the dog can unlearn, too. Michael Vicks dogs were a famous example of that.

    Tons of abused dogs, neglected, never ever socialized,
    yet, when rescued, stand there loving eveyrone and every dog, too.

    tons of well raised dogs, properly socialized,
    even raised by animal behaviorists, vets, positive only trainers,
    yet, turn out to be DA dogs against all odds.

    We humans can not 'create' a permanently shy dog,
    nor a permanently DA dog,
    nor can we completely 100% "cure" one either.

    We can always make either type of dog
    BETTER or WORSE,
    but we can't 100% cure a neurobiological genetic disorder which is visible in their brains.
    Ripleygirl likes this.
  6. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    //Most people simply give up, when there is a problem. ( Just look at the amount of dogs in shelters)//

    true, many ppl give up.

    but, most dogs in shelters do not have aggression, or even behavioral problems,
    there are tons of innocent dogs in dog pounds.

    Lol, another DTA member and i were just discussing this today via email,
    dogs can end up in shelters for any number of reasons,
    many dogs are relinquished for reasons that had nothing to do with the dog,
    yet, most of the dog pound dogs are suspected of "having something wrong with them." by passersby, cuz how else would be the dog be in a dog pound, they think.

    budgets/can't afford dog food/vet bills, etc
    divorce
    moved away
    moved to new place doesn't allow dogs
    one good round of fleas
    dog disliked kids poking his eyes
    dog chases new girlfriends cat
    owner now loves someone allergic to dogs
    dog barks/neighbor complaints
    dog eats sofa when left home alone for 40 hrs a week
    dog bit pal who leaned over dog squealing in his face
    too many dog hairs on their sofa
    dog doesn't like new boyfriend, or new BFs dog
    dog never was properly taught potty training or is expected to "hold it" for 12 hours,
    owner dies
    human got bored/tired/lost interest/angry/whatever.
    just tons of reasons dogs get dumped.


    and then there's lost or stray dogs, too, who often end up in pounds, too, found wandering as strays.
    Nothing wrong with most of the dogs in dog pounds.
    Ripleygirl likes this.
  7. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    //The idea that any dog that dares issue a warning growl is dangerously "aggressive" is an idea that does need to be challenged and I think that is what this article is attempting.//

    i so 100% agree, again, and always have, with that idea. completely. I've said that same thing, many a time, right here on DTA. ANY dog can bite, any dog can be driven to bite. I have agreed with THAT point, from my very 1st post after i read the article,
    and several more times since.

    However, the author went way way overboard,
    to insist, repeatedly,
    over and over and over----------that "almost all" cases of dog-aggression are simply "stupid" ppl who can't interpret or manage dog behavior, etc.,<-----------THAT'S the part i object to.

    Most owners who love a DA dog do perceive their dog is a DA dog, it's darn hard to miss!!:ROFLMAO: Above, Anneke seems to be perceiving her dog is dog-aggressive. I perceive the same thing about my dog, too.

    well, like i said, i also object to the author slapping the label "aggressive" on entire breeds, too,:mad:O_o:poop: (n)<---there's another myth that needs "challenging".
    and several of this author's "conclusions" <--:rolleyes:
    i disagreed with.
  8. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    the dog with 20 staples in his ear, i've heard that one so many times, sometimes it was a pitbull, sometimes it was golden retriever, sometimes it is a german shepherd, a great pyr,
    breed of dog changes from time to time, and from year to year,
    but the number of staples is usually told as 20 staples, (sometimes 26 staples)

    sad sad sad sad story either way. We can only just hope there are not that many dogs getting stapled every few months!!?
  9. jackienmutts Honored Member

    I'm late to this party, but had to chime in. As one who has a "by definition" DA dog, I thought the article was excellent, and am a huge fan/follower of Suzanne Clothier. Tigerlily, I gotta go with Sara on this one, I think you've read far too much into it, and are going way overboard. As a trainer, you have no idea what she sees, what her stats are, as far as people coming to her with "aggression issues" - and when in actuality, they turn out to be issues such as Cream's (not an aggression issues at all, but an education issue on the part of the owner, and a manners issue on the part of a rude dog). Yes, she does fabulous seminars, and is about as informed on aggression and behavior issues in the dog world as anyone could be. She's not some fly-by-night who decided to pen an article. Check out her credentials. And yes, I know credentials don't mean squat in some cases - but if she were close to me, I wouldn't hesitate to seek help from her, and would feel honored and excited to work with her.

    Perhaps you could re-read the article with an open mind, and gather from it the information which I believe she intended to convey. It seems to me (and I could be wrong) you read with a closed mind, only intending to tear it apart and drive the point home that it didn't apply to your dog (or other clearly DA dogs). It didn't apply to mine either, but thought it was a well-written, fabulous article, informative and educational (for some). I had intended to respond sooner but have been having computer problems.

    Have been having issues with two separate individuals who need to read this. One is a lady at the park (where dogs are supposed to be onleash) who insists on walking her "friendly" chihuahua daily off-leash (she "forgets" his leash constantly). Oh, "he's friendly". No he's not, he's a rude bully, running up to dogs, barking his head off. I'm always so thankful I'm walking a friendly Golden when I encounter this dog, cuz Makena would have eaten him by now. I've explained this to his "mom", and she doesn't get it at all. Another is a neighbor who's thankfully now moved. She continually (almost daily) used to let her Shiz-tzu come up to my front door (off-leash) while Makena had a meltdown from the window (her little dog was "friendly" - ok, yeah, but so what??). I think this is what the author's point is. Dog's being accused of being aggressive, when in truth, they're acting appropriately (in Makena's case, for once, she was - and I'd let her bark when the dog was daily on her porch) in reaction to rudeness. We (owners) assume (wrongly) that when a dog growls or "goes off on" another dog, they must be aggressive. Not so. Sometimes they've been pushed beyone their ability to cope (and we've missed it or ignored it) and they're now handling things in the only way they know how. It doesn't = agression. You know that, I know that, most on this forum know that - but not all do. Take another look at the title of the article, and remember, she's speaking about a dog named Cream, and Cream's case. She's not discussing aggression across the board. She wouldn't do that. I've gotta take up her case, she's far too intelligent to do what you're acusing her of (lumping all dogs in a group). If you want to get a true taste of what Suzanne Clothier is all about, read "Bones Would Rain From the Sky" - it's one of my favorite books, I've read it a few times, and gain something from it each time.

    Just my two cents - I thought the article was fabulous, thanks for posting it Sara.
    Adrianna & Calvin likes this.
  10. jackienmutts Honored Member

    Tigerlily - I just re-read the whole article again, cuz I thought I really must have missed something. Suzanne Clothier really doesn't discuss "dog aggression" in this article, per se -- not what the article's about. Did you really notice the title of the article (not Sara's thread title - the actual article title) - "He Just Wanted to Say Hi". I wish you'd give this article another chance - I think it's just as good this time as the first time I read it. Glad I read it again. And I don't see any mention of DA in it anywhere -- in the context you're seeing it. Only a good reminder (or for those who don't know better - maybe a nice lesson) to keep a good watch on our dogs, and always always be their best advocate and intervene for them, and support and protect them (and if necessary, remind them of their manners ;)).
  11. sara Moderator

    Wish there was a love button for your responses to this Jackienmutts!
  12. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    //. Yes, she does fabulous seminars, and is about as informed on aggression and behavior issues in the dog world as anyone could be. //

    I don't think ppl who are well informed on dog-aggression would NOT label entire breeds as "aggressive".
    and Jackie, you have right to your support of this author's claim that "ALMOST ALL" cases of dog aggression are just stupid ppl, but, i disagree. I feel this author, not me, is the one who went overboard, to the extreme.
    i do not feel ANY of *my* points are extreme.

    I DO think the author's claim "ALMOST ALL" dog aggression is just stupid humans is extreme.
  13. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    //Yes, she does fabulous seminars, and is about as informed on aggression and behavior issues in the dog world as anyone could be. She's not some fly-by-night who decided to pen an article//

    Many ppl would make same claim about Casar Milan, who has an even larger following than she does. I have read even worse articles on dog-aggression, by top dog authorities. Re: her credentials, i so completely high-five you, that "almost all" of the ppl who are seen as dog authorities all tend to insinuate the same thing this author is saying: that humans cause DA dogs, or, in this case "almost all" DA dogs.

    Like i often say, most of dog world all accept/believe that most dog aggression is "caused" by humans, no one even questions the notion.
    ^
    Despite 100os of cases of abused/neglected dogs who stand there, loving everyone and every dog.
    Despite 1000s and 1000s and 1000s of well raised dogs, raised by animal behaviorists, vets, positive only trainers, etc etc, who turned out to be DA dogs at about 9 mos old.


    still, almost everyone does think just like this author does, and do promote the idea, if a dog is aggressive------some human did something wrong. To disagree, is seen as heresy.

    Yes, yes, it is indeed, a super common mindset. It needs to be challenged. And this author never ever once, not ever, distinguishes true DA dogs from those she claims are just result of "stupid" ppl. IF SHE HAD---------if she had, even once, mentioned this is not true in all cases, or that there are DA dogs in the world, THEN i'd have only the list of alllllll my other complaints about this article. (which not one of you has even disagreed with, you are all only myopically focuses on only just that one objection, and don't even refer to my many other objections, quoted, right from the article)

    If she does have much opportunity to study dogs, she should know better, than to imply dog-aggression doesn't even exist, by repeatedly stating, over and over "It's almost always" just a case of "stupid" humans.
  14. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    //Perhaps you could re-read the article with an open mind, and gather from it the information which I believe she intended to convey. It seems to me (and I could be wrong) you read with a closed mind, only intending to tear it apart
    and drive the point home that it didn't apply to yourdog (or other clearly DA dogs)//

    Perhaps if you read my posts, really read them, line by line,
    with an open mind, instead of trying to "tear them apart"
    you'd see, i don't disagree with the author that those dogs were not DA dogs,
    but, of the many points i DO disagree with, only that ONE (1) complaint of mine is being addressed. but, whatever.
  15. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    //She's not discussing aggression across the board.//

    DING DING DING!!! YES, YES SHE IS!!!
    and that,-------that right there--------is a nutshell of one of my strongest objection to this article. THAT is the point i AM trying to make, over and over.

    It is this author's insistence that "ALMOST ALL" cases of dog aggression are just stupid humans.
    Jackie, "almost all" does equate to "across the board" pretty much. See?

    Repeatedly, over
    and over
    and over,
    this author mocks ppl who have dog aggressive dogs as "ALMOST ALWAYS" just being "stupid", "careless" "ignorant" ppl who can not correctly interpret, nor handle, dog behavior. The author does stop short of saying 'all' and instead,
    repeats "most" or "almost all" and "almost always" is the case. Never ever once in the entire article, is any mention made of any exceptions, never. She is indeed lumping almost all humans who say their dog is a DA dog altogether, as "almost always" stupid.
  16. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    //I think this is what the author's point is. Dog's being accused of being aggressive, when in truth, they're acting appropriately (in Makena's case, for once, she was - and I'd let her bark when the dog was daily on her porch) in reaction to rudeness.//


    Yes, i have agreed with that one, from first post after i'd read the article onwards, and since no one seems to be hearing me agree with that,(?) there seems to be no point in agreeing with it anymore. That is NOT my objection to the article, and never was.

    But i disagree that appropriate responses to another dog's rudeness is "almost always" the root of dog aggression,(HER word, not mine) as the author claims.

    My DA dog reacts to dogs far away, dogs who are not rude, as do most DA dogs, but, the author never ever ever once seems to consider that rudeness is NOT at the heart of a DA dog's problem, when she continues to insist, that other dog being rude is "ALMOST ALWAYS" the cause of dog aggression (her words, not mine).
  17. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    //Did you really notice the title of the article (not Sara's thread title - the actual article title) - "He Just Wanted to Say Hi"//

    Yes, i did read the title of the article, and yes, i was objecting to Sara's added title, as well. I DO understand and agree with the notion, like a dozen times now, that there ARE stupid humans out there, who do misunderstand/mishandle dog behavior,
    but one of my many objections, is to the implication this fits "a lot of" "most of" and "almost all of" da dogs, that da dogs are just reacting to "rudeness" and caused by/mislabeled by stupid humans.

    and since, not one (1) mention or exception is ever made for true da dogs, the author IS lumping da dogs in with owners who are "almost always" just stupid,
    WHICH i object to.

    Like i said, what if we swap out one word. What if we swap out the word "aggressive" and make sweeping statement, that almost all owners of shy dogs are just stupid humans? I think more ppl would then be able to see why i disagree with this author's insinuation that "most" ppl with shy dogs are just "stupid".
  18. Anneke Honored Member

    Well.... I dare to say that 60 % of dogowners(out here in Holland) ARE stupid dogowners.:D
    Not just because of labeling their dog agressive, but for all sorts of reasons. Not giving their dog enough exercise, not teaching their dog any form of obedience, taking dogs out on a bicycle ride on a very hot day, letting young children walk dogs they physsically can't handle, for buying a bernese mountaindog and taking it to the shelter "because he grew so big", for thinking they actually can apply Ceasar techniques on their dogs, for wanting a nice familydog(meaning a low maintanance dog) and getting a border collie.
    Most dogs that do end up in a shelter are perfectly normal dogs, that with a little guidance can be perfect dogs. But the reason they ended up there is because they had a stupid owner!
    Someone who did not read their dogs reactions right and did not attempt to solve this problem.
    A small percentage of these dogs are truely agressive because of medical reasons or genetical reasons.
    So based on that, I claim most "problem dogs" are not actual problem dogs and can be rehabilitated with some time and effort and the right person.
    I find, the amount of people who actually get a dog and do more with their dog then just take it for a walk around the pond and throwing a ball, is very small.
    So I can support the author's statement.
    Because if most people knew as much about dogs, as we here on this forum do, wouldn't the world be a great place!! Then I wouldn't have to worry about that person that has his dog off leash, because he would understand that having MY dog ON leash would mean, I don't want to meet HIS dog, for whatever reason.

    I'm going to stop responding to this thread now, because I know we don't come from the same place;) And that's fine. Actually it's great, because it was a good discussion, with some great points:) And I still love you, Tigerlily!!(y)
  19. running_dog Honored Member

    “Perhaps if you read my posts, really read them, line by line,
    with an open mind, instead of trying to "tear them apart"
    you'd see, i don't disagree with the author that those dogs were not DA dogs,
    but, of the many points i DO disagree with, only that ONE (1) complaint of mine is being addressed. but, whatever.”

    At least two of us have read your posts line by line with an open mind, that is why we have gone back and read and re-read that article, word for word, again and again, I have even gone through with a highlighter trying to find what you hate so much, I still don’t get it. Despite the fact I could have felt rather insulted by your insinuation that I have a twitter level attention span, I sorted out that “most” does not necessarily include “me” and hoped that you meant it that way.

    We are no more trying to tear apart your posts than you are trying to tear apart this particular article but sadly in this case unlike your usual good arguments you sound like you made your mind up before you started reading.

    We have addressed several of your points, but maybe if I set it out in a more structured way it’ll be easier to follow. This is a long post (series of posts), I hope you have the patience to read it all as I have read all of your posts and all of the article several times to try to understand this. I’d appreciate it if anyone who wishes to comment on my comments thoroughly reads my whole critique before commenting as this may save a lot of repetition.
  20. running_dog Honored Member

    if a dog is being "irritated" by desensitization efforts, that is not desensitization efforts. Desensitization, by definition, is working at SUBTHRESHOLD LEVEL of behavioral training.....”

    Kept in context, the author may mean that the dog may be puzzled by desensitization and irritated by the re-conditioning. However as you never complain when I use the word desensitization in the context of training to recall from prey which is patently obviously not at a sub threshold level of behavioural training I really can’t take this complaint seriously.

    “In most cases, the true problem - the rude dog and rude owner who allowed his dog to be rude - is not even noticed or addressed…”

    And you use this to substantiate your opinion “…Very deep lack of understanding of dog aggression from this author. *sigh* Even seems to be denying this disorder EXISTS!!!! It's all the owner's fault, gotcha. Heard that one a million times by now.....sigh.”

    However lets look at the sentence in the context in which it is written,

    “While there are many frustrating aspects of being a dog trainer, one of the most disturbing scenarios is the situation where a dog is acting appropriately but nonetheless is punished (in the name of "training") by humans who do not understand what constitutes normal canine behavior and responses.

    Sadly, normal behavior is quickly labeled "problem" behavior, and the dog is now a "problem dog." Depending on the skill and awareness of the trainer or instructor, the dog may be merely puzzled or irritated by well meaning attempts to desensitize or re-condition the behavior or actually punished quite severely using any number of horrific and senseless techniques.

    In Beckett's case, a lack of understanding nearly cost him his life. Had I not intervened, his extremely uninformed owner would have had him put to sleep as aggressive. In most cases, the true problem - the rude dog and rude owner who allowed his dog to be rude - is not even noticed or addressed.”

    It is perfectly clear from the preceding paragraphs and the reference to the Beckett case study that the author is saying that “In most cases, (of appropriate response by a dog to another dog taking liberties) the true problem… the rude dog and rude owner who allowed his dog to be rude - not even noticed or addressed.

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