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


Honored Member
“Taking an email from a stupid owner,
and suggesting THAT is what dog-aggression is about,
is both a form of denying DA dogs exist,
and is misinformed.”

Actually the author took the email from the concerned owner and said don’t worry this is NOT what dog aggression is about, you have a normal dog behaving normally.

Cream is MOST OBVIOUSLY not a DA dog, and lumping this story of a dog who played nicely with all other dogs, but disliked puppies----------in an article titled
''why Your Da Dog, May Not Actually Be Da)"

To me the meaning of the title was perfectly clear from the context though I probably wouldn’t have chosen those words myself. Because I am living through having a “normal” dog at the moment I can understand that Sara is simply saying that a person (or other people) might fear they have a DA dog but that the dog might not be DA so read the article and see if it helps. While I’m sure it is easy to recognize a DA dog when you actually have one/meet one for some of us in today’s society we worry that our dogs are DA just because growl or pounce because they don’t like being mugged by bad mannered dogs whose owners don’t obey the simple rule of keeping their dogs out of the faces of other dogs – Remember DINOS? An owner who does not make any attempt to keep their dog out of another dogs face is rude, I know we all make mistakes sometimes but the owner who let her boxer leap into Zac’s face when Zac was leashed (months ago) and glared when Zac dealt with him (obviously thinking Zac was aggressive) is still rude as she gave the dog every opportunity to do the same today. However the dog is no longer rude with Zac - he pounded towards us obviously intending a bruising greeting, recognized Zac, stopped dead, and walked sedately past giving us plenty of space.

“… Sara, of all the members on DTA, many of whom (like me) "claim" their dog is dog-aggressive,
have you ever once, even suspected, the owner is improperly labelling the dog's behavior?
I don't see a lot of that here on DTA anyway.”

I already answered this here:
I wonder how many people read this article and no matter how fiercely they have been denying that their dog is aggressive to the world they heave a sigh of relief inside that someone out there agrees with them.
. Not so long ago there was some one on the forum in a panic because their dog corrected another dog for taking liberties at the dog park.
. I worry about other people branding my dog DA, I worried about Zac correcting Gus.
. Then there is that Aussie dog Rosie that has to be muzzled,
. I've never been totally convinced that Southerngirl's Missy is DA either,
. There is a dog on a rescue centre website I was looking at on Saturday - it growled at a child and was sent to the rescue centre because it was aggressive. It was noted on the rescue centre website that the former owners later admitted that the child had been trying to take a bone from the dog. (BTW Mewzard's dog is not DA or she wouldn't be able to foster rescue dogs).
... but anyway we are the small proportion of people who are prepared to confess to having concerns... So actually people do worry (and suffer) about their dog potentially being aggressive even when the dog is often only doing it's best to preserve it's own space.”


Honored Member
“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.”


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

“//Alot of people feel their dog is DA, but might not actually be DA, just intolerant to rudeness!//
again, my "feeling" my dog is a DA dog, has nothing to do with other dogs being rude.”

What you do not seem to understand is that many people with “normal” dogs fear that the warning growls (or whatever) they hear from their dogs are aggression, because you are so focused on DA dogs you no longer understand the fears and concerns of owners of normal dogs who just need to be reassured their dog is normal. You have no concept of the extent of the problem – One of the sweetest dogs I know was punished for growling at Gus when he nipped her! This perception of normal corrections as aggression is a huge problem for many many many dog owners.
There are “a lot” more dog owners in the world than you, Anneke, Jackienmutts and all the other members of your dog aggression forums and all the other owners of genetically dog aggressive dogs.

“//Dog who mean to do harm do so with breathtaking speed, and intervention is generally not possible.//
more proof this author has only heard about DA dogs, and never lived with one.
There are indeed warnings, ask any owner of a DA dog.
And yes, interventions are possible, not easy, but possible.”

When a DA dog came at Zac I have to say I had no warning, it just hurtled at us from nowhere, there was no escalation (we weren’t even in sight) it just hurtled at us. If a dog is leashed or otherwise restrained there will be warning signs, but… would there be any warning signs if a DA dog wasn’t restrained in any way and another dog just appeared… possibly the DA dog would just go directly for the jugular.

“//Though noisy and scary, most "fights" are a series of threats with fully inhibited biting employed by the combatants.//

Many many dog fights involve biting, and dogs escalate to biting, yes, actual teeth-included biting, within moments. Actual dog fights do exist, the author, not having been around DA dogs much, seems to think dog fighting is just posturing.”

As the author uses the speech marks around the word “fights” she is talking about perceived fights or if you prefer ‘dog-dog interactions which people describe as fights’ many of which are little more than spats or corrections. She does not say that dog fights don’t exist. The author has made clear that she is talking about normal dogs that are mislabeled aggressive and I think it is true that most normal dogs can sort things out with a few growls and air snaps which nervous and uneducated owners frequently describe as “fighting” .


Honored Member
“I would have warned the woman to stay away from my pack, in that situation. NO doubt i would have done that, especially, since author seems to imply, that the author was aware that this visitor woman was not too smart about dogs.”

I’m not going to deal with the GSD incident in detail as it has already been discussed in the thread. I do disagree with the author's interpretation of it to some extent – I believe the owner was to blame not the dog. So I wouldn’t use the incident as an example of poor dog communication but a thoroughly stupid owner – yes.

I find it clear that the author was not present during this incident, in fact she says she wasn’t supervising the pack. It is not clear what the full situation was. I get the impression that the yard was separate from the area where the barn was and perhaps after training in the barn the sheltie woman decided to take an unnecessary shortcut from the barn to the house (while the author was clearing up?) and that involved entering and passing through the yard where the GSDs were playing. I’m not going to judge the author on this one because quite simply I have had to deal with so many stupid visitors and there are so many potential geographical explanations.

I wouldn’t have been happy about my dog doing what these dogs did. However if he was bigger and in a pack he would of, I’m fairly sure he’d also have handled the pack onslaught just fine. It is clear that the GSDs were not trying to hurt/kill the sheltie or it WOULD have been dead. She describes what I would see as a bullying incident made much more ugly by the size and number of the dogs involved, whatever the rights and wrongs these incidents are exacerbated when they involve dogs with poor dog-dog communication.

I agree 100% with the author that people who allow their dogs to get too close to other dogs are rude and a menace to society. I’d have been livid with the woman who is typical of many owners I meet who have no idea that their bumbling brute that is sniffing Zac’s backside without Zac’s say so is only still in the same county because I have Zac on a leash. It is quite possible that the author had no idea that anyone COULD be that stupid. If the author could turn the clock back I’m sure she would have warned the owner


Honored Member
“I don't (sic) think ppl who are well informed on dog-aggression would NOT label entire breeds as "aggressive".

She doesn’t.

As if being a Golden, or any other breed, somehow removes portions of the normal canine behavioral repertoire!”

“Each dog - no matter what the breed - has his own tolerance threshold, and that threshold is variable as a result of many factors, including basic breed characteristics. Some breeds have been selectively bred to have a very high tolerance threshold because they are asked to work in large groups. Fox hounds come to mind as a breed specifically selected for tolerance of other dogs. Generally speaking, the guardian breeds by their very nature and job descriptions are not meant to work in groups and have a stronger sense of personal space, thus are usually much less tolerant of rudeness”

The author uses “generally speaking” to qualify her legitimate definition of likely behaviour of “normal” dogs of particular types of breed. She does not define breeds as aggressive only that particular breeds give rise to dogs that are more (or less) tolerant, something I 100% agree with.

“My experience has been that it is owners of breeds considered non-aggressive that cause the most problems in dog-to-dog interactions simply by being unaware that their dog is rude. To the owners of (considered) non-aggressive breeds, there doesn't appear to be any thought that rudeness can take many forms.”

On the second usage of the term “non-aggressive” the author fails to qualify it with “considered” this is the same kind of shorthand we all accept when we talk about Border collies as being high energy breeds, we all know there are exceptions. While it could be considered sloppy writing her meaning remains clear.

“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.”


“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.”


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.”

I find it misleading to see “almost all” and “almost always” in speech marks when I have not found one use of these phrases in this or any other context in the entire article. “most” is used 13 times (if you include al-most) but not in the way you describe, in only two instances could it possibly be of any interest to your argument and I have dealt with both of those elsewhere (“most cases” and “most fights”).

The author is talking about normal dogs whose handling has caused/exacerbated problems in their behaviour, she makes this very clear in every case study she specifically does not extrapolate this to genetically dog aggressive dogs.

In another article ( she specifically notes that some dog aggression is genetic,

“Like humans, dogs can act aggressively in abnormal ways due to biochemical imbalances, various diseases, genetic defects, psychological and/or physical abuse, drugs or chemicals, and for reasons science cannot explain. Like their human counterparts, such abnormal dogs are rare but can be extremely dangerous.”


Honored Member
“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.”

She doesn’t use your definition of dog aggression but so far as I can see neither do most other dog owners and positive dog behaviourists. The author accepts that some dog aggression is genetic she just doesn’t only define dog aggression as being genetic.

“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.”

She doesn’t have to “except” dogs that are DA by your definition because she makes quite clear that (a) she is talking about normal dog behaviour and (b) she is talking about dogs that are wrongly labeled aggressive. If a label has a wrong place it has a right place too – dogs that are genuinely aggressive for whatever reason.

“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".

As I said in my earlier reply I do think that an owner of a shy dog that puts the shy dog in a situation where that shy dog can’t cope is stupid. I do think the owner of a rude dog (you said Buddy is rude in your first post) who allows their dog to approach another dog is rude.

Their own concern coupled with the death grip escalates the dog's anxiety and aggression, usually resulting in precisely the behavior they sought to avoid in the first place.//

yes, we owners of DA dogs do get this one a lot, it's our fault our dog is a DA dog, and DogWhisperer has further fed the idea, our own energy is being channeled down the leash, is root of dog-aggression.”

In fact I do believe our behaviour can influence our dogs. If we react badly often our dogs do too. They know when we are tense. When the man walking a DA dog belted it one and it bit him I’d say he escalated the behaviour. When I drew the lead tight to get Zac away from a dog he was growling at I made the situation worse for the next time. Many “normal” dogs do respond to how the owner is behaving. The author does not apply these words to DA dogs but is still talking in the context of a case study dog that is normal or possibly shy, when she generalises here it remains clear to me that she is still talking about dogs that are mislabelled “aggressive”.

“I feel so bad i am one of those rude owners who allows my dog to stay rude. SO SORRY!!”

The author is very clear in the case study about her friend that there were THREE causes of the incidents – the woman’s “rudeness” (not being aware of dog behaviour and the woman allowing the dog to approach other dogs) and the dog’s rudeness (not knowing how to interact with other dogs and bumbling into their personal space) so according to the author the owner of a rude dog (you say in your first post that Buddy is “rude”) who behaves responsibly is NOT classified as “rude” or “stupid” or any of the other words you mention. We all know you Tigerlily are not a "rude" owner and you do all you can to help Buddy not to be the "rude" dog that is written in his genes.

Thanks for reading :)


Honored Member
Rdog, you quote my reply to someone who accused me of "not having an open mind" and "tearing it apart", which was not directly related to anything you posted.

Disagreeing with an article does not rise to the level of "hate", imo.

When i replied to Dogster teasing me about the length of my posts and mentioned some ppl do have twitter-level att'n spans, (and can only read replies which are a sentence or two long, and see posts which are long as "blah blah blah" cuz they are NOT readers)---there's no reason for you, RunningDog, to feel personal umbrage. (??) wha?


Honored Member
//We are no more trying to tear apart your posts than you are trying to tear apart this particular article//

sorry, i am/was replying to someone who said
(quote)i WAS just trying to "tear apart" this article.


Honored Member
//ept in context, the author may mean that the dog may be puzzled by desensitization and irritated by the re-conditioning.//

If a dog is irritated, by desensitization efforts, the person IS doing it wrong. Specifically, desensitization has to be done at subthreshold level of dog's reaction or feelings about a matter/never forced upon a dog. so i stand by my remark.


Honored Member
TBH Tigerlily I don't think you are showing an open mind about this. I really can't see what you hate dislike so much about this article and I have really TRIED.

You said "most" people have twitter level attention spans.

If you reply as you read you are going to end up doing a lot of duplication. :)


Honored Member
//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.//

Yes, but i did not bring my dog to be near bunnies, i did not bring my dog to that level of excitement of a bunny by asking him to be calm next to bunnies right next to him,(closer than he could be calm), instead, my dog he got himself to that level of excitement, by sudden unexpected appearance of nearby bunnies.
and i had not a lot of control of most instance of him seeing a bunny at what distance.
You once remarked, Rdog, in a discussion on this, you seemed slightly surprised i was having trouble thinking of what to do about prey, as i did have experience desensitizing my dog to dogs. and THAT might be why, why i felt some confusion about how to approach the whole prey thing, as my brain is sooo set up to prevent excitement in a dog/stay far enough away so dog CAN be calm.

You taught me to begin trying to calm him after he'd seen the bunny, to begin there.
You never suggested bringing my dog over to bunnies close by in early stages of this work. (so far as i can remember anyway.)

So far as i understood your directions, about prey,
you did not seem to be advising i force Buddy into situations he could not yet handle.


Honored Member
“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.//
did you read my previous reply to that, prior? My dog, like most DA dogs, reacts to dogs who are NOT being rude. The author NOT even mentioning dogs like mine, and saying "most cases" are just ignorant owners,
is what i disagree with.
She is just flat wrong. "Most" cases of DA dogs---dogs who are persistently inappropriately aggressive to almost all dogs they encounter, have not a lot to do with "rude" dogs. And my dog tends to like rude dogs, oddly.


Honored Member
//You said "most" people have twitter level attention spans.//
AND the rest of my remark continues about most ppl "and (most ppl) zone out on long posts" I do think most ppl DO zone out on long posts. I do think so. I do admit i have that notion.
There are lots of articles and studies about how and why that today's humans today are not quite the readers we once were, that humans want info in soundbytes/bumper-sticker size quotes, or presented in flashy exciting ways, etc,-------- it IS a trend going for many humans, and it is a complicated one, with multiple factors contributing to this shift in many human's decreasing ability to focus on reading longer items.
I can post some studies on this, if you want to explore this phenomenon, of why many ppl tend to zone out on long posts, or longer reads (even by very good authors, etc) Many humans today, see a longer article, and think "blah blah blah",
but they WILL read a short bit of info, a very short bit of info.


Honored Member
Anneke, i still love you too!:ROFLMAO:

I never ever see disagreeing as "hate", i just don't. But, that's just me. I can love someone, yet, not agree with their every remark or idea. I even think it is a good thing:eek: to question stuff, and challenge stuff which seems wrong!!!!!!!!!

and i agree, Anneke, probably most dog owners here, in USA, are also stupid, in one way or another, just as you said, either feeding dogs incorrectly, or not providing their dogs with active enough lifestyles, etc etc. (i should also add in, my guess is, i think most humans feel deep deep emotional attachment to their dogs, too, and i think most humans do treat their dogs lovingly, imo)
but, i don't think even the most stupid humans can create a persistently shy dog,
nor a DA dog. (which is resistant to rehab)
Tons of abused/neglected, never socialized, stand there loving everyone and every dog.

DA can definitely be excaberated by stupid humans, as can shy dog managment!! no question, i totally agree!!!
and like the author says, most cases of dogs being incorrectly labelled as da dogs IS stupid humans,
but, that is not the same thing as da dogs, which the author never ever distinguishes.


Honored Member
//Actually the author took the email from the concerned owner and said don’t worry this is NOT what dog aggression is about, you have a normal dog behaving normally.//

I have highlighted some of your quote, Rdog, in blue, WHERE in the article, where, does the author ever once say that? Where does the author even once, ever admit, da dogs do exist?


Honored Member
//To me the meaning of the title was perfectly clear from the context though I probably wouldn’t have chosen those words myself.//

yes i agree and i understand your words there, Rdog. And (again), i DO understand and agree with the authors saying ppl DO mistakenly mislabel/misunderstand/mis-manage normal dog behavior.
100% agree.


Honored Member
(reading yet another description of normal dog behavior being mislabelled as a DA dog) sigh.
True, again, i do recognize, and agree with, this happens.

Re, the small handful of posts you cite, Rdog, from the 13,000 members of DTA,
which we all agreed were NOT da dogs, (one of which was some govt thing/rule)
compared to the list i could compile, of owners that i, or the owner themself suspect,
are actual DA dogs, over all the years i have been on DTA,
i think my list would be way way way way way longer.
I would not point out ALL the owners of da dogs here on DTA,
for several reasons,
as Many humans feel a bit of reluctance, even shame, they have a da dog,
and i believe, part of that inner shame that some owners of da dogs feel,
is due to articles, all over the net, suggesting their dog is da dog cuz they did something wrong.

i feel this concern for owners of da dogs, is every bit as valid as the concern you put forth about owners of normal dogs worrying their dog might be one like ours.
I feel this concern for owners of da dogs, and i feel urge to do what i can, if i can, to help reduce that sometimes subtle, sometimes blaring idea, in these owners minds,
that their dog would be 'normal' is they just display leadership (as author suggested)
set boundaries (as author suggested)
or stopped handling their dog incorrectly (as author suggested).

I would bet, that between the two concerns,
(one being that an owner *might* have a da dog, and the other being that an owner KNOWS their dog IS a da dog)
it is my own personal guess,
that living 24/7 in a world which largely believes da dogs are caused by stupid humans,
is the idea i personally feel would be heavier, and needs more support. <---that is, of course, just my own opinion, but, it seems logical, as well, if you mull over
and compare, the difficulty of the two types of owners concerns.

one person is concerned their dog MIGHT be a da dog,
the other person IS living with a da dog, in a world which largely believes that dog could be normal if only the owner treated the dog better/differently/etc.

which person do you truly think might have a more ongoing need for support and info?

not that the person who wonders doesn't need support and info, but, i'm just sayin, the other person might need info/support even more often/more consistently, repeated, year after year.
after year, against the nonstop onslaught of info "they don't show leadership" etc etc,

I feel, this author, could have supported/reassured the owners who wonder or mistakenly believe, that their dog is a da dog,
without slamming "almost all" owners of da dogs as most cases being "stupid" ignorant owners. I still feel this author went overboard in her "conclusion".


Honored Member
//because you are so focused on DA dogs you no longer understand the fears and concerns of owners of normal dogs//

see above post.
and odd, that you think you can read my mind!! :ROFLMAO:


Honored Member
sorry about font size, for every single word of my posts,etc, when i copy/paste your quotes, my entire post then takes on your font size, and i am kinda lazy today to try to get mouse to resize it all. My mouse is not working well this week, sorry.


Honored Member
//You have no concept of the extent of the problem – One of the sweetest dogs I know was punished for growling at Gus when he nipped her! //

again, awesome you can read my mind!!
Interesting, that after i repeatedly agree, dogs who are not da dogs can be mislabelled, and are mismanaged,
most replies seem to not hear me saying that...not sure why.
i am capable of seeing both concerns. Perhaps, it is not impossible, you have no idea the extent of the problem of owners of da dogs being repeatedly accused of "not showing leadership" as this author suggested.
Perhaps, you feel that wondering if one might have a da dog, is somehow way more "terrible",
than actually having one??