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Old 08-15-2009, 02:12 PM   #41
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I may be off base, but I think that a small percentage of dog owners get off on watching their dogs scare the hell out of people. I call it vicarious aggression. I noticed that once I started carrying the big stick, owners were much faster to the porch to call their dogs instead of hanging back and watching "the fun".
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Old 08-15-2009, 02:33 PM   #42
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Yeah, the idiots across the street seemed to think it great fun having their dog barking at the local blind lady as she tried to work her way through the cars they'd parked blocking the sidewalk.

The scary thing is they are what most people would consider "solid citizen" types, not the stereotypical hoodlum/gangsters.

But then idiots seem to be pretty evenly scattered across the population, without regard to socioeconomic status or ethnic/cultural background. They give every indication of being a renewable resource.

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Old 08-15-2009, 04:17 PM   #43
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I take my dogs for walks because its good for them mentally and physically. My fraidy pooch gets to see other dogs around that aren't trying to eat it which actually helps him in his daily life (less freaking out at outside noise, less nervous all round, less reaction to other dogs period) and he loves people and gets to meet people on walks.

As to dogs trying to attack him, I haven't had any problems. I know there is at least one person in my neighborhood training an aggressive dog because she crosses the street to avoid dogs with her dog and uses treats when the dog ignores other dogs. I have absolutely no problem with her being out with an aggressive dog because she is doing what is necessary to control him.

My husband is a different story. I still remember the time I had to take command of a dog that wanted to eat my husband while we were running. I made him go on and faced down the dog to keep it from attacking him. Should I always keep my husband at home for fear of his being mauled? He has been bitten by an off leash dog in a regular park before.

Again, I repeat parks and sidewalks are not dog parks.
Thanks for the articulate answer. Having had many rescue dogs and dogs of my own, I understand the need to provide appropriate socialization, even for those that are timid or aggressive. It sounds like you are very dog savvy. I 100% agree with your comments regarding your right to walk unmolested on sidewalks and in regular parks with your leashed dog, no matter what his or her temperament may be. My border collies are extremely antisocial, and would have absolutely no use for the dog park. I think they feel superior to those ordinary dogs.

Rich's regal Dobie Sophie was one of the most beautiful dogs I've ever seen. So bright and obedient, she was a joy to meet. I can imagine her low growl would have an instant effect on a butt sniffing delinquent. I know it isn't time yet, Rich, but the dog world needs folks like y'all to have dogs, if only to serve as examples to the rest of us!
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Old 08-15-2009, 06:01 PM   #44
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Thanks, Sarah. Yeah, she was a beauty. Some day we'll replace her, maybe with a pound dog or a rescue.

Here's a pic:

sophie.jpg
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Old 08-15-2009, 06:43 PM   #45
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DW and I take frequent walks and meet various dog owners.

The thing I notice. The big dogs are the most gentle and playful. The little runt dogs seem to be the most viscous and barky. Our favorite is this one lady who always walks her rottweiler. What a great dog he is. Also enjoy the various retrievers people have.
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Old 08-17-2009, 05:21 PM   #46
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Spoke with the animal control officer today. She has offered to set some time aside to wait for "Mr German Shepard on a bike" to instruct him not to let his untrained dog off leash again. She also volunteered to let him know just how inappropriate it is to sit on the edge of someone's property and agitate the pet inside. Her assertive response was unexpected but encouraging.

Regarding defensive measures, she encourages using pepper spray. First control my dog, then spray the other one - at 15 feet if possible. She was very confident of it's effectiveness.
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Old 08-17-2009, 05:31 PM   #47
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Michael, look up your state's rules on pepper spray. I'm surprised that the officer told you to use it "off the record." Michael
The animal control officer didn't qualify the advice today at all. She was very much on the record and also quite confident. I'm going to start looking for spray options tomorrow and will use the helpful advice above.

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Thanks, Sarah. Yeah, she was a beauty. Some day we'll replace her, maybe with a pound dog or a rescue.
Rich, what a good looking dog. You must have put a lot of effort into her care.

There are no good or bad pets - just good or bad owners.
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Old 08-18-2009, 12:58 AM   #48
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DW and I take frequent walks and meet various dog owners.

The thing I notice. The big dogs are the most gentle and playful. The little runt dogs seem to be the most viscous and barky. Our favorite is this one lady who always walks her rottweiler. What a great dog he is. Also enjoy the various retrievers people have.
Little runt dogs. Not a very effective method of hiding your personal bias'.

I like all types of dogs, large and small. While I agree that the smaller ones tend to be more vocal/yappy, I'll take an attack by a dachsund or a pug any day over a golden or a pit bull. I don't agree at all that noise making and vicious behavior are linked. And I don't quite understand what a dog's viscosity has to do with anything.

My experience is that each dog has a personality, while each breed has a reputation. The only dog that has ever bitten me in real anger was a dalmation, although back in the old days when I worked for a vet I got bitten in fear by any number of breeds. I've occasionally had a chihuahua hanging off my pants leg, but for some reason it just didn't get the old adrenaline flowing. It was more a throttling down of my desire to laugh than a fight/flight instinct.
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Old 08-18-2009, 12:19 PM   #49
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The animal control officer didn't qualify the advice today at all. She was very much on the record and also quite confident. I'm going to start looking for spray options tomorrow and will use the helpful advice above.
My opinion of animal control officers is colored by an incident about a decade ago as I was riding to work.

A young pit bull was sitting on a lawn in an industrial park. An ACO was trying to loop a leash over its head with a 10' pole, but was too frightened to come within 10' of him, so she was tossing the loop trying to snag him. The pit bull was obviously somewhat frightened but friendly, so I got off my bike, told her to stop, sat down a few feet from him, and called him over. Within 30 seconds he walked over to me wagging and licking my hand. I leashed him and carried him over to the truck while comforting him (running loose in LA is a short term death sentence for a dog, so it was in his best interest to be caught). The ACO seemed completely unable to read him.
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Old 08-18-2009, 12:34 PM   #50
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Little runt dogs. Not a very effective method of hiding your personal bias'.
One thing I've noticed from a small data set of small dog owners I've known personally, is they don't tend to teach the little dogs the basics of sit, stay, no speak, no bite (or no teeth, a firm command I gave my rocket dog who tended to like hands), etc.
Is it the "cute" factor?
I like all dogs also. What I like more is an owner who has control of their dog at all times, regardless of size or vocal habits.
Current example: Our new next door neighbor has a small dog. When I let my 2 dogs out in my fenced yard, they of course go straight for the fence boundary. I give them the "no speak" command as I let them out. They heed my command and go running down the steps. Good dogs.
However, the little dog starts barking, and my 2 join in, and it is maddening. I have to call my 2 back in short order to stop the noise.
I am re-training my 2 to not bark, but the neighbor seems to think it's cute to have their little dog bark at my much bigger ones. Argh!
Maybe I should try to teach the little guy not to bark, through the fence.
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Old 08-18-2009, 12:47 PM   #51
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Yep, Freebird, exactly the same story at my place. My dogs don't bark until the yippy one next door kicks in. Duh!

I liken the small cute dog thing to the same reason why Shetland ponies are so darned mean. They are small and cute, so no reason to teach them manners. The largest draft horse is (generally speaking) nicer than the smallest Shetland pony.

I like all sized dogs, but I do have an unexpected soft spot (though I've never owned one) for those medium-small poodles. What a nice sized and usually well mannered dog.
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Old 08-18-2009, 01:03 PM   #52
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Well-mannered dogs, like children, no matter what their size, are made, not born. Small dogs are just as trainable as larger dogs. I don't think their being small and cute is a reason some small dogs are not taught manners, just as being large and handsome is not a reason some large dogs are taught doggie manners.

I admit I like smaller dogs (and bigger dogs!). Small dogs are portable/pickupable, so perhaps some owners automatically pick them up to stop some behaviors (jumping on people, barking at dogs/people/ironing boards (or is that just my late dogs?), etc.) rather than train them as a big dog would need to be trained. Of course picking them up just reinforces the unwanted behavior.
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Old 08-18-2009, 01:14 PM   #53
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Well-mannered dogs, like children, no matter what their size, are made, not born.
Ummm....I forget, how many children did the Feever household manufacture?
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Old 08-18-2009, 01:27 PM   #54
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Alright REW--don't you forget that those of us without children are without a doubt the absolutely MOST qualified people you can find on child rearing manufacturing, because we are not biased by producing our own lil' darlins'.
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Old 08-18-2009, 01:51 PM   #55
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I have several issues with dogs. As a landlord, I note that pretty much all dogs go on duty if the Boss isn't home. That means they tend to bark if someone walks past the Boss's apartment. They also tend to get stressed out if the landlord, with Boss's permission, enters to do repairs if the Boss isn't home. This results in barking or biting and a pissed off landlord. Cats, OTOH, don't go on duty, don't bark, and couldn't care less if the landlord or a burglar wants to enter.

Had a couple pit bull looking dogs attack me in concert a year or so ago. This at apartments we own several blocks from the dog's home. Left me with a scar and a cop shot one of the animals. The other was put back on a chain in an unfenced yard where it could continue it's guard dog duties. Hopefully it won't hurt someone smaller badly. IMHO the owner of a dog over a certain size or with a bad enough breed history should be held to a higher standard - sort of like the difference in licensing for concealed weapons or automatic weapons vs. BB gun ownership.

Also dogs slobber and lick people * shudder *

Totally unbiased, but while solving dog issues I think it would be a swell idea for cat owners to get a tax break for their obvious good sense.
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Old 08-18-2009, 02:12 PM   #56
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Yep, Freebird, exactly the same story at my place. My dogs don't bark until the yippy one next door kicks in. Duh!
I am very tempted to just let my dogs bark their heads off at the little dog until it drives the neighbors crazy. Their little dog is never out there by himself, always with the owner present. The owners can hear me command No Speak, less than 100 feet away. I'm not quiet about it.
I definitely have the advantage in numbers and volume. I also can get them to bark on command and stop on command. Mwah haha...

But am I capable of such deviousness?
And would these sweet little faces be willing accomplices?
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Old 08-18-2009, 02:15 PM   #57
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Alright REW--don't you forget that those of us without children are without a doubt the absolutely MOST qualified people you can find on child rearing manufacturing, because we are not biased by producing our own lil' darlins'.
There is actually a lot of truth in this.
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Old 08-18-2009, 03:02 PM   #58
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One thing I've noticed from a small data set of small dog owners I've known personally, is they don't tend to teach the little dogs the basics of sit, stay, no speak, no bite (or no teeth, a firm command I gave my rocket dog who tended to like hands), etc.
Is it the "cute" factor?
I like all dogs also. What I like more is an owner who has control of their dog at all times, regardless of size or vocal habits.
Current example: Our new next door neighbor has a small dog. When I let my 2 dogs out in my fenced yard, they of course go straight for the fence boundary. I give them the "no speak" command as I let them out. They heed my command and go running down the steps. Good dogs.
However, the little dog starts barking, and my 2 join in, and it is maddening. I have to call my 2 back in short order to stop the noise.
I am re-training my 2 to not bark, but the neighbor seems to think it's cute to have their little dog bark at my much bigger ones. Argh!
Maybe I should try to teach the little guy not to bark, through the fence.
Uggg, barking. I adore dogs but can't stand barking. My pug that I have had from puppyhood only barks once and only when awoken by a sudden noise. My rescue dog will stop barking when I tell him to but curing him of the urge to bark seems near impossible. Getting there but talk about an uphill battle (have had him for 6 months now).

Unfortunately as an owner of small dogs, I think other people tend to have a terrible influence on small dogs (oh they are so cute, why are you telling them not to jump on me?). Whereas everyone wants to make sure that Great Dane doesn't jump on them. *sigh*
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Old 08-18-2009, 03:19 PM   #59
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Uggg, barking. I adore dogs but can't stand barking. My pug that I have had from puppyhood only barks once and only when awoken by a sudden noise. My rescue dog will stop barking when I tell him to but curing him of the urge to bark seems near impossible. Getting there but talk about an uphill battle (have had him for 6 months now).
My dog training book suggested intentionally teaching them to Speak (woof at them to get it started, then treat or praise) and then No Speak (treat or praise), using both commands in same session to get them used to the phrases together. Like turning a switch on and off.
It w*rked for both. My bigger guy was adopted by me when he was 1 yr 3 mos old, a turn-in dog at the Humane Society. He learned from the smaller dog, who I had from puppyhood.
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Old 08-18-2009, 05:00 PM   #60
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Ummm....I forget, how many children did the Feever household manufacture?
Just the two--no comment on whether they were/are well-mannered, but we at least made sure their shots were up to date
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