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Old 07-13-2011, 08:57 AM
 
700 posts, read 1,668,336 times
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If she was trying to desensitize him, that was probably overkill. Immersion therapy - does it really work?? Does it work for humans? I'm not sure, and we're *supposed* to be higher on the evolutionary scale, with the ability to reason out our fears. So where does that leave poor dogs? I'm not sure of that either.

That stuff is to be done before 8-10 weeks of age if you want almost NO reaction from them. Some dogs will hold on to dislikes forever (not unlike people) regardless of their encounters, positive or negative. I think she probably hung on to the desensitization idea a little too long if he was getting that wild. That's the fastest way to get yourself a nice bite whether you're their owner nor not.

I desensitize my dogs by keeping them across the parking lot from those kids jumping around on skateboards - they watch from a distance and dance a little bit on the ends of their leashes, but no adverse reactions. They feel safe enough at that distance to be comfortable. Then the all just sit down and watch quietly. Attentively, but quietly.
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Old 07-13-2011, 08:59 AM
 
1,257 posts, read 4,051,598 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ursofa_king View Post
Good points. Do you think it was the owner's fault for continuing's the dog's distress? When I approached her she said he hates skateboarders...well if that's the case, why keep him in that environment?
We don't know that GSD was there for what purpose.

In certain siutations, a good trainer will train a dog under stressful environment. So the dog will remain calm and under owner's control in stressful situations.

When service dogs are in training, the trainer ususally doesn't allow the dog to be petted. They have to be remain calm and stay focused on their tasks.
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Old 07-13-2011, 09:10 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Ursofa_king View Post
Wow really? You see I also wanted to pet him but the owner said it wasn't a good idea. Perhaps he would have calmed down by being stroked instead of being forced to lie down like his owner made him.

Though I tend to give credit to 3DogNight's explanation.
Are you really suggesting that the owner is not the best judge of the dog's character and behavior just because she told you "no" to petting her dog when it was agitated?
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Old 07-13-2011, 09:21 AM
 
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I have 2 collies. One ignores noises and the other one was subjected to much the same thing as you describe and she went crazy, it was all I could do to control her. I think the sudden movments and loud noise made by the board is what set her off but we avoid that area now and she is fine. In the past, I have tried desensitizing her to the noise by exposing her to it slowly but have given up as I don't think she is going to adjust and do not want to subject her to stress, she is 8 years old and it is not worth it.
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Old 07-13-2011, 09:24 AM
 
Location: West Virginia
12,387 posts, read 31,343,833 times
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WOW I DIDNT MEAN FOR YOU TO GO AGAINST THE OWNER!!! You could get Bit!!! Katie was raised with Kids from birth Kids & their Noises & flinging arms Dont bother her BUT People Do get scared when she Barking for attention! Most know her since we have lived here 2+ yrs. So they know her bark means she wants petting! Or I Introduce them & explain her barking to them! Cant explain to her that her barking scares people away LOL I tried for 6 yrs!! I was trying to explain that while That dogs reaction was dangerous! Your dog Might react different! You Need to Learn to Read Your Dog!
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Old 07-13-2011, 09:25 AM
 
Location: Montreal -> CT -> MA -> Montreal -> Ottawa
16,648 posts, read 26,620,346 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lifelongMOgal View Post
Are you really suggesting that the owner is not the best judge of the dog's character and behavior just because she told you "no" to petting her dog when it was agitated?


You're 100% right.

Artie would have bitten the OP's hand. Only people that Artie knows can pet him. I know that; I know Artie's character.

My husband and I went hiking with Artie last weekend. I was so happily surprised that all the kids that were hiking, when they saw Artie, said "He's so cute!!!" followed by, "Can I pet him?" So, so, SO smart of each and every one of them to ask (and I told them how smart that was) because the answer is "No... and I'll tell you why..."

Artie is great when he's in the house and I've invited someone in. He'll bark a bit, then herd them into the living room, and then bring the person his toys one by one. Outside, on-leash, he's EASILY aggitated. Fast movements? Noises? People he doesn't know? Dogs he doesn't know? All totally not cool for Artie.

The owner knows what's good and what's not good for their dog.
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Old 07-13-2011, 09:59 AM
 
57 posts, read 34,200 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katie1 View Post
Katie was raised with Kids from birth Kids & their Noises & flinging arms Dont bother her BUT People Do get scared when she Barking for attention! Most know her since we have lived here 2+ yrs. So they know her bark means she wants petting! Or I Introduce them & explain her barking to them! Cant explain to her that her barking scares people away LOL I tried for 6 yrs!! I was trying to explain that while That dogs reaction was dangerous! Your dog Might react different! You Need to Learn to Read Your Dog!
How can a lay person tell the difference between an aggressive bark, and a bark for attention, as in come pet me please, I'm excited to see you!
Dog behavior fascinates me. While I understand that GSD in the park may have been agitated due to the negative input from the skaterboarders, I thought that by distracting him with positive input (petting him and being nice) may calm and soothe him. But chances are his focus would remain on the skaters. If the owner had let him loose, do you suppose he would have chased after the guys and bit them? In that case I sure wouldn't want the SPCA intervening and declaring the dog to be threat to society.
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Old 07-13-2011, 02:45 PM
 
Location: grooving in the city
7,371 posts, read 5,851,547 times
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German Shepherds are Very Awesome Watchdogs. My sister and her husband have two. They are very much in tune with their owners. Perhaps the dog did not like the skateboarders; perhaps their owner is not crazy about skateboarders, or perhaps the dog sensed fear or something from you. It's hard to say without actually being there. Dogs are amazing. They can sense fear, excitement, and all types of other emotions.
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Old 07-13-2011, 04:50 PM
 
Location: West Virginia
12,387 posts, read 31,343,833 times
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You Cant with a strange dog BUT You can tell with your own dog! It called Reading your dog! Petting any dog in that situation ONLY reinforces the Dogs behaviour! All he will think is its OK to behave that way. With Katie I put her on a Sit/Stay or like the lady Down/stay Then I explain Why she barking. By this time she been Quiet & calm for a few mins THEN IF they want to pet her I allow them to! IF not they usually walk away! Katie usually whines after them BUT she doesnt contune to bark. Next human that comes along we repeat the process! People that know her most time just walk up to her & pet her! NEVER Ever PET A Dog You Dont know! Alway Ask the Owner!
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Old 07-14-2011, 04:57 AM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
24,671 posts, read 58,119,644 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ursofa_king View Post
How can a lay person tell the difference between an aggressive bark, and a bark for attention, as in come pet me please, I'm excited to see you!
Dog behavior fascinates me. While I understand that GSD in the park may have been agitated due to the negative input from the skaterboarders, I thought that by distracting him with positive input (petting him and being nice) may calm and soothe him. But chances are his focus would remain on the skaters. If the owner had let him loose, do you suppose he would have chased after the guys and bit them? In that case I sure wouldn't want the SPCA intervening and declaring the dog to be threat to society.
Dogs are like any other animals (including humans). They come in all shapes and sizes and with a complex set of individual behaviors. If you want to better familiarize yourself with animal behavior and dogs in particular then volunteer at your local animal shelter as it's something that can't be taught. Become a Value Added Walker.
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