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Old 02-28-2013, 04:51 PM
 
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Many owners at some point end up working with their dog(s) in public, whether it's to "proof" basic obedience or work through behavioral issues. Often times, while our dogs are still a "work in progress", we don't necessarily want people approaching during our training time. These dog vests which read "Dog In Training - Give Me Space" alert the public that your dog is working and not to be disturbed. It's amazing how the vests create a bubble around you and your dog. This can be just what a fearful, easily distracted, or reactive dog needs in order to gain exposure to the world without feeling the pressure to interact yet. The vests allow it to be your choice if and when your dog socializes. I've used these types of products (there are others, like leashes and collars) and only once has it not worked and a person approached anyway - to ask "what's he in training for?" I answered "personal protection work" (which was absolutely true, but not specifically what we were working on that day). The guy backed away slowly.

Dog In Training Vest - The Pawsitive Dog

I like these vests because the lettering is large enough to be read from a distance and they will even add custom openings if you prefer to walk your dog on a harness.
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Old 02-28-2013, 04:53 PM
 
Location: Montreal -> CT -> MA -> Montreal -> Ottawa
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Absolutely brilliant!
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Old 02-28-2013, 06:16 PM
 
Location: Canada
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Oh, good idea! I have a border collie who can be somewhat fearful of strangers, and can snap if pushed. Last year - not long after my older dog died - I was standing near a low brick wall with my dog when a woman approached. She had seen me and my dogs a couple of times in the past, and Izzy usually would react to her by giving a small 'woof' and backing up a bit if she got to close, but then she usually focussed on Kaya, my older dog and gave Izzy his space after I'd warned her that he was nervous. However, this one day I wasn't paying attention to her...she was talking to Iz but kept her distance...and I turned around to get something out of a bag I had with me. I heard her say, 'Well, I must go now, give me a hug!' and I whipped around just in time to see her swoop right into Izzy's face. Because he was backed against the wall this sudden move terrified him, and he leapt up and snapped at her. Thankfully I reacted quickly and pulled his leash; not sure if it was a warning snap or if he would have actually bitten, but I certainly can't assume that he wouldn't. He also had this happen once after that when a man who stopped to talk to me was admiring Izzy, and I told him to keep his distance, as it would frighten my dog and he might bite if suddenly approached. The man said he totally understood and he did remain a couple of feet away, but then moments later, out of nowhere he said, 'But he's just sooo cute!' and did the same as the woman had, swooped right into Izzy, taking me by complete surprise. And poor Izzy reacted by almost lunging into the road to get away from him.

Anyway (long story short) I do believe a vest might be helpful as it seems people often don't heed my warnings. I am attempting to train Iz that people won't hurt him and aren't to be feared, but I can only do so if the people respect space. I've found that people do tend to hesitate approaching when the dog is wearing a vest or some other equipment, so this might be helpful for me and my boy. Thanks so much for sharing this!

(btw, do they sell any vests for humans who don't listen?
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Old 02-28-2013, 06:41 PM
 
Location: SE Michigan
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Actually, as someone who has owned several reactive dogs, trained professionally, put titles on dogs, had (and have currently) therapy dogs who wore vests for "work" and in fact once had a custom vest made for a long-haired Rottweiler I had that was a total attention magnet....(Google "long haired rottweiler" and the handsome dog who comes up frequently in images was mine...)

In my experience a vest like this would attract more people than it would repel. Non way in he!! would I buy one; a vest with writing on it is just one more reason for random people to come right up to you and ask questions. The vest I had made for the LH Rottweiler said "YES I AM A PUREBRED ROTTWEILER AND NOT A MIX" and had his photo on it, which made people flock towards us ten times more frequently than when we were trying to keep a low profile. It was like carrying a sign that said "Come and ask me questions! Touch my dog! No really! We're looking for all the attention we can get!" Like I was walking Brad Pitt on a leash. LOL.

Sort of like "WET PAINT" signs. People see these and are seriously compelled to poke a finger to see if it's still wet.

Personally I find hollering warnings and invective towards people is way more effective.
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Old 02-28-2013, 06:51 PM
 
Location: zone 5
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Makes sense to me, chiroptera, unfortunately. I had to chuckle at your post, but I wouldn't be chuckling in real life if someone came up to chat about the vest.
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Old 02-28-2013, 07:08 PM
 
Location: SE Michigan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by subject2change View Post
Makes sense to me, chiroptera, unfortunately. I had to chuckle at your post, but I wouldn't be chuckling in real life if someone came up to chat about the vest.
LOL, yes. The long haired Rottweiler was a real head-turner and attention magnet and something of a local celebrity. The vest was sort of like hanging a neon "LOOK AT ME AND ASK MY OWNER EVEN MOAR QUESTIONS" sign over his head.
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Old 02-28-2013, 07:08 PM
 
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You guys don't think the words on the vest make a difference? I mean wouldn't TDI vests and custom breed announcement vests have a different effect on the public than a vest that clearly says GIVE ME SPACE? Like I said, I have used the vests from the link, as well as collars and leashes with similar messages (although those are harder to see from far away so less effective) and I experience a marked difference in the way the public reacts vs. if I am just out working a "vest-less" dog. Maybe I just live around sensible people... I can tell you I do definitely live in an area that is saturated with top notch trainers and as such the dog owning public around here (which seems to be practically everybody these days!) is relatively savvy. I agree though that an assertive, authoritative presence is the best line of defense if people do disregard the vest. It would have to be quite a clod that would come bother a dog wearing a vest that says GIVE ME SPACE. Sheesh.
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Old 02-28-2013, 07:11 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiroptera View Post
LOL, yes. The long haired Rottweiler was a real head-turner and attention magnet and something of a local celebrity. The vest was sort of like hanging a neon "LOOK AT ME AND ASK MY OWNER EVEN MOAR QUESTIONS" sign over his head.
I can see how people would think that the intention of such a vest was to invite attention. But as you know, there's really no way to avoid attention with a dog as unique as yours.
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Old 02-28-2013, 07:16 PM
 
Location: SE Michigan
6,191 posts, read 15,352,869 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k9coach View Post
You guys don't think the words on the vest make a difference? I mean wouldn't TDI vests and custom breed announcement vests have a different effect on the public than a vest that clearly says GIVE ME SPACE? Like I said, I have used the vests from the link, as well as collars and leashes with similar messages (although those are harder to see from far away so less effective) and I experience a marked difference in the way the public reacts vs. if I am just out working a "vest-less" dog. Maybe I just live around sensible people... I can tell you I do definitely live in an area that is saturated with top notch trainers and as such the dog owning public around here (which seems to be practically everybody these days!) is relatively savvy. I agree though that an assertive, authoritative presence is the best line of defense if people do disregard the vest. It would have to be quite a clod that would come bother a dog wearing a vest that says GIVE ME SPACE. Sheesh.
No, no, they don't. People are clods. And I live in a pretty dog-savvy area.

Fiona is a Mid Michigan Therapy Dog and her vest says, quite clearly, in large embroidered script in high-contrast gold on blue her name "FIONA" and "Pet me! I'm Friendly!"

The two most common questions I get - like, from everybody, seriously, are:
"What is her name" and "Can I pet your dog?"


I am guessing you have never been in public with a dog wearing a vest with writing on it. Seriously, it's quite funny. Sort of like wearing a garment that says "Clods! Please approach and ask me pointless questions!"
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Old 02-28-2013, 07:17 PM
 
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How 'bout a vest that says "I have rabies". Would that work to keep people away? I think the words do matter.
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