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Should we just accept our dogs behaviour or..

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by goodvic2, Nov 14, 2012.


  1. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

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    Should we accept our dogs behaviours when they have issues or try to work with it?

    I tried for the first 2 years to sort out Max and Lilly's issues but I just cannot undo their start in life and the socialisation they missed out on.

    Sammy is nervous of people, him having ridgeback in him also naturally makes him naturally wary. It's something I've accepted.

    Many staffies, particularly older ones who have not been well socialised can be intolerant of off lead dogs in their face.

    A dog with a good nose, like a springer spaniel is far harder to train recall.

    What do you think? Do you think people try to hard at times to "fix" their dogs problems rather than accepting their breed traits or their bad start in life?

    Or can all dogs be "fixed" :)
     
  2. 8tansox

    8tansox PetForums VIP

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    No I don't think all dogs can be fixed personally. Sometimes some dogs go through such traumas in life, whether rescued or not, certain things can be deep routed, but I believe it's a case of "managing" these situations rather than trying to "cure" them.

    I've had rescues in the past and some of them have had history, good and bad, but I have always managed any problems, but I do think some problems could maybe be eased with ongoing training etc.

    I don't think there's a quick-fix to any situation though. It takes time, effort, energy, loyalty and trust, from all parties.
     
  3. dorrit

    dorrit PetForums VIP

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    We accept Benny for what and who he is ..

    Coming to us at age 11 months he didnt have any training and didnt even respond to his own name.
    Benny doesnt play much and recall is awful so I have a 8 mtr flexi for when we go to the common..If we have visitors he retreats into his kennel which we built for him so that he wouldnt have to face the stress of people.

    He hates to be brushed but being a beagle its not something that is life or death so we just give him the odd stroke of the brush as he passes..He growls as you do it , he growls when I dry him off , he hates the rain , he hates having his claws clipped , ears or teeth checked and baths are few and far between.

    No I didnt run off to a trainer begging for someone to make this dog perfect or go to classes to make him behave like all other dogs..
    We gave him time to adjust to us and he suits our family we all understand Benny and give him the space he needs.

    If that doesnt suit other people its tough, so long as my dogs and my family are safe and happy Im happy.
     
  4. Paula07

    Paula07 PetForums VIP

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    I don't think all dogs can be fixed but i would definately give it my best shot. Nicky for example is DR, i have been trying hard to 'fix' this issue for the last two years. Progressed but no where near 'fixed'. Maybe this will always be an issue for us but i will keep trying. :)

    ETA: On the other hand, Tig can be people aggressive if you rub him up the wrong way. This is something that i have sort of accepted and just wouldn't push the boundaries and i keep a close eye when hes in other peoples company.

    So i guess i don't know the answer.. :eek:
     
    #4 Paula07, Nov 14, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2012
  5. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

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    Good post :)

    Is his kennel outside?
     
  6. hawksport

    hawksport Banned

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    I think we should try to fix them but accept that sometimes we cant so we have to manage them
     
  7. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

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    Do you think it stresses him to have to face other dogs which makes him react?
     
  8. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

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    How far do you go to "fix" them?

    A year , two?

    Just interested :)
     
  9. Milliepoochie

    Milliepoochie PetForums VIP

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    No amount of love, time Or reassurance can mend everything. Millie spent her first 10 months locked in a garden. About a 1.5 years ago she was chilling in our garden when the door clicked shut in a light breeze. She turned from relaxed chilling in the sun to a frothing shaking wreck trying to jump into the house through a solid closed window. Will she ever get over her fear of getting locked out? No. Its part of her- how she is and doesnt need changing just managing effectively.
     
  10. Leanne77

    Leanne77 PetForums VIP

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    As far as breed traits go, it annoys me when somebody buys a breed of dog and then tries to change a trait, rather than managing it. No use buying a beagle and then complaining it has it's nose stuck to the ground. No use buying a lurcher and complaining it chases squirrels.

    So yes, I think in certain circumstances we should accept our dogs behaviour and realise it cant be fixed. However, I do believe that we can manage behaviours to a certain degree.
     
  11. Paula07

    Paula07 PetForums VIP

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    I think he gets far too excited and doesn't know how to react so he gets frustrated and reacts how he does.

    He loves other dogs, he would let any dog into his garden/house. He plays with some dogs, some dogs he doesn't bother about. He can be quite submissive towards other dogs in the house, however, on walks is a completely different story. :thumbdown:
     
  12. Sleeping_Lion

    Sleeping_Lion Banned

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    I think it depends on the individual dog and owner, out of the two rescues I've had, both adapted to live a different lifestyle, but one of them had temperament issues that just couldn't be resolved. When she kicked off she was gently escorted to a room until she'd calmed down.

    If you get a breed or cross breed, I think you have to expect and cope with some of their breed traits. Which is why it never ceases to amaze me that some people get a breed like a working cocker, bred to be busy and find game to flush. When what they really want is a little pet dog to follow them closely and not b*gga off every three minutes after something interesting. Ok, so lots of people end up coping with the breed traits, but it causes them (and possibly their dog) a lot of distress.
     
  13. tiatortilla

    tiatortilla PetForums VIP

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    Milliepoochie your post just gave me goosebumps, that's so sad :(
    i agree that it can't always be fixed, particularly with an older dog. tia has issues with nervousness around bigger dogs but she's only a year old and i've had her from a puppy so i think we can work through it, as we have done before. however, a lot of it does just seem to be her natural temperament (i won't pretend she came from the best breeding, not terrible, just not the best) and if in a few years it hasn't changed i would accept it.
     
  14. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

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    This is so common.

    Lexiehb has an incredibly reactive dog. There is nothing you can do to distract him when he sees a dog. He literally goes mental!

    People talk about building up the reactive distance, getting closer every time. The watch me command, toys/treats. Literally nothing works
     
  15. hawksport

    hawksport Banned

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    I don't know. I suppose that would depend on how much of an issue the problem is to it's owner.
    Dogs don't have problems, it's their owners that have a problem
     
  16. lucylastic

    lucylastic PetForums VIP

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    I don't think all behaviours can be fixed. Some can. Many can be improved and others must be managed.
    If for example, you have a dog which reacts to offlead dogs, by not taking the dog to areas with loads of offlead dogs, you are managing the issue.
    If you undertake sub threshold counter conditioning, you are very likely to see improvement and may eradicate the problem, depending on how deeply rooted it is.
    If an issue really can't be resolved, there is nothing wrong with management.
    My dog, because of her early experiences, will defend her food from another dog and will fight for it if thinks she needs to (though not from people because I have taught her that people are not a threat to her food supply)
    Therefore if I ever have a second dog, they will be fed separately. That is management and some people might see it as avoiding the issue. But it wouldn't be an issue for me.
     
  17. WeedySeaDragon

    WeedySeaDragon PetForums VIP

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    I think sometimes a point can be reached where the stress caused by trying to 'fix' a behaviour can outweigh the potential benefit and at that point it's best to manage it instead. Where that point is depends very much on the individual dog.

    Our eldest came to us severely fear aggressive with other dogs and incredibly fearful of being outside our house and garden. We worked very hard with him for several years and though we made some progress in very controlled one to one sessions with some great trainers it never translated into an improvement in the real world.

    Eventually we decided that it wasn't fair on him and so we stopped. He likes pottering around the house and garden, and visiting my parents' house (another 'safe' place), so that's what he does. I'm sure there are many people who would be horrified at the thought of a dog that hasn't been walked for years but he's happy and contented so we're confident we made the right decision.

    When it comes to breed traits I think it's more about knowing what to expect and managing them than trying to train a dog out of it. We have a whippet, he's a sighthound so he likes chasing things that move. We didn't expect to be able to train that out of him so we have trained strong recall and wait commands. He will still chase given the opportunity but we manage when and where he can express that particular behaviour to make sure it's safe for him, other dogs and everyone else.

    This is not to say that all behaviours should be accepted regardless but there are situations where it's important to realise that not everything can be trained out.
     
  18. ballybee

    ballybee PetForums VIP

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    What others have said, sometimes it just can't be fixed.

    Tummel is a very stubborn dog, the main thing i've worked on over the last 2 years is getting him to look at me instead of people/dogs/anything interesting and have i succeeded? nope, i've used toys, treats, distances, on and offlead, me down at his level, checking his collar, holding his head facing me etc and nothing works...he will never stop focusing on things...thankfully he won't make any attempt to go over if he's told not to.

    I get very annoyed at people trying to change breed traits, if they didn't want that trait then why bother getting that breed :)
     
  19. Phoolf

    Phoolf PetForums VIP

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    I think it depends on how bad the behaviour is/how it affects quality of life and whether it can be fixed or just managed. Some dogs will always have to be muzzled around other dogs, some dogs may not have a massive problem and be rehabilitated so it's all down to the individual and their resources as well as the dog in particular.
     
  20. Paula07

    Paula07 PetForums VIP

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    Yup, that sounds like my Nicky. He's better than he was. He used to go proper crazy. Lunging, growling, barking, frothing at the mouth, scratching his face and me. Now he goes stiff, and stares and if they get within about 3 metres he lunges. Its still a complete pain but better than what he was and hopefully he will keep improving.
     
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