Welcome!

Welcome to PetForums, the UK's most popular and friendly pet owners community. Please 'Sign Up' if you'd like to take part and contribute to our forum.

Sign Up

Wrong info?

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by HarlequinCat, Feb 14, 2019.


  1. HarlequinCat

    HarlequinCat PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2012
    Messages:
    1,478
    Likes Received:
    1,714
    I was just browsing around the Internet. When I was a kid we used to have a couple of Ormskirk heelers, and out of interest I was looking whether there were any puppies for sale etc. Stumbled across this website describing characteristics. I do remember ours being rather stubborn and you had to be consistent with them. But on this website I don't like the advice they give :
    "The Lancashire Heeler can be difficult to train but it can be done with a firm, confident and consistent trainer. It is important that the owner demonstrate that they are the pack leader, not the Lancashire Heeler, in order to avoid problems with the dog developing 'Small Dog Syndrome'"

    The whole pack leader thing has been discussed on here before. And if you were new to owning dogs you would take advice from these sites as you would think they know what they are talking about

    https://www.puppyfind.com/ormskirk+heeler.php
     
    Lurcherlad, kimthecat and lorilu like this.
  2. O2.0

    O2.0 PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    May 23, 2018
    Messages:
    2,408
    Likes Received:
    6,462
    My take is that leadership is a grossly misunderstood concept.
    Dogs do need leadership, but not in the way most humans think of it.

    When I say dogs need leadership, what I mean is dogs need to know through our interactions with us that we can be trusted, that we will take care of things for them, that we will 'listen' to them and respond appropriately. Dogs need to know that our behavior towards them will be predictable, make sense to them - that we share a language.

    Leadership has nothing to do with *taking* charge of the dog (often through tactics of intimidation and force). Rather it has much more to do with the dog yielding control to you because you have proven yourself through other interactions to be a safe person who can handle whatever the situation is that the dog is yielding to you.

    So yes, leadership is important in our relationships with our dogs but leadership as in mutual trust, and respect, shared language, deep observation of the dog and the dog's needs, meeting those needs and developing that connection with your dog.
    But you don't get there through force, intimidation, or fear which is what leadership has been bastardized to mean.
     
  3. SusieRainbow

    SusieRainbow Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2013
    Messages:
    11,332
    Likes Received:
    15,495
    My thoughts exactly !
    My dad had a working collie who adored him, but he would only take instructions from my dad. Apart from cuddles, fuss and food no-one else in the family existed in his eyes. A real 'one man dog.'
     
    HarlequinCat and O2.0 like this.
  4. Blitz

    Blitz PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2009
    Messages:
    15,906
    Likes Received:
    9,392
    I have been on a few different breed descriptions on this sort of site, most of them say the same thing for virtually every breed. I agree with 02.0 that we do have to be the leader and if you want to call that the dominant one in the relationship then that is equally ok. We choose where our dogs sleep, when they get their walks,how they behave on walks, where they travel in the car, where, when and what they eat so of course we are the leaders. When a dog is allowed to choose what it does, in certain situations and with certain dogs, then this is where problems occur such as dogs refusing to get off the settee and attacking anyone that tries to get them off. And that is not uncommon! Dominance or leadership does not mean making your dog fearful of you, it just means making the choices and making sure the dog conforms to how you want it in your life - which is different for everyone.
     
    Lurcherlad and HarlequinCat like this.
  5. O2.0

    O2.0 PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    May 23, 2018
    Messages:
    2,408
    Likes Received:
    6,462
    But dogs are sentient creatures, and as such they have free choice - always.
    If I am a leader to my dogs, it is because that is the dog's choice.
    If my dog does my bidding meeting other dogs,t hat is because the dog has chosen to defer to me.

    The problem is not with giving dogs choice, the problem is with not making yourself a viable choice for the dog.

    A dog who is attacking someone trying to get them off the sofa is a dog who is either frightened, confused, has learned to strike first rather than be struck... Has nothing to do with being allowed to choose the sofa. My dogs have always been allowed to choose where they want to sleep. If I don't want them there I use our shared language to ask (yes, ask) them to move, and they comply because they have a history with me of compliance being worthwhile to them.
     
  6. HarlequinCat

    HarlequinCat PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2012
    Messages:
    1,478
    Likes Received:
    1,714
    It's the whole wording of it - "pack leader". Anyone who has watched Caesar M. and heard him say it so many times will think that is the way to get a dog to do what they want etc
     
    lorilu likes this.
  7. O2.0

    O2.0 PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    May 23, 2018
    Messages:
    2,408
    Likes Received:
    6,462
    Well as @Blitz rightly points out, that's not the most reliable site....

    But yes, the whole pack leader thing has been done to death, and not just by the likes of CM.
    There's a lot of romanticism tied up in it I think. We like to think our dogs are wolves, us the great wolf tamers. We like to think of ourselves as leaders of a great pack of wolves. Well... some of us do :D

    The reality is, dogs are not wolves, dogs don't form packs, and humans are not some Alpha dog replacement.
    Dogs are incredibly social creatures with a complex system of communication used mainly to avoid conflict and enable cooperative relationships. Dogs have arguably evolved alongside of man and are very suited to working with us.
    Some of the skills we ask dogs to do with us are truly amazing. Watching a well-trained dog do a job with a competent handler really is a thing of beauty, like a well choreographed dance practiced to the point of artistry. I love watching well trained dogs in all disciplines work with their humans :)

    By contrast, people who train like CM don't really get dogs to *do* much of anything. All his 'training' is based in dead dog behaviors which technically aren't really behaviors. If a dead dog can do it, it's not a behavior. A dead dog can not bark, a dead dog can not jump on the bed, a dead dog can not bite.... Getting a dog to do what a dead dog can do is no great feat of training.
    It's what I call 'stopit' training. He gets dogs to stop doing things.
    I have not once seen him teach a dog to do anything. Not once have I seen him teach a basic recall, hell, a sit even. He's not getting dogs to do what he wants. Well, maybe he is. He gets dogs to sit there like a bump on a log, maybe that is what he wants.
    However, lack of behavior does not equal well behaved.
     
  8. Blitz

    Blitz PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2009
    Messages:
    15,906
    Likes Received:
    9,392
    I agree, but sadly I have seen dogs that can literally not be touched in the house unless they choose it. When I worked for a vet years ago the other nurse and I had to go to a house and use a dog catcher to get hold of a jack russel that had completely taken over and its owner could not get near it. Poor little bugger! We caught it and took it back to the surgery to be put to sleep. that is a very extreme example but there are plenty of dogs (and horses) who quickly get worse and worse because they have no leadership(or whatever you want to call it) and end up so confused they retaliate in the only way they know. I am sure all the horse people on here know of lovely ponies that go to a new home and become monsters within a couple of weeks.
     
    HarlequinCat likes this.
  9. Blitz

    Blitz PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2009
    Messages:
    15,906
    Likes Received:
    9,392
    Another very current example that made me giggle as I had literally just typed out the last reply. The two dogs laid on their bed . Toffee has a toy in her mouth and Candy (who is the dominant one of the pair, whether you like that word or not) is trying to get it off her and growling like mad. For once Toffee was holding on to the toy and not giving in and Candy was escalating the growling. I sharply told her to leave it and be quiet and she backed off and is now laid down quietly and Toffee is chewing the toy. It does not matter what language or words you want to use surely, Candy was bullying Toffee, I corrected it (from my chair) and it stopped. So who is dominant or the leader or whatever you want. Yes,Candy could have ripped Toffee up and then leapt in rage at my throat (ha ha) but in a normal relationship the owner is the leader/boss/dominant person and the dog conforms to what is considered by the owner as reasonable behaviour.
     
    HarlequinCat likes this.
  10. Dogloverlou

    Dogloverlou PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2013
    Messages:
    10,038
    Likes Received:
    12,671
    I've found most breed clubs to be a bit outdated in some of the training advice they dole out and whether that's just because the advice is rarely updated I don't know. Or maybe it's to do with the 'old school' mentality that is usually still at the helm of the club committees etc. I was told in no uncertain terms that I MUST be boss over Cash as otherwise he'd dominate me etc etc. I didn't heed that advice in the way it was probably intended, but took on board that clear boundaries & an established relationship is very important. I agree with what has been said already, that leadership is important but not in the traditional sense of 'I will dominate & boss the dog around', but rather a solid relationship founded in trust and clear communication etc. I would like to think my dogs follow my lead because they want to, that we're best friends, and are on the same team :)
     
  11. Interesting thread and comments.

    My mum has had three Lancashire Heelers, one after the other, and they have all been 'unpleasant'. They are / have all been very protective towards her to say the least, and nobody else has even been able to stroke one or even offer food that they will take. And they have bitten people who got too close to her, even family members. She gets them form a renowned breeder near to where she lives in Lancashire. Nature or nurture..?
     
    HarlequinCat likes this.
  12. The Wild Bunch

    The Wild Bunch Owner of dogs and referee of children

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2014
    Messages:
    3,678
    Likes Received:
    5,096
    I have, or like to think I have, a very trusting relationship with my dogs. They look to me for reassurance in new situations and it’s me that tells them “it’s ok” this is especially prevalent when expecting your dog to walk on the end of a lead. The dog trusts you implicitly to lead them safely and not put them in harms way. Most of the programmes I’ve watched with dogs that don’t ‘behave’ is down to the dog having no trust or interest in their handler or the handler is confusing the dog. You get out what you put in. Find something your dog will work for that is high value and use it. For my girl it’s chicken and a tennis ball! When the ball comes out, she knows she’s done well
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice