Am I Safe?

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Postby pitbullmamaliz » January 6th, 2010, 11:50 am

I ended up ordering Sarah Kalnaj's DVD, Am I Safe?, off of Amazon today. It was $5 cheaper than on her website, and free shipping, so I ended up saving $10. I have the first half of that seminar (Language of Dogs) and it's absolutely fantastic. The one I just ordered is day 2 of that same seminar and focuses on how to evaluate dogs in a shelter/rescue situation. I'm getting it in hopes that it will just further enhance my own knowledge.

I'm the go-to person at my job for dog-related (especially pit bull related!) questions. Today one of the guys asked for my help as his brother died yesterday of a drug overdose, leaving behind a pit bull. Apparently the dog is very well cared for, but very animal aggressive. He also said he wasn't sure how the dog is around other people when his owner isn't there. I desperately wish I could have offered to "evaluate" (I use that loosely as I know I don't have the skill) the dog to help place him, but I'm not confident in my own skills. So I just gave him the info to 2 local pit bull rescues and said that if the dog ends up being human aggressive the most humane thing to do would be to put him down rather than trying to place him himself (as I would bet money neither of the rescues will help him). This guy said his mom is actually more worried about the dog than she is about burying her son, who apparently was a drug user who estranged himself from everyone.

For those of you who do assess/evaluate dogs, how/where did you learn to do so? I used to help do it when I worked with the rescue, but I still don't feel my skills are up on a par with Michelle or Erin or others here who do that stuff.
"Remember - every time your dog gets somewhere on a tight leash *a fairy dies and it's all your fault.* Think of the fairies." http://www.positivepetzine.com"

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Postby TheRedQueen » January 6th, 2010, 12:21 pm

pitbullmamaliz wrote:For those of you who do assess/evaluate dogs, how/where did you learn to do so? I used to help do it when I worked with the rescue, but I still don't feel my skills are up on a par with Michelle or Erin or others here who do that stuff.


Lots and lots and lots of practice. Some people have a good eye for it, some don't...but even with a good eye, you have to develop that skill. :D Be around LOTS of dogs...even if Inara can't be around them, visit dog parks, classes, etc...and learn to read the dogs. I am constantly WATCHING what dogs do, not trying to step in, help out, tell them what to do...but just watching them interact with their environment and the beings within that environment.
"I don't have any idea if my dogs respect me or not, but they're greedy and I have their stuff." -- Patty Ruzzo

"Dogs don't want to control people. They want to control their own lives." --John Bradshaw
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Postby Hundilein » January 6th, 2010, 12:33 pm

Ditto to what Erin said. I also watch dogs all the time, as well as reading books, going to seminars, etc. any time I can. I was also lucky enough to have an awesome mentor trainer who let me observe and assist in her classes, as well as evaluating problem rescue dogs for us. I still call and email her all the time when I have questions.

Off topic, but I'm actually hoping to go to a Sarah Kalnaj seminar in May, so I'm glad to hear you like the DVD!
Sarah and Renee - aka wild child
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Postby TheRedQueen » January 6th, 2010, 1:16 pm

Hundilein wrote:Ditto to what Erin said. I also watch dogs all the time, as well as reading books, going to seminars, etc. any time I can. I was also lucky enough to have an awesome mentor trainer who let me observe and assist in her classes, as well as evaluating problem rescue dogs for us. I still call and email her all the time when I have questions.

Off topic, but I'm actually hoping to go to a Sarah Kalnaj seminar in May, so I'm glad to hear you like the DVD!


Yup...and even if you can't/don't want working slots in seminars...audit them...soak it all in!
"I don't have any idea if my dogs respect me or not, but they're greedy and I have their stuff." -- Patty Ruzzo

"Dogs don't want to control people. They want to control their own lives." --John Bradshaw
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Postby amazincc » January 6th, 2010, 3:54 pm

Dogs are still a mystery to me, for the most part, but I love watching them interact... and I'm figuring things out little by little. :oops: :P

The "evaluation" of mine, by someone else, was definitely an eye-opener in more ways than one. :shock:
Thank Dog I actually live w/them , and *know* them pretty well... lol

I think assessing someone elses dog is a HUGE responsebility, and can - literally - make the difference between life and death, in some cases.
There are a few people on this board whom I would trust to have enough experience to evaluate a dog fairly, because their knowledge reflects in the way they post... but the thing I have learned is that a title alone doesn't mean squat. :neutral:
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » January 6th, 2010, 6:20 pm

Thanks girls, good advice about going to the dog park, etc without Inara. Good idea!

Christine, I agree. I want this knowledge for myself, and if I ever get to the point where I can maybe help somebody, awesome. If not, at least I'll know for myself, you know?
"Remember - every time your dog gets somewhere on a tight leash *a fairy dies and it's all your fault.* Think of the fairies." http://www.positivepetzine.com"

http://www.pitbullzen.com
http://inaradog.wordpress.com
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Postby amazincc » January 6th, 2010, 6:28 pm

pitbullmamaliz wrote:
Christine, I agree. I want this knowledge for myself, and if I ever get to the point where I can maybe help somebody, awesome. If not, at least I'll know for myself, you know?



I do know... :wink:

I would just like to stop over-reacting when mine do totally typical dog stuff. Life would be... easier... and saner. lol

On another note - I hope that Pit Bull is not HA, but if he is... I absolutely agree w/your advise to have him euthanized. :sad2:
See...??? A year or so ago I wouldn't have been able to be realistic enough to say that. :|
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » January 6th, 2010, 6:38 pm

And if had a devoted owner I would not have advised that.
"Remember - every time your dog gets somewhere on a tight leash *a fairy dies and it's all your fault.* Think of the fairies." http://www.positivepetzine.com"

http://www.pitbullzen.com
http://inaradog.wordpress.com
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Postby amazincc » January 6th, 2010, 6:42 pm

pitbullmamaliz wrote:And if had a devoted owner I would not have advised that.


I know that, too. :hug3:
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