Article..."When Dog Whisperer Can't Help"

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Postby TheRedQueen » October 28th, 2010, 2:46 pm

"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 amalie79 » October 28th, 2010, 3:52 pm

"It's like they're wondering, 'who took away my knives?' " An epiphany that humbles and subdues them for all time."


:( My god. Is that supposed to make the owners feel better? That's the saddest thing I've seen all day. And then them talking about how "happy" disarming makes these dogs???

It reminded me of the single time I gave Ace to Simon-- he had severe thunderphobia. In our defense, thunderphobia is a hard one to have patience with, as you just CANNOT keep a dog below threshold until he's ready. You just can't. And he was still mobile enough that he was hurting himself trying to get out of whatever space he was in. The vet didn't exactly explain what ace was, and I was under the impression that it was an anti-anxiety sedative that might make him sleepy enough to ignore everything.

Long story short, he had a terrible reaction to it. And when I found out that him laying there as though sleeping soundly and happily was actually him being unable to move while panicking on the inside, I was horrified with myself and modern medicine. Luckily, it was only a trial run-- no storm going on to worsen his anxiety. I research EVERYTHING now, including proper dosages. But that was a hard lesson in the difference between what we perceive as expressions of calmness, happiness, etc. and what the dog is actually trying to tell us-- or unable to tell us. Like people who think a wagging tail is always good news, or that sitting stock-still means a dog is calm, or that a drugged state that pleases US, the HUMANS, is a good one.

I guess what I'm getting out is making a dog totally defenseless makes ME feel anxious-- the thought of being totally incapable of helping myself is terrifying. The thought of these poor dogs realizing they have no tools for their defense is just heartbreaking and it cannot help the situation.

Not to mention these poor people just threw everything at the problem-- all at once, probably. I've been that person. Patience is a hard lesson to learn.

And further evidence that CM is a guy who has a "way" with dogs, and is lucky that his techniques don't backfire on him. Some people have that magnetism with people, and some with animals. Doesn't mean everyone else can get away with their crap. :neutral:

AND-- the thought that people are now probably going to flock to this doggie dentist for the procedure. :nono: Oh my god. I'm sorry, but $1,600 isn't all that much for someone looking for a quick fix.

Sorry. This just really set me off.
"In these bodies, we will live; in these bodies we will die.
Where you invest your love, you invest your life." --Marcus Mumford

--Amalie
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Postby Tubular Toby » October 28th, 2010, 4:36 pm

Yeah, I didn't think $1600 was very much either. Too bad it doesn't cost a LOT more.

This is pretty ridiculous. If they tried ALL of the methods they said they tried, there is no way they stuck with any of them long enough and consistently enough to really see the change (although in the case of some of them, that was probably a good thing). This can take a long time to fix, and it probably would never be *completely* fixed, but they shouldn't have to chop his "knives" off. A lot of diligent, consistent training and a more caution can go a long ways. Don't set your dog up for failure. :(
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Postby Tubular Toby » October 28th, 2010, 4:42 pm

ETA: I do want to say that I find this case particularly interesting outside of the tooth cutting. They say the dog was socialized (properly or not?) and trained as a puppy yet he still turned out like this. I really want to know what experiences he had that might contribute to this. I am currently reading Patricia McConnell's book, For the Love of a Dog, and it talks about inheritable shyness in dogs. I would be more than willing to pour over a complete history of this dog as I find this quite interesting. I realize not every dog is going to be a social butterfly, but to "disarm" a dog seems a little extreme in any case.
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Postby amalie79 » October 28th, 2010, 4:56 pm

Tubular Toby wrote: more caution


This, in my opinion, does NOT include an invisible fence. :nono:

And I was thinking the very same thing about not sticking with those methods long enough. This is a scary problem, and as a dog owner, you want so badly to see results-- mostly, you think, "how did I end up with a biter? we were so nice to him."-- and top it all off with CM waltzing in promising those instant results...It's just so unrealistic, and most people don't even have a basic understanding of their dog, no matter how well-intentioned. These folks' various methods seem to suggest that lack of understanding and so it would be interesting to know what they see as an appropriate level of socialization, etc.

I have a biter. I was mortified when that came to light, but we took a lot of careful steps with him. Even though his canines are very worn down now (he liked to chew various inappropriate things outside over his 15 years), we still take a great deal of caution-- no kids that I can't be sure will follow directions, (which is almost all kids, really) no adults that I know will say "oh, but dogs love me," no workmen, no mailmen, no leaving him in the yard for the afternoon while the meter reader strolls in unannounced, no impromptu greetings with people on walks, no pet store visits. Does it cramp my style? You bet it does. Do I owe it to this dog to make sure he has the best final years of his life? Hell yes. Am I trying to stave off these same issue that I see at a much lower level in Robin? Absolutely. Most important to me is that he's treated with respect. Biting is his way of telling us that he's uncomfortable, and it's likely we didn't see milder warnings when he was a younger, more tolerant dog. He is, however, also an inherently nervy and high-strung dog (I'm listening to For the Love of a Dog during my commute :) ), so he'd probably never be anything close to bomb-proof. It's my job now to treat him with respect and understanding, and to keep everyone safe around him. This isn't to say I think biting is acceptable, and he has come a very long way since we began really working with desensitization and counter-conditioning with earnest and PATIENCE, despite his senility. Still. I have had him now for over half my life, since he was 6 weeks old. The old man is keeping his chompers.
"In these bodies, we will live; in these bodies we will die.
Where you invest your love, you invest your life." --Marcus Mumford

--Amalie
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Postby furever_pit » October 29th, 2010, 1:06 pm

I read about this a while back. I shared the article with the vets that I work with and everyone was shocked. Our dental specialist couldn't wrap his head around it (he is also the one most interested in training and behavior). The procedure seems extreme to me and is not something I would choose to do with my own dogs.

Tubular Toby - Genetics play a huge role in a dog's temperament. If you are interested I can send you the information on a few books I have read about canine genetics and breeding.
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