Limitations we put on our dogs..
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Thread: Limitations we put on our dogs..

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    Deanna1002's Avatar
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    LightbulbLimitations we put on our dogs..

    I think i've posted things about Susan Garrett before... but she truly is an inspiring person.. and really gets me thinking about the training methods i use for apple and the handler that i am especially when confronted with a "brick wall".
    In today's blog she wrote about how we limit our dogs and create a longterm disability because we make it a reality.

    Is There a Difference? | Susan Garrett's Dog Training Blog

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    ZRL
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    I think she makes a decent point - I've thought the same thing often enough. I think perhaps there should be a part about realistic thinking on physical ability (not that I think she was unrealistic, she just didn't address that part).

    Positive thinking for performance

    Realistic thinking for physical ability. (i.e. a mastiff isn't going to be as fast and nimble as a border collie no matter what its conditioning, training, performance skill).
    Last edited by ZRL; 04-20-2010 at 04:25 PM.
    Zeke RN, agility miscreant and CGC failure

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZRL View Post
    I think she makes a decent point - I've thought the same thing often enough. I think perhaps there should be a part about realistic thinking on physical ability (not that I think she was unrealistic, she just didn't address that part).

    Positive thinking for performance

    Realistic thinking for physical ability. (i.e. a mastiff isn't going to be as fast and nimble as a border collie no matter what its conditioning, training, performance skill).
    Yes Agreed.

    because apple is not BC or Aussie fast, I do fall into telling my self "Apple is not a fast breed" which limits the speed i know she has only because i've made it a realistic thought... when she's retrieving a duck or chasing a ball she runs 10 times faster and with more drive then she does in the ring. I'm not bringing out the best in her and i tend to settle with her "ring speed" only because that is where I lack as a trainer.

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    I agree but disagree with her.

    I think that by putting a name to what we experience with our dogs (for me, my Attention Deficit, Special Needs Boy, as I jokingly refer to him as) it is tapping into the problem, i.e., we are looking for and naming the problem, diagnosing it. Unless we do this, we can't fix it. You have to be aware enough to see and understand the behavior you are experiencing in order to begin to help the dog through the behaviour.

    I can't speak for all people, but when I come up with "nicknames" for my pets, it is NOT because I am limiting them, it is because I love them and would much rather make light of a problem or behavior and work toward making that behavior work in our favor, than not. (speaking purely of non-aggressive behaviours).

    That's my point-of-view.

    because apple is not BC or Aussie fast, I do fall into telling my self "Apple is not a fast breed" which limits the speed i know she has
    Look at it more positively, because you KNOW that Apple is not a "fast breed" you therefore use that information to learn how to handle her to the best of her advantage to shave seconds off your course time.
    Last edited by 3TailsWaggin; 04-20-2010 at 05:22 PM.

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    I like the article/blog! My favorite statement: "I don’t focus on what isn’t there with my dogs, I focus on what is. I take up ownership of anything that can be made better and I spend that dog’s career trying to make it better."

    I don't think that she is saying that any dog can do anything that any other dog can do. I think her point is that, as humans, we often are our own obstacles and that rather than deciding that a dog can't handle something, we should use that dogs strengths to help them overcome their weaknesses.

    Linda, I don't think that everyone who "names" their dog's weaknesses gives in to them. As you stated, you've identified them, named them, and you work on them. However, I think it is quite common for people to do exactly that. I hear it all the time.

    We used to call Miles "Country Boy" because he is mellow and tends to lag. He was never all that quick on the uptake on anything. I had decided he couldn't do agility because is too much of a big lug. Well, he WAS overweight. Then I was watching him out in the woods chasing squirrels and saw that he is really FAST and Agile when he is motivated. Hmmm. Well, we took 13 pounds off him and introduced a tennis ball to training. A big difference. Now, we still have to work on lagging in obedience but we know that is something we will always be working on but he now knows when we leave a ring, we go outside and chase a tennis ball and he looks forward to that. Now we do agility and we really like it. I am glad we didn't write it off.

    Ann & Miles
    MACH ARCHEX "Miles" (DOB 3/10/2006) UD RAE MXS MJS OF CW-OB3 CW-ARF CW-AR CW-ZR2 CL-1 (DOB 3/10/2006)
    "Hartley" (DOB 7/21/2012) RN CGC CW-OB1

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    Linda i think where she was heading with this was people "nickname" and see it as part of the dog. For example the border collie in my class is a "softy".. they've handicapped her and accept that as part of her personality, and they do try to fix it but if they don't "fix" it its acceptable because thats just "who she is". i think theres more to a "softy" dog, they just haven't found a way of keeping her unstressed in the ring. They fall back on their defense mechanism.

    Even with the example and apple's speed, i said "Apple is not a fast breed" instead of switching it around and saying "She's a fast lab" and figuring out how to bring that into the ring. When she runs slower at some points i tend to accept it and catagorize her.

    I've seen lots of people that label their dogs as "barker dogs", "crazy dogs", and yes they work on them but behind it all, in the owners head and everyone else's that dog will always be that... yea maybe they'll get the "barker dog" to not bark as much but when he does stop barking a lot again its "OK" because he's a "Barker"...

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    I was not disagreeing with the article, simply stating that because we are human we do label things, its what we do as humans. I don't find it bad at all to label something providing you don't use the label to stagnant your progress with the dog (or any other thing you've labeled).

    In other words, don't use a label as a crutch to say "I can't".

    I don't like the words, "I can't." That is one thing I don't let my students get away with. If they tell me "I can't" or "my dog won't" it's not acceptable. We find a way to turn the "can't" into "can".

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    ZRL
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    Last edited by ZRL; 04-21-2010 at 03:42 PM.
    Zeke RN, agility miscreant and CGC failure

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    Amen Linda! One of my favorite quotes is to ask yourself "Is that you can't or that you really don't want to?". I heard this from a fitness person, but it applies to so many things. One thing that is somewhat liberating about that question, is that with may things, not wanting to is okay. When we set goals for ourselves, we need to eliminate the word can't from the context of that goal.

    "The next time you start to say "I can't," stop yourself and instead say the "antidote" statement, which is "I can." ~Jillian Michaels

    Ann & Miles
    MACH ARCHEX "Miles" (DOB 3/10/2006) UD RAE MXS MJS OF CW-OB3 CW-ARF CW-AR CW-ZR2 CL-1 (DOB 3/10/2006)
    "Hartley" (DOB 7/21/2012) RN CGC CW-OB1

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    I think that was a fabulous article. I was SO guilty of that with Peanut, almost never put her in agility at all because I didn't think she could handle it. Luckily she outshined me quickly and has succeeded in spite of my reservations and doubts. I've realized that I need to be a better partner for her and if I can do that, the sky's the limit.

    I will very readily admit that I am the weakest link on our team.
    Kate
    Baloo - 5 year old black lab
    Peanut - 7 year old minpin
    Monster - 3-ish year old frenchie/jack, rescue
    We're Superdogs!


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