Confuzius wrote:NonTocareLeTete wrote:2.) Do I really want dogs that are so well 'trained' that they've lost their autonomy/personality?
Personality and autonomy are not the same thing. First, your dogs are not autonomous, if they are, god help you. Does you dog crap and pee wherever it wants? Does it just eat whatever it wants to? Does it just roam freely, everywhere? That is what an autonomous dog does.
Maybe we're arguing semantics. I consider myself to be pretty autonomous, but do I pee and poo wherever I want? Do I just eat whatever I want to? Do I roam freely, everywhere? No, I still follow rules of polite society (usually) but I still think I'm autonomous. That's what I'm talking about with my dogs.
Personality, is another thing. There is NOOOOOOOOOOOOO reason your dog cannot be obedient and still have its personality. My dog is obedient (lets say, 95%...gotto fuss at him sometimes...but he will not run after other dogs...he stops...looks at them, then I tell him "NO, COME HERE" and he does) but his personality is SO large and SO remarkable! Sweet, happy, needy, playful, curious little thing.
Yeah, I might have been a little off-base with the 'personality' thing. I know they'd still have personality, even if they were very obedient.
NonTocareLeTete wrote:Let's review the situation. Location: a beach path, perhaps 3 meters wide, quite long. Me: riding my bike. My dogs: about a meter behind me, to my right. The brickman: About a meter ahead of me, to the left. The dog my dogs wanted to greet: about a meter behind the man.
You evidently do not have enough control over your dogs to say "stop/come here" etc when they are running after a dog. That is really bad!!!
Lets say you dog is playing with another dog (the other not being yours). That dog runs out into the street amidst scooters, cars, etc. if you do not have enough control over your dog to say "come" then you are really being a bad pet owner/life partner/whatever pc term you wanna use because from the sound of it, your dog would run after them and there would be little you could do to stop him!! You are seriously doing your dogs a disserivce and putting them in harms way so they can be "autonomous".
This is a perfect example of you dog philosophy putting your dog in danger! He almost got knocked upside the head with a brick. You really need to get them trained.
My dogs 'come' most of the time. They do not come all of the time when I call. I am FULLY aware of that. I own that. They're really good about the street, but if one runs out in the street and gets hit by a truck, would I blame the truck? I would not. I know that by not having them 'fully trained' and on leash all the time, I am, to some degree, putting them in danger. To me, the benefits outweigh the possible consequence. I'd rather that they have an awesome, full life than have a 'controlled' life. Am I wrong? Absolutely could be, and I own that too. But this is the conclusion I've come to.
NonTocareLeTete wrote:I like that my dogs greet other dogs. That's natural doggy etiquette. That's what dogs do.
Dogs do all sorts of things. Some dogs will eat rocks if you let them. And you should DEFINITELY not let them greet other dogs without some sort of supervision or safety perimeters in place. What if your dog just walks up to another dog, and the other dog is a little shit and starts attacking your dog? That's really not smart. What if the other dog has some sort of virus (not rabies here, luckily) what if the owner is an asshole?
Again, to me it's worth it. Other dogs have attacked them, but, as with most dog scuffles I've seen, it ended very quickly when dominance was established, and there were no real injuries. I realize that this will not always be the case. If one of my dogs gets it's ass handed to him by an unfriendly dog...I'll own that too.
NonTocareLeTete wrote: I think it's fine that they approach people.
Unfortunately, you are not the only person in the world. [/quote] That is unfortunate, isn't it? Kidding, kidding...
And even more unfortunately, not everyone likes dogs! Just letting your dogs walk up to whomever they wish is a good way of getting them kicked (or HAVING A BRICK THROWN AT THEM). At the very least, respect other people's wishes and do not just think "oh, my doggie likes to meet that person, I really do not care if that person wants to meet my dog, since my dog is so 'autonomous'."
This is definitely a legitimate concern. Generally, my dogs will come close but not touch a person. The exception is foreigners, who they assume are friendly (racist little bastards). Probably once every two weeks they send some false-eyelash wearing high heeled girl screeching into the arms of her boyfriend because they get too near. This is where I get that I am being an asshole. Even if I think she's a twat, she doesn't deserve to be scared by my dog. Also, brickthrowing dude. Who knows, right? I mean, he's definitely a douche, but maybe his father was killed by a pack of stray dogs, and that would certainly explain his brick-throwing reaction. There are people who are legitimately scared of dogs. I guess I just live in a country where there's stray dogs fucking everywhere (at least in this area- there are stray dogs down every stretch of the beach) and my little sweet hearts aren't really an anomaly, plus they aren't going to really hurt someone...so. Yeah okay I'm an asshole. You're right. I'm just having trouble wanting myself to change.
(a nice thing though- some of the people who are initially scared by my dogs leave smiling- I hope that to some degree my dogs help to alleviate their fear.)
Anyways, because of this experience, I'm going to try to stick to less crowded areas of the beach.
NonTocareLeTete wrote:They keep a respectful distance and don't beg (too much) if they people have some tasty food. They're great dogs, and without me having done much training, 90% of the time, they're naturally in tune with what I want them to do, 7% of the time they listen to me when I tell them not to do something, and 3% of the time they just do whatever the hell they want because they are dogs they areautonomous and I don't want them to cease to be either of those things.
If they're so good, then it should not be too much of a hassle to get them more obedient and responsive to commands.[/quote]
It's true. They've got come, sit, stay, lie down, and roll over, with varying degrees of success. We're still working on it.
You evidently have a false dichotomy setup in your doggy philosophy:
personality VS obedience
I wouldn't say it's that cut and dried, but there may be an element of that to it.
A dog can be responsive to commands, obedient and still have a strong personality. For the sake of your dogs, for their safety and happiness (especially ifya wanna let them off leash. which do you think is more 'autonomous'- a dog on a leash who will do its own thing when off, or a dog who gets to go off leash and will respond to your verbal commands?).
I know your heart is in the right place and you CLEARLY love your little fluffy friends, but they need some 'tough love' so to speak. Just like a child, you can't just let them do what they want; there has to be rules.
In terms of the time to train them, I cannot say. I have had my dog on a "tight leach" so to speak since we adopted him from the shelter (he was only 8 weeks old then). If you do not feel up to it (which says nothing about you...some people say it is better to have the dog trained by someone else) then just find a good trainer.
Thank you for your well thought out response. While I respectfully disagree with some of it, I mostly agree. If my dogs safety were my #1 priority, I would be following your advice. Maybe I put enjoyment before safety. If we go out 300 times without incident with 100% enjoyment, the the 301st time, something bad happens, or on the 3000th time, something catastrophic happens, to me that's still preferable to no incidents, 50% enjoyment. This experience has moved me a little closer to your end of the dog-training opinion spectrum though.
Just so ya'll don't make your fingers tired, this was more of a cultural "What's the best way to deal with an angry local?" than "How should I train my dogs?" I appreciate your advice but I can't promise to agree with it.