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this is being passed around

Some good stuff in this post to think about how you flatten a dog and how you don't.


I have to look back at last year and see where I might have flattened Stella and for the future remember how long a road back it is...


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 21st, 2015 11:06 pm (UTC)
I found the article really blamey and negative. But perhaps I am in a bad mood ;)
Jan. 21st, 2015 11:28 pm (UTC)
Yep. And I really am a bad person for flattening Stella. I am. I am a selfish agility person and unfocused and have expectations and I fail to figure out what she needs in class and at trials even though I try. Bad bad bad.
And I am being even doubly bad now that we have Razzle and his current needs dominate all our lives... Poor Stella offering to do all the stretches when I am working with him and getting in the way so that I can't actually do some of the stretches and core work and also sometimes just wandering by and stealing his treat that I have put where he can see it and knows he will get it as soon as we are done doing all this boring rehab stuff, but now Stella has wandered off with his reward so stealthily... I am thinking so help me I am going to flatten that dog!!
Jan. 22nd, 2015 12:14 am (UTC)
Dog guilt. I know how ya feel. It's the worst. Many loves to you all. I seriously still don't think you are to blame for anything that is happening but meh, I'm no guru either. Write a post about all the things you love about Stella for us. I especially love her smuffy mouth hair but that might just be me.
Jan. 22nd, 2015 12:50 am (UTC)
Jan. 22nd, 2015 02:09 am (UTC)
oooh do this!
Jan. 23rd, 2015 09:10 pm (UTC)
I identify with you on dog flattening. I certainly did that with Matilda every time I sent her where I didn't want her to go and then reacted "Why did you go there?" Now I try to remember with both dogs the dog is always right.

When I do Matilda's stretches, Joey comes around us. I've been putting him on a down, and then he's been going into "the frog". So now I've been clicking and treating when he does. Maybe now I'll get "the frog" on cue, but it does make it hard to get Matilda's stretches done.
Jan. 21st, 2015 11:59 pm (UTC)
Hmm, me too. And then when I looked at the calendar it was NOT even that time of the month, so now I'm thinking maybe it was blame-y and negative.
Jan. 22nd, 2015 12:11 am (UTC)
Hahha that is good because it IS that time of the month for me so I assumed that was why I got shitty about it! Thanks Rosie! Now I might just be normal :) :)
Jan. 22nd, 2015 12:49 am (UTC)
I don't think I was taking enough responsibility for flattening Stella. It was always so baffling to me. How she would be so there and fast and tight and we would both feel the thrill of team and then sometimes in the same day same hour she would suddenly so not be there... It seemed like drudgery and molasses... So eh yeah it's negative-y and blame-y but it made me think
Jan. 22nd, 2015 12:56 am (UTC)
Yes, but Dinah, there's a HUGE piece of the puzzle missing from that article.. and I realize that she can't account for every variable. But there are infinite number of reasons why a dog might shut down.

I do think handler nerves (at shows) is a big piece. Dogs read us so well. But what about the dog??? and what it likes? and what it understands? And what it desires or fears? There's no way to watch a dog lope through a course, half-hearted and squarely place the blame on the handler. Sometimes, yes, you can see very clearly that the handler is NOT the same person once they enter the ring. But often that's not the case. Also, what about age? Experience, health, what the dog had for breakfast??

I am ALL an advocate for getting to the bottom of what might distract a dog, or cause them to shrink from their previous awesomeness... But you can't just say it's handling, or squashing, or whatever. You just can't.

Plus, hell. Temperament!! There are dogs you can KONK on the head with a pipe and they'll still go out there and pour their heart into it... what's up with those dogs? You can't create that... a dog COMES that way.. it's born into them.
Jan. 22nd, 2015 01:24 am (UTC)
Hahaha, omg, me too. Yep, it's my fault my dog had low confidence, even before I ever got her! And I wasn't perfect 110% of the time! (that was for Rosie). I sometimes even said "no!"

I get it, I do, that my behavior affects my dog, and I should be mindful of that. But I'm really over-done with people assuming that I clearly was mean to my shy, sensitive, shut-down dog, and also that I never was firm enough with my over-the-top, hyper-stimulated dog with threshold issues.

Jan. 22nd, 2015 02:04 am (UTC)
110% pushes me RIGHT over the threshold... just sayin.
Jan. 22nd, 2015 01:22 am (UTC)
I'm with Penny. I found it to be unnecessarily blamey. Sometimes it's no ones fault. And I think the same way that we never blame the dog for course errors (they're just following our direction), we need to give some credit to the handlers who do unknowingly shut their dogs down. No one would do it intentionally, sometimes the handler just doesn't know any better or just becomes blind to the warning signs until it's too late. And even when there are things a handler has done, I still think the actual shut down is multifactorial, and some dogs will do so and others won't. No need to beat yourself up.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )