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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...


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.