Episode 216 - Living on the Edge - May 8

Any time new episodes of It’s Me or the Dog are airing on Animal Planet in the US, Victoria will answer questions about that episode later that week. Post your questions to Victoria about the most recent episode here anytime.

Moderators: emmabeth, BoardHost

Victoria
Site Admin
Posts: 280
Joined: Thu Sep 14, 2006 9:28 am

Re: Episode 216 - Living on the Edge - May 8

Post by Victoria » Mon May 10, 2010 8:53 pm

nikkitoni wrote:I'm always amazed at the level of denial that dog owners put themselves in. Why is it that people are so nonchalant about their destructive dogs? Seriously - what is it that causes these people to NOT see this? Are they that blind? Is it their ego? This episode reminded me of a lady I recently ran into at a dog park. Her dog was a pitbull mix and was attacking other dogs and chasing a kid. I confronted the lady and asked her to watch her dog, and of course, I was the bad guy for pointing out that her dog was attacking other dogs, and her excuse was 'he's a puppy'.

Victoria - when us normal people run into people who have destructive dogs, what should we do? How should we approach them on it? I'd love to be as straightforward as you are, but people are very defensive when it comes to their unruly dogs...
First of all, no matter how ignorant and misguided people may be at first, it should be pointed out to their credit when they take steps to educate themselves and follow through on training and advice that's given to them. That's what happened with this family, which I feel is a more important factor than those that brought them to the edge. At least they're trying to do the right thing, even if it is a belated attempt.

As for how to deal with other peoples' unruly dogs, it is indeed a very touchy point. Sort of like children. If you tell someone that their precious kid is being a bully or a rude little thing, it can trigger a lot of defensiveness and blindness. That's exacerbated by the fact that a lot of times, the type of person that lets their dog get to that nasty point is a bit of a reflection of the dog as well. Not always, but sometimes. So read each situation differently. Don't be outright demeaning to the other owners, but try to find a way to find some common ground before suggesting that their dog may be a tad out of control.

Victoria
Site Admin
Posts: 280
Joined: Thu Sep 14, 2006 9:28 am

Re: Episode 216 - Living on the Edge - May 8

Post by Victoria » Mon May 10, 2010 8:53 pm

EADGBE wrote:Hi Victoria.

That was a wild show! That dog almost bit you. You have good reflexes. Has a dog ever come that close to biting you before? Also was that dog a rescue?
I've had several experiences like that. Most trainers have. And yes, Sammy was a rescue.

Victoria
Site Admin
Posts: 280
Joined: Thu Sep 14, 2006 9:28 am

Re: Episode 216 - Living on the Edge - May 8

Post by Victoria » Mon May 10, 2010 8:56 pm

GoofyDog2 wrote:I was wondering if there is a way to "read" a dog's intentions. And also if it is always best to turn around and ignore a dog as you did, or if that is only for ignoring playful behavior?
I turned away to give him body signals that I was not a threat to him. It worked, because he chose to move away from me. In general, it's advisable with dogs that are aggressing towards you to make yourself small and boring. Remove the idea that you're a threat.

As for reading the dog's intentions - absolutely. Reading dog body language is the key to being a successful trainer and/or dog owner. It's importnat all the time, but especially with aggressive situations.

Victoria
Site Admin
Posts: 280
Joined: Thu Sep 14, 2006 9:28 am

Re: Episode 216 - Living on the Edge - May 8

Post by Victoria » Mon May 10, 2010 8:58 pm

maximoo wrote:Hi again: Do you think a dog should learn some tricks (for confidence) after behavior problems have been addressed? Rollover, play dead, beg, etc give a dog something fun to do

Have you ever met Zak George? I think the both of you should team up for a fun show of behavior mod & trick training :D
Yes, teaching tricks after behavior modification can really help to refocus the dog's mind on something positive.

I've never actually met Zak, but we've chatted online several times. I think he's great.

Victoria
Site Admin
Posts: 280
Joined: Thu Sep 14, 2006 9:28 am

Re: Episode 216 - Living on the Edge - May 8

Post by Victoria » Mon May 10, 2010 9:00 pm

DesperadoTheGSD wrote:My question was about your definition of "insecure" and why you applied that labal to Sammy. You mentioned you thought Sammy was an insecure dog, and while I realise we only get to see what is on the program he didn't show many of the classic signs of being insecure. He had what seemed like confident body language (tail up, head up, ears up) and he was initiating a lot of contact (even though most of it was unwanted). What was different about Sammy that would lead you to label him as insecure as opposed to confident but overexcited?
He did display a lot of insecure behavior - nervous about his resources, anxious about people at the door, plus lots of other body language that showed me his insecurity. A lot of aggression behavior problems are rooted in insecurity, and Sammy was no exception.

Victoria
Site Admin
Posts: 280
Joined: Thu Sep 14, 2006 9:28 am

Re: Episode 216 - Living on the Edge - May 8

Post by Victoria » Mon May 10, 2010 9:01 pm

Thanks to everyone for your great questions! Have a great week, and keep it positive! Good night.

sj96skittles
Posts: 262
Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 7:38 pm
Location: Texas

Re: Episode 216 - Living on the Edge - May 8

Post by sj96skittles » Mon May 10, 2010 9:05 pm

[quote="Victoria"][quote="sj96skittles"]When u were working on the leash biting with Sammy why didn't u use the chain leash? I wonder if you'll cometo Texas sometime![/quote]
See my last post - Sammy didn't need a chain leash.

I love Texas. Would love to come.[/quote]
Awesome!!!! I'd love for u to come to San Antonio!!!! :D

sammyjoey
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed May 12, 2010 8:07 pm

Re: Episode 216 - Living on the Edge - May 8

Post by sammyjoey » Wed May 12, 2010 8:36 pm

This is kind of on topic. My husband and I adopted a dalmatian in January. We had 2 in the past that lived to be 14. We also have 2 other dogs in the house. About 8 weeks ago the dalmatian decided he needed to protect me or something from my husband. My husband has been bit 3 times now and we call the behavior "Kugo" dog. We have tried a number of techniques from not talking to him when he starts showing the aggression to not touching and trying to ignore him. We are starting a beginner dog class in 2 weeks but am at a loss as to what to do until then. We want to alter the behavior because 90% of the time he is a great dog and we don't want to have to put him down.

emmabeth
Posts: 8894
Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2006 9:24 pm
Location: West Midlands
Contact:

Re: Episode 216 - Living on the Edge - May 8

Post by emmabeth » Wed May 12, 2010 8:39 pm

Hi Sammyjoey - can you come post about your dalmation in the Training Advice area of the forum, and we can see if we can help you out there.
West Midlands based 1-2-1 Training & Behaviour Canine Consultant

k9train
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2010 10:35 am

Re: Episode 216 - Living on the Edge - May 8

Post by k9train » Wed Jun 16, 2010 10:47 am

I just saw the episode with Sammy. I was very surprised to see Victoria so fearful of the dog that she would not help the child whom the dog had turned on. Instead, she stayed in the background speaking to the camera and explaining that the dog would turn on her if she were to interefere. It was shocking that she was so overcome with fear that she refused to help the young boy. At that moment, it seemed like she lacked the skill necessary to deal with that sort of aggression. I also agree with the other poster who wondered why Victoria labeled the dog 'insecure'. Though she wrote that the dog was 'nervous' around his food and at the door, the behavior screamed dominance, not insecurity.

Zeldacorgi
Posts: 205
Joined: Sun May 30, 2010 10:28 am
Location: Bozeman, MT

Re: Episode 216 - Living on the Edge - May 8

Post by Zeldacorgi » Wed Jun 16, 2010 10:52 am

I only saw the episode once a few weeks ago. I don't think she did nothing. I believe she was right that if she interfered by approaching the dog and boy (the dog's possession), that she would be bitten. Much like she was almost bitten when she was working with the dog's bone. However, she was instructing the boy on what he needed to do to get him out of the situation which appeared to work. She then ceased to train using the children.

User avatar
Noobs
Posts: 2536
Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 3:43 pm
Location: New York, NY
Contact:

Re: Episode 216 - Living on the Edge - May 8

Post by Noobs » Wed Jun 16, 2010 10:57 am

k9train wrote:I just saw the episode with Sammy. I was very surprised to see Victoria so fearful of the dog that she would not help the child whom the dog had turned on. Instead, she stayed in the background speaking to the camera and explaining that the dog would turn on her if she were to interefere. It was shocking that she was so overcome with fear that she refused to help the young boy. At that moment, it seemed like she lacked the skill necessary to deal with that sort of aggression. I also agree with the other poster who wondered why Victoria labeled the dog 'insecure'. Though she wrote that the dog was 'nervous' around his food and at the door, the behavior screamed dominance, not insecurity.
It speaks volumes that you think any dog's behavior is about dominance.

User avatar
Mattie
Posts: 5872
Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2007 5:21 am

Re: Episode 216 - Living on the Edge - May 8

Post by Mattie » Wed Jun 16, 2010 11:09 am

k9train wrote:Though she wrote that the dog was 'nervous' around his food and at the door, the behavior screamed dominance, not insecurity.
It looks like you don't understand dominance, the majority of dogs that are labelled as dominant are really frightened and nervous, if you watch their body language and understand it you will see this. I took on a dog that everyone said was dominant, thank goodness I didn't do what was recommended, she was terrified. Once I taught her there was nothing to be frightened of, the aggression went.
I just saw the episode with Sammy. I was very surprised to see Victoria so fearful of the dog that she would not help the child whom the dog had turned on. Instead, she stayed in the background speaking to the camera and explaining that the dog would turn on her if she were to interefere.
How would you have handled this?
It was shocking that she was so overcome with fear that she refused to help the young boy. At that moment, it seemed like she lacked the skill necessary to deal with that sort of aggression. I also agree with the other poster who wondered why Victoria labeled the dog 'insecure'.
Are you sure the boy wasn't helped? from what you are saying you seem to think that you are a better trainer than Victoria.

Using aggression to solve an aggression problem will lead to someone being seriously hurt. If someone came up to you and grabbed you by your collar and tried to drag you somewhere, what would your reaction be? If someone through you on on your back on the ground, what would your reaction be? If someone forced you into a cage just big enough, what would your reaction be? Treat others as well as animals how we would like to be treated ourselves. Having taken on quite a few dogs with problems caused by previous owners using dominance methods, the quicker these methods disappeared the better.
[url=http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v312/Nethertumbleweed/PIXIE.jpg][img]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v312/Nethertumbleweed/th_PIXIE.jpg[/img][/url]

k9train
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2010 10:35 am

Re: Episode 216 - Living on the Edge - May 8

Post by k9train » Wed Jun 16, 2010 2:21 pm

I wrote nothing about using dominance on the dog. I wrote that the dog displayed dominant behavior, not insecurity. I'm fully aware that some dominant dogs which display dominance are really insecure, however not all dominant dogs are insecure. As the previous poster pointed out, the dog moved toward her and other people, always. Other displays of dominance -- as the previous poster pointed out -- were the erect ears and tail set. The dog did not display insecurity. I'm certain Vitoria can help some dogs with certain issues but I've not seen her do much with aggressive or dominant dogs. In one episode she works with 5 Weimaraners, of which two are aggressive with one another. In the end she couldn't sort it out because only four were pictured. The most aggressive one had to be separated. She does work well with such things as house breaking though and she does well with using the dogs for what they are bred for (gives them a job, herding, etc). And I'm still confused about the episode with all the Pugs that ate their own (and the others) feces. She taught them with cookies to steer clear of the poop, which was flagged. What happens when no one is home to flag the poop so the Pugs don't eat it? Also, I'm curious why she tells all of the dog owners that they will probably have to get rid of the dog or that the dog is nor for them? All of the people get very upset and most of them cry. I don't know if this is to boost ratings or if it is used as a 'cliff-hangar' so people will stay tuned-in to see if they had to relinquish the dog??

dontpugme
Posts: 1294
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2009 8:01 pm
Location: Houston, Texas

Re: Episode 216 - Living on the Edge - May 8

Post by dontpugme » Wed Jun 16, 2010 4:14 pm

k9train wrote:In one episode she works with 5 Weimaraners, of which two are aggressive with one another. In the end she couldn't sort it out because only four were pictured. The most aggressive one had to be separated.
I'm assuming you are talking about Skye, Hoss, Yaphit, and Newman. She didn't separate them, she did training with Skye (the aggressive one) by herself and then the other three. When the four dogs were together, they had a mussle on Skye. Skye also wore a collar with an appeasing pheromone on it. The solution to the problem was management because Skye's attacks occured in random circumstances.
k9train wrote:And I'm still confused about the episode with all the Pugs that ate their own (and the others) feces. She taught them with cookies to steer clear of the poop, which was flagged. What happens when no one is home to flag the poop so the Pugs don't eat it?
The pugs were always supervised when they were outside pooping. I remember Victoria specifically said "This is where you watch like a hawk." Victoria also gave the owners a chart where they could record who had eliminated. The solution to this was also management. The owners had already tried many things that hadn't worked. The owners' picked up the poop right after the pugs pooped. But, they had 5 pugs, which made this almost impossible. That's why the flags were used.

[quote="k9trainAlso, I'm curious why she tells all of the dog owners that they will probably have to get rid of the dog or that the dog is nor for them? All of the people get very upset and most of them cry. I don't know if this is to boost ratings or if it is used as a 'cliff-hangar' so people will stay tuned-in to see if they had to relinquish the dog??[/quote]
She always says that the owners make the ultimate decision about everything. She only says this to make sure the dog has the best life possible. People call her because they want to know the truth, and that's what she does.
--dontpugme

Post Reply