I can not believe it !

Discussion of Victoria's TV show, It's Me or the Dog.

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Post by Ocelot0411 » Wed Sep 03, 2008 4:06 am

There seems to be an awful lot of emphasis here on the comment 'we tried everything'. Whilst I understand the point you are making Rescueteam, I think its important to point out that terms such as this are always, by definition, relative to the person making them.

What I mean by this is 'everything' to me or the owners of the dog in question, may not be 'everything' to you or someone who has extensive experience of rescue and rehabilitiation. I think all that we can and indeed should ascertain from that comment is that the dog's owners in this case felt that they had made every effort, within the restraints of their own knowledge and experience, to solve the dog's problems and were unable to.

In this case despite the assistance of 'experts' (again a relative term - but the same would apply here - i.e. I would consider the opinion of a dog trainer who had been working in the field for 20 years to have more experience of dogs than myself), the dog's agression had not been delat with and the dog was now a danger to the families young children. At this stage they decide not to pursue the matter any further and put the dog to sleep.

Now I think this is the most important bit - when it comes to the matter of who's decision it should be to put the dog to sleep, I firmly believe that this is a decision for the owner of the dog. Now I stick by that belief with the knowledge that some dog owners won't go to the lengths I or you may go to, to solve a dogs problems before they take this decision. Similarly not all people will bother to think through the implications of getting a dog in the first place, but whilst this is far from ideal, the fact remains that once someone buys a dog, the dog is their responsibility and the decision as to whether to rehome or PTS is ultimately theirs.

In this particular case the dogs owner sought help and in my view, did 'everything' (that term again) that they knew of or felt they could do to help the dog before the decision was made to PTS. The type of person that contacts a TV show to try to solve their dogs problems, and is willing to put themselves on TV making such a difficult decision, does not strike me as the type of owner who could not be bothered and just took an easy way out. I appreciate however, that this is probably not at all what you are suggesting.

What I am driving at here, perhaps in rather a long winded way, is that I don't feel it is particularly helpful, or indeed fair on the owners of this particular dog for someone to come along after the event and say 'yes but what was everything, did you really try hard enough'. Had you have been there at the time with an alternative solution that would have kept the children safe and help the dog, then great, but after the event its too late and in my view, a little disrespectful to start questioning whether or not they did enough. The other side of this coin is of course, even if, in your view they didn't, is it really your place to be making such a judgement?

From your posts, I do not think that you are particularly passing judgement and I think that your questions are from a quite academic point of view. If that is the case, then please do not take any offence at some of the obviously quite emotive comments I make above. Whilst I understand that discussions such as these need to take place from an academic perspective so that we may all learn from each others experience and hopefully find a better outcome if the same circumstance was to arise in the future, it is important to remember that on a forum such as this, we are discussing real life examples and for this reason emotions often run high.

It is not therefore that issues like this can't / should not be discussed on these boards, but I feel very strongly that out of courteousy and respect to all those involved, we should remain careful about how such matters are discussed, and bear in mind the feeling of those involved before we make comments, regardless of how well intended, whihc may cause distress or offence.

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Post by Ocelot0411 » Wed Sep 03, 2008 4:10 am

Oh lordy, I'm at it now too :oops: . Me thinks the forum gremlins are back. Em could you please wave the magic 'mod' stick and sort me out please!



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Post by Mattie » Wed Sep 03, 2008 6:25 am

Rescueteam wrote:Mattie in attempts to be most focused like a lazer on my curiousity let me try and elaborate further.

As a trainer who has been around many years using everything out there I have experience thousands of times people saying things like "we tried that method" or "we tried that tool" and it did not work for us therefore we have no faith in that particular approach and I am sure most have heard this before.
I am not a trainer but do have dogs that others have given up on and turned round. I do understand what you are saying about the "I have tried Everything", when you get down to it they have probably asked 1 person who may or may not be a trainer. When it comes to people being on the TV and putting themselves through what they go through for everyone to see, most have been to several trainers, paid out a lot of money for these people, but whatever they were told didn't work. There is someone near me who paid out £200 for a behaviourist to come out to her dog aggressive dog, she did do what she was told to but it didn't make any difference. I met her one day and she was desperate, her dog was a lot worse and she had lost faith in behaviourists.

She also tried to take him to training classes, each one she went to they told her they couldn't do anything with her dog. To her she had tried everything she could to help her dog.
Quite often people tend to use the power of individual experiences and testomonials to convey inaccurate generalizations to quantify a position which is the way we humans do. My curiousity in this particular matter is simply this. I deal with putting a lot of dogs to sleep because of not being able to find them a home because of behavior and know how it all goes down. I have had vets,behaviorists, and trainers tell me one thing and then when I get other opinions I find that a resolution of other sorts are possible. Many times I have had a vet say this dog cannot be rehabbed or conditioned and have easily found someone who says the opposite. It is quite common in the dog training world that no two trainers think alike or have the same skills in achieving exceptable resolution to issues. This occurs in trainers in the same political camp on both or all sides and just because a particular approach failed for one trainer does not mean it would not be succesful having found a different trainer....I am sure you understand my point here I hope.
Yes I do understand what you are saying, I have dogs here that were given up on but are now lovely family pets so know it can be done.

I am a horse riding instructor not a dog trainer, when training I was told if someone didn't get it after being told 3 times they are never going to get it so change our wording, think outside the box. I have used this with training my dogs and it works. Unfortunately too many trainers are not open minded enough to think outside the box and try something different. I always say if it works without hurting either mentally or physically, use it, if it doesn't change it. :lol:
So I simply would ask in all the things that were tried and failed WHO where the EXPERTS in there repective disciplines that failed to gain exceptable resolution or agreed that temination was the best way to go?
The UK has a lot of trainers/behaviourists that have not training apart from training their own dog, these people are now telling others how to train theirs. Everytime they fail with an owner to teach them how to train their dogs, they are doing a lot of damage. These people call themselves experts, to me an ex is a has been, a spurt a big drip. :lol:

You have probably guessed that I have no time for people who call themselves experts, every dog we interact with teaches us something new, I hope I never stop learning and love these discussions. :wink:
For some that is a moot point for me it certainly is not especially if you have ever experience similiar issues with he human elements that so often illustrate this issue.
I have come across people who took advice from someone and are ashamed to say what it was because of the effect it had. They won't admit just what they tried but will run down the person who told them.

I have been in the position were I thought I had tried everything more than once, but always found another way.
Obviously no one in this discussion cares enough about this point to find it worth reseraching or noting in developing a through understanding except for maybe someone who is concerned with science..

I think you are being very unfair with this statement, it wasn't us who were on the programs, it wasn't us that said they had tried everything and unless you have these people here saying what they have tried, no amount of questions or discussion will give us the answers.

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Post by Rescueteam » Wed Sep 03, 2008 10:01 am

I did take the time to express those views in my last post?

Be careful on how you treat your dog

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Post by Mattie » Wed Sep 03, 2008 12:32 pm

Rescueteam wrote:I did take the time to express those views in my last post?

Sorry, I didn't realise what you were saying , it wasn't very clear to me, or I wouldn't have bothered to put my point of view.

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Post by lablver2 » Wed Sep 03, 2008 5:33 pm

I do have to admit I would go to great lengths to help my dog. Like I said he's family to me but I also have to think about the saftey of my family members too.
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Post by animallover » Wed Sep 03, 2008 5:58 pm

I do want to say that the dog had bit someone twice. Both, I'm thinking, were unprovoked. I know the second one was, but can't remember about the first one. If that dog had bitten anyone else visiting that particular day and the bite was unprovoked, then that person could have reported them and they would have no choice but to put him down.

And in anycase, Victoria merely suggested that they put him down. They could have just said "forget it". It was their choice, not Victoria's. They called her for advice, so she gave it. They didn't have to go with it.

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Post by ckranz » Sat Sep 13, 2008 4:51 pm

All dogs the bite, do so for a reason, real or imagined. I have been in a very similar position as described by the family in this episode and had to make the sam decision. It is not easy on the family. I cannot begin to express the pain and anguish I have felt even though I know I made the right decision.

Sure I did have other options: I could have built a double gated roofed dog run in the back with a cement base and shleter to protect from the sun. The run would have been about 6' wide and 50' in length. The only time he would be out of the run would be for cleaning and that would be after securing the fence and doors. His "walks" would be laps around the backyard. I be treating him like a prisoner with no quality of life. A life of confinement which was not fair to him. He did not ask for the abuse as a puppy. He did not ask to be thrown in a dumpster and slammed on his head.

The necropsy did reveal breain damage which is believed to have contributed to his issues. For more information about this dog and how bad he was see my thread about unapproachable dogs.

I still have lots of love for this dog and miss him every day. I am sorry that I could do nothing to heal the hurt. In Patricia McConnells "For the Love of a Dog" she is talking about a dog who's first owners though giving a AMPBT cocaine as a 4 mo old puppy would be cool. He was rehomed and as the pup reach adult hood started showing severe problems. She makes the comment that "the dog had died months before and his brain did not know it."

Even knowing this does not make the pain I feel go away. Doing the right thing does not always feel good. After seeing most of the other episodes of the series, I cannot se VS as the type of trainer to rush dogs to be PTS...in fact quite the opposite. But when faced with certain situations euthanasia it the right choice.

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Post by Mattie » Sun Sep 14, 2008 4:22 am

ckranz wrote: I still have lots of love for this dog and miss him every day. I am sorry that I could do nothing to heal the hurt. In Patricia McConnells "For the Love of a Dog" she is talking about a dog who's first owners though giving a AMPBT cocaine as a 4 mo old puppy would be cool. He was rehomed and as the pup reach adult hood started showing severe problems. She makes the comment that "the dog had died months before and his brain did not know it."

It is obvious that you loved this dog, and that is what matters, he lived with love while with you and went with love. Even traumatised dogs know they are loved, they can't help being the way they are. Letting a dog go with love is important for the dogs.

I have a dog that was given drugs by his previous owner, don't know what the the drugs were. He was also beatten in the name of training, so badly that it took my 4 years to get him to recall. I hope I never see the terror in a dog's eyes that I used to see in Joe's, even now I want to cry when I think about it. Joe has brain damage, could be the drug, could be both the drugs and the beatings. It isn't easy taking care of a brain damaged dog, but it is easier to take care of Joe that it was taking care of my brain damaged husband after his stroke.

Anyone or animal with brain damage can be unpredicable, I was lucky with hubby, he could get violent at times but not as bad as most stroke patients, I would often be black and blue because of the punches and kicks I had from him. Once he came through this he would be extremely upset over what happened. He never knew why he did this, just that he couldn't stop himself.

Unfortunately we can't ask dogs what is happening like I could ask hubby, we can only do our best and make our decisions on what information we have, but the safety of humans must come first.

There are trainers/behaviourists who do tell people to pts their dogs because of their lack of ability to teach the owner how to cope and train their dogs, this is the fault of the system, no qualifications are needed to call yourself a trainer/behaviourist.

I was looking at the web site of a local dog trainer the other day and it said they had several qualifications, I emailed the to ask what they were and the qualifications were nothing to do with training dogs.


complacent fatuity exemplified.

Post by Holldenwolf » Mon Sep 29, 2008 6:15 am

consider this point-of-view:

liability - in EVERY sense of the word.

P.S. - message is an example of a limited egocentric scope.


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Post by Monkey » Mon Sep 29, 2008 7:00 pm

If he had cocker rage I am not surprised, that is hard to deal with.

I have a foster here (that is likely to end up staying), he is decent with me, but has bit me four times, not so it bleeds but so I get badly bruised. He is a 130 lbs rott, and EXTREMLY fearful. He prefers to be indoors, or play in the yard. On walks if I do them too often, (he needs a couple of days break in between) he goes beserk or used to. All and all now he is decent from where he was when he started..

So I was going to try to rehome him to someone with a lot of love and patience, he ended up biting her 3 times at one walk the same way he did with me. He panicks on the cars and redirects the fear.

So now I am working him with a basket mussle, small treats, and a gentle leader and a buckle collar (to keep this very strong dog under control).And he is learning, his basic obedience and level of confidence is slowly increasing.

He has come so far now that he can go up to strangers to get petted. He loves people he is just scared when ON the lead, or behind a fence (flea/fight responses). He has a severe case of barrier frustration together with a family who did not socialize him, kept him tied up in the backyard, no training, and when they tried the son has beat him down like cesar millan, he was severly depressed when he came, aggressive, you couldn't touch him, resource guarding, lunging on cars, peoples, bikes, he almost bit one guy on the bike, and it is all fears. On top of that he wasnt housebroken, OH MY GOD HE COULD PEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He basically made a urinal swimming pool in my living room. fun part was when he stood up on his hinds trying to hump my 240 lbs black husband (he was taller than him over 6 feet, soon to be ex hubby is 5 10). So I am still proud over him, but I cant rehome him, so husband wants me to put him to sleep. Only sanctuary who has room for him cost 3000 dollars to take him in and I got released from my job caue of the US finances that has gone crash My job went with it so.. yeah.. those money.. I cankeep on dreaming.

Due however to hubby being the moron he is, divorce is on the way so I decided on keeping him. Me and my best friend are gonna share a house and she likes my three dogs, despite severe dog fear (of big aggressive rottweilers) she has grown to like Spud which is a big surprise and she has learnt to handle him. He loves her gentle touch, and has really accepted her so it will go good and he is amazing with dogs and people who you invite into the house. He's a big cuddle bug.

However, if I had to stay in this relationship, I would basicaly only have one way out since husband didnt want to let me keep him.

I have emailed 40 rescue groups and sacntuaries, barely got any responses. I have emailed other trainers, rott rescues, noone wants to deal with a severe liability. So here I am standing ALONE fighting for this guy. I have friends cheering but they are basically as broke as me.

So sometimes people don't have choices, and I have meet dogs with cocker rage that is not fun PTS is a bit kinder than for everyone to live in fear.
The problem is in the other end of the leash!

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Post by Disney Paws » Sun Jan 25, 2009 7:27 pm

Where can I see this episode online? is there a link?

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Post by Maddie'sMom » Sat Feb 14, 2009 10:39 am

I've been searching google for it, but I can't find it yet :?

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