Zoe and Luca episode - making excuses?

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

Moderators: emmabeth, BoardHost

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

Zoe and Luca episode - making excuses?

Post by Noobs » Fri Feb 27, 2009 4:47 pm

In last week's episode, Adam, the owner of Zoe and Luca, made excuses for his dogs' behavior. "She bit because Layla got too close to her safe zone," "I moved too fast and that's why he bit me," etc.

I would like to open up a discussion on this, because lots of owners come on here asking how to get their dogs to stop so-and-so behavior, and they get met with responses that sound similar to things Adam was saying, and it can be confusing.

What I'd like to know is when are we to adjust our behavior to suit the dog (i.e. response to food aggression being "don't disturb a dog when it's eating" or snapping "don't pet a dog beyond its threshold"), and when are we making excuses for unacceptable behavior? How are owners to know the difference?

Josie
Posts: 99
Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2006 7:07 pm
Location: Sunderland
Contact:

Post by Josie » Fri Feb 27, 2009 5:52 pm

Just a quick reply because I'm exhausted, but explaining a behaviour is not the same as making excuses.

I had a foster dog with me recently who bit when he was being groomed. I might well have said 'he bites because he's worried' which was true, but the other side of that is 'so I need to teach him not to be worried about me touching him'

It depends how you look at it, one person might hear 'making excuses' and another might hear 'what we need to work on to change the emotion behind the behaviour'.

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

Post by emmabeth » Fri Feb 27, 2009 6:55 pm

I don't think theres anything 'excusey' about identifying the reasons why a dog does something.

Knowing those reasons and not doing anything about the root cause.... now thats a different matter.

After all, it is not dogs who want to stroke one another whilst eating, or pick each other up, or immediately discern friend from enemy.

It is us that has these expectations of dogs and I think it is very important that we understand that these expectations, WITHOUT teaching a dog to find them rewarding, are actually unreasonable.

Maxy24
Posts: 296
Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2008 3:08 pm
Location: MA, USA

Post by Maxy24 » Fri Feb 27, 2009 8:11 pm

I think it's fine when people acknowledge why there dog does something, but they need to realize that something can be done about why your dog is doing it. If he's afraid, help him feel differently, if he likes chasing fast objects teach him some self control commands and reward him for looking to you instead of the object etc.

Because on the opposite end you have people who thinks their dogs do something because he's mean, a bad dog, spiteful, stupid or naturally vicious. These people see behaviors as black and white "a dog who growls is mean and a bad dog" instead of a dog who bites is probably, scared, under socialized etc. and these people fail to recognize that, they just think the dog is defective.

So I think it's good when people try to understand why there dog does something but they then need to stop using it as "well it's okay he does this because..." and start using it as an "I understand why he does this so now we can...to make his behavior more acceptable". I think some people jump on the excuse wagon to try and convince people they do not have a bad dog because so many people DON'T understand why dogs do things and assume that the dog is just a bad seed, just born messed up and bad an "unfixable". So I think owners have had to try and beg for people to stop seeing their dog as born flawed by using excuses, otherwise people would just see their pets as un-helpable failures.

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

Re: Zoe and Luca episode - making excuses?

Post by Mattie » Sat Feb 28, 2009 4:10 am

Noobs wrote:In last week's episode, Adam, the owner of Zoe and Luca, made excuses for his dogs' behavior. "She bit because Layla got too close to her safe zone," "I moved too fast and that's why he bit me," etc.

The first step to solving many problems is understanding why the dog is doing it, often the owner doesn't know how to solve the problem, this is when it sounds like excuses. The owner needs to teach the dog that people can get close to them or move fast etc without the dog getting hurt, that is often easier to say than do.

People who take on abused dogs have a lot of these problems to work through, I know with mine I had to prioritise the problems so I didn't put too much stress on the dog, I want the dog to relax not be more stressed.

What I have found with the lower priority behaviour problems, I need to manage them while working on the important ones, by managing these problems most of them disappear and are no longer a problem. Hope you can understand that. :lol:

The top priority is safety, safety of the family and the dog, if we move too quickly so the dog can't cope we are putting everyone at risk.
[url=http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v312/Nethertumbleweed/PIXIE.jpg][img]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v312/Nethertumbleweed/th_PIXIE.jpg[/img][/url]

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

Post by Noobs » Sat Feb 28, 2009 8:55 am

You're all right. I guess my issue with that guy was that he was making excuses for his dog and not admitting to himself that it was a problem that needed fixing/management. AND he said "I'm nervous for Victoria coming because I don't want the dogs to think they're in trouble." I'm glad to know the difference then.

Post Reply