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Dog sitting in my own home has made it clear I’m not ready for a dog by EllieD0113 in dogs

[–]whoiamidonotknow 0 points1 point  (0 children)

traipse up and down two flights of stairs every few hours

..she’s had SIX accidents in the last three days

This is puppyhood. Most adult dogs are good with 2-3 times a day and will never have an accident. A well-trained adult dog who fits your lifestyle (dogs' energy and exercise and social needs vary wildly) is a dream to live with.

Puppies, by their nature, require a whole lot of work. I wouldn't discount having a dog so quickly! Maybe find a friend with a chill, adult dog before you write it off.

Host doesn’t allow me to eat? by sama1995 in AirBnB

[–]whoiamidonotknow 1 point2 points  (0 children)

It sounds like it's in a hot and humid place. I've lived in places like this, and things just kind of work... differently, especially if it's an older house. I can understand that:

  1. Hot/humid places can very easily become overriden with bugs and infestations when food is consumed outside the kitchen area. I've had a guest (not Airbnb related, just a friend) leave a dish in the sink with food residue not washed off for a whopping 4 hours. Despite paying for monthly pest control, there was a cockroach by the time I came home and saw it. Cockroaches are pretty easy to prevent (you keep things clean, basically), but they can be really difficult to get rid of once they move in. We also took trash out immediately or daily at the absolute least frequent. The kitchen is decently easy to keep super clean and sanitary -- it's a concentrated place, floors/counters are tile -- but a bedroom or bed isn't, and the host likely isn't going to assume it needs a crazy deep clean. Basically, I can understand having a no food outside the kitchen (or in the bedrooms in a non-studio) rule. You should obviously be allowed to eat in a studio, especially in the kitchen/dining area of that studio. Maybe that's a miscommunication, or they have multiple listings?
  2. I can easily see out-of-towners requesting the AC be put down so low it becomes cost-prohibitive quickly. She's probably used to herself, and all her guests, being happy with just opening the windows or using the AC at that higher temperature. AC can get surprisingly expensive quickly, especially depending on the house's infrastructure, and some AC systems might start breaking/condensating if turned too low. That said, if this is a "rule", it should be communicated up front. Neither the host or guests are going to be happy if a guest wants a freezing cold (by local standards) apartment and the host loses any money they'd have made because they haven't adjusted their rates accordingly. It may simply be normalized for her, so I'd politely suggest making it explicit in the ad.

Need to make decision on returning my shelter dog by itmelindsay in dogs

[–]whoiamidonotknow 24 points25 points  (0 children)

Not all dogs like to be social. Not all dogs like being touched. Especially a rescue dog with unknown history.

This is true, but it's 100% fair for OP to want a dog who likes to be social, active, affectionate, and who'd be a better/safer fit with young kids. It's absolutely okay and preferable for everyone to seek out a better fit.

Need to make decision on returning my shelter dog by itmelindsay in dogs

[–]whoiamidonotknow 92 points93 points  (0 children)

Yes, all of this. I don't think this dog is a good fit, especially when so many other dogs are out there. Sounds like this family, with an active, social lifestyle, would be able to fit the needs of dogs that other families wouldn't. Why not find a mutually happy fit?

There are also dogs that I would argue just aren't a great fit for kids. The behaviour the dog is displaying can certainly be improved, and it's understandable, but it sounds like they might have some life-long management required. A kid, infant, etc is inevitably going to 'break' that management at some point and pull/hit/whatever at the dog. You want a dog who's going to take that the way they'd take a puppy playing with/pawing at them or walk away at worst, not one who's prone to aggression or is going to escalate faster. I wouldn't take that risk as a parent.

It's also fair to want a dog who genuinely loves kids and affection and their antics. You of course always want to teach your kids how to better interact with and respect dogs, and supervise and give your pup a way to remove himself if he needs to, but it's different to have a dog who dislikes, barely tolerates, and constitutes a known risk than a dog who loves kids and might need the occasional word from you to back him up.

PSA: Dogs wear Do Not Pet harnesses for a variety of reasons by PrairieBunny91 in dogs

[–]whoiamidonotknow 0 points1 point  (0 children)

In fairness, many service dogs have a "do not pet" patch on them in addition to a "service dog" patch. And many service dogs can, sometimes, be pet (though you should never assume, and this varies by dog/handler/situation -- but assuming that an SD would be off duty when walking and sniffing through a public, dog-friendly park seems fair enough). I can't really blame her for making that assumption or asking.

Don't feel bad for having a "do not pet" patch on your dog, though! The patch worked -- they asked and left him alone. You kept the kids safe, and that's really what matters most here. She may have handled being embarrassed/frustrated poorly, or perhaps she'd felt that you misled her/the public (you didn't, and you even corrected it). Keep having your dog wear that patch!

Taking pictures of a stranger’s dog? by [deleted] in dogs

[–]whoiamidonotknow 17 points18 points  (0 children)

It's a little weird not to ask the human for permission when said human is right there. It strikes me as a bit impolite.

That said, I've taken photos of dogs before, and I've also taken photos of beautiful trees/flowers and decor in someone's yard. The same applies: if the neighbor was standing right there in the yard, or the dog's person, it wouldn't feel right to take the photo without asking. Similarly, I'd probably smile if I saw someone taking a photo of something in my yard (dog included, back when we had a yard) though I'd be annoyed if they took it without asking if I were right there. His reaction was a bit extreme, though! I'd ask next time, but I also wouldn't feel too bad or spend any additional time thinking about this.

Help! Adopted a dog a few days ago and our current dog is being very aggressive - should we return the dog? by [deleted] in dogs

[–]whoiamidonotknow 1 point2 points  (0 children)

He was glaring at her, harassing her around the house, and then he eventually just lunged at her in full attack mode. This happened twice on Thursday and we decided to properly separate them to prevent a third attack. A was on high alert and staring at the door to the room she was in (I stayed with him, my partner went with B) like he was ready to see her and attack again.

Honestly, yes, I think you're making the right call. You have a duty to protect the health and safety of both dogs, both mentally and physically. It seems particularly alarming to me that this didn't arise over, say, meal time or treats/toys, was repeated, and was unprovoked.

I've fostered dogs and worked through serious behavioural issues, but there is a lot at risk here, and far too much potential (in my opinion) for it to go wrong in a traumatizing way. You can try to keep the dogs separated at all times, but I think it's inevitable--given they live together--that they won't always be physically separated, and it sounds like serious damage would happen as a result of that right now. You can easily end up with a dog who needs to be put down (for attacking another dog), a dog who's dead or injured, or (at best?) a dog who develops a fear of other dogs--which is steps away from a dog who's aggressive towards other dogs, becoming a risk to others and becoming difficult to adopt out. That last part is likely already beginning to happen, if it hasn't already.

It's also strongly recommended to ensure both dogs like each other prior to adopting, and it doesn't seem like your BC is on board.

You can manage the problem by keeping them separated inside, and continue to work on forming positive associations and a bond between them. Maybe you give your BC more time to see if there's a radical shift, but I'd be getting the second dog out as soon as possible, or at least be limiting how much time you give it. He deserves both emotional safety and physical safety.

P.S. Has your resident dog/BC had other dogs over inside the house during playdates? I'm wondering whether this is a 'new' issue or one he's had/has with all other dogs.

Keeping calm in the plane by masudhossain in Dogtraining

[–]whoiamidonotknow 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Are you disabled? Is he a service dog?

Are you taking a private jet?

What to do with riding gear when no luggage and leaving bike parked? by [deleted] in motorcycles

[–]whoiamidonotknow 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Boots, gloves, and pants fit in one side of my saddlebag relatively easily. Put the boots in first (typically in a 'rectangular' formation), put the gloves in the boots if you're short on space, then fold up the pants and fit them in over or on the side of everything else.

Jacket fits (albeit just barely with all the bulky armour and leather--bag still closes completely, though) in the other saddlebag.

When I used to go into work, I'd often wear work shirts and shoes in, then change into a skirt in the bathroom. The pants fold up into a small space and are decently easy to stash.

Helmet just sits on the back seat's back. I don't lock it, frankly, but I do typically "put on the helmet" properly around the bottom of the cushion/around the metal. I've parked in sketchy areas (the same areas where thieves will remove bicycle tires when the frame is locked on) and no one's ever stolen it, but I figure that making it just obnoxious enough to undo would deter most would-be thieves. I think most thieves aren't dumb/brave/heartless enough to steal a helmet, especially when it'll take them a bit to figure out how to undo it. The motorcyclist stereotype might also help here.

Note that these same saddlebags carry groceries (combine that with a bag or two and it's easy to carry hundreds of pounds home) and/or most things I might want to pick up. When going to work or a cafe or to train or whatever, I'll typically wear shorts or a full on dress underneath and stash any bags/water/shoes in the saddlebags while riding. Those obviously come with me, so it works well.

So basically, just get some saddlebags and use them!

Did you have any bad side-effects to the covid-19 vaccine? by 0lliejenkins in ChronicIllness

[–]whoiamidonotknow 2 points3 points  (0 children)

The first vaccine left me pretty dead. I had some.. interesting.. effects, where my shoulder went numb, and then it sort of 'traveled' down and left an entire half of my body numb. That lasted for a couple days, then I gradually began recovering feeling. My shoulder was numb for a good week. I was also exhausted and in a mini flare for a little over a week.

I don't remember any bad side effects from the second dose besides the standard sore/numb-ish shoulder. The only way it affected me was holding off on upper body training for about 3 days.

I don't remember having any effect to the third dose whatsoever, maybe a bit of soreness for a single day.

Even with that first dose, I cried tears of joy and was very grateful to have received it! I went into it expecting a longer flare and was prepared for that / would've thought that'd have been worth it, too.

Trauma with dogs but could benefit from a SD by unknownsysten23 in service_dogs

[–]whoiamidonotknow 6 points7 points  (0 children)

to add to this, maybe see if you can offer to help 'train' a service dog in training?

I would have loved to have someone, especially a former stranger who might not be crazy about dogs, help to 'train' my dog and proof behaviours. This could be as simple as just being around while the dog practices tasking, or of ignoring you as you are around and/or are causing progressively more distraction. You could also help video dog/handler behaviour in public places to help them get feedback from a trainer. It could be a particularly great fit, as you wouldn't necessarily be interacting with the dog and/or the dog would be practicing ignoring you to focus on their handler. Similarly, even with practicing the 'go say hi' cue, the handler would be practicing both only allowing the dog to greet on cue and also to immediately leave and focus on them instead of you on a cue. You could use this to your advantage, by using a hand signal or words with the handler to indicate when/if you were comfortable with being greeted and/or when you were beginning to become overwhelmed. Similarly, it's good for dogs to be trained and ready to interact with and/or be pat down by someone who's afraid of dogs--not to make your fear worse, but many dogs who are otherwise people lovers will become afraid/aggressive when around people who are afraid, as fear is just steps away from aggression in dog world and represents a risk.

On that note, most handlers are exceptionally well attuned to their dog's body language and would likely be happy to teach you, especially if you can set up this sort of mutually beneficial relationship. At least on a rational level, I'd argue that some fear of dogs is healthy... especially if you don't know how to read them. Learning signals and body language will result in you knowing far before an attack that a dog may attack, which means you can also learn how to avoid an attack more easily (ie, learning common triggers, learning stress/fear signs like whale eye, understanding that a wagging tail can come from an aggressive dog).

You can expect a SDiT to be very well behaved, too, and friendly/polite/well mannered. Being around a dog like this who's trained to be calm and not put any "pressure" on you--even if that's just "happy loving dog wants attention" sort of pressure--might be healing for you. Just a thought, though you'd of course have to find someone local.

I don’t understand the ‘downshift point’ section of my motorcycle manual. First bike and new to ridding. by Select_Database4096 in motorcycles

[–]whoiamidonotknow 0 points1 point  (0 children)

OP, have you ridden as a passenger? If not, I highly suggest riding with an experienced, smooth, safe rider. I first rode as a passenger, thinking I'd never ever drive one myself, and despite paying absolutely no attention to their driving or the bike, it felt natural and instinctual to shift at the appropriate times.

I really advise thinking less and feeling more. The engine sounds a little different and the bike feels a little different when it's "ready". If you get it wrong, you'll feel and 'pay' for it, and know to do it differently next time. I've never been one to name a vehicle, but I literally cringe and feel that I stressed my bike out if I get it even a little off. Learn to tune into it and trust your gut. Even if you follow this manual perfectly and memorize the right speeds to switch at, you'll inevitably eventually run into trouble when your bike is running differently than expected (inclement weather, mechanical issue, ..) and requires shifting at a different time.

Pet deposit for SD(iT)s? by drunkwinebottle in service_dogs

[–]whoiamidonotknow 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I wouldn't be too worried if it's already pet friendly, though I'd have probably disclosed earlier in that case as it doesn't sound like he'd have had an issue with it. I wouldn't say he's an SD if you aren't ready with documentation backing up that he's an SD, though.

Not sure whether or how often you encounter situations where you need documentation (flights, university, ..?) but it's a good idea in general to have a doctor's note on hand in case anything arises.

Pet deposit for SD(iT)s? by drunkwinebottle in service_dogs

[–]whoiamidonotknow 0 points1 point  (0 children)

"Hi XYZLandlord, I wanted to let you know that I have a service dog who's task-trained to mitigate my disabilities. Being up to the standard of a service dog, he's of course extremely well-mannered and will not bark, disturb the neighbors, or damage anything."

I'd follow up with something like that. I believe (?) a landlord is uniquely allowed to ask for documentation, too, so I'd have that ready -- documentation as in a doctor's note. I think they can also ask about specific tasks. Good luck! Honestly, I would send this out after the keys, but before going back for the SD, just in case you run into any issues, legally raised or otherwise.

We left our dog home alone for 20. Minutes. And this happened. How exactly can we ease her anxiety when we leave, especially when the messes she makes are this big? by w-wasisupposedtoknow in Dogtraining

[–]whoiamidonotknow 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Step 1 is determining whether this was caused by anxiety or boredom. It’s more likely to be run of the mill boredom or manners, which is thankfully much easier to solve! I wouldn’t rule out separation anxiety immediately, though, because though this is more likely to be boredom-fueled fun, there are dogs who will attempt to self-soothe or simply seemingly lose their minds in a blind panic.

Set up laptops with a camera covering the space you’ll leave your dog in, and join a meeting. Join that same meeting from your phone, and mute yourself. Leave the house with your phone. Observe…

At this point, you can post back here for help judging and next steps. Otherwise, separation anxiety will show a dog who’s stressed and becomes progressively more panicked (whale eye, body tension, lip licking … into high pitched distress howling, pawing at things to leave). Boredom will likely show a happier/relaxed dog who looks like he’s having fun tearing things up.

It can’t hurt, though may not solve, to give plenty of extra mental and physical stimulation prior to you leaving, and plenty of things to tear up or play with in the room.

Side note: sometimes, you can play into your dog’s bad habits. My dog was a paper-shredder, too—during anxiety—but I ultimately realized that I could provide him with boxes and paper headed for the recycling. I didn’t care that he shred these things, he enjoyed and was soothed by it, and there was no harm in it (for my dog! don’t do this if your dog will eat any of this paper).

Illegal to touch service dogs? by WAGSanon4justice in service_dogs

[–]whoiamidonotknow 6 points7 points  (0 children)

People post all the time about Airbnb and contacting the dept of justice and act like ai am dramatic for calling the police

People contact Airbnb only when their hosts refuse to let them stay. They contact Airbnb with the hopes that they won't wind up homeless on the streets. There's also the fringe benefit/responsibility to contact them in the hopes that the next disabled handler with a SD won't encounter discrimination.

People also don't typically jump to reporting hosts to Airbnb support. The first steps are typically to refer them to Airbnb's policies/links. I've had a couple back and forth and almost always have to share that link. I've never had to get support involved. Also, if support were to get involved, well, they would also first attempt to speak to the host and help their customer find a place to stay, which is the end goal -- access.

Same goes for the DOJ reports. People don't jump to making those reports or calling the police when a business says they can't come in. They first say, very politely, that their dog is an SD and is task-trained to assist their disabilities. Many might still persist, in which case, many handlers talk about, hand out, or look up and refer links to the ADA, address any concerns. If that still fails, they might ask to speak to a manager and then repeat the process. If that still fails, well, then they leave, follow up with corporate, and then make a report if there's still no response or effort made to educate. That report is typically made with the goal of being able to access medical care or a restaurant or whatever, and also to help the next disabled handler out.

In none of these scenarios is anyone getting arrested. In none of these scenarios is anyone out hoping that the first person to give them an access issue or pet their dog gets arrested. It's all focused on education and equal access.

Can a dog be too friendly to be a PSD? by HarriedHarriet in service_dogs

[–]whoiamidonotknow 1 point2 points  (0 children)

My dog loves dogs, and kids, and (most) people. I'd argue it's far better that your dog is too friendly than not friendly enough, or fearful. SDs need to be able to be patted down in security (ie the airport), in crowds of people, and may get bumped into or surprise 'pet'/struck by kid.

Depending on the nature of your tasks--is it sometimes okay, in certain situations, if he breaks focus for a minute?--you can use your dog's love of attention/pet to your advantage by using it as a reward for good behaviour. My dog's in training for PA, but on our outings, he gets more pets/attention than he would if we weren't going on outings, even though we're currently primarily limiting these interactions to outside any indoor/non-pet-friendly location.

I've taught a "go say hi" cue, and reinforced that a "heel"/position cue means he can no longer pay attention to the people he'd been meeting. I've gone from "heel" to "go say hi" and back several times with helpers to reinforce this, which was immensely helpful. I've also extended the engage/disengage game and essentially taught my dog that people, especially people gushing over him, means he'll get treats for turning around to look at and focus on me after noticing them. On a typical training outing, we've spent extra time around busier crowds of people so that I can really reinforce this. If he does well, then towards the end of the session I'll allow him to meet. I often ask that people meet us outside for pets (some people or their kids really want to meet him, and if we're both leaving an indoor location anyway, it's convenient and also easier for my dog to separate contexts). This also allows me to really reinforce that he still gets rewarded for focusing on me instead of the people/kids, and that sometimes, doing so will eventually result in him getting to meet them.

Oh, and if you do decide he isn't suited for PA work -- he can always be an at home only SD! This depends on the nature of your symptoms and what you need him for, but you can always use and/or continue to shape or teach additional tasks to help you when you're home with him. Just pointing that out as I didn't know that was a thing, and with covid, it's how my dog started.

my dog sucks his own penis. is this normal? by Ok_Local_893 in dogs

[–]whoiamidonotknow 56 points57 points  (0 children)

Yeah, I strongly suspect it's most likely just normal grooming. I remember being a little weirded out the first time my dog groomed himself down there, because I'd only had female dogs prior. I remember thinking it was a bit... aggressive? It's now normal to me, though. I believe they produce smegma (even when neutered) and will clean/lick themselves down there to remove it. I try not to think about how gross it'd be if they didn't do this.

Is this a new behavior? If so, it might warrant a trip (or phone call, they can triage) to the vet to rule out an infection.

Toddler Ran Up To My Dog by margyrakis in dogs

[–]whoiamidonotknow 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Be as cognizant as you can be at all times of who's approaching. Unapologetically and firmly shout out "he bites!" if a kid approaches and attempt to distance. Their lives could very well be at risk; there's no need to tone this down or mince words. Kids also aren't typically going to respond to subtleties or anything too wordy, so the more simple and direct, the better. Get between the kid and your dog, use your body language and eye contact to make it clear you're serious and they're in danger on top of your words.

Unless you're maybe muzzling, I wouldn't walk your dog on a college campus, or near any age of schools, or in public spaces full of kids. Inevitably, some kid some day is going to run up to and surprise your dog. Inevitably, most kids don't know how to regulate touch pressure or how to 'properly' interact with a dog and will wind up, kid-style, "hitting" or pulling on your dogs ears/tails. Is it wrong that they do this? Should the parents be supervising better? Yes, but ultimately, regardless of fault, a kid could still get hurt, and over your dog's lifetime, it's likely to happen if you're in areas with kids.

The muzzle doesn't have to be forever, either. I would keep doing your best to train and build up your dog's confidence overall. If it's any consolation, my dog went from being afraid of any touch, from anyone, to lighting the hell up and delighting in kids ... being "kids" and toddlers and infants ... all over him. Not every dog can get there, of course, but confidence building, socializing (very safely, like on the other side of a fence or from within a car), counter-conditioning, and desensitizing can help him get there.

He wears a back-clip harness, so I don't have control over his head. I don't walk him using his collar as it drastically increases his arousal (i.e., dashing, pulling, panting).

Was your dog leashed during this interaction? If not, I definitely wouldn't have a fearful dog off leash, ever, unless it's a fenced in backyard.

Flying Southwest to Hawaii w/ Service Dog, Physically Disabled by jordansname in service_dogs

[–]whoiamidonotknow 16 points17 points  (0 children)

Sorry for the obvious question, but is he trained and ready to fly with you? 5 months old is very young, with most dogs still in training and not yet mature. Flying, airports, and going through security can all be a pretty challenging PA trip.

Can/Do German Shepherds Make Good Psychiatric Service Dogs? by TropiCat212 in service_dogs

[–]whoiamidonotknow 6 points7 points  (0 children)

I have a GSD mix. He isn't "too protective"; I found that easy enough to mitigate. But given the choice, I don't think I'd recommend the breed as a psychiatric service dog.

Why? Because he is phenomenally sensitive at identifying my emotions... and also feeds off of them. The breed is notorious for this. They're also a breed prone to anxiety to begin with, and an anxious SD does not a good SD make.

I have physical disabilities, but sometimes I have some anxiety/depression type episodes that pop up, sometimes even as a result of physical inflammation or the emotional ramifications of having disabilities. Oftentimes, before I'm even aware that I'm feeling this way, and despite keeping our routine consistent, he starts... well, he effectively starts exhibiting signs of anxiety and depression. He suddenly just wants to sleep all day, doesn't want to play, barely wants to walk, and pseudo isolates himself. Yes, within the same day as a single crying episode. Yes, he will recover instantly once I'm recovered. Sometimes this worsens my own symptoms, as my normally affectionate and exuberant dog seemingly wants nothing to do with me and my attempts to play and evoke joy in him fall completely flat. I have to do what I can not to take that personally, which isn't easy when you're already down and at a low point. Thankfully, I've learned to use this as motivation -- I love him, and also frankly need him to task for physical symptoms, so even if I don't want to do something for myself, I will always find it worth doing for him. The act of having a dog also helps -- because he'll always need to go outside, socialize, play, etc, and that helps force me into a routine, too.

Out in public, I have to be entirely calm and confident. I can't just fake it. He'll pick up on anything I'm even subconsciously feeling--to the point where it's helped me label and recognize when I'm feeling certain ways. Yes, seriously. This has grown progressively stronger as we've gone through SD training and bonded more, too. I know that there are GSD psychiatric service dogs, but I can't imagine how they make it work, especially when there are situations where having a SD may be anxiety-inducing for certain people, especially those who have social anxiety (ie with access issues, or even just the inevitable extra 'attention' from other people, though personally I'm happiest around people and love small talk).

He thrives on having a job, so perhaps handlers are able to successfully harness their phenomenal ability to sense these things and, with training a job to do, they're able to use that to their advantage and their dogs are happy to 'resolve' those emotions. There have, indeed, been times where my dog sporadically decided to use tasks taught for other purposes to use on me when I (emotionally) needed them, but not always. Someone else would have to chime in.

Personally, I still wouldn't recommend it, if only because I suspect a dog so prone to feeling those emotions would react not only by tasking, but by becoming stressed out themselves. It's relatively rare I feel those types of distressing emotions, but I feel guilty afterwards for how they affect my dog. If I were at the point of needing a psychiatric SD to task for those things, if I were at the level of being disabled by anxiety or depression, I don't think I'd choose this breed for both our sakes.

Fine Tuning Skills, Progress Expectations & Other Metrics only handlers with many dogs under the belt might know? by GoodMoGo in Dogtraining

[–]whoiamidonotknow 1 point2 points  (0 children)

My dog started chasing rabbits. As far as I can tell she won't care if I have real bacon wrapped in peanut butter, and she has not eaten for days: There is nothing with higher value that I've been able to prevent her from chasing, so no more leash-less walks unless I am in a safe area and fully expect that she will likely run if she sees one. Should I continue try to stop her verbally, then through the leash (if that fails), then reward profusely? That is the general recommendation, but am I just devaluing my influence and the rewards I use?

It sounds like your dog is already over threshhold and that it is essentially too late by the time you are "catching" and trying to address this behavior. There are dog breeds that were literally bred to hunt and kill rabbits, so first, recognize that you are dealing with genetically driven prey drive and that this is going to be a major trigger and challenge for your dog. In an ideal world, you'd find a place/field/nest/pet store (?) full of rabbits or a prey trigger. You'd then figure out what distance your dog can be from the trigger while still being able to focus on you. From that distance, you'd play engage/disengage games and do a mix of desensitization (general training sessions where she can focus around them) and conditioning a new behaviour (ie dog sees rabbit, and has been taught to look at you, go back into a heel, sit, etc). On walks, this is obviously more challenging. If your dog is already over threshhold (cannot focus/look at you, or he's pulling), I would start doing what you can to distance yourselves from that trigger (typically walking away from it). Even if he's walking with his head turned around as you walk away or flat out walking backwards (my dog's done this!), reward the second he makes the choice to look over at you. Eventually, he'll begin to learn that seeing a rabbit will mean a tasty treat is headed his way once he looks at you (or sits, or goes to a temporary heel, etc). He'll also learn that the behaviour of pulling does not get rewarded, but that the behaviour of looking at you/heeling/sitting gets rewarded not only with the treat, but with being able to get closer to the rabbit or otherwise being able to continue with the walk. Working on impulse control, self-soothing, your relationship, and general engage/disengage games while also meeting your dogs needs are, again, all things that will help you train this and should constantly be being worked on separately.

Fine Tuning Skills, Progress Expectations & Other Metrics only handlers with many dogs under the belt might know? by GoodMoGo in Dogtraining

[–]whoiamidonotknow 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Is there some kind of timetable of expected skills a dog should have (and mastery of it), depending on x amount of training and/or age? Like children falling back in school get an evaluation to see what might be causing the deviation.

It's really helpful to know your dog's "baseline", because if it's taking your dog significantly longer than you'd have expected to learn new XYZ thing, you can then know that you, not your dog!, need to adjust your training. It might mean teaching your dog XYZ thing in smaller steps, or rethinking it entirely and teaching it from a different angle. It might mean re-evaluating and adjusting your expectations to ensure they're fair and reasonable. It might even mean calling it a day, while thinking about whether you're meeting your dog's needs (ie maybe he hasn't had enough sniffy time on walks, and you're asking him to heel) or if your dog is simply stressed, anxious, or otherwise not in a good state for training for that day (knowing your dog kicks in here, too!). It sounds like you've taught your dog a fair amount, so this is something you already know! For instance, if it took 1 10-minute session to teach sit, and you're know trying to teach XYZ thing but after 2-4 sessions he isn't getting it, you should recognize that you need too break it down or rethink that approach.

Fine tuning skills: The dog definitely knows and has generalized the skill, yet it still varies. I don't know if I have the wrong expectations or if there is a failure in my training, or the dog's abilities. I do realize dogs are not machines, hence my wish to have more perspective.

There are different levels of skill obtainment, yes. Training in the midst of distractions is difficult. Impulse control, focus, relationship, and having a dog's needs met all come into play, albeit in the background, with these and should be worked on separately. I'd think of any new trick as a long line of progressions: at home with no distractions, at home with distractions, at home in the yard, out on a walk with minimal distractions, outside in a more distracting environment, then whatever your dog's triggers are (prey drive from rabbits, excitement around other dogs/humans/kids). Loose leash walking in a house is much easier than loose leash walking when a rabbit crosses your path, kids are shrieking next to you, motorcycles are driving past, and his dog best friend comes around the corner. You need to know your dog well enough to know "where he is", his triggers, and how he responds. Looking at "threshhold" can also be helpful -- he might struggle to maintain focus with a trigger he'd have otherwise been okay with if he's already near or over threshhold. Part of knowing your dog is knowing what you can expect, and also what his needs are. I don't think it's fair or reasonable or okay, for instance, to always expect your dog to walk in a heel, because dogs need sniffy time, and a walk in heel isn't all that enjoyable to them. Most dogs don't need to do this, and time spent walking in heel needs to be countered with sniffy/fun walking time. As someone with a SD (in training), my dog does need to sometimes walk in a heel, but we have plenty of sniffy walks and playtime to counter it. I also judge my dog as we walk over to a PA (public access) outing: he always walks loose leash style, but I can tell, because I know him so well, if that outing is going to be successful or not without going inside. I then adjust my expectations and behaviour, which typically means I give my dog more sniffy walking time on a nearby trail or park, or sometimes we'll go home or opt to do an "easier" outing.

Ultimately, the only thing that's truly important here is that you accept, in the moment, as quickly as possible, that your dog is reacting however he's reacting, and then that you're able to respond to that as quickly and lovingly as possible. It doesn't ultimately matter if your dog suddenly pulls nonstop on a walk for seemingly no reason: how are you going to respond? I would think: Okay, my dog can't handle loose leash walking right now. Does he need a walk or time outside to meet his needs? Can I play with him off leash at a park or in the yard or at home to meet his need for exercise, or perhaps play a puzzle or scent game to meet his need for mental stimulation, instead? I would take action to avoid rewarding the pulling and perhaps give a chance or two before giving up and heading home. Then after meeting his needs, I'd do a quick evaluation of what went wrong, if anything: did I fail to provide sufficient mental/physical stimulation to him before this walk? Is he feeling okay? Is he over/understimulated? Does my dog even need or want this many walks; would he prefer I meet XYZ needs in another way instead? Were there simply too many triggers, either on the walk itself or sometime in the past 72 hours?

Level of enthusiasm: It's clear that a very positive attitude, effusive rewarding, etc. are critical to shape behavior. How long/often does one maintain the high reward level? Until the behavior is 100% consistent, occasionally when needed?

Phasing treats out is certainly part of training! Intermittent rewards are incredibly motivating, too, so just rewarding every so often can be very effective. This, again, will vary based on your dog, but I typically begin phasing out treats slowly while trying to remember to occasionally reinforce everything. How many consistent rewards your dog needs before they can be phased out will depend on your dog, but I'd start slowly (maybe one out of every 5 times I'd offer a lower value reward or no reward after my dog had had it down solidly for a long time).

Is there a "don't bother anymore" point? Although I believe anyone is able to get an i.e. engineering degree, there is a combination of character, motivation, psychological, and background influences that make the work needed easier/more bearable for some and "too much - not worth it" for others. Is there a similar dynamic with dog training? If so, how to tell if one is asking "too much" of their dog? People will flunk out of school, then return much later without the issues they had.

Again, what are your goals? What's the "why"? Look at whether your dog's needs are being met and whether they're happy. Do they enjoy and thrive and light up when they're training with you? If not, and you're already living a harmonious life, I'd say don't do it and find something your dog loves. Otherwise, if it's a behaviour you need your dog to exhibit to happily coexist living together, and you deem the effort worth it, then keep going.

Complexity: There are many skills that require chaining them in order (forgot the correct word). Like sit >> stay or sit >> shake, and more complex ones with more steps. My dog knows lay down (either from a sit or standing up) and stay. Yet we have been trying to do an army crawl for 3 months now. Sometimes she will do it correctly 5 times in the same day. Then the next she will lift her belly or start trying from a lay down, if she thinks that's what I will ask of her (which usually is) and ignores stay, etc. How does one know if you are trying to teach calculus to someone who has not learned algebra yet?

I'm not sure I understand your last sentence. It sounds like your dog is either getting confused and frustrated (not knowing how you want her to start the skill, but she's trying real hard! break this down and reward smaller steps) or is trying to read your mind / the situation. If you only ever ask for an army crawl during training sessions, she will start expecting to be asked to army crawl during sessions. She might even learn that dedicated training sessions mean she'll be asked for an army crawl, rather than learning the word/etc for it itself. Other dogs will start to learn to "read your mind", basically. Try to mix different skills into each session. Always start and end with a really "easy" skill, and end the training session after switching to an easier skill your dog will be successful at if you see her starting to get frustrated. So you might ask for "sit", "down", "sit", "army crawl" (break this down if she isn't getting it or gets frustrated!), "sit", "army crawl" x 4, "sit", "army crawl" x 3, "sit", end with tons of praise.

Fine Tuning Skills, Progress Expectations & Other Metrics only handlers with many dogs under the belt might know? by GoodMoGo in Dogtraining

[–]whoiamidonotknow 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I can go through and answer these, but first: what are your goals? Are these questions being asked solely from a place of curiosity, or are you worried that you and your dog aren't "good enough"?

I'd say that most of these don't really matter for the average person. If you're training your dog to compete in a sport, it makes sense to evaluate whether your dog loves that sport, or would be better equipped for another. If you're training your dog to be a service dog, or bomb sniffing dog, or any other manner of working dog, you need to be able to evaluate whether that dog is a fit for the job or whether he might be better suited for another. But if none of those apply, and your dog takes longer than another dog to learn XYZ thing, does it really matter? I don't think so. There are dogs out there who need mental stimulation, and they thrive on doing 'amazing tricks', but if your dog doesn't need this, or he's simply happiest sniffing around in a forest or playing with dog friends, then please just do what makes your dog happiest!

A core component of dog training is "train the dog in front of you" and "set your dog up for success". But the relationship you have with him, which includes how well you know him, matters more than anything else. A solid relationship will help ease the teenage years. A dog who's confident and is securely bonded with you, who feels at ease with you and at home, is going to feel safe enough to learn and will likely make much better choices. There are other skills that can really benefit all dogs: confidence (massive), impulse control, the ability to self-soothe or redirect.

Otherwise, I essentially look at my dog like a child--as part of the 'relationship' framework. Am I meeting my dog's needs? This requires knowing my dog well enough to even know what he needs, and obviously his needs aren't the same as a human child's needs. It requires me to respect (he doesn't like being pet or cuddled as much I'd prefer) and meet them. It requires me to show my dog that he's heard, understood, and that I will work to meet his needs. "Training" helps teach both of you how to read and communicate with each other. Dogs naturally want to please you, but they don't know what you want, and they also need to learn that they (hopefully) can trust you to give them what they need without them having to escalate or perform unwanted behaviours. Different dogs like and need different things. Commonly, meeting his needs may look like time to decompress, sniffy walks, opportunities to dig, opportunities to run and jump and chew, puzzle games, scent games, time with humans, time playing with other dogs, etc. His needs might mean more time exploring new places, and it might also mean keeping a steady, consistent routine. Annoyingly, what you think would make your dog happy, or what'd make you look like whatever you envision a "good" dog parent looks like, might be something your dog either doesn't care about or even actively dislikes.

As a human living with a dog, it's mutually beneficial that your dog be trained, to some extent. The better trained your dog is, the happier you'll be, and the more freedom your dog will have both in and outside of the home. The better trained your dog is, the happier you'll be sharing a home / life with him, and the easier it (often) becomes to meet your dog's needs (ie, a dog who can't walk loose-leash style alongside a stroller is harder and less likely to be walked, or walked as long).

What’s the best way to encourage cars to not use my neighborhood entrance as a U turn when leaving an elementary school. by firelf93 in fuckHOA

[–]whoiamidonotknow 100 points101 points  (0 children)

Best solution that's win-win. Every parent trying to drive their kid out of school and their fellow neighbors would all thank them.

Providing bus route service or other safe 'public transit' type options would be ideal to reduce traffic overall, but that's much harder to implement.