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So, Spirit is making really huge improvements in her submissive peeing issue, but I recently discovered that the doggie daycare portion of my work (I am a dog groomer) offers free private lessons to employees so I thought I'd hit them up for some more advice. I walk in without Spirit first, and the lady that is going to be helping me says to bring Spirit right in, and we'll get started. I noticed that there are two dogs out, a rottie and a pug, so I let her know that Spirit can get a little "snarky" towards other dogs if they invade her space and won't leave her alone. (Please note, this is not a behavior I like, and I am working on it.) She has never HURT another dog before, she is just very clear, with stiff posture, turning her head away, a lip raise, growl or snap in the dog's direction, that she isn't interested in playing with that particular dog right now. She seems to only do this to certain dogs, and I've never had a problem with it in my own house, the weim and chi that stayed here for a little while got along GREAT with her.

 

Anyways, so this lady puts the two dogs away, and I bring Spirit in. Not even 5 minutes later, this lady walks over and LETS OUT THE ROTTIE, saying that she wants to see how Spirit behaves around other dogs. The rottie bounds over to Spirit, as she tells me that Mensa (The rottie) is VERY well behaved, and she uses this dog to evaluate dogs for daycare. Oh, and not to be afraid of Mensa growling, because she just does that when she wants to play. Oh, and that Mensa is very dog obsessed, but she just wants to play.............................. So I'm standing here, with this little maybe 30 lb BC, as this giant rottie leaps at Spirit. Mensa shoves her face right into Spirit's face and Spirit tenses up right away, she turns her head to the side and tries to walk behind me, away from Mensa. Mensa follows her, continuously shoving her face and body all over Spirit. Spirit raises her lip and growls several times, the whole time I'm trying to tell this lady that Spirit obviously feels very uncomfortable with this dog, when Spirit finally snaps at this dog, not coming in contact, but obviously being very clear that she does not want this dog in her face.

 

So NOW the lady pulls Mensa away, saying maybe we should try the pug, as he is more people oriented. Spirit greets the pug fine, but is not interested in playing, the pug gets the picture and goes and lays down on a chair.

 

The "lesson" goes on for a while, mostly this lady blabbing on and on, as I try to work with Spirit by myself, working on building her focus with my clicker to give her something to do, soon she stops pacing and is laying calmly in front of me, with her eyes on me. Seeing that Spirit is nice and calm, the lady says she wants to try introducing Mensa again, and lets her out of the kennel, despite me stating my unease. Same song and dance, Spirit tenses up immediately, and Mensa doesn't let up. I'm getting nervous about how Spirit is acting, it seems like she is being possessive of me, so I ask this lady to take Spirit's leash, as I thought I might be getting too nervous and feeding into her behavior. (Yes I know, hindsight sucks, but at the time I was very overwhelmed and this seemed like a good idea.) Spirit is still reacting the same, and Mensa is STILL not letting up, despite all of the CLEAR signals she is getting. Seeing that switching handlers didn't make a difference, I ask if we can please put Mensa away. Nope, she wants to see if they do better outside, so outside she goes.

 

They seem to be doing better, but Mensa is still way too interested in Spirit. They head back, which is when Spirit finally got fed up. She snapped once again, but this time made contact, and it turned into a snapping snarling mess. I ran out and grabbed Mensa by the back legs, she calmed down so I grabbed her collar and put her back in her kennel, took away Spirit's leash, and after both dogs were inspected (Neither had any damage) I started to walk out the door, at which point I'm informed that Spirit is very dog aggressive, and I am given the name and number of a trainer, as she "Doesn't have any experience with dog aggression."

 

:rolleyes: So.

 

I guess my point with this whole thing is, would you label how Spirit reacted as aggression? She has NEVER reacted this extremely before, and actually usually gets along fine with almost all the dogs she meets. This behavior (to me) seems kind of random, although I'm sure it's not.

I've also heard a lot of comments about how a lot of BC bitches can be this way (Snarky?), does anyone have experience with this, and how did they deal with it? Right now I'm using the Control Unleashed method, particularly the "There's a Dog In Your Face!" game.

 

Thanks for any thoughts or advice in advance,

Autumn

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It sounds to me like Spirit was just pushed too far too fast, but I am no expert. If this is a one time occurance I wouldn't worry about it too much. Spirit was obviously making it clear that she was uncomfortable (as you were as well) and neither the Rottie or the trainer seemed able to pick up on either of your very clear concern. Keep socializing her and don't let the experience freak you out the next time Spirit meets a new dog. I have a reactive dog and that is something I wish I could have avoided doing. I would tense up and then she would tense up and it would all go horribly wrong.

 

Does the snarky face look similar to this:

 

3338168461_0789610914.jpg

 

but with more of a raised lip? This is Ceana's I am scared leave me the F___ alone stance.

 

If so, I may catagorize it as snarky. :D Snarky isn't always bad, sometimes it's just "personality." :rolleyes:

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I guess my point with this whole thing is, would you label how Spirit reacted as aggression?

Personally, no. Sounds to me like that lady deliberately push Spirit over her threshold.

 

When I was looking around for an obedience instructor for Josie, I marked one lady off my list because she had the mindset border collies are one of the top 3 dog aggressive dogs. Josie doesn't like other dogs invading her space but when she's able to walk away from certain dogs she's fine. I now drive over 20 miles out of my way to take her to an instructor who understands her.

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I was reading your story and thinking, "My Lord, Spirit needs to snark all over that dog!" Buddy would have snapped at Mensa within 30 seconds. Mensa is everything Buddy hates: large, obnoxious, Rottweiler, socially unaware. My brain can only read dog behavior through my "Buddy" lens these days, and Buddy would have seen no other option but to drive Mensa off.

 

Buddy is not aggressive. He is fearful and reactive. Rarely, if they don't get in his face, he will get happy-interested in dogs and try to do a friendly meet. Usually, he is uninterested in meeting other dogs, but if the owner keeps them 18 inches from his face, he'll just ignore them or try to get away. The ones who are like Mensa? He tells them to leave him alone. When they don't listen, he attempts to drive them off. Barring that, he'll take them on. He's pinned a couple dogs in his history with me. Scary to watch, but it's definitely a "You listen to me you young punk!" kind of thing.

 

That trainer is a ninny. Get one who understands your dog's behavior.

 

Mary

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http://www.livingwithdogs.us/articles/He-j...s-to-say-hi.pdf

 

is a *MUST READ* for those attempting to work with multiple dogs in group situations.

 

Those dogs would come under my dogs' definition of "rude" dogs.

 

It is too bad that so many dogs get labelled "aggressive" or even "snarky" when they are giving off very good dog language:(

 

Kathy

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Sounds more like the Rottweiler has a problem to me, sure it's a big happy dog, but it doesn't know the meaning of NO. Weather no comes from a dog or human makes no difference to me. Neither of my girls are reactive or dog aggressive, but had any dog greeted them in that manner either one of them would have reacted in a similar manner.I would probably said "Good dog". Kate can show more teeth than any dog I've ever had. I doubt that she would have that patient. Just how is a Border Collie supposed to tell a Rottweiler that "you are behaving badly,please don't do that"? I have had a lot of Border Collies, and I think I can safely say that all of the females would have reacted similarly. If that's "snarkey" I guess they are.I don't see it as a fault. Most pups learn dog manners from litter mates and mom in those important first few weeks. Some humans don't ever learn, especially if they are an "expert". My only suggestion would be that the second outdoor encounter would not have taken place.

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Ditto to what the others have said. The rottweiler and the "trainer" were at fault here not Spirit. And really the "trainer" should get the snarky treatment for putting poor Mensa, who apparently is clueless, in a situation where *she* would be told off for being too overbearing with any other dog. Neither dog got a fair shake in this situation.

 

J.

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Ditto whoever said to run, not walk, away from this trainer. Poor Spirit was put in a very uncomfortable place and reacted quite normally after her signals were repeatedly ignored by the rottie. I would not label her dog aggressive after reading that situation.

 

I don't know if this is just a sterotype and not really true, but I always thought that it was kind of common for border collies to have space issues, as in not appreciating other dogs invading their personal space. Especially big, bouncy, annoying dogs. It's rude for any dog to run up and stick it's face in another dog's face, and many dogs will accept it, but the ones who don't shouldn't be labeled aggressive.

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Ditto to what everyone else has said. Just want to add my 14 year old GSDx who is a therapy dog would have reacted in the same manner, put up with the nonsense for a little while, then snapped.

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http://www.livingwithdogs.us/articles/He-j...s-to-say-hi.pdf

 

is a *MUST READ* for those attempting to work with multiple dogs in group situations.

 

Those dogs would come under my dogs' definition of "rude" dogs.

 

It is too bad that so many dogs get labelled "aggressive" or even "snarky" when they are giving off very good dog language:(

 

Kathy

 

 

Great read, Kathy. post-8416-1236949719.gif

 

Thanks!

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Yes, run from that "trainer." She obviously doesn't have a clue about dog behavior. That's just scary that she considers herself a dog trainer and that people might acutally believe that she knows what she is doing.

 

Your dog is not aggressive. That was a pretty normal reaction. My bc would have reacted the same way. He does not like over-exuberant dogs getting in his face. I think this is why he so dislikes GRs and some Labs (the hyper, field-bred ones).

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All my dogs would be labeled aggressive if that was the test. We don't like strangers pushing into our space. I don't have many issues with aggression, well, maybe Mick but he's more defensive than aggresssive but he'd have "told" Mensa exactly what is expected around us and it wouldn't have been pretty. No blood but the rottie would have been very clear on her new rules.

 

What a sad thing that the person was labeled a trainer. She's out there labeling dogs that she has no business labeling.

I would put doggy daycare in the same catagory as dog parks. Some dogs are not cut out to be social butterflies. I don't think that's a bad thing.

 

All my dogs can go to a dog trial or other places where dogs know how to act without any issues popping up. Those are the only type place(s) I consider my dogs really safe to hang out at. We do go to parks (not dog parks) and do fine, but again, I would aggressivly keep other stupid dogs out of our space. That's the job I've taken on for my pack.

 

Good luck and hope you find a different place.

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Honestly I have a dog in one of my classes who does the EXACT same thing (she's an aussie) with other dogs who are rude and I actually commended her owners for having a dog that is so very clear in her signaling and pulled it out as an example of good "warning" body language. They were worried their dog was aggressive but what they really have is a dog who tells other dogs *every single little thing* she can before she snarks and when she does snark she's appropriate. She just isn't a "dog park" kind of dog which rally is not at all unusual in herding breeds especially.

 

I agree with the others - find another trainer!

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Does no one think the triner has a problem? I do and would have said something to the manager. As soon as there was a problem I would have put the rot away.

 

 

 

A dog named Mensa? Is anyone here a memner of Mensa?

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Does no one think the triner has a problem?

Only every single person that posted ahead of you. Hmmmm...does that comment make *me* a snarky bitch? :rolleyes:

 

J.

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Wow, reading about Spirit was like I was reading about Summer. She reacts the same way to annoying dogs. I don't consider her dog aggressive at all, she just has space/manners issues. The only times we encounter this are with annoying offleash dogs we see on our walks. She gives off good, clear warnings when they start annoying her. She'll turn away, show no interest, back up, etc, and when dogs don't listen, she'll growl. If they continue not listening then she may air snap at them. To me, it's more of a problem with the other dogs not listening to her CLEAR body language that she is not comfortable with what they're doing. She's not a dog park dog, and that's perfectly fine with me. She's wonderful with dogs she's allowed to meet on her terms, and wonderful with the rest of my family's dogs.

 

I agree that the trainer and Mensa had the problem. I don't think I would've lasted that long.

 

Your dog is not aggressive. That was a pretty normal reaction. My bc would have reacted the same way. He does not like over-exuberant dogs getting in his face. I think this is why he so dislikes GRs and some Labs (the hyper, field-bred ones).

 

As far as field labs go, they just need a good outlet for their energy and drive. Our trial bred dog growing up was really a lot better behaved than most dogs I see. But he was an active and very bright dog that lived and thrived on working. I think he could've done fine without the hunting as work, so long as he had enough to do. Then again most 'field labs' I see are really just pet bred and are only called field dogs because they don't look like the heavy set bench dogs.

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I just want to know what it is with people naming stupid dogs names like Einstein or Mensa.....

 

My dogs would have not only put educated Mensa, they would have made him apologize for breathing, and his name would have been Worm for at least a week

 

That trainer does specialize in aggressive dogs. She helps make them.

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Like everyone else has said, RUN, away from that "trainer". If your free lessons end up making Spirit dog aggressive (which it doesn't sound like she is) then in the end the free lessons are going to end up being quite costly in many ways. The headaches, heartaches, and potentially financially as well if you then have to pay for more lessons from a proper trainer or behaviourist to deal with a problem that could have been avoided. And if this "trainer" is so clueless in that respect, do you really think they're any better in other regards? I'd be doubtful.

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One of my pet peeves is the misuse of the word "aggression" and that misuse comes from people who don't know what dog aggression is, and maybe not all that much about canine behavior. Her rottie doesn't know how to read other dogs. To me, that's a social retard, and I'll bet she had a hand in enabling that behavior. She needs to work on her own dog before she has the b-lls to fling the term "aggressive" around. I'd love for her to try her "assessment" with my mt. dog. She'd quickly learn the meaning of that term.

 

I like to see her told that her so-called methods might leave undesirable impressions with other dogs, and that in no way would I subject my own dog to this "Mad Hatter Tea Party" way of doing things.

 

I often wonder how often the misuse of the "aggression" word has led an to an otherwise good dog with potential being mislabeled as aggressive and subsequently euthanized.

 

Grrrr.

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We vote for leaving the trainer. It sounds like your dog gave clear warnings what she wanted and what else is she suppose to do, just let the big rott climb all over her.

 

Just on a side note, I don't think it is only a female bc thing. While are males may not get 'snarky,' sounds more like a female term. The will gladly tell any dog who is too close to back off. But they don't back away from their space to move behind us, they will give a growl, hackles will come up, a loud snarl, and then would snap, although it doesn't typically get to that point, usually whoever we have run into can tell our dogs mean business and we stay away from off leash parks, because there is no way that would work with how many rude dogs, like Mensa are out there. The weird thing is that they have never had an issue at an obedience or agility class or at a trial. Boots has even been used multiple times as a dog to walk by a dog that is having issues to try to improve that dogs reaction. They definately seem to know when the dogs are off leash and unruly versus when they are being worked with or when the situation isn't appropriate. Does make me wonder when they figured that out?

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Anyways, so this lady puts the two dogs away, and I bring Spirit in. Not even 5 minutes later, this lady walks over and LETS OUT THE ROTTIE, saying that she wants to see how Spirit behaves around other dogs. The rottie bounds over to Spirit, as she tells me that Mensa (The rottie) is VERY well behaved, and she uses this dog to evaluate dogs for daycare. Oh, and not to be afraid of Mensa growling, because she just does that when she wants to play. Oh, and that Mensa is very dog obsessed, but she just wants to play.............................. So I'm standing here, with this little maybe 30 lb BC, as this giant rottie leaps at Spirit. Mensa shoves her face right into Spirit's face and Spirit tenses up right away, she turns her head to the side and tries to walk behind me, away from Mensa. Mensa follows her, continuously shoving her face and body all over Spirit. Spirit raises her lip and growls several times, the whole time I'm trying to tell this lady that Spirit obviously feels very uncomfortable with this dog, when Spirit finally snaps at this dog, not coming in contact, but obviously being very clear that she does not want this dog in her face.

 

It is quite apparent that the "Trainer" needs to learn some canine body language. I am so sorry this has happened to you! She should never have done that and personally I don't blame Spirit for feeling the way she did. That rottie had incredibly bad manners.

My own dog is fearful and reactive and she is VERY sensitive to other dogs manners or lack thereof. Direct eye contact will get her every time, as will direct intrusion of personal space. They will first get a head turn and lip lick, if they don't stop, she will try to arc away and if they don't stop, she growl, if they don't stop she will snap. In my opinion that dog has gotten ample warning that my dog is uncomfortable. Granted I usually get her out of the situation after the first set of signals and I am trying to make her more comfortable with other dogs like that being around, but only when it's me that is in control. You do not want to stop her from displaying these signals to other dogs though, you want her to be ok around these other dogs by careful training. Not at this facility!

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Sounds like Spirit should have bitten the damn 'trainer'!

 

Who says a dog has to like all other dogs, including pushy, won't-stop jerk dogs? An aggressive dog, IMHO, is one who doesn't give warning signs. There is a book on dog language...can't find it just this moment...but it covers how dogs communicate. A dog that doesn't know how to communicate (giving or receiving) is a problem dog.

 

My pound mutt grew up without other dogs around. The last 4 months of living with a couple of puppies has been an eye-opening experience for him. Since they are puppies, he knew not to get mad, but he didn't really understand how to communicate with them. He's been like a dog taking lessons in speech. 4 months later, he now knows how to ask for play, how to say no if you don't want to, etc. He's with them in the back yard right now, racing around and having fun.

 

But it is the Rottie that needs lessons, not Spirit.

 

At 50, one of the things I've finally learned is that experts often are not. The doctor who prescribed my Mom medicine to control recurrence of breast cancer even 'tho its side effects included psychotic episodes - something we didn't find out until after she started seeing men outside her bedroom window. At 85, which is worse - an increased chance of getting breast cancer in the remaining breast, or violent episodes & seeing things? She died a few months later from heart problems, but at least her final months didn't include attacking other people or screaming with fear about nonexistent people! The vet who told my Purina Dog Chow is better than Kirkland, although she had no idea what was in Kirkland...she just 'knew' store brands put the cheapest things possible in food. The highly paid engineers in Afghanistan who told me it was 'illegal' to mount a piece of electrical equipment anywhere except the bed of a Humvee, even tho the beds of the Humvees regularly were flooded while crossing rivers. Even with his PhD, he couldn't explain to me how the equipment would keep functioning in 18 inches of water...

 

You care more about your dog than the experts. I'm not saying blow them off, but you knew already that this trainer was a bozo. Sometimes, how much you care counts for more than the expert's 'training'.

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Who says a dog has to like all other dogs, including pushy, won't-stop jerk dogs? An aggressive dog, IMHO, is one who doesn't give warning signs. There is a book on dog language...can't find it just this moment...but it covers how dogs communicate. A dog that doesn't know how to communicate (giving or receiving) is a problem dog.

Turid Rugaas, "On talking terms with dogs". There is a DVD and a booklet. Great pair if you ask me. Especially if you have a reactive dog. You learn how to understand what they are "saying". My first reactive dog class actually introduced me to these signals and they opened up a world of communication I tell ya!

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Turid Rugaas, "On talking terms with dogs". There is a DVD and a booklet. Great pair if you ask me. Especially if you have a reactive dog. You learn how to understand what they are "saying". My first reactive dog class actually introduced me to these signals and they opened up a world of communication I tell ya!

 

There's a companion DVD to the book!?

 

Cool. I need to get that.

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