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Competitive Obedience and Dog-Dog Socialization Question

sissani
April 24th, 2007, 06:15 PM
I was speaking with my friend today and we got into a bit of an argument. She went to school to be a trainer and hopes to work her way up to the training position at the kennel we work at.

Anyway, she had told me a while ago how dogs who compete to win obedience trials shouldnt be in daycare (ie. shouldnt play with other dogs) because when at competitions you dont want them running up to other dogs to play. I said I didnt agree with that logic and that it didnt make much sense to me - why cant you just train the dog to know when its time to work (that now is the time to be perfectly obedient and do what i say) and when its time to play (that now is the time to run free and socialize)? Personally I dont see the benefit to depriving a dog of good socialization. I said whether or not you are competing with the dog makes no difference - its still a dog, not a tool, and needs to play sometime. She said a competing dog is a tool and needs to be in control training 24/7 in order to win competitions.

I was wondering if this was a general/shared opinion in the obedience competition world or if its just one point of view.

Lissa
April 24th, 2007, 08:47 PM
Umm, I personally don't believe that's how trainer's/competitors feel (and if they do exist, they are few and far between)! I truly cannot think of anybody who thinks like that - I may not be deep in the competition circuit but I am around a lot of performance dogs and handlers and have never heard that kind of attitude.
I do think many hard core competitors wouldn't leave their dog at doggie daycare for safety reasons but not because the dog won't know when to work and when not to work. IMO, if you don't know how to motivate your dog (or your dog isn't a willing partner under any distractions) you need to go back and work on foundations or accept that your dog may have no interest in being a performance dog.
I think your friend should go and talk with the top competitive OB dogs around the world before she says they are in control training 24/7. It's just not logical!

There are definately people who view their dog(s) as working dogs and not pets but they more than the average pet owner need to have a confident, reliable dog in "all" situations... So I seriously doubt they'd cut off the dog from socialization with anything, least of all dogs. Working dogs would choose their handler over any distraction and most likely don't show much inclination to go off and socialize unless released by their handler.... Watching my trainer with her SAR dogs has really emphasized this (also titled in agility/OB/tracking etc...)

sissani
April 24th, 2007, 09:06 PM
IMO, if you don't know how to motivate your dog (or your dog isn't a willing partner under any distractions) you need to go back and work on foundations or accept that your dog may have no interest in being a performance dog.
I think your friend should go and talk with the top competitive OB dogs around the world before she says they are in control training 24/7. It's just not logical!

There are definately people who view their dog(s) as working dogs and not pets but they more than the average pet owner need to have a confident, reliable dog in "all" situations... So I seriously doubt they'd cut off the dog from socialization with anything, least of all dogs. Working dogs would choose their handler over any distraction and most likely don't show much inclination to go off and socialize unless released by their handler....

Thats exactly how I see it. And I figured her view of it wasnt the norm; it just didnt seem right to me. I have no experience with competition (not for lack of interest though) so I just didnt know. :shrug:

tenderfoot
April 24th, 2007, 09:33 PM
Yeah, not my way of thinking at all.

Dogs are dogs first - dogs are highly social - dogs deserve to have fun and love life - even competitive obedience should be fun for everyone involved.

Many conformation people do not teach 'sit' to their dogs because they fear the dog will sit during judging. That is ridiculous! Dogs know how to sit - you aren't teaching them to 'not' sit. You can totally isolate what is permitted in the show ring and what is not.

I am sorry but if someone who wants to devote their lives to dogs can't see the most basic needs of dogs are neccessary to their wellbeing, then she really should find something else to do. Blunt I know, but true. If winning is so important to her and she needs to have control over something 24/7 then she should learn to race cars - they don't have souls.:2cents:

mafiaprincess
April 24th, 2007, 09:57 PM
I was told if I wanted to be serious in performance sports, I should not give away much free love, so she'd want to work harder in a sport setting, giving most of my attention there. I see the point, but it's not something I can really do.. Cider is my pet first, and my sport partner second..

I've found doing rally-o.. That some behaviours don't mesh correctly with sport behaviours, but keep working and they self correct...
Cider automatic sits.. In rally anything that didn't make her move enough, she'd sit. 260, 270, or a u turn with her on the inside she'd pop her bum down. With practice she stopped... No reason not to teach certain behaviours..

My issue with daycare would be the fear of not enough supervision and my dog getting hurt, nothing that would harm any sport performance.

sissani
April 24th, 2007, 10:28 PM
I am sorry but if someone who wants to devote their lives to dogs can't see the most basic needs of dogs are neccessary to their wellbeing, then she really should find something else to do. Blunt I know, but true. If winning is so important to her and she needs to have control over something 24/7 then she should learn to race cars - they don't have souls.:2cents:

I completely agree. Because she went to training school, because she is my friend and because I need training for my two dogs, we were going to work something out after work where I could get cheap training classes for my boys. But after that argument, and seeing more of her point of view on this (which I sort of knew before, from the way she talks about her own two dogs in a sort of cold manner, for lack of a better word), I'm not confident I want to do that anymore. I've actually spent the better part of the evening looking into your techniques. I mean I know I wont be competing, and her attitude with this doesnt have much to do with me and my dogs, but still...

mummummum
April 24th, 2007, 11:23 PM
When I read posts about competitive obedience, flyball, rally-o and so on by folks like Byrd, Mafia and Lissa, the one thing that absolutely shines through is that it's all about achieving a sense of pure connection with their dawgs.

And when you see that kind of connection at work, it's as if there is a gentle, continuous lightening bolt of mind-body-spirit harmony happening between the dawg and their person.

Personally, I would take that kind of oneness with my dawg any day over having the power to assert robotic control and receiving an automated response of obedience.

But there again ~ I love my dawgs.

mafiaprincess
April 24th, 2007, 11:35 PM
*hugs* that was sweet, and totally true.