Part 2: Training methods,Our Story, Our Experiences…Warning long post...

Continued from Part 1:

Refusing to Conform:

I guess I am just one of those people that can be stubborn just like a Basenji. After reading that Basenjis do not like water I wanted to put that to a test. So what did I do? First I filled the bathtub when Roo was about 10 weeks old. I had to give the dog a bath anyways, and what better way to test his ability to swim. Of course he did not like the water at first, but he did allow me to keep him in it and because his legs were so short, showed me he had the ability to swim.

Since we are part of the local Sailing Association at our lake, we hoped that we would be able to take Roo and Bonzo with us on our Sailboat. Off to Petsmart we went to get both of them lifejackets to help ensure their safety. Roo wears his just fine, but Bonzo just hated it and fought to get it off. We decided that Bonzo can stay home because of the lifejacket issue. We also cannot get Bonzo to wear a sweater to keep warm even in the dead of winter in sub zero temps.

The next thing we had to find out is if Roo would adapt to being in the deep water and get comfortable with swimming. For this I bought a 20 foot lead and drove to the lake with Miranda, a bunch a towels, treats, Roo's lifejacket, and Roo. I walked out into the water carrying Roo and placed him in the water. Miranda sat on the dock and called him. Roo did just fine although I think he was scared at first. He did not whine but he also did not panic. The more he swam, the better he got. Previously we noticed that when he is afraid or scared his tail will uncurl. After spending some time in the water swimming, we noticed his tail was staying curly. To us, this meant he had adapted. A picture of this can be seen in my gallery under ComicDom1. Roo has been swimming under the same conditions, several times since. We always treat him after a swim, dry him off, and allow him to warm up in his crate in the car on the way home.

Roo the Sailing Basenji:

Next came taking Roo out on the sailboat. Our sailboat is a Melges MC Scow which is only 16 feet long, but has a 26 foot mast, and a very large sail. We do not sail flat, and the boat angle changes as we change course. This is no different than putting a Basenji on a wobble board during an agility competition. As I suspected, Roo adapted quickly, and soon decided he would take a nap during a Triangle Club Race we were involved in. He climbed under the hull, and went to sleep on my life jacket and our dry bag. As you can see from the pictures in my gallery under ComicDom1, Roo is more than comfortable being on deck when we are heeling the boat. We did put Roo in our boat on dry land prior to taking him out on the water so he could get used to being in the boat.

Roo the Biking Basenji:

Roo now has his own trailer that is pulled behind my recumbent bike. It is 6 miles to the park where we walk so in order to save a little gas money, Roo convinced me to buy him a trailer. Roo seems to ride very well in the Burley branded dog trailer aptly named the "Tail Wagon" Pictures of this are also contained in one of my previous posts.

Socialization:

Miranda has four words for you…. Dog Park and Petsmart!

I would add walking as we do in the regular park where we encounter other people as well as others with dogs. When Roo was little we took him to Petsmart on almost a daily basis for the first two weeks. Where we live, there are very few places you can take your dog inside. To go to the dog park Roo had to be at least 4 months old so we had to wait and did not have a lot of options on where to take him for socialization skills.

To this day, Roo has not met a person or dog he has not been able to get along with. We also make sure when he is not running loose in the dog park or house, that he is securely on a leash and we are in control. We also do not put him out on a tethered line unless we are out there with him, or close enough to monitor him and his activities.

Miranda and I feel that sometimes people do not understand that what they consider a bite or nip from a Basenji is a result of the dog attempting to let you know he wants to play and as they touch you with their mouth it is a normal reaction for children as well as adults to pull their hands away which can result in a scratch or breaking the skin. Puppy teeth are brutally sharp and the sharpness changes as adult teeth come in. Certainly there are times when a dog that is constantly teased, backed in a corner, pestered, protecting their territory or family, or otherwise harassed will bite. I believe this is true of any breed. An animal in fear, pain, or who has been traumatized in some way will bite if they feel it necessary to protect themselves. But it is just as likely with a young dog that they are just trying to play with a human, in the same way that dogs play.

When Roo was 8 weeks old, we put our hands in his mouth, and pressed down firmly with our fingers on either his top jaw or bottom jaw and told him firmly "no biting." We have always done this in a firm, calm voice. This seemed to do the job and we do not have a biting issue at the current time. Also you can take your hand away when they start biting or nipping, and direct them to a toy, or if they are really wound up and want to play, just get up and walk away. Do not go back to your dog until they have calmed down. If they learn that they will lose your attention when they do something unacceptable to you, then they will eventually get the message and the behavior will disappear. Basenjis are very smart dogs and learn very quickly. They are also great manipulators and will push your buttons if allowed and eventually end up training you instead. OH, and lets not forget their persuasive power of the FACE! This is why it is so important, that you take a firm hand with your dog from day one.

Crate Training Take 2 the Final Frontier:

As many have discovered, once you let a Basenji run free, they do not like to be crated. Give them an inch and they will take the whole house. This includes your bed, your favorite chair, your couch and pretty much everything else. I believe they would either sit or stand on the dinner table if you would allow it. The sad part is that some people do allow certain behaviors that they shouldn't. A Basenji will soon stake out their favorite resting spot which may or may not be what you would choose for them. At this point, either the dog controls you or control the dog. Of course its easier to correct behavior when a dog is young.

Just so you know Miranda and I are not immune to making a mistake like this. Once we let Roo out of his crate all night and sleep in the bedroom, he did not want to be crated anymore at night or during the day.

Note: We never have allowed Roo on the bed. Dogs have dog beds and crates. As far as we are concerned people sleep in the bed. We know many will will disagree but this is our personal view. When I chose to be intimate with Miranda or her with me, we certainly do not need Roo in the middle of it.

This is important! Crate training is not cruel to the dog! Crating a dog helps in teaching house breaking skills. It allows you to put them on a schedule. It keeps them safe from dangers in your house like electrical cords, chemicals, and trash(some of which can be poison) when you are unable to supervise them. It also can keep your home, possessions, and visitors safe from any destructive type behaviors. This is one way you can ensure that no one is harmed when strangers to your dog enter your home. Since dogs are naturally den animals with the right training they will soon accept their Crate/Kennel as their safe haven.

Roo is now 7 months old. We stopped crating him at about 5 months, as soon as we felt he was house broken. We did put him in the bathroom with the gate closed at night, but he would stand up and beat the gate with his paws. This created noise which would keep us awake, and would wake me up in the morning when Miranda would leave for work. This was not acceptable behavior to us.

Since getting free run of the house he developed a resistance to being crated at night. Once again he was crying, screaming, and beating at the crate door to get out. What this behavior combined with Miranda leaving for work indicated to us was that Roo not only did not want to be crated, but also had started suffering from mild separation anxiety.

Miranda and I did not even consider the use of drugs to treat this. I know there are many people that do because they do not wish to go through the retraining process. I will agree there may be certain cases that a dog needs medication, but I do not feel for "our dog" this is one of them(edited by Jason to correct intent and meaning).

Our method of dealing with this situation is simple. We went back to square one. We started giving Roo a treat every time he executed the Kennel command. Miranda and I also praised him. Of course after we closed the door Roo would carry on for a bit but eventually he would quiet down. After a while, Roo would start up again and repeat the same behavior. This is going to happen several times during the first few days of training.

Ignoring a dog's crying or screaming is the hardest part when kennel/crate training a dog. You have to turn off your sympathy somewhat and not feel sorry for the dog. You are doing a dog a favor by crate training them.

I noticed on the second night of retraining Roo to be crated, then when I got up from my computer chair and he could not see me it set him off. This was a clear indication of separation anxiety. As harsh as it sounds, I had to continue to ignore his crying when this happened.

Miranda and I now have a method for our crate training. Miranda walks the dogs at 10pm at night, and during that time, I hide several different kinds of treats in different places in both Bonzo's and Roo's kennels. Then I close the door to the crates and they are not allowed in their crates right away. Roo and Bonzo are now running from crate to crate and pawing at the door attempting to get in. This is the reversal of Roo's behavior and kind of funny to watch. There are times that I go to bed later than Miranda so I wait a little bit before I let the dogs in their crates for the night. I also have been staying up a few hours and walking Roo just before I go to bed as he becomes accustomed to being crated again. We have noticed that when Roo is upset, sometimes he will urinate to show his displeasure. Although we have not seen that in quite a while, we do check his crate bedding on a regular basis.

I am happy to say, that the return to crate training has been going well. Roo is crying less and less after he is crated and appears to be settling down faster each night. He still will start to cry once I get up from my computer chair and turn off the light, but with a little more patience I think he will overcome that as well. It is very important that once you crate train your dog you keep them in practice. I am not saying you cannot let them out once in a while during the night, but I am stressing that getting out of the habit can be harmful and stressful to both you and the dog. Once again you are not being cruel when crating your dog as long as you are not using the crate for punishment or leaving your dog crated for an excessive amount of time.

In closing, I would like say again, that we are not experts. These are the methods that have worked for us. They may or may not work for you but hopefully they will give you or new owner some alternative things to try with your dog.

Jason and Miranda

PS by Miranda: Although I have always wanted to have a dog to show for conformation, at this point, I would not trade Roo for the best bred pup from Champion parents. He's wonderful and just right for us. There isn't much I would change, except for the necessity of repeating crate training..lol. I just cannot resist the _FACE!
_

As an "only a few months patience" in-spe Basenji owner, this is the best information one can get. You can read as many books as you want about dog education but it's nothing compared to the real stuff. Keep sending these hints please as I will need them when our new companion joins us !
BTW, any experiences with self prepared natural food ?
PS. I also read your answer on the "safe sailing" issue that was posted by Renault1 and I must say it was very elucidative.;)
Greetz from rainy Belgium

@ComicDom1:

Continued from Part 1:

Socialization:

Miranda has four words for you…. Dog Park and Petsmart!

I believe strongly in socialization and recommend puppy kindergarten, taking advantage of dog friendly areas to walk and socialize dogs and puppies, and I am even lucky enough to have a off leash dog walk group that my dogs get to enjoy. I have puppy buyers that successfully use dog parks and don't have problems with them. I do think it must be emphasized though that before you start going to dog parks, learn about canine communication, learn to read body language and know when you need to leave. There are many stories out there about dogs that have been attacked by other dogs at dog parks. A story about a basenji that has been attacked can be found here, http://www.dharian.org/Basenji%20of%20the%20Month.htm Unfortunately, this isn't the only story I know of, it is just the only one that is published on the web.

@ComicDom1:

Crate Training Take 2 the Final Frontier:

As many have discovered, once you let a Basenji run free, they do not like to be crated. Give them an inch and they will take the whole house. This includes your bed, your favorite chair, your couch and pretty much everything else. I believe they would either sit or stand on the dinner table if you would allow it. The sad part is that some people do allow certain behaviors that they shouldn't. A Basenji will soon stake out their favorite resting spot which may or may not be what you would choose for them. At this point, either the dog controls you or control the dog. Of course its easier to correct behavior when a dog is young.

I agree that it is always best to know what rules you want for puppy from the beginning and to never allow them to do something that you do not want them to do later in live. That said, I don't think allowing them to sleep on the sofa means that they are controlling you. Each person will have different house rules what is important is that the dog is not challenging you over them. My dogs are allowed on the furniture, that is my choice, and it is a priviledge for them, and if I ask them to get off, they do. If I want to sit on the sofa I do and they move. They are not controlling me, I make up the rules and they live by them but most of the time we both get what we want.

This is important! Crate training is not cruel to the dog! Crating a dog helps in teaching house breaking skills. It allows you to put them on a schedule. It keeps them safe from dangers in your house like electrical cords, chemicals, and trash(some of which can be poison) when you are unable to supervise them. It also can keep your home, possessions, and visitors safe from any destructive type behaviors. This is one way you can ensure that no one is harmed when strangers to your dog enter your home. Since dogs are naturally den animals with the right training they will soon accept their Crate/Kennel as their safe haven.

Roo is now 7 months old. We stopped crating him at about 5 months, as soon as we felt he was house broken. We did put him in the bathroom with the gate closed at night, but he would stand up and beat the gate with his paws. This created noise which would keep us awake, and would wake me up in the morning when Miranda would leave for work. This was not acceptable behavior to us.

Since getting free run of the house he developed a resistance to being crated at night. Once again he was crying, screaming, and beating at the crate door to get out. What this behavior combined with Miranda leaving for work indicated to us was that Roo not only did not want to be crated, but also had started suffering from mild separation anxiety.

Miranda and I did not even consider the use of drugs to treat this. I know there are many people that do because they do not wish to go through the retraining process. I will agree there may be certain cases that a dog need medication, but I do not feel this is one of them.

Again, I agree that crate training is important and something that each puppy should be taught. I don't agree that giving a dog freedom will ruin its crate training. Many here have dogs that are not crated daily and still crate willing because they worked hard when the dogs were young to establish a high value for the crate. Many of these dogs will go to their crate just because they want a quiet place to rest and choose their crate as this place. Feeding daily in the crate also helps to build value in the crate and is the easiest way to make sure each dog is getting the right amount of food in a multiple dog household.

All that said, it is incredibly unfair of you to say to those who have had to turn to drugs to help with dogs that have severe anxiety disorders that they are just unwilling to "go through the retraining process". Drugs for anxiety is not something that any one that I know has considered as the easy alternative to training. The ones I know who have used them have done so because their dogs were doing physical harm to themselves, they showed clear signs of suffering from debilitating anxiety disorders. I am glad that your dog just needed a refresher in crate training and there are many who need just that and really are only having a temper tantrum but there are also dogs out there that suffer from very real disorders where a training protocol alone will not help.

@lvoss:

All that said, it is incredibly unfair of you to say to those who have had to turn to drugs to help with dogs that have severe anxiety disorders that they are just unwilling to "go through the retraining process". Drugs for anxiety is not something that any one that I know has considered as the easy alternative to training. The ones I know who have used them have done so because their dogs were doing physical harm to themselves, they showed clear signs of suffering from debilitating anxiety disorders. I am glad that your dog just needed a refresher in crate training and there are many who need just that and really are only having a temper tantrum but there are also dogs out there that suffer from very real disorders where a training protocol alone will not help.

+1.

As the owner of two Basenjis – one of which responded well to crate training, and the other which suffered from extreme anxiety -- I will attest that it most certainly is NOT an unwillingness to train properly that led me to temporarily give medications to my dog. These medications were only used after six MONTHS of intensive training {in which the dog tore the crap out of not only bedding, etc. but also two crates} AND working with a behaviorist and veterinarian. Even after he began doing better,he suffered a setback and tore his nose up a bit when I was out of town for a few days earlier this summer -- family members were still home; his routine had not changed, but I was gone and that did it for him. His life is good; his life is comfortable; his training is positive; HE is an anxious dog. He is DIFFERENT than our other dogs.

We had one member on the forum -- I don't think they are a member now -- some may recall whose dog had done serious damage to his face trying to get out of his crate.
I have heard from others where the dogs have actually torn off nails and damaged toes fighting the crate.

MOST dogs are relatively easily crate trainable by using patience, persistence, treats, consistency, etc. but there are some that simply are not. And to classify those owners who become a bit desperate because they haven't slept for six months and their dogs are tearing themselves up as simply "unwilling to to through the re-training process" is unfair.

Until you have experienced a dog with serious and very real anxiety, you cannot know. Trust me -- I've been a dog owner for my entire life, different breeds, different personalities, and I have never experienced a dog with the anxiety this one has... EVER.

On that note, I will say there certainly ARE owners who aren't willing to do the training it takes. I was at a feed store the other day and a man walked in wanting to know if there was any dog food that contained "doggy downers". The folks at the store were a bit perplexed and the man explained "I'm tired of my lab running all over the yard. Do you have any doggy downers?". They said no, so he asked about foods that may be good for weight gain. They pointed him to a food and he bought it saying, "Well, then I'll just make sure he's too fat to run around so much".

I suggested he get rid of the dog, but he ignored me.

Jason and Miranda…..very informative post, I hope that it will help many people who are wondering about basic training in the home..... I had to say I think it is soo funny that you refer repeatedly to the FACE, as that is Zaire's main nickname... She is my little FACE. 😃

@LiveWWSD:

Jason and Miranda…..very informative post, I hope that it will help many people who are wondering about basic training in the home..... I had to say I think it is soo funny that you refer repeatedly to the FACE, as that is Zaire's main nickname... She is my little FACE. 😃

Definitely… that was my thought also,but I got caught up in the anxiety thing.
Overall an excellent post, and yes, the FACE gets many a Basenji out of trouble. 😉

I agree lvoss… it is really unfair to say that people that have tried drugs to help with extreme anxiety did so because they didn't want to take the time to crate train when the pup was having a "temper" tantrum... as she said there are some with disorders that no matter what you do, can't be crated... so because of how/who they were bred (ie: puppymills/BYB with no socialization) some pedigree lines are know for crating problems and sometimes just that particular pup....

There are people that don't want to take the time to crate train and then there are the ones that can't be crated trained...

@tanza:

I agree lvoss… it is really unfair to say that people that have tried drugs to help with extreme anxiety did so because they didn't want to take the time to crate train when the pup was having a "temper" tantrum... as she said there are some with disorders that no matter what you do, can't be crated... so because of how/who they were bred (ie: puppymills/BYB with no socialization) some pedigree lines are know for crating problems and sometimes just that particular pup....

There are people that don't want to take the time to crate train and then there are the ones that can't be crated trained...

Hello everyone, before this gets taken too far out of context, I think I need to address it. I know we are being misunderstood in certain area's of our post. It's most likely do to the fact that it was a long post, that contains some spelling and other errors, and most likely a few of our thoughts were not worded or presented in the best way. It is also easy to break apart a post and misunderstand what was meant because of the isolation of just one concept, paragraph, or sentence.

So please allow us to clarify this specific part of our post!

This is what we posted:

"Miranda and I did not even consider the use of drugs to treat this. I know there are many people that do because they do not wish to go through the retraining process. I will agree there may be certain cases that a dog needs medication, but I do not feel this is one of them."

Here we are certainly acknowledging the need and use of drugs in certain situations.

The last if it was presented correctly should have said, While I agree that there may be certain cases that a dog needs medication, I do not feel for "our dog" this is one of them.

We will edit and correct this in our post.

Miranda and I do feel in a lot of cases people are looking for short cuts, and in many cases people will immediately look for a drug solution. Unfortunately Vet's exist that are only too happy and willing to accommodate them. I have personally witnessed this type of situation more than once. We certainly have not ruled out situations that do require drug therapy and we apologize if we have been misunderstood.

We also realize that dogs are more than able to injure themselves while in a crate. I think this is a topic that should be considered in another post. There are certainly different types of crates available and its each has its pro's and con's. Miranda has first hand experience herself of dogs damaging themselves in crates from the time she worked for a vet in Iowa.

Ivoss, in regard to the dogs on the furniture, our post in no way stated that allowing your dog on the sofa meant that your dog was controlling you. Our exact words were "A Basenji will soon stake out their favorite resting spot which may or may not be what you would choose for them. At this point, either the dog controls you or control the dog."

In this case, we clearly think that once the dog has chosen something that the owner finds unacceptable, and have decided to "stake a claim" that the owner has lost some control. From what we know there have been cases where dogs have staked out a claim for a resting spot and have shown aggression towards their owners and others when challenged for that spot. We wish to avoid this type of behavior if at all possible.

We had hoped that the disclaimers both at the beginning and end of the posts had made it clear that our methods and thoughts only relate our circumstances. But let us take this opportunity to reiterate, this is our experience only, and YMMV.

Thanks for clarifying… and you are correct there are too many people looking for the "quick" fix.... and think that you tell/teach your pet something one time and that should be it... they should do that for its entire life... and do it immediately.
Like house training... that always gets me... people get a puppy and for 2 days maybe, the pup has no accidents, why? because the human was paying attention... day 3... they "forget" to take the pup out lots, they stop watching their every move.... and yup, accident... then say "what is wrong with this dog.... are they doing this for spite?"....
My mentors, Leighton's many, many years ago had a couple that waited 1 1/2years for their pup.... they were so excited to get their little girl and take her home... two days later they brought her back... WHY you might ask?... Because it was taking too long to house train and they really didn't have all that much time to give to the process.....

@ComicDom1:

Hello everyone, before this gets taken too far out of context, I think I need to address it. I know we are being misunderstood in certain area's of our post. It's most likely do to the fact that it was a long post, that contains some spelling and other errors, and most likely a few of our thoughts were not worded or presented in the best way. It is also easy to break apart a post and misunderstand what was meant because of the isolation of just one concept, paragraph, or sentence.

So please allow us to clarify this specific part of our post!

This is what we posted:

"Miranda and I did not even consider the use of drugs to treat this. I will agree there may be certain cases that a dog needs medication, but I do not feel this is one of them."

Here we are certainly acknowledging the need and use of drugs in certain situations.

I quoted the above paragraph in its entirety in my post, I also quoted the 3 paragraphs before it because I did feel when I read this that it came across as saying that medicating a dog in the situation of crate training was inappropriate which I thought was an unfair statement because many anxiety disorders present as crate issues. I am glad you clarified your statement but I did quote the paragraph in its entirety which you imply I did not, I just came to a different conclusion then you intended.

Ivoss, in regard to the dogs on the furniture, our post in no way stated that allowing your dog on the sofa meant that your dog was controlling you. Our exact words were "A Basenji will soon stake out their favorite resting spot which may or may not be what you would choose for them. At this point, either the dog controls you or control the dog."

In this case, we clearly think that once the dog has chosen something that the owner finds unacceptable, and have decided to "stake a claim" that the owner has lost some control. From what we know there have been cases where dogs have staked out a claim for a resting spot and have shown aggression towards their owners and others when challenged for that spot. We wish to avoid this type of behavior if at all possible.

I need to clarify my disagreement with this section of your post. I do not feel that it is the fact that owners allow or don't allow access to furniture or parts of the house that create issue between owners and dogs. I think that most of these issues stem from the owner not taking the time to build a real working relationship with their dogs. It is not about where the dogs sleep, when it eats, or who walks through the door first. The real issue is whether you and your dog have a working relationship. To me this means building a working vocabulary of cues that you can use with your dog and being consistent in your expectations. Having TC in my house has definately taught me how much I take for granted that working vocabulary since she doesn't know "point" which I use frequently to move my dogs.

Issues of resource guarding, which you are describing in your quote about controlling space, are often made worse when a dog is challenged. Many dogs who show resource gaurding tendencies may have inherited them or learned them as a very young puppy before ever going to their home. Usually challenging a dog over the resource only escalates the problem. It is true that it is best to avoid these problems from happening. Good examples of techniques used to prevent resource gaurding issues are "Trading Up" and "Calling Off of Furniture or a Space". The goal is to avoid the confrontation.

We had hoped that the disclaimers both at the beginning and end of the posts had made it clear that our methods and thoughts only relate our circumstances. But let us take this opportunity to reiterate, this is our experience only, and YMMV.

That may be but when you make statements like, "I know there are many people that do because they do not wish to go through the retraining process." You need to be prepared that you have stepped outside the realm of your disclaimer. Also these forums are created for discussion so it shouldn't be surprising when someone responds with a differing opinion.

I agree with the heart of your post and it was a great sharing of your experience but there were parts where I felt the tone conveyed was that those who are struggle in these areas just don't want to work at it.

@lvoss:

I quoted the above paragraph in its entirety in my post, I also quoted the 3 paragraphs before it because I did feel when I read this that it came across as saying that medicating a dog in the situation of crate training was inappropriate which I thought was an unfair statement because many anxiety disorders present as crate issues. I am glad you clarified your statement but I did quote the paragraph in its entirety which you imply I did not, I just came to a different conclusion then you intended.

From Jason: You are certainly entitled to draw your own conclusions just as we have. We have no issue with that. We did not post our experiences or opinions to create argument or controversy. So keeping this in mind, as far as we are concerned this is not a dead issue we are not going to address again. End

I need to clarify my disagreement with this section of your post. I do not feel that it is the fact that owners allow or don't allow access to furniture or parts of the house that create issue between owners and dogs. I think that most of these issues stem from the owner not taking the time to build a real working relationship with their dogs. It is not about where the dogs sleep, when it eats, or who walks through the door first. The real issue is whether you and your dog have a working relationship. To me this means building a working vocabulary of cues that you can use with your dog and being consistent in your expectations. Having TC in my house has definately taught me how much I take for granted that working vocabulary since she doesn't know "point" which I use frequently to move my dogs.

Issues of resource guarding, which you are describing in your quote about controlling space, are often made worse when a dog is challenged. Many dogs who show resource gaurding tendencies may have inherited them or learned them as a very young puppy before ever going to their home. Usually challenging a dog over the resource only escalates the problem. It is true that it is best to avoid these problems from happening. Good examples of techniques used to prevent resource gaurding issues are "Trading Up" and "Calling Off of Furniture or a Space". The goal is to avoid the confrontation.

From Jason: Ivoss while I respect your opinions, even on the TV Show the "Dog Whisperer" there has been televised situations such as a dog on a bed refusing to move, and biting its owner. I seriously doubt they trained that dog to do that. We have also seen this type of behavior for ourselves, in real life situations. So there is some foundation and justification to the statement we made.End

That may be but when you make statements like, "I know there are many people that do because they do not wish to go through the retraining process." You need to be prepared that you have stepped outside the realm of your disclaimer. Also these forums are created for discussion so it shouldn't be surprising when someone responds with a differing opinion.

**From Jason:**We only responded to clarify any misunderstanding. We have no problem with differing opinions. We never claimed all, we did not point to anyone specific, we simply said it happens and it does. Anyone is welcome to dispute that if they wish. Based on our experiences, we have seen this happen, and unless you know we haven't then the disclaimer still applies. Another's person's view, or different opinion will not change our real life personal experiences. END

I agree with the heart of your post and it was a great sharing of your experience but there were parts where I felt the tone conveyed was that those who are struggle in these areas just don't want to work at it.

While we appreciate that you agree with the heart of our post, that was not our intended purpose. Our only intention was to share our experiences and views, thus the disclaimer! Yes, the tone did convey that there are some that do stuggle in these area's and actually do not want to work at it. Dog's are given up every day by people who are unwilling to make the sacrifices that are required of Dog Ownership! You are welcome to dispute this if you wish, but the numbers dogs given up that are in shelters and rescues certainly do reflect this.

Jason

I volunteer at my local shelter and see these dogs first hand. I know exactly why they end up in shelters and some of those reasons include their owners feeling like failures because their experiences are that they put in what they feel is a lot of work and see no improvement. Actually, most owner relinquished dogs, vs stray pick ups, are because the owners have reached a point where they have become overwhelmed with behavior issues they are having. Many feel that they have given an honest try at tackling their dog's issues.

Our shelter has seen a very positive response by owners when they are provided with resources such as contact information for local trainers who do consults to help these owners work with their dogs.

Yes, there is a huge homeless animal problem in this country and though there are some who truly don't want to be bothered to do the work that it takes to own an animal, a much larger segment just needs education and access to resources including low cost vaccinations, training programs, and general pet ownership education.

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