conversation with a vet this past weekend

General discussions about Chow Chows.

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coleywoley
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Post by coleywoley » Thu Nov 15, 2007 9:28 pm

jeff i actually read your post but i don't know that i understood properly so i will answer the best i can

when i say your actions decide your chows reactions i mean if i act scared of something she will react accordingly i don't believe the owner is responsible for all the chows actions but that the owner can hurt or help in some situations....as for doctor we actually changed doctor because the old office wasn't up to my standards not my daughters- they believed too much in antibiotics and not enough in preventative care, thats besides the point though- i don't expect soph to love the doctor everytime it is my job as her parent though to help her get through it the best we can just like tjordan tries to help butters get through it the best she can
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Thank you so much sweetpea you are wonderful!!!

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Jeff&Peks
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Post by Jeff&Peks » Thu Nov 15, 2007 9:39 pm

Thats ok I never know what i'm saying either.

Auddymay got it right in another post, We are all doing the same thing but just calling it something differant. I call it parenting, some call it leadership and the ones that are trying to tell everyone they are wrong call it Alpha, it all comes down to we are doing the exact same thing. No one is any better at raising a Chow then anyone else its just the time you put in and what you expect of your Chow.
“...There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because conscience tells one that it is right.” MLK

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coleywoley
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Post by coleywoley » Thu Nov 15, 2007 9:50 pm

I reaally do think it is just like having another toddler in the house. Soph's even started going through the biting phase again. I drive my dh crazy because i treat the dogs like extra kids and he thinks of them as pets
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Thank you so much sweetpea you are wonderful!!!

IliamnasQuest
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Post by IliamnasQuest » Fri Nov 16, 2007 1:28 am

chowgrl wrote:Mel,

I would like to do better by my chow the next time. I need more knowledge and skills to do that. I attended some puppy training classes with Maggie, but stopped going because they wanted me to spray her with water and use a choke (on a puppy?) because of her stubborness. My instinct told me that positive reinforcement was the way to go with her, so that's what I tried to do. I would like to gain more skills and knowledge before I get another chow, but don't know how to go about it. Any ideas?
For anyone who truly wants to gain knowledge, I encourage them to read and study and observe and open their minds to the concepts of behaviorism. Find works by Karen Pryor and Ted Turner and John Rogerson and Ian Dunbar and John Fisher (all PhD behaviorists). Read books like Patricia McConnell's "The Other End of the Leash", Pat Miller's "The Power of Positive Training", and Jean Donaldson's "Culture Clash". Find the book or video called "Calming Signals" by Turid Rugaas. Many of these can be found online at Dogwise.com (look here: http://www.dogwise.com/Features/SubCatL ... bCat=BKPET ).

And then find dogs and just sit and observe. If you have a dog park nearby, go without your dog and just watch the dogs interact. See how they change body position, see how they "speak" to each other without any noise. It's completely fascinating to me to watch dogs interact.

And find trainers who believe highly in positive reinforcement and who know the value of observation. Ask questions. Avoid people who base all their dog or breed knowledge on just one or two dogs or breeds - there's no way to have true knowledge with such a limited resource. Avoid the tunnel-vision trap of thinking that all dogs/breeds must do something a certain way just because one or two do it that way. Find people with hands-on experience with hundreds of dogs if you can - dogs of all breeds and types.

Anyhow, that's how I did it. And then I practiced with my own dogs. I remember when I made the switch from the old style methods (more force and less reward) to positive reinforcement methods, it was overwhelming at first to try to learn it all. I made lots of mistakes. I confused my dogs at times and I confused myself too. But slowly it came together and it's still coming together - I'm in a constant state of learning. Don't let the technical aspects of things get to you - some of the jargon can be confusing and you can either choose to learn what it all means (which I did - but I was overly obsessed with learning EVERYTHING) or skip over the technical stuff and just learn the practical side of it all.

Knowledge is a good thing - experience is a good thing. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. And always be your dog's advocate - you did the right thing leaving a class where they expected you to punish a puppy and to use a choke collar. There are better methods.

Melanie and the gang

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