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Yes, another rant.
A couple of weeks ago I took Caeda to social night, there was a lady there that hadn't been in a while and also had a new puppy. We were chatting outside, she was telling me how awesome she thinks CM is, then asked me if I knew about him. My answer "yep, I know about him I think he's an a%%%%". Commence her backpedalling, that its just an entertaining show, she'd never do most of what he does etc. Uh huh. Ok.

Following week she shows up with her dogs again, her older dog got a little riled up, playing with his teeth a little more than before, but she wasn't making anybody yelp, didn't seem to be causing any serious issues, just really vigorous play. She yanked him out of the "dog pile" pinned him down LITERALLY on my feet for a good 'ol alpha roll. Told her dog things along the lines of "no" and "you're not allowed to be dominant" I was pretty speechless, so didn't say anything right away, and right when I was about to other dogs started coming over to see what was up. She started shoving them away hard....by the side, the rump, the face even. Suddenly I had a lot to say but bit my tongue, hard. Of course had she been shoving Caeda around I probably would have opened my mouth (possibly closed my fist) and gotten kicked out.

The trainer that runs the play nights didn't say a word. I suppose this is a dog get together, and she's there to make sure the dogs don't cause problems with each other (and when they do, she does step in, if this dog truly had been a problem she would have done something). When she does training classes she deals with the owners. I don't know if she approved or not....but if she didn't I can almost understand her drawing the line to not say anything. Plus, it seems dealing with people who adhere to this is like talking to a brick wall.

To make matters worse, when it was time to go and the lady went to call her puppy over, and went to grab its collar to clip the leash on it shied away, my guess is that its been rolled too and is worried.

So frustrating, not my place to say anything, nor to rock the boat on the issue especially at that venue when there is a trainer there whose word would be taken with more authority than mine, and might actually agree with the methods. GRRRRRRR. If there was any other safe venue to get Caeda playing and interacting with so many other dogs I would stop going, but there isn't, and my access to other dogs is pretty limited.

Anyway, sorry for the rant, had to get it out of my head, its been bothering me all weekend. I know I can't do anything about it other than just deal and keep my mouth shut or stop going. Every day I find dogs far better company than most humans.
 

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Dogs are way better than people. No offense.

I would speak to the trainer. They shouldn't allow people to alpha roll on their property, nor should they allow one owner to slap and push other people's dogs. That is way out of bounds and should have earned the owner a roll of her own.

CM has a lot to answer for. (Which is as much as I can say without using the sort of profanity even my dog would be offended by.)
 

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I don't like it when people use CM's techniques like that. It clearly states at the very beginning of his shows "Do not attempt the techniques you are about to see without consulting a professional." I highly doubt people are seek out professionals first. They are wowed by how fast Cesar can control a dog, and then think they can do it too, but don't realize they cannot. And even in his book How to Raise the Perfect Dog: Through Puppyhood and Beyond, he clearly states to not use those techniques, but to be gentle with puppies and guide the puppy through positive reinforcement and redirection. And despite him using older techniques, he does use positive reinforcement himself, and tells people to use those techniques first before even thinking about trying his (I can't remember which book it was in, but it's there). I'm not a CM lover, but I'm not a hater. I agree with some of the things he does, and I disagree with others. I think some people go too far and think they have to do everything Cesar does, and don't open their mind to other ways of training and redirecting the dog. They don't seem to realize they can pick and choose pieces and not have to take the whole package. I like the idea of being calm and assertive, and not letting a dog walk all over me, so I use that. What I don't use is the alpha rolls and stuff like that. The whole dominance thing I do believe in some of it, but in modern times it is not the sole ruling principle in a dog's life.
 

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I honestly don't understand why you would be going to a place that allows this sort of stuff to go on. Even if your dog isn't being roughly handled, she is watching what goes on with the other dogs and people. I won't expose my dogs to people who abuse their dogs.
 

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Do you think Caeda has a good basis of socializing? She's over a year old now right?

While many dogs like or enjoy other dogs, it isn't something 100% necessary for them to be able to play with others all the time. Once they have a good basis of socializing, there is nothing wrong with just sometimes meeting a single dog for play or walks etc.

The flipside is that bad behavior and unpleasant experiences (like this social group) can negate good socializing and do more harm than good.

Look for a few responsible owners with well behaved dogs. Set up occasional play dates or walks.

I think it is far more productive for a dog (past puppyhood) to have a handful of positive experiences than many mediocre ones.
 

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Honestly around here like 99% of people train with Petco... And ALL the people who train with Petco use alpha rolls. So I just... Ignore it... Because the word of Petco's "trainers" is going to be considered better than mine, and I can show them passively through never alpha rolling my dog and still proving she's trained, anyway. So I let them do whatever as long as they aren't harming the dog... But the shoving definitely isn't okay :\
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Do you think Caeda has a good basis of socializing? She's over a year old now right?
You all make good points, but I'll respond mainly to Shell since the points here are some of the most pertinent.
She isn't socialized quite enough, she is still a bit of a freak when it comes to seeing other dogs, she has improved vastly though since we started going to social, which is the prime reason we keep going. It used to be that she would see a dog, any dog, anywhere, even 50feet away and start going wild on the leash, pure excitement, not aggression. Now most days, if there is a single dog she can greet it reasonably politely for the first few seconds (then wants more and starts pulling). She's still a bit of a spaz going into the room full of dogs, but she will actually hold a down stay until other dogs come towards her. She is actually way better off leash.

Most of the people I know with dogs have ones far less socialized and badly behaved than she is. Oddly enough the better behaved ones have been "farmer trained", not something I approve of but at least most of them haven't shown aggression, unfortunately they don't get walks...they "roam".

Don't get me wrong, I complain about the social nights a fair bit, but most of the owners, and most of the dogs are pretty decent (don't like any of the owners personally, but they are kind to their dogs), there's just a few that I take major issue with, and few are as ignorant as the one I described.

I do think she needs more of this "intense socialization", though I think I may go less often, and turn around if I see that woman again, unless I can think of a good approach to her or the trainer regarding this issue. Any suggestions on what I could say to the trainer without her thinking I'm perhaps undermining her or suggesting that I know better? If I come on the wrong way I know she'll shut down and ignore me (or tell me to leave if I don't like it....which I would do if that were her reaction).

I honestly don't understand why you would be going to a place that allows this sort of stuff to go on. Even if your dog isn't being roughly handled, she is watching what goes on with the other dogs and people. I won't expose my dogs to people who abuse their dogs.
Sorry pawz, but this makes me laugh a little (as in laughing sadly and shaking my head), she sees worse on the property, and there is only so much I can do about it. The other day another tenant's dog was barking at the landlord.....he threw a rock, a big one, at the dog. He missed, not sure he actually meant to make contact, if it was obvious he had, or if he had hit the dog I would have snapped. Close to the end of my rope with that guy too...unfortunately we need a place to live and this is the most affordable we can find that allows pets. Of course if I he had hit the dog, or if he ever did so much as swat at Caeda I'd probably be getting arrested, not just kicked out. Thankfully incidents like this are very few and far between, and I think he knows better than to touch Caeda other than patting her.

Grr, I know this lady thinks she is doing right by her dog, I don't think she realizes that she might as well be hitting it with a baseball bat.
 

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but most of the owners, and most of the dogs are pretty decent (don't like any of the owners personally, but they are kind to their dogs),
Can you talk with a couple of the owners that you do think are decent and their dogs are decent and see if they might want to meet up for walks or something? You don't have to say you dislike what's going on in the social group, just say that you think Caeda would really benefit from a little more low-key interaction with one or a few dogs and it could give their dogs some variety too.

I gather you live somewhere rural, but you should look into hiking groups in your area. Maybe do the occasional Saturday day hike and since many hikers have dogs, Caeda would likely get interaction there. If there aren't many or any dogs coming along, she would still get positive human interaction. I hike sometimes with a meetup.com hiking/walking group and usually on a hike with 12-15 people there are 3-4 dogs. Chester loves greeting people he remembers and it is even more tiring than hiking alone (mental stimulation).

She's still a bit of a spaz going into the room full of dogs, but she will actually hold a down stay until other dogs come towards her.
Aside from the dog social groups, do you have occasions in which she needs to be able to enter a room full of dogs? (Presumably loose dogs like a play group as opposed to leashed and non-interacting like on a city street). While it is great and sometimes useful to have a dog comfortable in entering a situation like that, its kind of an unsual situation in daily life for most dogs. Good if she gets boarded I suppose but even then, building up with a few dogs and better supervised experiences seems more productive for her.

Sorry pawz, but this makes me laugh a little (as in laughing sadly and shaking my head), she sees worse on the property, and there is only so much I can do about it.
I think that Caeda sees the two circumstances differently. On the property, that's just somewhere she is but at the social group, you specifically bring her there and encourage her to play or interact under those conditions. She sees you interacting with the people behaving badly (even if its to tell them to knock it off, she doesn't understand words like that) and it seems to many dogs that their person talking to someone else (in a normal tone of voice) is like tacit approval of that person.
For example, when a stranger comes up towards my house, Chester will bark and stand on guard. If I don't either tell him "quiet" OR talk to the person, he won't let down his guard. But as soon as I talk normally with the person, he backs down (still alert but not barking or forward in body language). My actions have told him this person is OK.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
You've got some good points Shell. I will talk to a couple of the owners, there is on ien particular that I think would be very much up for it. Even better her dog (Bentley, a labradoodle) and Caeda are a similar energy level, play fantastically together. She hasn't been there for a few weeks, but I might be able to find her. I'm not sure about hiking groups, I haven't heard of any but I will make more of an effort to find one, she is pretty close to hiking off leash too, her recall has become stellar, and if there are other dogs around she won't go far, so we might even get off leash hiking.

She doesn't really need to go into a room of dogs, ever, but since we've started going, I've got to admit, having her walk nice going in there, and behave until I let her off is a bit of a behavioural holy grail for me, but I suppose not a necessity.

You've also got a point about how she may see things differently, I certainly hope she does, although she did have one situation at social that was negative, but I don't think she noticed. The trainer was trying to separate a dog pile and Caeda was being out of hand, she pinched the skin on Caeda's side and did NOT get the response she expected....I think she assumed Caeda would back off....NOPE, turned around and put her teeth on the trainer's hand (no marks, not hard, but enough to make the point that she didn't like it). I got Caeda out of there myself just by calling her. Not cool from either side of the fence, but the trainer deserved something harder, and Caeda was no worse for the wear, didn't phase her a bit. Stuff like that makes me think it might be useless to talk to the trainer about the alpha roll thing.
 
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