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We all bring a lot of experience and opinions to this forum. I am very curious about whether people change their positions after reading posts about differing views.

Has this forum changed your position on any topic? If so, what changed?
 

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Clicker training. I have always been into positive methods, but I thought the clicker was kind of stupid. I mean, I can say "good boy", right? Wrong! It makes a huge difference. But I wouldn't have tried it if I hadn't seen so many people here recommending kikopup and discussing their own successes.

Thanks!
 

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I got into a somewhat passionate discussion a month or two ago about prong collars and competition heeling. I was defending them. I hung in there are read a lot of interesting responses. While I am not sure where I will end up on this issue, I haven't linked a prong since. All my performance heeling has been off lead while I keep considering it. And actually, our heeling is still looking pretty sharp. AND, I don't have a leash or collar to fade. My dog will work a long time without food and I don't keep it on me or in sight, so no fading there.... And, I'm not chasing an OTCH with him (yet). He is a tough dude and doesn't seem to mind the collar in the least, but I understand the inconsistent message I send when I do almost exclusively positive training, only to add the prong. A lot to think about. It was a worthwhile thread for me.
 

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I am not sure if it is an opinion change because I have always like all dogs but was never a huge fan of smaller dogs. Not that I didn't like them, just that I never wanted one. I think chatting with other small dog owner's on here, I have gotten to appreciate them more. Also, I have always hated how some small dog people behaved around my dogs. I think getting a chance to chat with socially responsible people on here has helped my views in that area as well.
 

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Yes, I have. There are probably a few things, but the most recent ones I can think of is that I always thought Landseers were their own separate breed. I now realize that they're just part of the Newfoundland, but a different color. I learned what nail clippers to use on my dog and to not be scared when doing it. And I learned why Luke acts a certain way and I'm slowly being able to see the dog in a wolf dog.
 

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Clicker training. I have always been into positive methods, but I thought the clicker was kind of stupid. I mean, I can say "good boy", right? Wrong! It makes a huge difference. But I wouldn't have tried it if I hadn't seen so many people here recommending kikopup and discussing their own successes.

Thanks!
That's the first thing that came to my mind as well.
 

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Because of this and other forums, I have a greater understanding and much more respect for responsible, ethical breeders.
 

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Before I started reading this forum a couple of years ago, I thought there was absolutely no reason for a non-breeder to own an intact dog once the dog was over 6 months old. Now I know a lot more about the good reasons that responsible owners have for keeping dogs intact longer, sometimes for their whole lives.

I also thought that there was no such thing as a responsible breeder of mixed-breed dogs, but I've relaxed my stance on that now; I think that if a person is doing the proper health tests for the two breeds, providing all of the support and guarantees that a good breeder of purebred dogs would provide, and breeding for a purpose (even "just" companionship, as long as they're being careful with temperament), I'd consider them a decent breeder. I prefer seeing people breeding to better a breed or even to carefully develop a new breed (not just a breed A and breed B cross), but I can't really condemn a breeder of mixes if they're hitting all of the points on my mental checklist of what makes a good breeder.
 

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I loved the idea of owning a wolf hybrid once, and there is a real lack of information on the subject in my own country. On this forum however: lots of it. Especially Cindy's stories and pictures made me love and respect them more, and definitely made me get rid of the idea of ever owning one. Thankfully.
There's also the issue(s) with GSD conformation, on which I held (and hold) firm ideas. But I know now that show types do not necessarily mean weaker or sick dogs.

I also found it very interesting to read how strikingly similar ideas of dog lovers all around the world are. And also a different idea of what dog breeds are actually breeds. Like Spirit mentioned, the Landseer is not considered a breed in the US. However, it is considered a breed here. Also my own breed isn't considered a breed in the US, hahaha!

I'm stubborn so I'll probably stick to most of my opinions, but every once in a while I do adjust them thanks to some great posters here.
 

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I had a large, unopened bag of Science Diet that I bought, thinking I was doing the right thing for Esther. After reading some of the food threads and following the links, I donated that bag to the local shelter and bought a bag of Canidae ALS - which I fed for quite a while. I'm currently feeding Taste of the Wild.

I had some not-so-good experiences with rottweilers before I came here and had a poor impression of the breed. I also had very limited (though not bad) experiences with pit bulls. After spending some time here, I found myself checking out rots and pits at the shelter. (We ended up with Molly.)

I have a much better understanding of some of the hazards of dog parks, though I am a regular at a large, sparsely-used one in a neighboring city.

I've had dogs for 55 years, and I frequently get some new ideas here. You CAN teach an old dog new tricks.
 

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Not so much a changed mind as new information that was beneficial.

When I got Chester, I knew very little about dogs. I liked them, but I was a horse person and knew horse training/feeding/care. So through the board, I learned about good quality dog food (changing him from Purina One to Earthborn grain-free was GREAT for his coat and digestive system).
I learned general training techniques and tips for ending up with a well behaved dog.
I learned how to evaluate a good trainer and ended up finding a great trainer- Chester has been accompanying foster Luna and will start his own classes this month, obedience and then nosework here we come.
I learned what fostering was and got involved in local rescue groups- one dog adopted and one currently with me and thriving.

I guess the closest thing to "changing my mind" was learning more about both small breeds (always considered them yappy and annoying since that was all I had met) and pit bulls (never thought they were dangerous to people but kinda thought maybe they were mostly/all dog aggressive). Those ideas weren't set in stone and were easy to change since I knew they were based on minimal interaction/evidence.
 

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I definitely had a lot of fear-based misunderstandings/ignorances about bully breeds before I joined this forum. A year ago I would have supported BSL and now I'm totally against it. I'm much more aware now that a dog's behavior is a product of its owner, not its breed.
 

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Learned about/now feed a quality dog food. Appreciate ethical breeders more, and hate BYB's more. Train using positive methods/desensitization as opposed to negative (used to use the leash jerk thing to correct).
 

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i always thought that ppl who breed 2 sep breeds where stupid. but yet, once i got lily(known as sasha beforehand), and joined this group. I have realized that its a mixture of opinions on that. I also was under the understanding that if you dont fix your dog your a BYB. however, there are extreme medical conditions that might prevent a dog from getting fixed. Also my conflict in raw feeding, kibble feeding and wet feeding.... each have their own merrits, just confusing. I firmly believe in clicker training if your dog is motivated by that, or if your dog is praise motivated then i believe in positive enforcement. But my main thing that changed my mind was KENNEL TRAINING!! I was sooo firmly/strongly against it that i was dead set that it was a punishment, negative, cruel thing to do to a dog. However. After reading several posts about kenneling 'n kennel training, and now owning Lily... I see the merrits... My shoes are safe from puppy teeth(lost 1 pair of very old tennis to her*this i didnt mind as again they was very old*, then my favorite sandals -- that got me grrrrr mad)... I then got a kennel, and its made me alot less stressed when i go to work or do errands when she cant come along. It also has helped tremondously with potty training. She's able to hold it in for longer periods, able to let me know when she needs to go potty before its the "Gotta Go NOW!" stage... A few accidents still but then she's only 4months old, but over-all she's much much much better. and those accidents were my fault for not paying closer attention to her pacing. She has since learned that whinning 'n yipping 'n barking doesnt really work with me as i am half deaf. She is learning other ways to get my attention.

I am very glad i joined this forum in retro-spect of all this.
 

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I think there's two questions lurking here:

1) Changing of opinion
I've changed my mind about a few things because of this forum:
- early on, I needed convincing that not every person and every dog was going to be a fan of meeting my over-exuberant dog
- the merits of good dog food
- bully breeds

2) Things learned
I've learned lots of useful things here
- Plenty of random health information
- How to pick out a good dog food
- What sort of training treats to use. I especially love the salmon treat recipe I found here, posted by a member who's probably long gone by now.
- How to break up a dog fight (hopefully I'll never need this)
- Fearful behaviors. Not something I have a lot of experience with, so it's good to be able to recognize it when I see it.
- Lots and lots of breeds. I probably could only identify ~20 or so when I first registered.
- NILIF - I'm not sure anyone could successfully own Kit who didn't live by this rule
- A better understanding of what I want in my next dog.
- A better understanding of "ethical" breeding practices. I'm still not on board, but at least I understand the argument better.
 

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Yep there are a lot of things I have learned here that have caused me to change my mind. For one, I was originally planning on getting an Australian Shepherd or Miniature American Shepherd. Then I thought about getting a Pembroke Welsh Corgi. I learned a lot, though, and decided that a Papillon was a much better option for right now and my current living situation.

Also, I have changed my mind a lot on the issue of breeding dogs. A loooong long time ago, when I was a teenager, my mom had me convinced that getting a male and a female and selling puppies was an excellent way to save up for my college. I had every intention of buying some pups off Craigslist and becoming an uneducated and irresponsible BYB. I definitely have since realized what a huge responsibility breeding is. Also, after I started to learn more about breeding, I was originally of the mindset that only purebred titled show champions should ever be bred. Now though, I'm a lot more open minded about breeding mixed breeds, breeding mixed breed dogs for working purposes, creating new breeds, etc. Also, on the issue of working bred dogs, I used to think that any type of working dog breeder was peachy keen. I thought that breeding working dogs automatically meant that they were breeding responsibly, because how nice/novel is it that they're giving their working bred dogs jobs. I've since learned to be a lot more discriminating between working dog breeders as well as all other types of breeders as my standards for quality breeders rose and evolved.

Not a total 180 but I went from feeding high quality grain-free kibble to prey model raw. Also my training methods have evolved. Like CP, I too used to be a Dog Whisperer fan. I tried some of his methods early on and learned VERY QUICKLY that they did not work for me or my dog, lol! Ever since I've been a mostly "positive reinforcement" trainer with a little bit of the other quadrants mixed in. I did used to be a lot more "formal" with marking and rewards and everything, and have since become a much more "go with the flow" kind of trainer, but I think that's just me settling into my personal training style.
 

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I've learned a lot from here such as:

I've always been a positive reinforcement kind of person, but now I know why and I've learned how to become more effective. Clicker training, better dog food, better toys, crate training, KONGS!! Am constantly learning about different breeds and behaviors.

I still like to watch the Dog Whisperer on tv but I've never had the illusion that any dogs problem could be "fixed" in 30 minutes or less (counting commercials.) Its similar to watching CSI. Its a good show for entertainment but really, you CAN NOT get DNA tests back in a few minutes. In my state its more like 6 months - if we are lucky and most crimes don't get solved in 30/60 minutes either. They are still good shows for the entertainment value. (NCIS is still my favorite tho....)

I've also pretty much had working dogs, mutts and strays my entire life. The last 20 years I've always had at least 2 border collies to help me with working cattle. Dug is my first Golden Retriever (from a rescue.) If not for these forums, and lots of training books... I probably would have just figured he was another "not so bright mutt." However, I've learned that it's ME - not communicating effectively and that actually he is very smart. I've learned better ways of training and have actually enjoyed working with him. Dug just isn't overly OCD like my borders. :)

I've never purchased a dog from a breeder but if I ever do, I'll know what kind of questions to ask and what to look for. I've always gotten my dogs from the local animal shelter and we have lots of dogs dropped off near our place out in the country.
 

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Not exactly the same as changing my mind, but I would say I am better informed on a number of issues than I was before I started coming here, particularly behavior, training, and breeding practices
 

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I am not a very frequent poster but I am reading regularly. Till I started visiting here I was really of opinion that Cesar Milan way was the way to train. Not anymore. I am more informed about BYB (In fact when we got our Lab I was the one reluctant to spay her as I wanted her to experience childbirth....I was expecting then o that ind of colored my view). Also I learnt a lot more about training....goo dog food (earlier science diet or purina seemed like a good enough brand).
Also I no longer consider Pitbulls, rottweilers to be dangerous dogs by default.
 
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