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Discussion Starter #1
Just wanted to get an opinion on this... I'm also a member of a European dog forum, and there was a post today about a woman with a dog who walked past a parked car. There was a dog inside the car that went crazy seeing the woman with the dog walk past. The woman with the dog stopped and did some training with her dog, walked back and forth past the car while giving her dog treats, then kept walking.

Some people were saying it was terribly rude stressing the poor dog in the car, and they should have kept moving to reduce stress as much as possible.

Other people said it was fair enough to take the opportunity to train the dog, and it was the owner of the dog in the car that was in the wrong because they put their dog in a situation it couldn't handle.

The car was parked outside a supermarket, but not right next to the entrance.

Any opinions? (Just out of curiousity).
 

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I would say if you don't want people doing that, don't leave your dog unattended in the car. It's not the other owner's responsibility to keep the dog calm.

I do this with Kabota and dogs in yards barking wildly, firming up his sit command with distractions. I don't walk by repeatedly, but I do have him sit and focus on me for a few seconds. As far as I'm concerned, if you really cared about preventing barrier aggression in your dog, you wouldn't leave him in the yard unattended. (of course, the dogs I'm talking about already are barrier aggressive, I'm not causing it.)
 

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I agree with Amaryllis completely. I do something similar when we walk past yards with dogs in them (the rare ones that aren't running loose and heading out to come see us). I'll spend a short time getting Caeda to look at me, not pull etc. Not too long, I don't like having the people's dog going nuts, but long enough to get Caeda a little bit of learning /treats going on. Doing it for half an hour would be rude, but taking a few minutes to use the training opportunity, I say its all good. When it comes down to it the other dog is the other owner's responsibility, as painful as that may be sometimes :p
 

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I think that a barking dog in a car or behind a fence is fair game. It's a great opportunity to train with bigger distractions.
 

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While I have used other people's dogs to help train Molly (just today, in fact) I would personally not want to get the dog in the car all stressed just so I could do some training.

(While we were walking on a narrow trail today, we passed two 8-9 month old lab pups whose owners seemed to be doing some leash training, so we stood aside to let them pass b/c they did not want to say hello. I regretted not taking the opportunity to have her sit while they passed. We passed them on the way back & I took the opportunity to put Molly in a sit/stay from about 30 feet away until they'd passed us. She did great & it gave the lab owners the opportunity to deal with some distractions too. I'm okay with this kind of situation but I'm not comfortable if it's making someone else, or a dog, uncomfortable.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'm with you, I would take it as a training opportunity, and by that I mean instead of dragging my dogs along, I would stop, get their attention, give some treats, then keep walking. So maybe spend 5 seconds there, not several minutes.

In the European forum most people were saying to keep walking and avoid stressing the dog in the car. Must be a cultural difference.
 

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I hope the woman walking the dog was willing to pay for any damage to the car caused by her intentionally frustrating that dog. However, I would never leave a dog loose in the car unattended
 

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I do this training my dogs, but only with other dogs at training. Never with a dog in a car without the owners permission.
 

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I think it's a crummy thing to do, honestly. No, it's not the other owner's responsibility to keep the dog calm, but it's not her responsibility to rile it up, either. It's not how I would want someone else to treat MY dog.
 

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No no, I don't mean to deliberately rile the dog up so you can train your own. I mean a situation where you're walking along without knowing there is a dog in the car, and as you walk past the dog reacts. So the options are then to drag your dog along or do some training.

I would never knowingly rile up other people's dogs to do training with my own, I'm only referring to situations where the other dog is already reacting without me having done anything to make it react.
 

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Walking "back and forth past the car" IS riling the dog up beyond what it would be if you had just walked past. It's not that much different than kids teasing a dog in its yard behind a fence, IMO, instead of just walking by its house.

Again, not how I would want my dog to be treated.
 

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I think it's a crummy thing to do, honestly. No, it's not the other owner's responsibility to keep the dog calm, but it's not her responsibility to rile it up, either. It's not how I would want someone else to treat MY dog.
Agreed. Kuma is reactive to dog's walking by our fence, I do not just leave him unattended in the yard, and am working with him on it, but it makes it REALLY hard to train him otherwise if people sit with their dogs right beside my fence, making him even more agitated. You're (general you're) using my dog to train your dog, makes my job of training him much, MUCH harder, and frankly, is very rude in my opinion.
 

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No no, I don't mean to deliberately rile the dog up so you can train your own. I mean a situation where you're walking along without knowing there is a dog in the car, and as you walk past the dog reacts. So the options are then to drag your dog along or do some training.

I would never knowingly rile up other people's dogs to do training with my own, I'm only referring to situations where the other dog is already reacting without me having done anything to make it react.
But if you continue to hang out at the car with your dog, you are helping that dog stay in reactive mode, possibly creating larger problems with barrier frustration. If my dog were loose in the car (it simply doesn't happen) I would be pissed that someone was casually continuing to provoke my dog as an opportunity to train theirs.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Well yeah, I wouldn't want my dog treated that way either, as in, I wouldn't want my dog in such a stressful situation. But it's MY responsibility to ensure MY dog isn't stressed, and that is done by not leaving the dog in the car or outside unsupervised. I'm not going to leave my reactive dog in the car and them blame other people for stressing it. The dog is going to be stressed anyway, just by having people walk past the car, it doesn't matter if someone hangs out there a few extra seconds to do some training. The dog is stressed either way, so if you don't want your dog stressed, don't put him in that situation.

If you make it my responsibility to not stress everyone else's dog, then it would also be your (general your) responsibility to not stress MY dog, and that would be done by not leaving it in the car to react to my dog walking quietly past and then getting startled.

Also, if I was going to try to not stress any other dogs, we probably wouldn't be able to go for a walk, as there are dogs behind fences pretty much all the way along on our regular walk. So being considerate and not stressing them means to keep moving, and not stop to sniff and not let my dogs off leash ever (and no, they never run up to the fences, they're not allowed).
 

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In these types of situations, I would never even think of stopping to "use" someone else's unattended dog to train my own. That's just plain bad etiquette. Training opportunities are plentiful enough, and I feel I'm creative enough that I can easily find alternative means of improving my dog's behaviour without it being at the expense of another in such a thoughtless manner.

I do my part to portray ALL dogs as good community ambassadors, rather than selfishly, opportunistically, deliberately rile them up to be put on public display as a menace or nuisance for all to see. Aggression is perceived as a severe enough problem out there in the real world, as-is, ... no need to add fuel to the fire.

That's my personal take on it.
 

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Well yeah, I wouldn't want my dog treated that way either, as in, I wouldn't want my dog in such a stressful situation. But it's MY responsibility to ensure MY dog isn't stressed, and that is done by not leaving the dog in the car or outside unsupervised. I'm not going to leave my reactive dog in the car and them blame other people for stressing it. The dog is going to be stressed anyway, just by having people walk past the car, it doesn't matter if someone hangs out there a few extra seconds to do some training. The dog is stressed either way, so if you don't want your dog stressed, don't put him in that situation.

If you make it my responsibility to not stress everyone else's dog, then it would also be your (general your) responsibility to not stress MY dog, and that would be done by not leaving it in the car to react to my dog walking quietly past and then getting startled.

Also, if I was going to try to not stress any other dogs, we probably wouldn't be able to go for a walk, as there are dogs behind fences pretty much all the way along on our regular walk. So being considerate and not stressing them means to keep moving, and not stop to sniff and not let my dogs off leash ever (and no, they never run up to the fences, they're not allowed).
I don't buy this argument. You cannot control what anyone else does (i.e. leaving their dog in the car), but you can control what YOU do (i.e. just going on your way). "Welp, the dog's gonna get stressed out anyway, might as well just stress him out some more, it's not MY fault someone left him in the car!!!" is just a way to justify inconsiderate behavior IMO.

I don't make a habit of leaving my dogs in the car, but I have if it's convenient to make a quick stop somewhere on my way back from going somewhere with them, I will do it. And if I came out to find someone using my dogs to "train" their dogs without my permission, there would be words.

ETA: And another thing is... say I'm in my car with my dogs. They definitely show interest in other dogs, and they might even bark. But if I was, say, stopped at a stop light or something and someone came up to my car and paraded back and forth with their dog, I'm quite sure their reaction would be much stronger. So there's not a doubt in my mind that "training" in this way would stress a dog in a car out way more than just people or dogs walking by. Why would you (general you) want to do that?
 

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Last time I lived in the US, in SF California, it was not permitted to leave dogs alone in the car at all.

I don't buy this argument. You cannot control what anyone else does (i.e. leaving their dog in the car), but you can control what YOU do (i.e. just going on your way). "Welp, the dog's gonna get stressed out anyway, might as well just stress him out some more, it's not MY fault someone left him in the car!!!" is just a way to justify inconsiderate behavior IMO.

I don't make a habit of leaving my dogs in the car, but I have if it's convenient to make a quick stop somewhere on my way back from going somewhere with them, I will do it. And if I came out to find someone using my dogs to "train" their dogs without my permission, there would be words.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I wouldn't do as I stated the person did in the OP, I wouldn't walk back and forth several times. I would just stop, get the dog's attention, give a treat or two, and then keep walking.

So I guess we partially agree.

And maybe my perspective is different because Obi is reactive, so I've gotten used to using everything possible as a training opportunity, and instead of just letting Obi react and drag him along as quick as possible, I would actually try to fix his reactivity. If I had a confident dog that didn't generally care about other people and dogs on walks, maybe I wouldn't care if he reacted to the one dog in the one car.
 

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Well I guess in California this would be a totally hypothetical question then.
Not really. I live in CA & I see it all the time. I actually don't think it's illegal state-wide but maybe just in SF. Molly & I recently had a large dog in a car freak out as we passed him by. I was not expecting it and it scared the crap out of me. He was frantically barking and pawing so hard at the window to get out that I could actually see it moving in the frame. Needless to say, we quickly got the heck out of there and crossed the street on the way back. Dog still freaked out in the car. I felt bad for it because it was obviously very stressed. It would not even have occurred to me to try to train under those conditions. (just had to add, it was not a hot day at all. we get a lot of fog here & car was in the shade so dog was not reacting to heat.)
 
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