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Lately I have been seeing a number of reality shows where dogs perform with the owners. Myself and a friend who also owns a dog where having a debate about whether its a good think or a bad thing to put your dog in front of an audience to perform dance routines? In my opinion that's not something that is a norm for a dog.

What's you take on this? I would love to hear what others have to say
 

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IMHO ... I have had dogs and especially my late little Leeo ... loved to perform dancing and singing in front of people. It was like a job to him/them. They got attention. What dog doesn't like attention?

If they are not intimidated or have any anxiety from a large audience ... I say it is fine! I find nothing wrong with it. That is my opinion. :D I also feel a well socialized dog shouldn't have an issue with it.
 

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Many dogs crumble when the camera is eventually stuffed in their face.

Unlike at the training hall, performing in front of a large audience can sometimes put undue, and immense pressure on the dog. Industry directors / producers rarely have any working knowledge of dog behaviour, stamina, etc so it's up to the handler to know when and where to draw the line. Which doesn't usually go over well, in the midst of production.

IMO, if the dog has not been extensively trained, conditioned, and proofed for this type of activity in this type of environment, .. then I would probably advise against it.
 

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For the dogs who enjoy it then Im all for it. Mine dont do well with larger crowds even though Ive taken them out to socialize many times. These dogs are enoying themselves, how is it any different then those preforming at the huge Purina agility events with cheering crowds and lots of people? As long as their welfare is taken into account I don't see an issue with it.

The one I saw the other night (aussie or border collie I dont remember) did a ridiculously cute dance routine. The owner asked at the end how she felt and she said she was happy because she wasnt sure how he would respond to the crowd. You can tell she cares and he wasnt bothered by any of it.
 

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Nothing we ask of dogs is particularly natural, from eating kibble to wearing collars and walking on leashes to sitting on command. If the dog enjoys performing, and some dogs clearly do, and the handler is an advocate for their dogs health and safety, then why not?
 

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Well, I've been competing in various things since the late 1970s and canine freestyle (dancing with dogs) is some of the most fun I've had with a dog sport. And it seems to be a lot of fun for the dogs as well. Of course, I guess it could be argued that doing any competitive sport with a dog is not the norm. But I find that setting and meeting goals and training difficult behaviors with the dog leads to a greatly enriched relationship between owner and dog that just sitting in a back yard or warming the couch can't touch. Of course, that assumes that the human part of the equation remembers that the relationship is more important that the ribbons. And most of the freestylers I've met are very good at remembering that.
 

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Many dogs crumble when the camera is eventually stuffed in their face.

Unlike at the training hall, performing in front of a large audience can sometimes put undue, and immense pressure on the dog. Industry directors / producers rarely have any working knowledge of dog behaviour, stamina, etc so it's up to the handler to know when and where to draw the line. Which doesn't usually go over well, in the midst of production.

IMO, if the dog has not been extensively trained, conditioned, and proofed for this type of activity in this type of environment, .. then I would probably advise against it.
It's been my experience that the handler is more likely to crumble from ring nerves than the dog (and of course, then the dog reads the stage fright and joins in). Dogs who have been around a lot of people and well socialized aren't terribly likely to care if people watch them. And they don't understand what cameras do, and that they make you look phat. I did have to get Alice used to being clapped for, since most of the other sports we've done were quiet. And spectators at a freestyle event love to cheer for everyone.
 

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What's normal?? These are creatures that like to sniff and roll in poop. Some even eat it. Dancing seems a bit tame compared to that.

 
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