Friday fun

That’s right, it’s time for another Friday full of fun and memes! Let’s start it out with some letters, courtesy of…

(click the link to see the host page)

Dear lovely student,

You clearly love your dog and are good with her. She’s a very lucky puppy and has a great life. And I agree, positive training is great, but that doesn’t mean you can’t discipline your dog or occaisionally tell her no (like you do your child), as some people on dog boards you belong to have said, frustrating you. But that does not mean Cesar Milan has all the answers. Your dog is not scared of you because you are “alpha,” she’s nervous because you’re big and a bit overpowering at first to a puppy, unlike your wife and daughter. When you are wrestling and she ends up on her back, she is not submitting or being “alpha rolled,” she is playing and happy. That does nothing to establish your dominance. It does everything to establish your bond. However, that’s what really matters in ending up with a well-trained dog.

I’ll just keep showing you the right way to train (which you are totally open to) and let you keep using Milan’s made-up language to describe it. Please just don’t start following his methods.

Thanks,
Frustrated trainer

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Dear Cesar Milan,

GET OFF THE AIR. I am so sick of cleaning up your messes.  You have admitted you have no training in dog behavior or training. You have told us you base your methods off wolf-pack dynamic theory, which was thoroughly and completely disproved in the 90s for wolves, let alone dogs. You have no idea what you’re talking about, and while your heart is in the right place, that doesn’t mean you can’t still do enormous damage. I know you’re working with extreme cases of dogs. You can do more long-term in those cases with positive training. Please look into it.  A great starting place would be Victoria Stillwell’s episode “Tiny Tyrant.”

Your methods do more harm than good. For example, if you’ve got a dog terrified of thunderstorms, making her run on a treadmill with video and sound of thunderstorms around until she stops panicking does not help solve the problem, any more than locking someone whose afraid of spiders in a closet full of spiders until she stops screaming and flailing cures her of her fear of spiders. Choking and holding an aggressive dog until he is so exhausted and overwhelmed he stops fighting (but still shows enormous signs of stress) and lets you incorrectly “alpha roll” him does not mean he’s submitted. It means he’s shut down.

There are some things you do right, even if you don’t know it. But the harm outweighs the good in the hands of all your viewers. Please stop.

Thanks,
A trainer who has actually studied modern research and methods and successfully helped dogs who had gotten worse under your kind of training

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Dear sunshine,

Thank you for coming back. I have missed you. If you could warm up the air a bit that’d be awesome, but even if not, it’s nice to just have you around.

Signed,
your biggest fan

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Dear hubby,

Thank you for taking care of me. Even when I’m stupid and tired and at the end of my rope. Promise I don’t mean the stupid things I say.

Have fun going sports-crazy the next couple days, and extra thanks for letting me stay home ;-)

Love love love,
your Eileen

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Dear former student,

When you came to me at the end of your rope, we worked with your dog and she improved a lot. A lot. I am so proud of both of you. You did a lot for your sweet, happy, silly dog. But ultimately, you decided that your home was not the best place for her, and turned her over to a low-kill shelter.

I do not think less of you for doing this. You gave your dog everything you had, you worked hard for her, and you helped her improve her behavior and her quality of life. You gave her a good, long stretch of time with you, and saved her from death row several years ago. Sometimes, it’s just not safe to keep a dog in your home due to certain situations. She can get better, but it will take time. And sometimes that’s time you don’t have. You were thinking of your other dogs and your family. Your silly girl will find a family whose needs meet her own. I promise I’ll do what I can to help her do so. Sometimes, the best thing you can do for a dog is letting her find a family that is better suited to her.

I’m sorry for the pain you feel. I’m sorry for the situation you were in. I’m sorry you feel embarrassed to talk to me about how you “gave up” on her. You did a good thing taking her in and working with her, and in the end, it just didn’t work out. So you did a good thing in finding her a family that can give her all she needs safely.

I hope you can find peace soon.

Sincerely,
your former trainer and always friend

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Dear Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert,

Thank you for helping me laugh at the stupidity of politics. It is much preferable to crying. I will be spending some quality time with you soon.

Signed,
your loyal viewer

*phew!* Wanted to get those first two off my chest for awhile. Listening to my awesome, extremely positve-based student lecturing me (who he thought agreed) on the awesomeness of Milan was just painful. Can’t say anything, because I don’t want to alienate someone who I could show a better way to (and he loves the better way, he just thinks it’s in line with Milan), but if you know me you know that I have a hard time keeping my mouth shut. It’s just discouraging. (It shall be interesting to see how many Milan-defenders I get commenting. Veeeery interesting. Those who know nothing about dog-training tend to love him, it all looks so good!)

Moving right along. Let’s throw in some happiness.

(Again, click on the image to go to the host page)

Mmmm, lets ruminate on some happiness.

I am happy that I got through another week of stress and exhaustion! (I can see this one becoming a theme…)

I am happy that my new client, who I meet tomorrow, had one question for me before she decided to hire me: “Do you like or agree with Cesar Milan?” Thank you for refusing to hurt your aggressive dog. We’ll get her under control.

I am happy that the sun is out!!!

I am happy that I have a low-key weekend coming up where I can relax and train my own puppy!

I am happy that I managed to get up and going this morning earlier and faster than I have in a couple weeks. Yay going home early(er)!

Mmm, that took some thinking this morning. But it’s all good stuff. Love focusing on the positive!

Now a new one, Aloha Friday!

(There’s a pattern, click the link to visit the host)

Here’s how the host describes Aloha Fridays:

In Hawaii, Aloha Friday is the day that we take it easy and look forward to the weekend. So I thought that on Fridays I would take it easy on posting, too. Therefore, I’ll ask a simple question for you to answer. Nothing that requires a lengthy response.

Of COURSE this isn’t a shameless plug to get comments. *cough* But seriously, simple and fun :-) Not that I take it easy posting on Fridays…*scuffs toes*

All right, my question:

If you were getting a dog, what breed would you want?

For me, assuming I was getting a big dog, I’d get a shelter mutt, but likely a pit bull. There are lots in the shelters and they are SO SWEET and eager to please, not to mention great family dogs. And I think they’re beautiful :-) How ’bout you? Let me know in the comments!

And finally, going to play along with Friday Follow again:

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25 Comments

Filed under Aloha Friday, Dear So and So..., Friday Happy Hour

25 responses to “Friday fun

  1. Aloha! I would definitely get a Weimaraner. Or a boxer of some sort. Boxer’s are big in my family. Those and Boston’s.
    Virginia
    http://ladyvdzine.com

  2. I’m so glad that you are able to help so many wonderful pups. I wish I had found a trainer like you when I had my beagle. Instead, we had to send her to a new home because I mistakenly thought she was “un-trainable.” I miss her :(
    However, your Happy Hour Friday cheered me right up! Definitely helped me remember all the good that happened this week!
    Have a great weekend!

    • Sad :-( I know it’s hard to have that happen, but I’m glad you found her a good home! I’m not sure how you can live without a dog, they are a requirement in my life :-)

      Me, too! I love the upbeat blog memes, sometimes I need some prodding to focus on the positive!

      Have a great weekend, yourself!

  3. Wandered over from Kat’s via elsewhere and LOVED your So & So’s. Wish you lived closer my darling grand-dogger could use some good training – not that the kids aren’t doing a good job but she gets a bit “weird” sometimes.

    Huge fan of Jon and Stephen here – HUGE!! Gotta love “newsmen” that tell it like it really is – even though I am Canadian I understand the US system too well (almost better than ours).

    Love the blog – nice to meet you.

    • Hehe, I love that you call her y our “grand-dogger.” When I got my puppy my mom very firmly said, “You may not call me grandma because of this dog.” :-)

      Me too! Though I do find it a bit sad that one of the most reasonable voices in the “news” are guys with 30 minute shows on Comedy Central. Eh, I’m just glad I can laugh!

      Thanks for visiting!

  4. Jen

    Hm. I’m sure a comparison could be made with Milan’s dog training and some parenting theories out there. If the dog/kid shuts down, it ain’t good and causes more harm than good.

    • I bet you’re right, hadn’t thought of that…no kids means I’m not as familiar with parenting theories, yet, so I’m trying to imagine what..but I’m sure there are “experts” who advise you to push your kid until they shut down! Interesting thought…

  5. Loved your letters – I totally agree with you on the whole Cesar Milan thing.

    The best dog I ever had was a rescue dog – I miss him. Right now we have two Shelties – a Blue Merle and a Sable Merle, but I really want to get another Wheaten Terrier like my previous dog was. :)

    Have a great weekend!

    • Shelties are so pretty, I have one in one of my classes right now. Smart little thing! I have a shih tzu, and while he’s not a smart dog, I love him!

      I love the Milan support, I was expecting some take-downs, like most people get when they write against him, but none yet! *knock on wood*… Maybe ’cause I wrote it on my personal blog and not my training blog!

  6. A golden retriever!!! LOVE THEM. best dogs ever :)

  7. I love big dogs so I would choose from a Siberian Husky, German Shepherd or Rottweiler.

    Stopping by from Friday Follow, and now following. Have a Great Weekend!

  8. thanks so much for playing HHF this week! Sorry it took me so long to get here.

    To answer your question I’d have to say American Eskimo. We have one (Juneau), we have a rescue dog (Jenny) that’s a sheltie/border collie mix. But last week barb showed me an add for FREE Eskimos. the family had to get rid of them so we took one in. You can meet him at my place now!

    I don’t watch Cesar so I have no idea what you’re talking about. Although sometimes I do “whisper” to my doggies that I love them <3

    • I love HHF, so good to force me to stop and think about what good has been going on!

      They are beautiful dogs, I had one in my last class and he was a handome fellow!

      It’s OK. Not watching Cesar is good. I wish all of America didn’t watch Cesar. :P That kind of whispering I’m down with!

  9. Kat

    My dog HATES “The Dog Whisperer” I have video proof.

    Check it out

    http://3bedroombungalow.blogspot.com/2009/07/elizabeast-vs-dog-whisperer.html

  10. I have to say I agree about Cesar. I used some of his techniques when Kodi was smaller, he was the most stubborn Husky I’d ever had as well as the first male.

    He really challenged me a lot early on. I quickly realized that by following Cesar’s lead I damaged my relationship with Kodi, lost his trust.

    As I’ve practiced positive training methods and followed my heart, trust has been restored and our relationship and bond is incredible.

    As for Cesar’s methods and children… my Godson showed me an episode of South Park (not something I watch) titled “Tssst” in which Cesar used his methods on Cartman.

  11. I’ve always wanted a pomeranian. They’re so cute!

  12. Well ~ Our Lhasa died 6 yrs. ago – and we are still “babysitting” our son’s ex-girlfriend’s cat for the last 6 yrs. (Hmm. . . maybe babysitting isn’t the right word at this point?? ~ LOL!!) IF we ever get another dog, I would LOVE to have a soft-coated Wheaton Terrier – years ago we had an Airedale that we absolutely loved and the Wheaton Terriers are similar! So, you do dog training too?? My daughter needs your help! Her “Shit”zu has Alpha (?) dog syndrome – he loves my husband, but has bitten him three times when he thinks he is protecting me or my daughter – it’s crazy!

    • Uh oh…that’s not good behavior at all *shakes head*. I’d offer advice but there’s not much I’d feel comfortable saying w/o actually seeing the problem…biting can be caused for so many reasons (despite Cesar’s mantra) and each reason needs to be approached differently. Hope you guys can find a way to stop it :-(

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