(VICT) Re: Dog breeds

  • From: Jill Gross <jgross@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: vi-clicker-trainers@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 21 Apr 2007 01:47:10 -0400 (EDT)

Goldens do interest me. I have been around alot of pet goldens and they 
seem to be a nice mix of sweetness and toughness. Do you have to put a lot 
of work in on grooming. I really used to enjoy grooming my collie. It was 
a relaxing bonding time. After having three surgeries on my right arm for 
carpal tunnel related injuries, I just don't have the arm and wrist 
strength to do much of it anymore. It really bothers me if my dog doesn't 
look neat when we go out. I feel that way about all of my dogs, but a 
guide should be especially neat and clean.

I live in Philly, but I am on the edge in an area that has more of a 
suburban feel. I am lucky in that reguard. The time commitment is going to 
be the tough part. Between my job, taking care of the house and all of my 
dogs, I am kept pretty busy. I am currently working on various clicker 
exercises with two of my dogs and that is hard to fit in some times. I 
would really have to rearrange my life a bit to do this.


On Fri, 20 Apr 2007, Shelley L. Rhodes wrote:

> Quite true Jill.
> I remember when I went off to Guide Dog school, I told them I didn't care
> what breed it was, but I really didn't want a lab.  Smile.  They asked me if
> I wanted a golden and my first reaction was "no" because I had met two or
> three goldens who were not exactly what I wanted in a guide.  One, was so
> people distracted she would strangle herself on her choke chain and whine to
> see you.  The other one would jump all over when she saw you.  I know now
> that these were just bad guide dog behavior and are things that can be
> worked on.
> When they gave me my golden he changed my mind about them.  I do love
> goldens and would love to have another one as a guide, smile, and maybe some
> day to train one for myself as a guide, smile.  But at this time in my life
> I don't have the time, money or know how, to train a dog for my situation.
> I live in one of the suburbs of Boston and would need to train a dog in a
> hurry for traffic, subway travel, commuter rail travel, bus travel, lots of
> people, lots of other dogs, squirrels, birds, seagulls in particular,
> obstacles and a large variety of stimuli.  I don't live anywhere near what
> would be considered rural or suburban living,nsmile.  So am not sure how I
> would be able to train for those kind of areas, smile, hwich you would want
> to train for before doing the intensive city work, smile.
> Shelley L. Rhodes B.S. Ed, CTVI
> and Judson, guiding golden
> juddysbuddy@xxxxxxxxxxxx
> Guide Dogs For the Blind Inc.
> Graduate Alumni Association Board
> www.guidedogs.com
> Dog ownership is like a rainbow.
> Puppies are the joy at one end.
> Old dogs are the treasure at the other.
> Carolyn Alexander
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Jill Gross" <jgross@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
> To: <vi-clicker-trainers@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> Sent: Friday, April 20, 2007 2:06 AM
> Subject: (VICT) Re: Dog breeds
> The black Russian terriers are still pretty rare. That's another good
> thing about them. It means Americans haven't had a chance to ruin them
> yet. A dog breed becoming popular can be the kiss of death for the breed.
> I have only seen them at the shows in the last two years or so. They were
> only recently recognized by the AKC.
> You really have me going with these Portugese water dogs. I have to look
> at them more closely.
> If my salukis will be out for any longer than to relieve in the yard, they
> wear coats in winter. They are very hardy, but they are desert dogs.
> Hope you get your rottie one day. It is great when you finally get your
> dream dog. I wanted a saluki for so many years, but I forced myself to
> wait until I bought a house and had a fenced yard. I had other breeds
> while living in apartments, but the salukis had to wait.
> Jill
> On Wed, 18 Apr 2007, Shelley L. Rhodes wrote:
>> You know, you are absolutely right about the sight hounds and to an extent
>> Golden retrievers too, are best motivated by "What's in it for me" or so I
>> have found with my guy.  he loves to please, but... definitely works at
>> his
>> best when I offer more than just a :"good boy" and the leash correction
>> thing never really gets the desired results.
>> I have a Friend who uses a Portroguese Water Dog, as a Service dog for
>> brace
>> and balance work and other tasks.  She loves her, and the pup is
>> hypoallerginic, very sight hound in temperment, though, and she says she
>> has
>> to be clipped every six weeks to keep nice.
>> Would love to see one of those Russian Terrier dogs, smile.
>> Got to see an American Bull Dog the other day, boy was he huge.  Actually
>> the right size for guide work.
>> The Saluki is indeed a truly striking dog, smile.  I do wonder, maybe not
>> a
>> problem where you live, but wouldn't tyou or do you do something to
>> protect
>> their coats in harsh weather?  like here in Boston, it was even too cold
>> for
>> my golden retriever.
>> Would love to own a Rottweiler one of these days, smile.
>> Shelley L. Rhodes B.S. Ed, CTVI
>> and Judson, guiding golden
>> juddysbuddy@xxxxxxxxxxxx
>> Guide Dogs For the Blind Inc.
>> Graduate Alumni Association Board
>> www.guidedogs.com
>> Dog ownership is like a rainbow.
>> Puppies are the joy at one end.
>> Old dogs are the treasure at the other.
>> Carolyn Alexander
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: "Jill Gross" <jgross@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
>> To: <vi-clicker-trainers@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
>> Sent: Wednesday, April 18, 2007 12:53 AM
>> Subject: (VICT) Re: Dog breeds
>> Hi Val,
>> The Mareemmas you mentioned sound very interesting. My breed of choice as
>> far as dogs that I have as pets and, secondarily, for comformation showing
>> are slaukis. I love all of the sighthound breeds. The salukis is generally
>> very aloof and have a low food drive. They can be very serious out in
>> public, but at home they are clown hounds. I think that positive training
>> is just perfect for sighthounds. I used to have collies and German
>> shepherds as pets. When I got into salukis, I had to give up all of the
>> old, harsher methods of training. Forget a choke collar, and you wouldn't
>> dream of giving one a leash correction. Harsh training methods simply
>> builds a wall between you and the dog and you are very unlikely to get the
>> desired result.
>> Salukis and other sighthounds often said to be dumb by folks who aren't
>> very knowledgable about canine behavior. Sighthounds are highly
>> intelligent, but they are very oriented toward what's in it for them.
>> Again, clicker training is perfect for them.
>> So, salukis are my breed of choice in general. I can't imaigne life
>> without them in my life. Having said that, I am not necessarily planning
>> on training a saluki as a guide. Back in the 1950's, a saluki breeder form
>> New York donated a female saluki to the Seeing Eye. She was trained and
>> given to David Loux who worked at the school for many years. I contacted
>> David about ten years ago and asked questions about his experience with
>> her. He said that on a scale of one to ten in working ability, she was a
>> twelve. She was fabulous. His only complaint was that she was too serious
>> overall as a dog. Needless to say, I often think aobut what David
>> said. I have had salukis since 1996. Some have been purchased as pups and
>> some have been rescues. Some have had very steady personalities and some
>> have been what I consider to be too anxious to handle the stress of guide
>> work.
>> One problem with a salukis is that they are gorgeous, very elegant
>> animals. I have had a couple who, when walked in town, have literally
>> stopped traffic. I have often had people leaning out of car windows
>> yelling questions about my dogs. It can be difficult enough to keep people
>> from petting and otherwise distracting a service dog without having them
>> be extraordinarily striking. I recall that the Seeing Eye would never use
>> white shepherds for that very reason. They drew too much attention.
>> I have looked at a couple of other breeds. An interesting one is the black
>> Russian terrier. The ones I have met are very sound and attentive,
>> hard-working dogs. A breeder I know has had a few of her pups trained as
>> assistance dogs. My problem with them has to do with all of that hair! I
>> have major carpal tunnel issues and extensive grooming is out of the
>> question for me. I have a very ahrd time keeping my long-haired shepherd
>> looking respectable. A black Russian has a lot of long, heavy coat. They
>> also are quite large. I can't quite imagine fitting one of these guys
>> under a seat on a bus.
>> I would be interested to hear if others have worked with any "unusual"
>> breeds or mixes. When I was a kid, I was super impressed by
>> shepherd/collie mixes. They were bright and eager to learn. Nowadays, I
>> would be afraid that they got more of the negatives in the mix simply
>> because both breeds have been so overbred in this country.
>> Jill
>> On Tue, 17 Apr 2007, Valerie wrote:
>>> Jill, out of interest what is your preferred breed /breeds of dog since
>>> doing  your research.? Although both my dogs have  been food orientated
>>> outside the home particularly the lab, apart from a first few days on
>>> arrival here, and being very mischievous with wrecking bedding, they are
>>> very well behaved indoors. I could leave any food on a table and know it
>>> would not be touched, so as far as my two go they are great indoors.
>>> I can't remember whether I said one school here is trialling a Maremma
>>> cross
>>> Retriever, still in training, Mareemma's being the guardian of flocks of
>>> animals, sheep, poultry etc. It's said they are rather aloof so
>>> distraction
>>> wise that may be a good trait smile.
>>> Regards Valerie
>>> ----- Original Message -----
>>> From: "Jill Gross" <jgross@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
>>> To: <vi-clicker-trainers@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
>>> Sent: Tuesday, April 17, 2007 2:57 PM
>>> Subject: (VICT) Re: New member and I clicker
>>> Jo, I would guess that you probably like the idea of selecting your own
>>> dog for training. I think that is the greatest factor for me. I would
>>> like
>>> to pick my breed based on my research and I would like find a dog witht
>>> he
>>> personality traits that I like in a service dog. I have always been very
>>> disappointed in the very limited number of breeds utilized by most of the
>>> guide dog schools. I know many people who have labs as guides and they
>>> are
>>> thrilled with them. I don't particularly care for them and feel that they
>>> have some important traits that decrease there desirability as guides,
>>> ie.
>>> they are very social and they are extremely food oriented. There are so
>>> many fabulous breeds out there and I have have never understood why some
>>> of them have never been used by the schools. I know there is a small
>>> school that uses vislas and Leader will use the occasional bouvier or
>>> boxer.
>>> I "untrain" my guides to stop at the up-curb on street crossings. I do
>>> most of my travelling in the city where people often drive wrecklessly. I
>>> want my butt and my dog's butt in the street as little as possible. I
>>> have
>>> always been good able knowing where the up-curbs are, so I find it safer
>>> for us to get out of the street quickly. I have always trained my dogs to
>>> do other things, some that are practical and some that are fun. I have
>>> also found that the dogs that are trained by the schools tend to be
>>> unruly
>>> in the house. I have had to do significant in-home training with all but
>>> one of my dogs. I have often wondered how the nondog person who gets a
>>> guide handles a guide who wrecks their house.
>>> Jill
>>> On Sun, 15 Apr 2007, Jo Clayson wrote:
>>>> What would you like to do with your dog that the dogs in schools are not
>>>> trained for?
>>>> Interesting question.  I've never had a dog from a school, and though I
>>>> know
>>>> a few people personally that have, I'm not really familiar with
>>>> specifically
>>>> what behaviors are taught,  or not taught.
>>>> Things I teach my dogs:
>>>> Tricks: shake hands, roll over, choosing the correct hand in response to
>>>> a
>>>> question, speak, etc.   Both my dogs and I have fun with these.
>>>> Teaching
>>>> a
>>>> trick is a good way for me to try out a different training method....if
>>>> I
>>>> really goof up and my dog doesn't do a perfect "play dead" it's not
>>>> potentially life threatening for me or my dog.  Also, if my dog has been
>>>> distracted and needs to focus back on me, tricks are often a good way to
>>>> get
>>>> that focus back.  Simply because they are tricks and fun, there isn't
>>>> the
>>>> tension in my voice that so easily communicates to my dog, like when I
>>>> might
>>>> tell her to "leave it" , "quiet" or "sit".  A dog that does a few tricks
>>>> can
>>>> also delight other people, and help those who are hesitant or a bit
>>>> fearful
>>>> around dogs.
>>>> Search & rescue: though we are not part of a search team, I want my dogs
>>>> and
>>>> I to be able to work together in this way. I live on 29 acres of land in
>>>> a
>>>> rather remote area with thousands of acres of undeveloped land adjacent.
>>>> Should a guest here, or a hunter get lost, or should I be injured and
>>>> folks
>>>> are looking for me, I want my dogs to be able to assist in the initial
>>>> search.
>>>> Agility - we don't compete, but do this at home for fun, physical
>>>> conditioning, and for building teamwork, self-control, and physical
>>>> skills.
>>>> "go to the bathroom" - take me to a public restroom  . For a dog with a
>>>> keen
>>>> sense of smell, this seems to be a fairly easy task.
>>>> Find my stuff:   When we are away from home I may have a duffle bag,
>>>> back
>>>> pack,  jacket , bucket of tools, etc that I set down. Usually I know
>>>> where
>>>> they are, but sometimes I forget, or am "bleary brained" with chemical
>>>> exposure and it's handy to have my dog take me to my stuff.
>>>> Go to the car:   as I don't drive, and ride with many different people,
>>>> and
>>>> some of the families have more than one vehicle, I sometimes can't
>>>> remember
>>>> what vehicle I'm looking for or where it is parked.  Kita does fairly
>>>> well
>>>> already in small parking lots.  Zoomer could even find the vehicle in a
>>>> very
>>>> large lot.  It's also been handy for the driver a few times who forgot
>>>> where
>>>> they parked!
>>>> There are probably others.   Often my dogs have figured out something on
>>>> their own that is helpful to me, so I reward and encourage it.
>>>> Jo

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