(VICT) Re: Dog breeds

  • From: Jill Gross <jgross@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: vi-clicker-trainers@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2007 02:06:21 -0400 (EDT)

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.


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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