seagirl, I'm glad you seem to know what you're talking about with dogs. however, I am not
another person who has succombed to the over indulgent world of bubble-wrap everything and the emotinal plea of "what if, what if, what if????"
Quite frankly it's rediciulious. I can seen some what if's applied to children, but to a dog? It's dehumanizing humans by it's very nature.
perhaps I've just seen a disproportionate number of illness and injuries caused by people who have absolutely no idea how to keep a dog, working with so many, and I see no need to unnecessarily place those risks on my own animal.
I grew up with shepherds and would have one if my apt let me. you make an excellent point that many breeds are bred with non-traditional features, and that's exactly my point.
many people with these dogs don't understand, for example, that letting a dachshund become overweight (even slightly) puts it at a HUGE risk for slipped or herniated disks. I have very rarely seen any at the proper weight. even for more traditional breed owners, most don't realize that feeding dogs table scraps can lead to pancreatitis, which is expensive to treat and if not caught early enough may cause the dog to be put down. giving dogs bones, specifically chicken bones, can cause stomach or bowel perforation. dogs eating foreign objects can cause a small intestine obstruction, requiring surgery or causing the dog to go into shock and die. leaving them unattended in the yard they can get bitten by snakes and stung (luckily not often fatal, but could very well be if it happened while the owner wasn't home). every once in awhile someone would come in with an injured dog, luckily I didn't see any that were fatal, because no one had checked the gate before letting the dog out and it ran into the street. *these were things I saw all the time. *even more owners were simply ignorant of behavior, of how to predict what their dog would do, had no control even with simple commands like "sit" and "down," and had major behavior problems like food or object guarding (but thought it was cute). one woman told a story about how her little dog (yorkie) would growl whenever her husband tried to get into bed and she thought it was hilarious. one couple I saw frequently at the park would let their little dog run 10 feet ahead of them and bark and growl and everyone that passed, occasionally lunging and attempting to bite, and they completely ignored it. these are just the first things that come to mind.
I find it's safer to assume people don't know anything (try to educate) and throw the info out there than assume they are well versed in behavior and then end up having a nasty or destructive dog, or a dog that gets sick and dies because of something preventable.
I'm not sure where you got the idea that being responsible for your dog is somehow treating it just like a child - I am the first one to enforce pack order and doggie limits and can't stand when people carry their dogs around or give them pedicures or any of that stuff.. my dog is not allowed on the couch or bed, does not go out the door first, sits and waits for food and usually eats after we've eaten (unless it'll be a late night for us). however, when it comes to his health, I will not put it in jeopardy unnecessarily (in fact, he was a stray in the midwest - so yes, he's a real dog, lived outside over the winter, hunted his own food, etc). Just because dogs ate scraps in the past doesn't mean they can eat scraps NOW - our diets have changed, and probably a HUGE number of them died at a young age due to things that are now preventable simply by watching what your dog puts in its mouth.
I suppose I should have been more precise in my language - while I still maintain that every action is not predictable, yes, the vast majority of actions are, providing the owner knows what they're looking for. And as I've experienced, most people do NOT know what they're looking for. Therefore, as far as I'm concerned, the vast majority of people can not predict what their dog will do, and because they're ignorant of what to look for, they think they can predict it, yet are surprised when it doesn't act according to how they think it should act.
again, it's nice to see someone who actually knows something about behavior and proper training.
summer, I'm glad your husband didn't mean he wouldn't take the dog outside. and I'm also glad you find poo in the yard to be icky :rotfl: I'm sort of confused how you would think that just because the dog isn't left unattended outside automatically means the dog is pampered.. :cool: