Posted : 6/4/2007 7:27:20 AM
"...all dogs and all situations are unique and nobody knows all there is to know about dogs..."
"A positive trainer would not likely drag a frightened dog out from under a chair. Instead, that trainer might sit next to the dog, offer food, wait, allow the dog to come to her, sniff, etc. The two methods, in that situation, are diametrically opposed, so how is there room for both? CM wouldn't desensitize, and +R Rita wouldn't flood..."
"...This is where some of the misunderstanding starts - CM has dealt with fearful dog BOTH ways. He sat outside Patti Labelle's dog's kennel until the dog calmed and came up to him - he did the same with a fearful coonhound. He just goes to the next step as soon as the dog shows sign of relaxing, and doesn't always wait until the dog is perfectly comfortable before proceeding. Do I agree with the method? Not sure. Never dealt with a fearful dog. Do I condemn it? Again, not enough experience to judge."
"...My brother & sister-in-law has been trying to work with their unsocialized golden pup. Penny got her gradually desensitized enough so she would leave her kennel and even eat when people were around, but could not get her any further espeically outside. My no-nonsense brother that just tells cheerfully her to get over it when she gets scared and she respond much better outdoors for him. BOTH gradual and flooding methods worked for this dog. "
I think that flooding a creature unto itself is cruel, but when coinciding with gentler ways, then it is really not true flooding, it is in all actuality a preparation. To the creature getting the initial prep, and then a smaller jump into the "scary" area is not a bad idea. However, you have to know your own dog.
It is a lot like kids, what works for one may not work for another. We can't generalize, but we have to watch for cues ...How does a dog react to the stimuli? Is he/she increasingly more comfortable? Watching for the dogs posture, vocalizations, breathing communication, facial expression, eye contact...and ultimately the willingness and understanding to get through that scary void .
I have a big problem with the kind of flooding which I would analogize with a person who is claustrophobic and is afraid of elevators - and if the therapist would just shove the guy in the elevator and say "get over it" . And call that the cure. Rather than working through the unresolved and disheveled thoughts that surround the guys real inner neurosis. But that would take time and educational background to get through that challenge, right?
Different dogs have different needs to be worked with. Accepting that is the basic beginning to working through their particular challenges. And a dog owner, esp. JQP, needs to learn that. Patience
is a crucial need as a dog owner with a "fearful" and "reactive" dog.
And taking the time to figure out what is needed is so missed by far too many people with dogs. What is needed is mass education in special needs of dogs, just like what we do with our children. Teaching with that in mind so that there is less abuse and less traumatic results and less euthanasia as a result of bad methods.