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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-17-2019, 05:53 PM Thread Starter
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Public Behavior - "Elevator" behavior - Socialization

This is so good, I have to share it. Will copy below, original credit to the great trainer Deb Jones, posted here: https://k9infocus.com/elevator-behav...8I1RQx__VliYSY
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Elevator Behavior

by Deb Jones | Mar 17, 2019 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

Elevator Behavior

Imagine this scenario: you are in an elevator at a large hotel. The doors open and a stranger steps in, looks at you, squeals in delight, throws her arms around you, and says ďI want to be your new best friend!Ē How would you react to that? Personally, I would be horrified. And I would get off that elevator just as quickly as possible! As humans, we realize that this is abnormal behavior. Yet we allow our dogs to do a canine version of this to people and to other dogs. Itís not appropriate and itís not safe, yet it is very common.

I wish I could remember to original source of the term ďelevator behaviorĒ so I could give that person credit. It was at least 20 years ago when I first heard it. The term was used in the context of describing the behavior of conformation dogs who are able to wait quietly in a group with others very close to them without reaction. Just the same as we humans can stand in elevators uncomfortably close to others and ignore each other except for a very quick nod or short hello.

I donít know about you, but I donít feel like an elevator is the appropriate place to make new friends or share my life story. If you do behave that way I honestly hope Iím never in an elevator with you! Humans have clear social norms about how to act in what might be uncomfortable situations. There are times when itís best to make minimal eye contact and ignore those around you.

Many dogs have no idea how to ignore others, whether humans or other canines. Through repeated experiences they have become ďmagnetizedĒ to other living creatures and must try to interact with all of them. Some people see this tendency in their dog and say ďheís friendlyĒ. But that actually is probably not the case at all. You donít make friends by racing up to someone at full speed and body slamming them (Labradors, Iím talking to you!)

If I ran up to unsuspecting people I didnít know well and threw myself at them, making full body contact, thatís not considered friendly. Thatís inappropriate. And it might even be considered physical assault. Weíve been taught, rightly so, to keep our hands and bodies to ourselves and to not invade the personal space of others. We should teach our dogs this same basic concept.

In case you havenít noticed, Iím a bit obsessed with dogs. I think they are all awesome. However, in public and on first meeting, I will ignore them. This is not because I donít think your dog is amazing and want to interact with him. Itís because I have enough dog savvy and self-control to simply exist in the same space with your dog unless and until interaction is appropriate.

Iíll be heading to Clicker Expo this week and lots of dogs will be there. I will keep my baby talk voice and grabby hands to myself! If I happen to be talking to you and your dog engages with me in an appropriate way then I may ask if I can greet and pet. Thatís what adults do. I do it because I have respect for your dog and your training goals.

You know what isnít helpful? Squealing at the sight of a dog across the room, racing over, working that dog up into a frantic overly excited emotional mess, and then, when you are satisfied with the interaction, heading on your merry way. How about you donít ever do that again? That is not helping socialize a dog or puppy to humans; that is teaching a dog or puppy that humans are put on earth to work them up into a state of frenzy and over arousal.

It would be really easy for everyone to help everyone else train appropriate elevator behavior to dogs we encounter in public. Ignore them unless it is truly appropriate to do otherwise. Smile at the owner and honestly say ďlovely dogĒ. Keep your hands to yourself! If a dog approaches you in an inappropriate way be neutral and allow the owner to help the dog settle down and regain his composure. You will be doing that dog and owner a huge favor by helping with this process through your lack of reaction. This isnít mean, itís polite and helpful.

Dogs are not public property for our amusement and enjoyment any more than other humans were put on this earth to make us happy at their own expense. We are not doing them any favors by teaching them that itís okay to approach and interact with all humans. Itís not. Some people are allergic, some are afraid, some are physically frail. Itís also not okay for them to approach and interact with all other dogs. Just because they are the same species doesnít mean they should be instant best friends on sight. Those others dogs may be afraid, or frail, or simply not be looking for more friends. Other people and dogs have every right to exist in the world without your dog invading their personal space. That doesnít make us, or our dogs, unfriendly. It means that we accept and respect social norms and personal boundaries.

Letís all show respect for each other and teach all our dogs appropriate elevator behavior. Itís your responsibility as an owner and it will be so much better for your dog. Elevator behavior is good! Letís make it a new normal for our dogs.

*Thanks to Denise Fenzi, Amy Cook, and all the FDSA instructors for discussing these issues and making me think more deeply about them.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-17-2019, 07:37 PM
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I posted this reply when Rosemary put that article up on FB:

My pet peeve...I'm at the vet or in the park and another dog owner will let their dog come close to Mocha and me, sometimes without really watching or paying attention. Just because your dog loves everything and everyone, please don't assume mine does too. And, since I don't know your dog, I have no idea of its temperament. And don't get me started on parents who let their kids run over to every dog they see.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-18-2019, 12:10 AM
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@ TN...

One of my major "pet peeves" also.

McCoy has been trained to be non reactive to other dogs.

Still he gets yapped and nipped at by some passers by. Sometimes more aggressively.

I have always assumed that it is because he is an intact male, somewhat stoic and hard for other dogs to read.

So... M and I have a deal. If he feels uncomfortable with an approaching dog (s). He comes over to my side and lies down until the "threat' has past.

Works pretty well !

John
Portland OR
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-18-2019, 06:57 AM
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John,

I've worked so hard with Mocha to get her comfort level where it is today, and I know all it takes is one incident and we could be back at square one. So, I try my best to be very aware of other people and dogs so that I can intervene if necessary...this can be hard at the vet on a crowded day; we usually stay in a corner or even go back outside if it's too bad with little kids running around and a lot of people with their dogs (and some of them on retractable leashes!). All I have to do is look at Mocha's back...if I start seeing the dandruff, it's time to grab some fresh air LOL.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-18-2019, 09:36 AM
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I would say most people around here are respectful of our space, Dobermans arenít very common so they usually give us a wide birth. We doo have adults and children who will ask to pet our dogs, I evaluate the situation...do my dogs seem relaxed? Are the children calm or rambunctious? And decide accordingly if I will allow the interaction and I have no problem saying no. I also teach my dogs that it is not okay for them to rush up on people and greet them, I expect them to remain calm by my side while I am interacting with someone and only if I give them the say hello command are they to approach. Sully knows this well, Rizzo is still learning.

I remember one time I was at Loweís with them and I was talking to an employee, she wanted to pet, I said ok and allowed the dogs to approach. There was another lady near, looking at something on the shelf with her back to us. Sully forgot his manners and stretched his head over towards her and sniffed her. She turned around and freaked out and tried to climb up the shelf, she was terrified of dogs and I felt like a complete jerk. I apologized profusely and told her he knew better but got excited and forgot. She was understanding, but still visibly frightened.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-18-2019, 05:29 PM
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Hi TN...

Our vet has a back door which leads to the exam rooms. If one calls in advance, the will meet you at the back with the exam room prepped and ready. Used it today with my buddy's very sick Rottweiler. He is paralyzed, so we did not want to carry a huge dog into the waiting room.

Our vet will do the same thing with reactive cats! Its really nice.

John
Portland OR
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-18-2019, 05:32 PM
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Did this thread start out as 'Puplic Behavior'? Or is this a new one or did I just think I saw it spelled with a 'p' instead of a 'b'? I thought it a cute play on words.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-18-2019, 07:11 PM
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Just don't leave the "L" out.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-18-2019, 07:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melbrod View Post
Just don't leave the "L" out.
LOL Mel... I almost made the same comment

John
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-19-2019, 07:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cressrb View Post
Did this thread start out as 'Puplic Behavior'? Or is this a new one or did I just think I saw it spelled with a 'p' instead of a 'b'? I thought it a cute play on words.
I'm with you Cressrb - lol I think ! That somebody - I won't say WHO - But messed with the title - lol Could it been the Author ? Also thought is was a great play with words - But it could pass as normal spelling for me
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-19-2019, 07:41 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ECIN View Post
I'm with you Cressrb - lol I think ! That somebody - I won't say WHO - But messed with the title - lol Could it been the Author ? Also thought is was a great play with words - But it could pass as normal spelling for me
No comment
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-19-2019, 08:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cressrb View Post
Did this thread start out as 'Puplic Behavior'? Or is this a new one or did I just think I saw it spelled with a 'p' instead of a 'b'? I thought it a cute play on words.

Yes, when I first saw the title "Puplic Behavior", I thought it was another thread about Dobes using their long snouts to "Dobe Poke" human aquaintances in their sensitive areas, as described in several past threads.

A link to the infamous "Almighty Crotch Sniffer" thread of 2013:

https://www.dobermantalk.com/general...h-sniffer.html


Ten Doberman Rules
Poke Everything.
It's New? Bark At It.
Moves? Chase It.
Doesn't Move? Smell It.
Liquid? Spill and Dribble It.
Treat or Food? Wolf It Down.
Not Food? Chew It Slowly, Be Quiet & Hide From Human.
A Toy? Shred & Destroy It.
Stuffed? De-Stuff It.
Bites You Back? Wrestle It!

Last edited by spocksdad; 03-19-2019 at 08:49 AM.
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-20-2019, 11:55 AM Thread Starter
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Another excellent recent blog on "socialization" and why we need to stop calling it that! Really, it's learning how to ignore the world, when you're out in the world

From here: We need to stop calling it "socialization" - Play Way Dogs and credit to author Amy Cook

___________________________
We need to stop calling it “socialization”
by Amy Cook | Feb 2, 2019 | Blog | 23 comments

You got a new puppy and you want to do everything right. You read all the books, and you’ve heard of course that you have to “socialize” your pup, so you take him everywhere, and have him meet everyone, getting treats and affection from all. You do this because you really don’t want him to be scared of any of this, and you think that having positive interactions means they won’t be, as only good things happen.
It’s not an illogical assumption, but it’s far from the best way to accomplish that, and it has downsides we are not giving enough air time to.

It’s also the wrong term for what your task really is.

The main behavioral responsibility we have in raising puppies and in helping any new dog to be a welcome member of society is to teach them how to not be attracted to strange dogs and strange people. To walk in our world successfully means to ignore the passers-by, both human and canine, greeting only those that are known to us or who make it necessary to get politely past. Yet strangely, we call this “socialization.”

There is nothing social about getting a dog used to the world he lives in. Social time is a separate thing, and social skills are learned in very specific ways with trusted partners. Socializing is something people do at parties, where they are expected to talk with others. Socializing is not what you do when you are teaching your dog how to move through the world politely and without fear.

Yet we let everyone coo over our puppies, or we coo over everyone else’s. We make them the center of attention any time they’re around, and we even will go out of our way to try to interact with dogs we see, asking to give them treats, making ourselves very magnetic. Why? To entertain ourselves? Because we like dogs and want a “dog moment” today? Well, it’s at the expense of the good behavior of that dog, and we need to get realistic about this.

In many other countries, dogs are just like everyone else walking by you. They aren’t cause for stopping and asking about, making eye contact with, and offering to feed and pet. They are just like other people’s children; none of our business, and certainly not ours to take social liberties with.

Dog lovers: do not seek to interrupt every dog you see, trying to have a social moment, making yourself important and relevant to a dog you don’t know well. Admire from afar, make a comment to the owner if they seem open to it, but ignore the dog. Going on your way is the best way have to teach that dog how to be friendly in this world. Paradoxical, but true.

Dog owners: do not seek to teach your dog that other people are a source of entertainment, affection, or food for them. Teach them that you are the source of such things, and especially so if they can withstand their initial social urges toward strangers.

Then, give them social time with trusted friends in social settings, so that they develop and express those skills in the right manner, supported by you. Don’t let strangers train your dog to be hyper-social in the name of “socialization.” Instead, civilize your pup, teaching her to be a good citizen. Let her habituate to her world, going from finding everything overwhelmingly interesting, to knowing that strangers are for leaving alone politely, and friends are for interacting with socially.


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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-20-2019, 12:46 PM
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Lots of truth in your article Meadowcat - I have found out that when I take Mr. B to say - Rural King or Tractor Supply - Lots of people walk up with there kids and start talking about Mr. B , then in 2 seconds , they ask if the kids can pet him - I say I really don't want them to - I get a chitty look and they grab there kids and leave - One way I handle that now is - I say No - he is in distraction training - they look at me and then ask - is it ok to talk to you ? which I say sure . They ask all the questions about him and all the time , Mr. B is just sitting there - looking around some - but never moving , When there done - they reply on how good he is doing - I like this approach better than getting the bad look .

Also - the only problem I have had with Mr. B - is to getting him to turn off the other dogs , Like Mocha and TN - This is harder than one would think to cure - But in time and lots of work - they get it .

Thanks MC
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-20-2019, 01:03 PM
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Also - the only problem I have had with Mr. B - is to getting him to turn off the other dogs , Like Mocha and TN - This is harder than one would think to cure - But in time and lots of work - they get it .

Thanks MC
Mocha will be 5 (real) soon and, I know she'll ever get to the point where she'll "like" strange dogs...but you know what? That's ok. It's who and what she is, and as long as she's not truly aggressive, I'm fine with her being this way. Heck, I'm exactly the same way with people, to be honest

On a side note...the darndest thing...our daughter came home to live with us a while, and she brought her little yapper with her. And Mocha never growled or barked at her once. It's like the dog has lived with us for the last 5 years. Go figure LOL.



She is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are her life, her love, her leader. She will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of her heart. You owe it to her to be worthy of such devotion.
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post #16 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-20-2019, 05:50 PM
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Lots of truth in your article Meadowcat - I have found out that when I take Mr. B to say - Rural King or Tractor Supply - Lots of people walk up with there kids and start talking about Mr. B , then in 2 seconds , they ask if the kids can pet him - I say I really don't want them to - I get a chitty look and they grab there kids and leave - One way I handle that now is - I say No - he is in distraction training - they look at me and then ask - is it ok to talk to you ? which I say sure . They ask all the questions about him and all the time , Mr. B is just sitting there - looking around some - but never moving , When there done - they reply on how good he is doing - I like this approach better than getting the bad look .

Also - the only problem I have had with Mr. B - is to getting him to turn off the other dogs , Like Mocha and TN - This is harder than one would think to cure - But in time and lots of work - they get it .

Thanks MC
I usually tell people no he/she is working right now but thanks for asking...I like your ďdistraction trainingĒ though, Iím going to have to use this!
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post #17 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-20-2019, 07:29 PM
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McCoy loves human interaction. The Sheriff... Not so much. If I am walking them both and someone asks to pet them, I say: "The big guy, sure. The little guy is not fond of strangers".

John
Portland OR
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post #18 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-20-2019, 07:36 PM
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And that was supposed to read " I know she'll NEVER get to the point." Sheesh...and I read over that before I hit save.



She is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are her life, her love, her leader. She will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of her heart. You owe it to her to be worthy of such devotion.
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Last edited by TNfisher; 03-20-2019 at 08:06 PM.
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post #19 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 06:20 AM
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And that was supposed to read " I know she'll NEVER get to the point." Sheesh...and I read over that before I hit save.
Welcome to my world lol
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post #20 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 11:22 AM
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So love this post! Going to print and put in the puppy obedience class packets. Such a great way to make the whole piece of info “stick” instead of going in one ear and out the other. Thank you!!


Always Playiní!
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