Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Rant - Carrying your dog

Have you ever been somewhere with your dog(s) and noticed someone walking their little dog towards you? Your dogs could be perfect angels, but the person takes one look at them and stoops to pick up the dog so they don't have to walk by your guys. Then proceeds to walk by without even looking at you.

I feel so sorry for that poor dog. Not only are you preventing your dog from a potentially fulfilling socialization, you may be causing more damage than good.

Why do I keep reading crap teaching new puppy owners how to carry their puppy?? I did a quick google search on this and found that there are actually entire articles teaching you the "Proper" way to carry your dog. Then they tell you to carry your new puppy to stores, parks and playgrounds for socialization. NEWSFLASH!!! Your dog will not be socializing while it's draped in your arms.

Why are you carrying your dog? Is it physically impaired? Does it have four legs? Did you know that even if it only has 3 legs it is still more capable than you of walking places. Why are people encouraged to carry their dog?

If anyone can answer these questions with VALID answers, I would love to hear them. I have been spending time in the city lately and am appalled at what I have been seeing.

I know many people who will turn around and say "well, your dogs are quite large and could cause a lot of damage to my poopsie-poo so I err on the side of caution." WHAT?!

Do you have a voice? What is preventing you from addressing me "Hello/Good Morning/Afternoon! Are your dogs friendly? Can we walk by safely?" Are you mute?


T said...

Frankly, I don't see anything wrong with that article. Socializing isn't always about allowing your pup to interact with other dogs, but more so with exposing your pup to different surroundings, sights, sounds,and smells.

It is important to get your pup out early, but when their puppy boosters are not complete it would be easy for them to contact canine diseases, especially the parvo virus, so by carrying the pup, you are preventing them from coming in contact with contaminated surfaces, yet at the same time, exposing them to different environments.

A pup does not have to run up and play and sniff every dog it sees to become well socialized with good manners.

I do understand there are some people that will scoop up their small dog when walking down the street when they see a bigger one, but honestly, we don't know if perhaps that dog is not well behaved, or possibly the owner is a little intimidated by larger dogs, but who are we to judge, without really knowing the circumstances?

Dog_geek said...

I agree with T - there could be many valid reasons why someone might pick up their dog or puppy. Maybe their dog is reactive and they don't want to take a chance on their dog setting your dog off. Maybe they are working on a specific issue.

While working on behavior modification with my new rescue puppy, who was terrified of other dogs, I was very careful to avoid any dog-dog interactions that weren't pre-planned with appropriate dogs and properly managed by both myself and the other owner. I didn't pick up my puppy, but I'm sure there were some dog-walkers out there who might have noticed me deliberately avoiding them with my puppy, and perhaps they were offended. Too bad. I have to do what is in the best interest of my puppy, even if it ticks someone off that I crossed the street to avoid their dog.

We have just now progressed to the point where I will let B meet some other dogs while we are out walking, once I have asked their owners if they are good with other dogs and if it is okay if they meet. But we had a LOT of work to do to get to that point.

I have picked B up to avoid packs of children who charge full-speed at us, with hands outstretched ready for grabbing, screaming "PUPPY!!!" while their unconcerned parents stroll along 100 yards back, and I won't apologize for that, either. I am my puppy's advocate, and proper socialization doesn't require allowing her to be mugged by groups of unsupervised children.

Splash said...

I agree that Paris can probably put down her darn Chihuahua.

However, I read the article and took the "carry your puppy" comment to mean that they did not want you walking your puppy through parks before he has finished his shots. While the paragraph was not exactly clear on the point, they do clarify it in the first bullet under "socialization don'ts".

mytwh said...

So glad you're back! Hope all is well.

I HATE it when people pick up their dogs when they see my dog. I have a nice little 25 pound dog that isn't mean to other dogs (I would say something to other dog owner if he was!) and then they turn their damn noses up at you as they go by. What is up with that???

I was walking my 2 dogs the other day down one of the back roads that's not busy around my house. I have my 25 lb dog and my bigger pit mix. We see a couple with 2 other dogs. As soon as they see me, their dogs start going nuts and the people are trying to turn the other direction. Fine with me. I have my 2 sit patiently and quietly on the side of the road. Other woman has one of the dogs on her leash and is screaming at it to sit (not working too well!). Then she starts screaming at "Scruffy" because Scruffy is trying to get out of his collar. I finally call to them, "do you want me go by you or wait here?" because I have no idea what the issue is. I'm thinking, maybe if I go by quietly, all will be well. The woman yells at me, "NO, stay there and DO NOT try to pass us!" then she whips around, smacks the dog hard enough for it to yelp and starts pulling it a way. I couldn't believe it. I waited a few more minutes (my dogs are still quietly sitting on the side of the road) and then proceeded down the road again and didn't see them again.

I just couldn't believe it. There were so many things wrong with her behaviour, then for her to haul off and hit her dog because SHE is an asshat that can't train it, just put me over the edge. I wanted to punch her in the head! What is up with people. Does no one know how to properly socialize a dog anymore?

mytwh said...

I do agree that I would pick up my dog if a screaming pack of snot-nosed kids came towards them or if the dog had issues, but most people I see that pick up their little foo-foo dogs do it with such an attitude that you know it isn't because the dog doesn't have it's shots or whatever. It's almost like they don't want their precious foo-foo to be seen with the likes of a foul four letter word-MUTT!

When snot-nosed kids coming running towards my dogs I usually yell-STOP THEY BITE!!! That stops them pretty quick, even if it is a lie ;)

Thoughts said...

LOL. you crack me up with these rants, mostly because you think just like I do... but they are ALL SO TRUE.



GoLightly said...

I take Blaze over to RONA sometimes. often little dogs are kept in the shopping cart by their owners..
Freaks Blaze out completely.
"How did you get in there???"

yeah, paris?

It's a tough call, especially for little dogs. The owner's tension often scares the little creature more.

Blaze is VERY firmly bossed around by Sega, her buddy at work. Sega is 8 pounds. Blaze is 48.

Great to hear ya ranting again!

OldMorgans said...

Reminds me of one of Janet Evanovich's books, Motor Mouth, I think. One of the characters has a small dog that is always in her purse. They wonder if it can actually walk on its own. The book also has a St. Bernard who is a hoot & who basically creates a large part of the plot.

Cyndi and Stumpy said...

Dogs/puppies without a full series of vaccines should not be out, ANYWHERE, beyond their own yard, so they sh need shouldn't to be picked up...

Unknown said...


I never understood it myself. It definitely denies socialization and interacting as dogs do-despite size. I still try to poke my sniffer at them no matter where they are. Can deny me a hello.

shane rocket said...

LMAO.... i ToTAlLy agree!!! funny.

Flo said...

It drives me up a wall when people pick up their dogs especially when my dog then tries to get up and smell the dog being held. There is a lady at the dog park that does this all the time. Her dog will be playing and when she's ready to leave she picks it up. That causes all the dogs to wonder what's wrong (yes, I'm anthropomorphizing) and try to sniff her dog. She has to battle this pack of dogs to get out of the park. If she just walked the dog out no one would care!!!! UGH!!!!

Chef said...

There are a few dogs who I meet on my regular walks, whose parents cross the street the minute they see me. Obviously, they're afraid of me, even though I'm the gentlest, most friendly dog. I'm big, but not that big. Seems they just don't want to find out that I'm a good boy, even though my parents have told them that I just want to play.

I feel sorry for those dogs because their parents are making their world very small.


DogsDeserveFreedom said...

I've held off replying to this one because I'm going to have to do it in sections :) There are just too many great comments in here to reply to all of them at once! (or in a hurry!)

Yes, environments are very important to work on with your pup; not only dog-dog interactions. Both are important. I don't think I said they weren't ...

Regarding the screaming pack of snot nosed kids ... I have often put myself between them and the dog and tell them STOP in a very loud voice (I have used the "MY DOGS BITE" if necessary though they don't). I will also push my hand out towards them in the classic police-man-stop-hand which all kids seem to know and understand (even if they can't hear me over their own screaming). I do usually scope out the park before walking in blindly and often will walk up to the parents to ask them to keep their kids away because I'm working on socialization with my dog. This is part of controlling the environment where I take my dog. If the parents are on the other side of the park, I will leave the dog in the car while I walk over to them and speak with them - then I will go back and take my dog out of the car. There is nothing that says that I HAVE to stay somewhere that I feel is unsafe for my dog. If I go somewhere and scope it out and the kids look like they don't listen to their parents and they are trouble, I will get back in the car and go somewhere else (or we will turn around on the sidewalk if we're walking and go elsewhere).

I also agree with the comments about getting your pup out early and to take precautions when boosters are not complete.


There are so MANY different places to take your dog for socialization, why would you feel the need to go places where you could meet dogs? (If you don't want your dog meeting others)

You don't have to take your dog places where you know other dogs may have been if your boosters aren't complete. Why not take them to department stores, hotel lobbies or banks? Most people don't do this and the likelihood of your dog contracting something in these places is not very high. The worst they can do is ask you to leave.

Your dog doesn't have a chance to learn about the different places unless you put it down.

DogsDeserveFreedom said...

mytwh ...

Regarding the lady who smacked her dog ... I understand your frustration (and hers too). She really needs to shitorgetoffthepot. Either train the dogs or get rid of them. I know that sounds harsh, but sometimes life is harsh. We've all seen (or at least heard about) what dangerous dogs can do. If smacking the dog doesn't resolve (which it obviously doesn't) then why does she keep doing it? If she doesn't train her dogs, someone is going to get seriously hurt.

Here's my opinion on that one ... she probably hasn't bothered putting much time into training the dog. She likely figures that her dog is great when no other dogs are around so it's ok.

Even if she did want to train her dogs, it is really hard to find a trainer who will take on an aggressive dog. Most will refuse.

Some will let you come to the first class then tell you not to return (they ... took your money; didn't say no; told you it was the dog's fault you can't come back; save face). They might give you a few pointers to work on but that's it (and they may be detrimental).

For the few who will take you on, 75% will make the problem worse.

Of the trainers who refuse to take your dog (or take you only to kick you out after the first session) - 95% of them will tell you that the trainer who will take you on is "cruel" and has "inhumane" training styles.

DogsDeserveFreedom said...

One last thing - those were all some awesome comments from everyone. Many different sides of the coin were checked out (many more than two!) Thank you