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That is a quote I recently heard another working dog owner make. Do you agree or disagree with this statement?

I'll answer it first.

I disagree with that statement very much. One, there are no absolutes in anything in life except for, it seems, death and taxes. So blanket statements like the one above are often off target.

Additionally, I know a number of dog professionals that are very experienced and very good at training and handling dogs. Even they have had dogs that, for whatever reason, didn't pan out as hoped. To say the dogs are a reflection of them is, in my humble opinion, ludicrous.

In general I understand what the person was saying. It's like one of those "folksy" sayings that is supposed to sum things up nice and neatly. But in the end it is an inaccurate statement.

But I am curious if anyone agrees or disagrees and why. Thanks.
 
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Patrick, I think you're taking it too seriously. It think you were right-on with the "folksy" comment. I don't read that to mean the dogs belonging to a trainer w/multiple dogs. I take it as meaning that the average pet reflects their average owner. I also think the bond w/the dog is critical in evaluating this statement. A trainer, *generally* doesn't have the same relationship with his/her dog that a person w/just a couple or just one dog has, for better or worse. I see true reflections of people in their dogs all the time...I have been told that my 2-the ones I'm most bonded to- are too much like me for most people's taste. :oops: I think it's true that dogs read our emotions and sometimes react similarly. (I think Greg could say something pretty amusing here) :oops: .
 

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It certainly is a very broad statement. Like you, I'm not all that fond of a statement that supposedly covers everything. It's similar to, you can always tell the type of parents a child had. Nothing could be further from the truth. I certainly do feel the handler plays a large influence on a dog. Some handlers/trainers are able to accomplish things with certain dogs that other can't. That is primarily, in my opinion, due to experience in dealing with a particular type of dog or a certain task. You can also see the influence a handler has on a dog relative thier work ethic. A sloppy handler, one that does not pay attention to detail etc, or are lazy in training, will often produce a dog that is not good with detail and does not work as dilegently as one that trains properly. Having trained my share of dogs in the past 40 years, it's certainly fair to say not all dogs make it through training. I know I've had my share of dogs that, I thought would do well, but for one reason or another they just couldn't do it. I don't think any trainer that has been at it for a number of years is being totally honest if they say every dog they've ever trained "made it".

DFrost
 

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Patrick Murray said:
That is a quote I recently heard another working dog owner make. Do you agree or disagree with this statement?

I'll answer it first.

I disagree with that statement very much. One, there are no absolutes in anything in life except for, it seems, death and taxes. So blanket statements like the one above are often off target.

Additionally, I know a number of dog professionals that are very experienced and very good at training and handling dogs. Even they have had dogs that, for whatever reason, didn't pan out as hoped. To say the dogs are a reflection of them is, in my humble opinion, ludicrous.

In general I understand what the person was saying. It's like one of those "folksy" sayings that is supposed to sum things up nice and neatly. But in the end it is an inaccurate statement.

But I am curious if anyone agrees or disagrees and why. Thanks.
I agree with teh statemetn to a point. As David said, sloppy trainers often create dogs who are sloppy in aspects of their work. Of course it isn't always true. Dogs are individual beings with thoughts and feelings of their own, and they sometimes choose to ignore even the best efforts to train them.

But for the average dog owner, the dog IS a reflection of its handler. I can tell immediately a dog whose owner has done no work with it, or who mistreats it, and I do consider that a reflection. I'm sure experienced dog people can tell that my dog has been getting away wtih bloody murder lately due to too many changes in the home setting (and that IS a reflection on me as a handler, even thoguh I'm working to correct it all).

All in all those types of sayings are the brainchild of a sentimental person who hasn't spent a whole lot of time around headstrong working dogs...
 

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I agree that dogs reflect certain aspects of their owner's or handler's personalities.the more a person is around a dog the more this is true.

However I believe those are mostly superficial traits.


Jenni,your dogs do reflect what you are willing to accept and certain personality traits and also how you react and interact with other people.This isnt a bad thing as long as you know it is a good way to tell what needs to be improved upon.



I very much believe that the dog reflects the handler on a much deeper level.It has to do with how the person views the dog and dogs in general.I must also use that elusive term "character".This is really what the dog reveals about it's owner.JMO

Greg
 

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Managing a police canine section, it's easy to detect who is working, training etc and who is not. The handlers do understand there are certain standards that must be met, and those standards are measured on a regular basis. As for abuse etc, I don't see that in my program. The handlers understand well that is a one way ticket back on the street. When you work that close with a group of dogs you can see how behaviors change, mellow or even get worse. It's easy to identify those handlers that hide thier own dope for example. You know the old saying, you can't BS a BS'er. Good dog trainers, if one thing are certainly good BS'ers.

DFrost
 

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david,

this is an experience i'm sure you're familiar with that i see a lot. a lot of PSD handlers have a macho syndrome (somewhat prevalent in law enforcement in general). this translates to a dog handler wanting a hard, tough, man-eating landshark. you could give this hander 10 dogs and all 10 would have problems outting and calling off. even if outwardly the handler says he wants control in the dog, subconsciously the handler sabotages the control work because he wants this "tough" dog....
 

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Jenny & Stacia, Thanks for your comments. I believe you both stated that the remark applied to the "average" dog. However, the person making the remark didn't qualify it that way; they made an all inclusive, blanket statement. I don't believe anybody is arguing that it is generally true, what is being argued is that it is not always true. Frankly I think it was an ignorant thing to say.

To give some more insight, the remark was made after another handler made a remark about a particular issue they were addressing with their dog. The other person said to them "A dog is a reflection of its handler" and walked away.

By the way, I noticed a bit later the person who made the remark having some issues with their dog. It reminded me about the saying of people who live in glass houses. If that handler believes what they threw in the face of another then perhaps they should take their own advice and go look in the mirror for a while.

Sorry folks, but I have a disdain for arrogant bragarts, especially ones that can't walk the talk.
 

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mmm there is a point in it...not generally true though.

every trainer has his preferences in what dog he likes best.

Some issues in training will come back in every dog and every type of dog...a trainingmistake of the handler :wink:

A very good trainer is IMHO the person who can work different kinds of dogs with all good results ´cause the trainer THINKS about every move and step in training he will make. No one is perfect, no dog is perfect..in every dog you´ll have some thinking moments.
 

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Interesting! I've had crazy, wacked out terriers for years. Yet, I'm just a nice old granpa. :twisted: :D :D :wink:
 
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Dogs walk with us THRU LIFE, not only during trainings or mere competitions alone. What we see in him as we go thru life is the kind of discipline we impart on him that he may live in harmony with us, the same attitudes, outlooks and kind of discipline we go with in dealing with family or friends.... or that which he has learned by living with us as we go thru our daily lives.

My belief....
 

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Well in my experience I would like to say this; I think a dog –a trained dog especially - is rather an extension of the handler and some of his personality “traits’ do manifest in the dog, having said this I also realize that every dog has his own unique character - that can not be argued away. With older folk, I have seen a lot of same similarity in both dog and handler in this regard, and with police dog handlers. Maybe, this could be attributed to the amount of time they spend together. Some of the mannerism do get passed over, and could be attributed to behaviour of the dog and owner in this relationship, this could very well be the reason why we have people make this type of statement, and blanket it. Every one wants, needs and has a bond with the dog, they are mans closest companion, and have been around with us for ages, how can they not have some human characteristically seen behaviour traits?
 
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Totally agree w/both Reinier and Al. I think ALOT of it has to do with amount of time spent together and subsequent bonding. I see comical traits in my dogs that are obviously handler-induced, but they absolutely have their own character and personality. I think this has gotten a little deeper than ther orignal quote that started it, but it's an interesting topic. I think it takes a certain amount of respect for the dog, as a dog, to even have the type of bond necessary to impart characteristics.
 

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I feel this quote is quite relevant. It goes down to the character of a person. A person who is weak-minded will have an insecure dog who may be fearful or even dominant over the handler. An owner who is extremely laid back in life may also have an untrained dog. One who cannot raise children "right" (and that is subjective but I am saying whether the kids are bratty hellspawn or decent human beings) probably also cannot handle raising dogs (and vice versa). One who abuses the dog will tell you much about how that person may handle other aspects of life- will s/he abuse the kids as well?

A person has his/her ways of living and handling all that life throws down and that will translate into how the dog is raised. Even if a dog doesn't work out for a particular person it goes deeper than "oh s/he's just not a good trainer." It could be the handler tried everything in his/her power, consulted true professionals, went to seminars, tried this method then that method, sticking it through until every option is exhausted before realizing it's just not going to work. This speaks volumes of a person, more so than someone who gives up immediately as in those who dump dogs at shelters because "she's not housebroken."
 
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