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Now that we've grown a little, we wanted to expand on the structure on the site. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you post here at workingdogforum.com:

1. This is a learning forum.
We have some of the best trainers around, and a lot of enthusiastic folks new to working dogs. Our hope is to provide an objective, open forum for training tips, advice, exchange, and constructive debate. Pretty much anything goes except for practices which are considered by the vast majority of folks to be abusive, dangerous, or stupid.

2. This is a social forum.
Many people are here because they also enjoy interaction with other dog enthusiasts. We have some great people here and many of us have made great friendships as a result of this place. We encourage fun. We do ask that non-dog issues stay in the Canine Lounge. Post what you want, within reason.

3. This is an all-ages site.
We want young people here, we want all folks to be able to enjoy this place as much as possible. Be respectful of as many different perspectives as you're able.

4. This is not a general obedience site.
Basic dog issues...housebreaking, basic leadership, crating, etc...are topics best left to other forums. Please PM a moderator if you would like a link to places better equipped to address those needs.

5. This is a site for working dogs.
Working dogs are animals with high levels of training directed towards tasks too dirty, dangerous, or difficult for humans. Working dogs are also animals engaged in sports designed to maintain those capabilities (generally, bitework, obedience, and tracking). Service/therapy dogs, hunting dogs, and sled dogs are just a few examples of other kinds of working dogs. We generally like 'em all.

6. Bloodsport is not tolerated here.
Advocacy of any activity which involves animal-on-animal fighting--dog fighting, hog catching, etc.--which carries a high probability of injury to a dog is not tolerated. Please to not link to videos, pictures, or sites depicting these activities.

7. Your moderators moderate.
If you are bothered by the conduct of a particular forum member, feel wronged by a mod decision, etc., PM a moderator. Do not take it upon yourself to gauge whether a particular post or member belongs here or not.

8. Do not insult other forums or websites.
While we really like our forum, and many people here are here because of its tolerance of opinion, excellent (and free!) advice with experts, and its community, we do not allow posters to disparage other places on the web. All forums serve the purposes for which they are designed.

9. No personal attacks, threats, or insults.
If you cannot say it in polite company, don't. People should be able to come here and post without feeling like they will be attacked. Keep in mind that real names, real careers, real training experience, and real locations are posted here...it is quite easy for someone to feel very threatened by what you say. So think twice, post once.

10. Assume good faith and relax.
It's the internet, not war tribunals. If you are bothered by something you read here, PM a mod and take your dog for a walk. Flame wars get old quick and nearly always result in a thread--oftentimes, a good one--getting locked.

11. Moderators are the final arbiters of thread issues and content.
Respect their decisions, or at least, abide by them. Moderators may, at their discretion, edit post content, delete posts, or lock entire threads. They do not like doing any of these things. Moderators as a group may ban individuals, and an excellent way to be banned is to be a continual focus of moderation.

12. Special note for folks new to working dogs
Big ears, little mouth is a smart way to conduct yourself. Ask questions. Enjoy learning. Participate, and where appropriate, challenge assumptions or vague responses. Get accustomed to the different personalities and perspectives here. Do not feel obligated to post just to validate your presence here, and do not assume that your particular situation or dog is exceptional (for better or worse). Odds are, many people here have seen the same dog...or far better or far worse ones...many times before. Do not give advice unless it is based on reasonable experience, and do not attack other training methods if your only rationale is that it's something you've never seen before. Most often, there are good reasons why people train their dogs particular ways.

Have a great time here. We're quite proud of this site; excellent forum members make it the best place in the web to chat about working dogs. Thanks in advance for your participation!

PM any of the moderators if you've any questions or concerns.
 
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