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john landry

How do you manage your anger?

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When we brought Cheza home although we were really prepared it had been a long time since we had a puppy, and I had forgotten how much work it was! She was a challenge right off too, she did this grabbing at your pants leg and pulling and growling thing. Every where I walked there was a Cheza attached to my pant leg, and I tryed so much stuff to get her to stop. And yes I got soooo angry especially when I was going over to the in laws and I realized I didn't have 1 pair of jeans that didn't have shredded ankles. Eventually we found something to make her stop (rattle can) and I don't get angry at her so often anymore, but for that period of time the baby gate was my friend (until she learned to climb them).

 

ChezaClimbingGate.jpg

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That pic is priceless! Never underestimate the power of "will"!

 

I have had dogs my whole life. I do get frustrated, but it is always aimed at myself. I stop whatever it is that is trying to be accomplished and try to figure out what WILL work, how I can convey what I want into "dog speak".

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If I get angry, it usually means I"ve got something else going on in my life and it's not a good moment to work/train/correct the pooches. They very rarely do anything that would warrant actual anger...

 

The closest I come is anytime they squabble and don't break it up on request...that does piss me off and they all go hide for a bit.

 

Maria

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That picture of Cheza is great!!! The look of determination, priceless!

 

Raising dogs is a lot like raising kids, I think. They are bound to do stuff you don't count on at the most inopportune moment. The loss of control is often what causes anger and frustration. But that's the way it is. There is "conflict" in any relationship, and while dogs love to be obedient, they are their own beings, with their own ideas, a lot of instinctual reactions, and probably their "bad" days, too.

 

Walking away is great, when it's possible. Often it's not. Secure the dog (leash it, etc., if they ran off), and pretend they are not even there for a while, if you are really mad. Think of something wonderful your dog did earlier. Try to figure out why you got so angry in this situation -- anything to distract you from overreacting. Maybe it was very scary for you, maybe you are tired or irretable because of something else. Maybe you expect too much from yourself and the dog ... there could be so many reasons. But focusing your attention away from he dog, will help you until you can walk away, if you still need to. Believe me, I felt like that a lot at first with my overly fearful pup. Wondering about what set her off, what I'm doing wrong, why after months of desensitizing training, it still wasn't much better .... and so forth. Deep breaths, thinking about how it will be better some other day, appreciating how far we had come already ... and realizing the dog was not misbehaving on purpose, all helped.

 

Emotions, good and bad, are part of life, but we can decide what to do with them.

 

Andrea

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I learned when Scooter was a puppy, not to get angry. Frustrated sometimes, but not angry. What changed it for me was when I did get angry one time and yelled at him. I can't describe the look on his poor puppy face. It broke my heart. I haven't gotten angry at him since.

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I have always been one to anger quickly. Maybe it's the Irish in me, who knows, but I know I get it from my father! I have never really been one to get mad at my dog though. Frustrated at my self, yes, but I realize that's my fault. She doesn't speak the same language I do, so how is she to know?! That's one thing I have gotten very quickly and very easily. Usually if training isn't going right or as fast as it should be, I don't get angry, I just try and figure out what I'm doing that's making it diffucult for her to figure out. Now, people on the other hand, I don't have much patience for since we speak the same language.... :rolleyes:

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Think for a moment about how much the dog loves you. That one quickly deflates me every time!

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What triggers the emotion? And what do you do with it? In my case, faulty recall is what gets to me instantly – to much pride and still too large an ego I guess. Yesterday, both BCs ran across the (country) road chasing god knows what, and I just could not stop them. This time, they (I) were lucky... Yes, I was particularly upset. And thanks for all the response – we do love our dogs don't we!

 

yep, we do! When I get angry generally it's because I didn't have a plan or a strategy--or the correct one. Or I opened up opportunities for them that I could not trust them with or that i had not prepped them for. So with regard to dog training and behavior, my answer is anticipationg or "lack of preparation".

 

And then there's the "why isn't this working?" So this is the "poor execution" bunny trail. At which point, I immediately quit doing what doesn't work or isn't working, take time, think it over and try again. Many times, that means slowing down, focusing on analyzing what we're doing, then moving into the training part.

 

Have fun! Err, may your blood pressure remain low!

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repost

 

Its funny when you can say, "Maybe its the Irish in me" and I know exactly what your talking about. When I say, "Maybe its the Sicilian in me" people also seem to know what I'm talking about!! or say, 'ahhhhhhhhhhhh', like they get it. As if it explains everything...that's always cracks me up. (yes stereotypes are sometimes funny)

 

The Sicilian in me just enjoys feeding my dogs bowls of homemade food and I tell them "mangiare tutto Curlito and Sheppada!"

 

...I digress again.

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(yes stereotypes are sometimes funny)

 

Oh, they can be!

 

Back to the OT, I had the hardest time getting Daisy to "shake a paw". Seriously. One of the easier tricks I've been told. I was beside my self thinking "What's wrong with you?! You're a smart person, you should be able to figure this one out!" Daisy would just look at me with a blank look on her face every time I attempted it! I was starting to doubt my own intelligence! One day I had treats in my hand and she put a paw on my leg to beg for one, and BINGO! I figured out how she would learn this one! 2 days later, she would shake.

 

Sandra S. is right too I melt like a marshmallow every time I think of or get "that look"!

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My #1 cure for not getting angry is to set my dogs up for success. 99% of the time it's my fault they are not doing what I want or don't want them to do - which can also equal they aren't trained for it.

 

For example Jaida and Diesel are notorious counter surfers when no one is home or everyone is asleep. How do I not get angry? I don't leave anything out. When I do, I blame myself because I KNOW they will do it if I leave stuff out - and leaving things out is just my own laziness (or my kids!) :rolleyes: Or when River was a pup and chewed my car's cup holder cuz I left her in it uncrated - totally my fault and I have the nice reminder of it to this day.

 

It also drives me crazy when they pull on a leash - they all do it. But to be fair, I never taught any of them how they were supposed to, because we rarely ever walk on a leash to begin with.

 

When training and they just don't get it, like it took River over a year to shake her paw with me (she just won't recognize me grabbing her paw and shaking it, she just stared at me) I would just walk away from what we were doing. All done, time out, whatever. And sometimes I would switch to something I know we could do together, like fetching something because it was a great way to blow off the steam.

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Excellent thread - I'm glad I finally got around to reading it.

 

My #1 cure for not getting angry is to set my dogs up for success....For example Jaida and Diesel are notorious counter surfers when no one is home or everyone is asleep. How do I not get angry? I don't leave anything out.

This is my strategy too. It's so simple, but it works consistently and it works well, sometimes when nothing else does.

 

The "failed recall" is the thing that that causes me the most stress. Most other training failures are without major consequence, but a failed recall can easily lead to a dead dog, so the resulting anger is really a whole bunch of emotions wrapped up in one big package.

 

Off-leash used to be my default policy, since my BCs are adults and have a lot of training time in already. I only put <a certain dog> on leash when I thought he might be at risk of taking off after <a certain game animal>, but every time I guessed wrong, he was off like a shot...and there was that package of emotions again, each time stronger than the time before. After far too long, I finally understood that on-leash must always be the default for him, and the leash only comes off when I am 100% certain he is not at risk - not 99%, but 100%. Being constantly tied to a dog has disadvantages, but every time I find myself wishing we could just walk freely through the woods, I remind myself how that anger/frustration/fear package felt and find the trade a very good one indeed.

 

Meanwhile, the recall training progresses. The main difference is that I don't have that occasional anger to deal with, only a consistent but mild annoyance at having to be leashed whenever I go for a walk. But as the dogs get older, our relationships get stronger, and the number of situations where they can be off-leash increases. One dog is already at the point where she almost never needs to be leashed, and I know we'll get the youngster there eventually...as long as I stick to RR's rule above.

 

The advice to never let more than one dog loose at a time is also good. If I let my high-risk dog off, I'll often put the low-risk dog on leash. It keeps them from switching over into pack mode, and it allows me to focus all my attention on the dog who's still learning.

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Well John, I could understand why you got mad when the dogs took off. I would have probably gotten angry too. In fact, when Misty goes outside and we're trying to get her to come back in and she doesn't listen, I get ticked. I'll call her, clap my hands and then she comes. I usually don't have much of a problem with that, as much as my husband does. I think because Misty's seen the mean side of me...it wasn't used at her, but I've been known to pitch a b*tch around the house about something and she goes and lays down in her crate. I remember one time in particular, and felt so bad, I went to her and told her, I'm not mad at you...and gave her lots of lovin's. But nowadays too, you want to have the recall control or else you can get in big trouble so getting angry is understandable. It's probably not all anger as it's fear too that what if something happens either to the dogs or to someone else. Everybody is sue happy anymore, so we have a lot to lose.

 

But, to answer your question how I calm myself. Usually a BEER! LOL

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My two BCs are not perfect. I’m not perfect. My experience with dogs is rather limited (not quite two years yet). So, I do get angry at my dogs. I know, I know, I’ve read about it so often and been told about it even more often: anger will not work well in changing my dogs’ unwanted behaviour, that I only have a two second window of opportunity to do something about said behaviour. But, I do get soooo angry sometimes! (LOL, I feel better already.) My question: how do you manage your anger??? Is there a “best” way of dealing with these emotions?

 

John

 

Take an anger management course John. If you feel the need to take out your anger on your dogs you have a problem. That may be a little harsh so the best answer is, you do not get angry with your dogs. I trust you are smarter than they are and that they think slower than you. They depend on you to be the pack leader, you do not get angry. They will respond to your anger if that is the only attention they get by repeating the behavior that got them the response from you. Perhaps you are better suited to another breed of dog. BC's can be very difficult. I train them, they frustrate me BUT I never, ever display anger in any fashion. Think, use your self control and use your head. Your question, is there a best way of dealing with these emontion. Find another outlet for your anger. Did I mention, you DO NOT display anger with your dogs.

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Take an anger management course John. If you feel the need to take out your anger on your dogs you have a problem. Think, use your self control and use your head. Your question, is there a best way of dealing with these emontion. Find another outlet for your anger. Did I mention, you DO NOT display anger with your dogs.

 

Um.. he didn't say he beats them or screams in their face. He said angry without defining it. I think it's extremely harsh to say he needs to take an anger management course. It hardly seems appropriate to suggest without specific facts of how John is behaving angrily.

 

I definitely get 'angry' at my dogs. I definitely show my displeasure in an appropriate for the situation way (face looking angry, voice being angry, walking towards my dog in a threating manner, etc) when they are caught in the act of whatever they shouldn't be doing - especially if it something dangerous to them like eating mulched grass which makes them very sick. But that doesn't mean I need an anger management course either.

 

Perhaps you are better suited to another breed of dog. BC's can be very difficult.

I think given what we know (VERY LITTLE) and don't know about John, this is also very inappropriate.

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Take an anger management course John. If you feel the need to take out your anger on your dogs you have a problem. That may be a little harsh so the best answer is, you do not get angry with your dogs. I trust you are smarter than they are and that they think slower than you. They depend on you to be the pack leader, you do not get angry. They will respond to your anger if that is the only attention they get by repeating the behavior that got them the response from you. Perhaps you are better suited to another breed of dog. BC's can be very difficult. I train them, they frustrate me BUT I never, ever display anger in any fashion. Think, use your self control and use your head. Your question, is there a best way of dealing with these emontion. Find another outlet for your anger. Did I mention, you DO NOT display anger with your dogs.

 

 

Ouch! I believe that you've read much too much into my question! I do crate my dogs when I get angry. I have never hit my dogs when angry at them (or for any other reason). I have never yelled out of control at my dogs. I spend some four to six hours a day, 7/7, walking, hiking, running, playing with them - they do get to see the better side of me most of the time, if not always. But, yes, I do, like so many other members who have responded to this topic, once in a while get angry. I've thoroughly enjoyed, up to now anyway, reading and, indirectly, participating in other members love of their dogs. And, sorry, but no way will I ever switch from BCs to any other breed. As far as "thinking"... well, isn't that why I posted the question to start with?

 

John

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Did DTrain actually read all the other posts? We all get frustrated with our dogs. We wouldn't be human if we didn't. I get frustrated with my children and they are 29 & 31 when they make financial mistakes and no I don't beat them or yell at them either. Most of the time, and I think we all admited to it, that when we are frustrated it is OUR mistakes that makes us that way. I don't think you need another breed, John.

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Ouch! I believe that you've read much too much into my question! I do crate my dogs when I get angry. I have never hit my dogs when angry at them (or for any other reason). I have never yelled out of control at my dogs. I spend some four to six hours a day, 7/7, walking, hiking, running, playing with them - they do get to see the better side of me most of the time, if not always. But, yes, I do, like so many other members who have responded to this topic, once in a while get angry. I've thoroughly enjoyed, up to now anyway, reading and, indirectly, participating in other members love of their dogs. And, sorry, but no way will I ever switch from BCs to any other breed. As far as "thinking"... well, isn't that why I posted the question to start with?

 

John

 

Sorry John, I don't know you and I am highly protective of dogs. I do not mean that you would hit them but I see too many situations. I was recently invited to observe a class by a professional fellow trainer who was demonstrating to several people that paid her to take a professional herding course. I watched her hit her dog with her stick and yell at it for not taking a command. She gave the command again and the dog refused. She threw her stick at the dog and yelled at it again. I turned around and left as she was explaining her method of forcing a dog to take a command. I sent her a letter. Let me be positive and hopefully helpful. I spend 24/7 with my dogs and much of that time has nothing to do with training. I put aside seperate time for training and crate the dogs prior to a training session. I am glad to see you spend so much time with your dogs. I always try to end a training session on a positve note. If a dog is not working well I use a correction command. If a dog stops working or has lost the desire to work in a session I stop the session. I will admit that at times I can be as frustrated as you. I will always stop a session regardless of how I feel on a command that I know the dog can and will do then I praise the dog and allow the dog time. It is important to have a correction command so the dog is fully aware of how you feel about performance and what you require. It is important to seperate training time from other time. It is important to always end a training session on a positive note. I always do something with the dogs after training such as running or playing, I play soccer with them often, they always win. This helps me get out my frustrations and helps the dogs associate that if they train and do their work they get to play. I am sorry, I am new to this board, I am a professional and I should act as one. I have worked with some of the top trainers and handlers in the world. I have much to offer from what I have learned. In the future I will stick to what I can offer in a positive manner. Please do not hesitate to post, if I can be helpful I will do so. I thank you for taking me to task and I thank you for giving your BC's a great home and the care and attention they require. I thank you for asking questions that will make your relationship with your dogs better. I trust we can be great board friends and help each other help our dogs. Thanks.

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My first dog was an angel who never set a wrong foot in her life. No one in his or her right mind could ever have been angry with Harley.

 

My second dog tries so hard to be good, and when he screws up, it isn't his fault. I have never been angry at Solo. The closest I have come is frustration when working him on sheep (because there, he is bullheaded) but I don't get mad at him. When he does really bad stuff, it's because he can't help it, and there's nothing to be angry about.

 

Between the two of them I think they taught me never to get angry with my dogs. Then again, I don't get angry much and I'm not a grudge-holder, either. It takes a lot to make me angry. My dogs have never come close.

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I definitely get angry and I don't think there's a thing in the world wrong with it. It's just an emotion.

 

What one does with the anger is the important point. As DTrain suggested, it's best to suppress the instinctive display (yelling, invading the dog's personal space in various ways, ect).

 

But it's okay to channel that anger into a thoughtful response to the situation, if needed. If a dog does not follow a command on livestock, it may need a shout to get its attention, or even something lobbed into its personal space. There's a difference between that and merely screaming or hitting in frustration.

 

I've found it helps me, as a very concrete thinker, to visualize the dog going wrong, and myself reacting to that. First, that reduces the surprise and anger which comes from feeling "betrayed" (a perfectly natural feeling, though illogical of course). Second, it gives me the leisure to take a moment and channel my passion into a "good show" that will help the dog understand where it went wrong, and not shut his brain down.

 

For instance, Ted had this ridiculous habit of dashing away and barking at my livestock guardian dog. I have no idea why - they have never done a thing to him, and he's done it since he was a tiny puppy. I couldn't do a thing to stop it. I got to where I was tense all the time when we were out, staring at him and yelling at the first sign of reacting to the guard dog. So it became a game where Ted would actually expand his reactivity - he'd react further and further away to try to anticipate my interference.

 

But I got the idea at a recent Jack Knox clinic, about instead of staring at the dog and trying to predict when he'd go wrong, I would literally look at the spot where the bad thing would happen, and ignore anything that happened before that.

 

Then, the next time Ted dashed away, I was looking at the dog instead of Ted, and I saw what he was seeing - and I got a countercommand (recall) out before Ted had taken a step (which Ted ignored). Then I ran to the dog instead of at Ted, yelling as I went (channeling that anger!), and Ted immediately broke off and responded to the next recall.

 

The next time he came back on the first recall. And he's never done it since. Ted just had to know I trusted him.

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There are times when i get mad at my dogs so I put them away and am nice to them when I do it.

 

Then I reflect what I DID WRONG to make me angry.

 

Then I fix what I DID WRONG and we go back out and that seems to work.

 

Diane

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I did not train my best dog. He was fully trained when I got him and I learned a few things from him. It was a little frustrating at first. He would do things differently than I and at times it would frustrate me. I even thought at one point that we would not be a good team. It occured to me that I may be looking for perfection in him without knowing him. I assumed the mistakes he was making where my fault. Working from that point of view I could not display anger or frustration in any fashion. I gave the dog the space to work on his own mostly and watched him very carefully. I asked a fellow trainer to watch us work together and comment. I quickly realized that the dog was not making mistakes. He was simply doing things by the way he had been trained and sometimes for example would do a come-bye when I asked for an away. My friend commented that the dog was not wrong and there was a chance he was responding to the situation the way his trainer would have worked and therefore was just doing the job the way he was used to. He in fact was doing everything perfectly just not my way. My fieind who is a far more advanced trainer than I also commented that the dog was making better choices than I was in some cases. This was a relief, I certainly could not get angry with the dog, I could not display anger at myself and I could learn something from the dog. I began to work with the dog in close quarters and my friend attended many sessions. We would end every session on a high note, I would praise the dog and spend some play time with him. To make a long story short. We now work together perfectly to my satisfaction and the dogs. I learned to be a better handler from a dog. We are attached like glue and I never feel the slighest frustration when working with him. Work is relaxed and fun. He takes a correction command perfectly and I allow him the space to think and decide. This became and is the most rewarding thing I have ever done. I watch other handlers yell and scream and repeat commands and work in a frenzy and frustration. Lie down, lie down, lie down, it makes me crazy. I spend more time now watching dogs as I do other handlers.

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