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July 29, 2010
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Not The Dog's Fault Stamp by Soulful-Purple-Wolf Not The Dog's Fault Stamp by Soulful-Purple-Wolf
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I have a thing about training dogs. I'm not going to say that I am a perfect dog owner or a perfect dog trainer. Not at all. I've been raising service dogs for 5 years now, and my two pet dogs have atrocious manners; from eating off the table to begging and other bad habits.

I dunno, I just felt I needed to post a stamp about this because some people only blame the dog for it's mistakes and they do not take into account that the dog is learning from every experience.

Example? You leave a piece of bread on the table. You leave the room. Dog steals the bread off the table. You come back and scold the dog. Okay fine, this process makes sense. But what is the dog going to do the next time? Steal the bread! Why? Because you are not monitoring the dog. If you were able to catch the dog in the act every time and scold it just by saying Don't in a stern voice, you'd be surprised how well it works. But once the dog picks up this nasty habit, it is really hard to break.

Another example? Dog has to go out. Dog looks at you. You pet dog. Dog still has to go out. Dog pees on the floor. You scold dog. NO! It is not the dog's fault that it had to go out and you didn't take the time to do so! It is also not the dog's fault when you are gone for long periods of time and the dog pees on the floor. When a dog is a puppy, you need to take it out every hour on the hour so that it learns to go outside. But it is YOUR responsibility to watch the dog and make sure that it doesn't need to go out.

Overall, the Dog's manners are dependent on you. This goes for Fighting Dogs too. If the dog was not raised to fight, the dog would not do this!

One problem with this stamp, is if you have a rescue dog, then it is the previous owner's fault. Which is why the dog was rescued in the first place. Good for you for taking on a challenge!

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Flameshadow117 Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yes! But slightly no? =P I think a really good trainer can train a dog to be whatever way they want, but certain dogs are by nature more inclined toward things like fear, aggression, barking, chasing, etc. It's like, you could take a completely untrained Newfoundland and a border collie, and put them in a field with sheep, and I can tell you which one, with no prior exposure to sheep, is more likely to go chase those sheep. If you had a wolf-dog, you'd be more likely to see fear or aggression because of the higher levels of adrenaline wolves have. Obviously dogs aren't wolves, but you could imagine it's possible to breed a dog with high adrenaline.  

I just don't think it's fair to say ALL a dog's problems are ENTIRELY from the owner. Obviously, a good owner will mitigate any genetic predispositions with training and socialization, but sometimes dogs just act a certain way and it's hard to convince them not to. 

But, yeah, don't blame the dog. Anything a dog does is either because YOU taught it to, intentionally or not, or because it's an ANIMAL not a perfect little furry human. It astounds me, having also worked with exotic animals, that if a parrot or an iguana or a chinchilla bites you, any animal handler will say it's your fault, you're the human, you need to respect the animal. But if a dog bites someone, it's all, "Bad dog! That was unacceptable behavior! Time to punish the dog!!!" 
Soulful-Purple-Wolf Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I can definitely see where you're coming from :) thanks for your thoughts!
sassawj Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2013
I do really love this stamp, this is very true for the most part and I agree with almost all of it, but like another has already mentioned - not all traits can be trained out as they are bred / hardwired into the dog, and I think it may be a good choice to change some of the wording around, if you do not mind me suggesting. You said: "Overall, the Dog's manners are dependent on you. This goes for Fighting Dogs too. If the dog was not raised to fight, the dog would not do this!"
That statement is untrue and I will explain why, whether you are already well educated in this area or not, I just want to thoroughly describe what the error is in that statement for not only you but for anyone else that may read my comment, because I feel it is important to emphasize how temperament and other traits cannot be changed with any amount of socialization and training.

Explanation: Temperament is something that is often inherited, be it a desirable temperament that is stable, or a poor, unstable temperament; only irresponsible / "backyard" breeders would ever breed a dog that has an unstable temperament and the potential of having any level of aggression. That being said, there are other traits in dogs that are bred into them such as instinct and drive, going way back to when groups of alike dogs were first developed and accounted for as established purebred breeds with distinct features to create ideal working dogs for a purpose.
The Border Collie is born with a high prey drive and the instincts needed to become a herding dog, even if a Border Collie was never introduced to herding livestock and has been raised solely as a pet - point being, training is not needed to bring out an instinct in a dog special to its breed, it is naturally hardwired into the dog from the very beginning of its life. The Whippet was bred for racing and hare coursing, the breed has a high prey drive and the instinct to hunt, a Whippet will naturally chase down a small animal it spots in the yard, even if the dog has been trained properly and has been socialized with smaller animals - point being, no amount of training could ever eliminate or change the Whippet's drive to chase

Point Being: Now that I gave those two examples, let me move on to the real point of my comment here concerning your statement "if the dog was not raised to fight, the dog would not do this": To put it in short instead of writing several more unnecessary paragraphs that no one wants to read - the American Pit Bull Terrier was bred for tenacity, fearlessness, drive, gameness and of course aggression, these dogs are natural born fighters, just as a Border Collie is a natural born herder, the Whippet is a natural born hunter, the Great Pyrenees is a natural born guardian and the Golden Retriever is a natural born retriever; animal aggression is a trait that has been bred into the APBT and comes natural to them, and no amount of training can change that - which is why I had to say that the statement "if the dog was not raised to fight, the dog would not do this" is untrue, as even an APBT born and raised as a pet by a responsible owner that has trained the dog well, that dog still can have some level of animal / dog aggression and the drive to fight and the gameness to finish the fight

Anyway, again, I love this stamp, I just now added it to the front page of my group %stopBSL; also, I will repeat, even if you are already perfectly aware of everything I wrote here, I still wanted to post this comment anyway should another person read my comment and learn something from it that they hadn't known before. And I really hope that you do not mind my post, also I am sorry that this was so long! :)
Soulful-Purple-Wolf Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I'm gonna have to disagree with you on the level that American Pit Bull Terriers (or Pits) are "natural born fighters." That is the point of view that is causing Breed Specific Legislation, so I'm not sure why you are running a group that claims "to demote the undeserved stereotypes among man's best friend, the dog." Not all Pits want to fight and kill other dogs. There are goldens that want to fight other dogs, and there's lazy whippets who don't want to chase things. You CANNOT stereotype a dog based on their breed. You can only get an idea of the dog based on the breed.

I understand you have your point of view, but Pits are NOT inherently dangerous. The desire to maul doesn't run through their veins. Their jaws do not lock. I know 4 Pits personally, all were adopted. 1 is dog aggressive, and the other 3 are not. With those odds, I'd say that the first dog's experiences before being adopted probably had more to do with his dog aggression than his breeding, especially since he isn't even pure Pit, he's half lab. The other 3 are pure Pit and love to play with other dogs. In addition, that aggressive pit LEARNED TO LIVE WITH ANOTHER DOG. Dogs can be trained out of bad habits if you work with them and help them along.

There is no scientific data stating that Pit Bull Type Dogs are more likely to bite, or be dog aggressive than a Golden or a Poodle. Yes, we hear more about Pits attacking people, because that's what the news wants to share. They will tell informants to only tell them of bites if the dog is a Pit or Pit-type dog.

Yes, I'm all for responsible breeding, but the breeding is not the main factor in a dog's personality. Just like a kid, if the kid is born of irresponsible parents, and then is removed from the bad environment, then there's a significantly higher chance the kid will not be like his birth parents. If we left that kid with his irresponsible parents, he will do what they do.

Do not assume that Pits bred to fight cannot make good pets. I'll bet 90%-99% of the pits seen in shelters are bred for the ring. Don't cast them away because they were "bred to fight."

I know retrievers who don't retrieve, APBTs who aren't aggressive, Huskies who hate running, and Rotties who don't guard. Just because a dog is designed to do something, doesn't mean that they will be that way. You must look at the individual, not the breed. I'm very aware that I will not change your mind, but I want to make it very clear to my viewers that I do not agree with your position. You're welcome to have it, but I do not think it truly fits with your group.
sassawj Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2013
Well, unfortunately you are wrong, but that is probably because I feel you did not quite see the point that I was attempting to make concerning genetics, temperament and distinctive traits that set breeds apart from one another, going back far as when these breeds first originated for a sole purpose before they became companion animals and members of the family, and I am speaking strictly about dog breeds as a whole because in general dogs will meet their breeds standards in having distinctive traits in temperament and instinct special to their breed, though I think it is a little too obvious that there is always an exception to the rule based on the dog's individuality, but I am solely speaking about the breeds, not the individual dogs. Simply put, the APBT is prone to dog / animal aggression, which is a natural trait found in their breed, just as the instinct to chase down small game is a natural trait found in most hunting breeds; yes there are exceptions, some dogs bred for a specific purpose do not quite fit the breed standards in temperament and other traits that were bred into that individual's breed for a purpose, but what you need to understand is dog / animal aggression is simply a natural trait in the APBT whether  an individual displays such aggression or not.

Pointing out that this breed or that breed has very specific traits that make them distinguished is not stereotyping, it is stating factual information in terms of how their breed came to be and what their initial purpose was when first established through selective breeding of desirable traits to produce an ideal working dog, but I suppose I can understand why someone like you would accuse me of such. It is funny that while I state the fact that APBTs are prone to DA, it is considered a stereotype in your mind and those that are like you, but if I had said anything along the lines of APBTs making the greatest, most loyal dogs and absolute best family pets, you would immediately applaud that statement even though that could be looked at as stereotyping as well, it just does not bother any pit bull advocates because it is something positive about APBTs.

Never did I state that APBTs are "more likely to bite" because that simply is not the case, never did I say "desire to maul runs through their veins" because it simply does not,  and never did I say APBTs are "inherently dangerous" because again that is not at all true either. Dog / animal aggression is a natural trait in the breed, also found in many other breeds, even some that are not related to the APBT, but that does not make them "inherently dangerous", and lastly never did I say that APBTs could not live with other dogs, because again that is not true, it is entirely possible for an APBT to share its home with other animals - I was speaking about the breed, generalizing it based on the generations of selective breeding to create the ideal fighting dog with all the traits, drive, gameness and tenacity desired for the breed when it was first coming into development; it just might have been a good idea to actually read what I wrote but in turn you had to accuse me of saying such absolute nonsense simply because I did not write another paragraph about what great pets APBTs are for the right family and living situation, but due to leaving that out you are clearly under the assumption that I have it out for pit bulls, when you do not quite see how stating the truths both positive and "negative" is responsible advocacy, and is really just being honest.

Openly admitting that the APBT has the potential to be dangerous just like any other large, powerful, high prey driven breed is not what has lead to breed-specific legislation, what that is called is being a responsible owner / breeder or advocate. Breed-specific laws came to be due to irresponsible breeding of dogs with poor temperaments and irresponsible owners of potential dangerous dogs that were denied proper training, socialization & / or kept under control, and it is the lack of knowledge, the misinformation and myths that adds fuel to the fire. Any responsible owner / breeder of an APBT that is well educated about their breed will concur that their dogs are potentially dangerous because of the breed's dog / animal aggression and drive to fight. BSL did not come about because of well informed dog enthusiasts being fully aware of APBTs being prone to dog aggression and having the potential to be dangerous, so your entire response to me was quite demeaning and harsh, stemming straight from your own misinformation, and again, misinformation is the problem here - not stating both positive and negative truths about the breed

This is actually an interesting read, it's very thought provoking:  thetruthaboutpitbulls.blogspot…

Now, what am I doing running a group against BSL, you ask? Unlike other advocates who have nothing but wonderful things to say about pit bulls, I on the other hand am happy to state both the good and bad traits in the APBT, I do the very same with every other breed yet not a soul could care, but dare I mention APBTs being prone to dog aggression it is the end of the world and I am made out to be the bad person! I run the group quite well with much success, thank you very much. But do not worry, I will remove your stamp from our front page because in our group we do not tolerate misinformation, and unfortunately this nice stamp does give out misinformation. But I can see my post took us nowhere and was entirely useless.  I honestly thought that there was a fair shot at having a decent discussion in an adult like manner and level heads, but I can see I was mislead here, being that I can clearly see that I struck a nerve here and upset you in the process, though it was not my intention. But I will not argue with you if you have to stoop down to such a level to accuse me of total bull; if anyone's point of view needs to be changed, it might be yours, and honestly it is point of views like yours that give pit bull advocates a bad reputation all their own. In any case, because "arguing" with you is a totally fruitless endeavor, I won't be responding any further, and I am very sorry that my comment upset you so much
Soulful-Purple-Wolf Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
just so you understand, I was not upset with you. I merely expressed my opinion. You're not going to change my mind, nor am I going to change yours. People are set in their ways and not much is going to change that except personal experiences.
i agree.
i hate how people stereotype dog breeds such as pittbulls and rottweilers over bad owners.
i own a rottweiler, and he's very sweet. there are more good owners than bad.
Soulful-Purple-Wolf Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I'm glad you agree :)
thank you. i'm glad someone spoke out for this. 
Soulful-Purple-Wolf Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You're welcome :)
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