Life with Sampson and Delilah….The 411


Everyone knows Delilah’s on a long leash.  It’s a pain in the bum walking in the woods with a dog on a leash.  None of the people who walk their dogs in our woods likes to walk with me because of the way I train my dogs.

None of them use treats, none of them use leashes.  There is no boo-hooing on my part, those are the facts.  The truth of the matter is, I don’t like the way any of them train their dogs either, so I’m quite content walking with my dogs.

By myself.

While on our Saturday walk we ran into Brady and his mom, ‘S.’   After a few minutes we ran into the dog trainer, ‘B.’

Trust me the irony of the ‘B’ and ‘S’ initials are not lost on me.  But those are really the initials of their first names.

‘B’ usually has at least six dogs with her, she’s told me before her car can’t hold more than six.  Some of these dogs are hers and I believe some of them are fosters.

‘B’ and ‘S’ were talking on the walk and ‘B’ said, adoption fees have gone up to $450.00 so she was not going to do it anymore.

I said, it’s better than paying a breeder thousands of dollars.

She countered that most of the dogs she gets are results of people not spaying their animals. (I’ll give her that, I have no idea where she gets her dogs from.)

We reached a turn in the path and ‘S’ and I, along with Sampson, Delilah and Brady made the turn.  Up ahead of us, was one of ‘B’s’ dogs.

B’s dog was up past where Sampson is in the photo, while B was further back than I was.

‘B’ stood at the beginning of the trail and said, he doesn’t see me.

‘S’ said go ahead and call him ‘B.’

‘B’ turned and went the other way.

It was at this point that I had called Delilah to me, and Sampson, Brady and ‘B’s’ dog all came running.  While I was doling out treats we were joined by another one of her dogs.  They traveled with us for a short distance and then they went off.

‘S’ and I stopped to chat about Brady’s behavior and how she was going to take the advice of the dog trainer at Cabella’s and jack his electric collar up because she was tired of his behavior.

Naturally I lodged my protest, but it fell on deaf ears.

‘B’ then arrived with four of her dogs, the other two still  MIA.

None of ‘B’s dogs wear collars and unless they’re chipped, they have no identification on them what-so-ever, in fact I’m not even sure they are registered with the town.  So if someone found these dogs, they would more than likely call animal control.

‘S’ said the trainer at Cabella’s (who by the way does this for free) said her dog cannot sleep on her bed with her, he must sleep on the floor, maybe even in his crate because otherwise she is not the pack leader.

‘B’ started on about a dog being passive-aggressive.  Her example was a dog jumps up on the couch and comes over and puts his paw on your shoulder.  In his mind he’s elevating himself above you, but he’s not being aggressive.

Personally I don’t believe dogs are capable of that particular thought process.

But I played Sergeant Shultz, I said nothing.

The talk then turned to her two missing dogs and she said, they chose to travel with the wrong pack, we went off to a party and they spent the time stressed and anxious.  They’ll think twice next time.

I know when you are training a dog off-leash you play a lot of hide-n-seek.  Where you pop around a tree and wait a few seconds for your dog to ‘find’ you.  This was not hide-n-seek.  She left those dogs for a full five to seven minutes.

I said, it doesn’t matter to Delilah, she’s gotten stuck before but that won’t stop her from running off.

‘B’ said, well she trained you a long time ago.

Talk about a passive-aggressive statement.  It ticked me off so bad I wanted to rip off her arm and beat her over the head with it.

There’s no passive in that aggression.

(Yes her dogs did show up.  Apparently they went to wait for her by the car and returned to her when they heard her voice.)

Comments on: "Passive-Aggressive" (49)

  1. Hey, got a WTF for you. Check out my post for today its about dog left on mountain in Colorado. Unbelievable!!

  2. Wow Jodi – I can see why this experience was so aggravating. And yes, the B.S. fits perfectly. Don’t let people like that get you down. I think the work you are doing with Delilah is awesome, and just because is difficult or hard headed doesn’t mean they are “training you” – they just have a mind of their own. Shock collars rather than long line training, and dominance theories too. How frustrating. 😦 No wonder you prefer to walk alone.

    • As much as I believe in what I am doing, there are times like that where a comment can make me doubt myself. Not about the collar at all, but about her saying I was trained. No matter how you look at it, those words were meant to be hurtful and there is no reason for that! Poor dogs. Yes, I prefer to walk alone. 🙂

  3. Wow. I believe in teaching dogs what is right and wrong – but the whole dominance thing to me is silly. I am a strong believer in POSITIVE reinforcement. I don’t think I would like her very much 😦 Keep on doing what you are doing – it will only build the bond that you and your dogs share!!

    • I agree Julie. I would prefer a bond with my dog and I’m hoping they will see me in the future and realize that I did the right thing.

  4. Um, yeah… wow. That whole conversation would have made me cringe too. Absolutely ridiculous – pack leader nonsense and an electric collar? Shudder.

  5. They seem to be textbook on silly dog ideas. Don’t let the BS get you down.

  6. And that my friend is why these ecollars get a bad rap… free advice from store employees who probably have no experience beyond their own dog. So much of training is based off of the individual job, and the owner who handles said dog… There is no one way to do things. What I don’t like is when the owners choices are obviously not safe for the dogs, but for the sake of the “method” they still do it.

    Chances are if they are having to “crank it up” there is something missing in either the training and communication or the actual collar is not on correctly. SOOO many times people just don’t have it tight enough to make consistent contact and thus allows a clearer line of communication. So they blame the dog, when really it is a human error.

    You have heard me say it before, to each their own with their styles of training. If it works and the dog is safe then there is no point getting upset about it, and sometimes it just means training discussions are not even brought up between certain people. Sucks but dog training is kinda like politics, some people just can’t even discuss while being civil. As you found, often they are set in their ways and won’t hear anything… don’t take it personally, this is kinda the very reason i am quickly becoming fed up with the training world and am ready to switch occupations so I am not seen as “the trainer” and can just enjoy my dogs.

    Sounds like what you are doing works for you and your pups, so just gotta let people be who they are… SO much easier said than done though.

    • Thanks Anna, I suspect the collar does not work for him because she hasn’t taught him what she expects from him. And since he doesn’t know what she wants, he just blows her off. Plus she is not consistent with using the collar. She only uses it at certain times which I don’t believe is the correct way.

      Sadly some people won’t hear anything else besides what they want to hear. 😦

      I’m sorry you feel discouraged and are thinking of leaving the field, but I do know you will enjoy spending more times with your dogs. 🙂

  7. It’s frustrating hearing other peoples’ opinions of how to train dogs… especially if they’re so very different from your own, like them. It’s even more frustrating to know that most of them don’t have any interest in changing the way they train their dogs, even if it would be just as effective. And passive aggressive? Dogs are smart and caring… but not necesssarily smart enough to be passive aggressive, or interested enough to want to be.

  8. This reminds me of the time I got in a shouting match with a lady who let her four dogs off-leash in an on-leash park. While she walked laps, wearing headphones. They descended on poor fearful Silas and scared him half to death. Everywhere we went, they followed us. When I finally got her attention and asked her to take her dogs away because they were scaring him, she called me a “neurotic b*tch.”

    • Don’t you love people like that? Can’t accept any of the responsibility for their actions instead they resort to calling people names.

      I hope Silas is okay!

  9. I use to believe in the whole dominance/pack leader because everyone pushed it on me. Now I believe the truth, that my dogs rest their head on my shoulders because they love me:)

    • And because they’re really big dogs and they can. LMAO

      I agree with you Jen. Perhaps they just don’t have the right dogs yet to show them the right way. 🙂

  10. Hey Sampson, Hey Delilah, Jetty here. Hi Miss Jodi.

    From Mom…

    Wow, reminds me of the comments I received and still receive when I chose to parent in ways other than the traditional. (trying homeopathics, or positive reinforcement on, just stick her in the car with her pjs, she’ll learn, shove her in the car and MAKE HER GO and on…)

    Shock collars make me squirm, consequences? really? I, like you, do not believe K9s think in that way. Forcing, strong-arming… while I’m sure that can work to a degree, however, I choose to have a different relationship with my K9s.

    Everyone can do what feels right to them, however, I’m all about sleeping with whichever felines and K9s wish to join me! I waited over 4 decades to share my world with a K9, I want a loving and well mannered (for the most part…!) relationship.

    • Jetty, you have a very wise mom. You are very lucky to have found her. 🙂 And I totally agree with her.

      Yes, those that don’t believe tend to scoff at those who do.

      • Thanks Miss Jodi. She said we’re lucky to have found each other!

        Indeed… good vocab word… scoff!

        Mom tries to put out good intentions and remain strong on the inside.

  11. Frankie Furter and Ernie said:

    BS fur SURE!!! Best not to walk with that group.

  12. Sounds like they’re fun drainers! What a way to bring down a fun walk. You do the training that works best for your dog. Unfortunately, there will always be people out there that know everything.

  13. I admire your self restraint Jodi! 🙂

  14. Gosh, I really do live in a bubble. All of the dog owning people in my life right now believe in positive based methods. I don’t even know what I would say to a friend who started talking about jacking up her dog’s e-collar. That’s so tough. I just assumed that this was the trend, that aversive trainers were becomming more rare. Maybe that’s not true at all.

    Anyway, this all doesn’t explain why people don’t like walking with Delilah on a leash. I don’t get that train of thought at all. If she’s on a leash she won’t go missing for fifteen minutes, forcing the entire group to spend the walk looking for her. A leash is what most dogs walk on. It’s the law in most places. What’s the big deal and how does that interfere with other peoples’ fun?

    • I think they don’t like walking with us because her leash gets in the way. If I’m bringing up the back she is usually ahead of me and people keep having to watch where her leash is.

      And trust me, known of them would stop and wait while I looked for my dog. I’m about the only one who walks up there who worries/cares what their dog is up to. I don’t let them get too far off because I want to see what their eating (hopefully nothing) and what they’re getting into. I don’t let them run around knocking people over.

      Sadly these people don’t think that way.

  15. I’m pissed for you and I wasn’t even there! Incredible restraint Jodi, what a beeotch.

  16. Technically Cabela’s guy is right. If dog is blowing off the trainer/collar you turn the collar up. The normal setting we use depends on the dog, but usually it is a low setting, unless the dog is blowing off the trainer. But remember it is for an already learned behavior. That may be what is missing here. If the dog does not know the command, then zapping away is of no use and is in fact cruel. I also do not think walking with other dogs is the way to train e-collar or no.

    I also agree with Cabela’s trainer that if you have a particularly dominant dog, then there is no sleeping on bed or on the couch. They need to understand that they are below the humans or you can end up with an uncontrollable dog on your hands. Not all dogs, but certain dogs and certain breeds. Our Chessies are in fact always treated as dogs because to do otherwise might get us an animal that we do not want. As a pup Thunder used to try to dominate me all of the time. However, I did not allow it and he is the sweetest dog. If I had let him slide, I am not sure he would be the dog he is today.

    I think $450 is very expensive for a rescue. You can buy a nice lab with health clearances for that. I am bothered by the big business that rescue is becoming. Soon few will be able to afford these dogs.

    A pet peeve of mine is off lead dogs. At HRC tests it is rampant. OK so these dogs are highly trained, but they still do not belong off lead when not working! But my reply to B about Delilah training you would have been “You are here less 2 dogs who have gone out of sight to do their own thing. Just who has been trained?”

    • I really think she hasn’t taught the dog what she expects from him. She told me herself that when they bought the collar the guy told her if you want the easy way use this. She hasn’t put any really training into him and he therefore does not know what she expects from him.

      She is also not consistent with him wearing the collar. Sometimes he had it on and sometimes he doesn’t. He has never really been trained. 😦

      I tried explaining this to her, but it falls on deaf ears. She wants the easy fix and will crank it up and probably get a dog that is even worse behaved than he is now.

      Yes the rescues are becoming expensive. Everything is going up in price. I do not know where you will find a nice lab with health clearances for that price. Certainly not in CT!

      I think you are very on top of your dogs and know the breed very well. It is sad that more people don’t take the time to educate themselves.

      I’m surprised the people putting on the hunt tests allow the dogs to be off-leash.

      And believe it or not, I do not like confrontations. I avoid them at all costs, I would never argue with B, for one thing she’s a sandwich short of a picnic and for another I don’t want to waste energy. 🙂

      Someday I hope to meet your dogs.

      • E collar on – e collar off is the absolute worse thing you can do when training. It sounds like the woman has no idea. Did you mention she was a trainer? Too many people think they are trainers.

        At hunt tests, usually it is the labs which are off lead around where the cars are parked or the hotel parking lots. We were at an AKC test recently, when the judges had to tell a pro to put her dog back on lead. Crazy!

        I know a lot of lab breeders. Depends on the breeding, but yes, you can get a nice dog for 450 or 500. Even if you had to pay 600 or 700, the little extra for clearances, correct temperament, working ability, structure, etc. are worth it vs. 450 for something unknown. I think rescues miss the boat when they charge so much, unless the rescue dog’s lineage is known. I would not pay 450 for a rescue.

  17. Sometimes the best way to lead is by example. What an example to train, train, train with Delilah. Not only do you get a beautifully behaved dog but you can say “na na na na boo boo” to B and S (at least inside).

    When you get them coming to you for training advice, you’ll have the last laugh. 🙂

  18. I think Anna and 2 Brown Dawgs both make some good points about the e-collar. If her dog has not been collar conditioned correctly then she can zap that poor dog all day long and it will not do any good. Just by what you write I feel sorry for her dogs.

    On the whole dominance and Alpha thing, well it probably does depend on the breed but I do let my dogs sleep with me but not until they are a little older and Jen said it, when they put their head on my shoulder I know it is because they love me and I believe my dogs do respect me as the leader. How do I know this, well I have seen them on many occasions look to me for direction. Are my dogs the best behaved, absolutely NOT but I have been complimented many times for how well they behave especially when I have 2 females together. I don’t think we can expect our dogs to be 100% good all the time after all they are dogs not humans, of course I know some humans that could learn a little obedience from the dogs…LOL

    I agree with the others who said there is no one way to train that is universal, you need to tailor your training to what works for you and your dog and Jodi my dear you have done that with Delilah so don’t let the B,S get you down 🙂

    • They did make some good points Misty and forgive me for not writing that same response here. LOL Please go back up and read what I wrote to them. It is getting late and I want to lie in bed with my dog’s head on my shoulder. 🙂

      And thank you for the support, it means a lot.

  19. Reading your post makes me forever grateful that I was a part of the local dog training group when they turned to positive methods so I had a bunch of people around who thought like I did. I would walk by myself too.

  20. Keep up the good work!!!!! and deep calming breaths would be good as I would hate to see you on the news for beating someone over their head with their own arm!! BOL

  21. People like that annoys the life out of me, the park where I take Doggy to play is full of “trainers”, telling you the do’s and don’t’s and then you look at their dogs jumping on people, humping kids, hard to keep your cool with them.

    • LOL Oh yes, the ones who think they know everything. You gotta laugh, if you didn’t you’d be beating them over the head with their own arms. 🙂

  22. […] post from Jodi Stone got me thinking about our local dog-owning […]

  23. Stick to you guns in terms of what you’ve been doing with your dogs. The woman with the 6 dogs sounds like a crazy train wreck and I feel badly for her dogs. You’re a much bigger person than I am to have let that passive aggressive comment slide…. people can say anything to me or about me and I’ll let it go, but if anyone says anything remotely disparaging or critical about me and Mazzie, the gloves come off and that person is getting an EARFUL from me!

  24. People like that annoy the ever living eff out of me – not because the training methods differ. I am used to that because any issues SHE is having are the DOG’S fault and any issues YOU were having we’re clearly YOUR fault in her eyes. I honestly feel sorry for the people who don’t realize how good things can be when your dogs look to you for direction, not when they fear what you’ll do if they don’t. For me, if I can train my dogs without force, perhaps I shouldn’t have dogs. I wouldn’t want to train any other way

  25. […] Passive Aggressive – Author’s Note […]

  26. […] This is the same woman I mentioned in my Passive-Aggressive post. […]

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