Am I too laid back?

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Am I too laid back?

This is a discussion on Am I too laid back? within the Introductions forums, part of the DogForum Community Welcome category; I lived in England for 49 years and had a fair few dogs, and I always did my best to train them, took them to ...

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Old 11-24-2016, 01:19 PM
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Am I too laid back?

I lived in England for 49 years and had a fair few dogs, and I always did my best to train them, took them to classes, kept them under control to the point of them almost having no freedom at all. It was necessary because we had close neighbors, but I never really liked it.

We moved to Bulgaria in 2005, to live in the middle of nowhere. The Bulgarian attitude to dogs is they are either on chains 24/7 or allowed to roam free at all times. We've acquired no end of dogs since we came here, if I see a sick or injured one in the street I just have to bring it home. But there have been so many that I just ran out of time to deal with them all and let them go their own way. I've never made any attempt to train them, and yet they all learned to behave well very quickly, possibly by copying the other dogs. I understand that I have a much easier environment for them, I don't have to worry about neighbors complaining if they bark (which they don't much), but I can't help wondering what effect the freedom has on them.

Several ex-pat friends have been disapproving of my attitude, yet they have problems with their dogs that I never have.

Three months ago a Karakachan joined us, uninvited, but welcome all the same. My other dogs were terrified of him at first but I just said 'Tough, he needs a home and he's staying' and they just shrugged and said 'Oh well, ok then", and there's been no trouble. My dogs follow my lead, if I'm relaxed, they are relaxed.

I think what I'm struggling to say here is that we can make too much of new members in the home. We are so busy trying to take control and ward off any hassle that we lose sight of the fact that just leaving everyone to their own devices just might let them express their own personality and settle in on their own terms. Of course we have to be in control, but maybe letting them think they are in control pays dividends. It seems to work for me anyway.

Lynsey
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Old 11-25-2016, 09:38 PM
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I wonder if since many of the dogs you have taken in were free to roam and in doing so, learned how to coexist with their peers rather than in other countries where the dogs are so much more isolated from each other because of leashes, fences, tethered etc. and are more apt to not get along?

I also wonder if dogs that a live on the street and truly have to compete for their next meal and then find themselves under your care and the competition is eliminated, might be just as you are, relaxed and less stress?

The only thing your ex-pat friends could accuse you of is being very generous with all the dogs you have looked after.

I think your premise has merit to it and you lead with expectations of coexistence and an attitude to match.
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Old 11-26-2016, 08:47 AM
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Do you have a large property now? That might be the difference. As you said, in England, you had close neighbors. I think when dogs have enough space it makes a difference

I was thinking about my grandparents' farm in Ireland. Always had about 5 dogs wandering about. Collies and small terriers. No training! My grandfather would have laughed at the idea of that LOL. The collies worked with him and the animals and the terriers chased small things I guess. The dogs were as happy as could be and were also very good with kids and stuff.

In my real life, what I see are average families (not the super dog people like you see on this board!) getting dog breeds that are a completely mismatch to their actual lifestyles because they like the way the dog looks. And then there are problems, trainers, the whole nine yards. I would like to see more people get more real about the breed before they go get one. I think that could solve most of the problems I see.

Ok off my soapbox!

Last edited by KateBren; 11-26-2016 at 08:49 AM.
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Old 11-28-2016, 12:29 PM
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Hi Drivedog and KateBren, thanks for the replies

We do have a lot of land, and there's also a 200 acre field right outside where they can roam to their heart's content with no one to complain.

I'm just glad they do manage to get along because it's like a revolving door around here, there always seems to be another one arriving and if they didn't get on I'd be a nervous wreck lol

Lynsey
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Old 11-28-2016, 02:24 PM
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That's so nice
I would love to have that much open space
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