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I would love a mentor dog for Sisko, but I don't know of any or anyone馃槩 Dax would have been an awesome mentor dog for Sisko. Maybe when we start training I could ask the trainer about it? Or when we take group lessons, talk to some other owners and see if we can help each other? What if there was a program of people who had very well trained dogs and met up with people with their un-trained/dog in training?? I think that would be awesome!!
 

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I have long thought that there should be a bank of kind, well adjusted dogs available to help socialise puppies - mentor dogs for adults is an excellent idea. Many dog behaviourists are helped by their own dogs, I believe, although I have known a lot of trainers' dogs who have become rather reactive around other dogs. I suspect they reached the point of getting fed up with dealing with rude behaviour, and decided life was more peaceful if they made it clear they were not going to cooperate!

Sophy has acted as a mentor for small dogs - one little rescue dog in particular who was very anxious and nervous. Sophy is very good at keeping her distance and letting a nervous dog approach in its own time, while also modelling confident polite behaviour around other dogs and humans, and the little dog was noticeably more relaxed at the end of the walk than the beginning.
 

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Our trainer has brought her very dog social dog out for some play sessions. He's really neat to watch. He's obviously much more mature than our crew of crazy adolescents, but he's also just naturally good at keeping things calm.

Once you get into group classes, you'll start to identify the dogs that would be a good match for Sisko and can set up some play dates or side-by-side walks.
 

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I can lend you Annie - she can teach Sisko about how to go wild for squirrels?
To be honest though, i feel the same. My mom's dog isn't a great mentor as she is very anxious, but I find myself missing our old St. Bernard. She would have been an excellent mentor for Annie, just as she was to Trixie. She had, well, the patience of a Saint, would stand and gently hold a toy while the tiny yorkie puppie tugged and thrashed, and massively boosted her confidence. I remember mom babysitting the St. for a month, in which time the dog taught the very anxious Trixie how to pee outside (she was very hard to potty train), trust humans, come when called, sit for treats, play with toys, etc, etc. The same dog trained my friends dog to tolerate bigger dogs (calmly standing and waiting for the dog to stop attacking her and start playing). So much of dog culture is taught by older dogs. We call it "learning how to be a dog". I think it's a major benefit to a 2 dog household.
 

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fjm that's an interesting observation about trainers' dogs. I know two of the three trainers we have worked with have dogs that are somewhat reactive. I recently heard a trainer say that he refused to let his dogs be used for desensitization work with reactive dogs because it's unkind. He said we wouldn't like being forced to interact with people that behaved that way, and dogs don't like it either. There may be truth to that thought.

But for non-aggressive and non-reactive dogs, I think mentors can be great. I love when Misha gets to be around well adjusted dogs that can give him a good correction if he gets annoying. I think they're more useful for puppies because puppies' brains are like sponges. But adults can learn too.
 

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Two of my neighbors have very reactive dogs. They've been taking the dogs on socially distanced walks together. Initially they walked parallel on opposite sides of the street. The dogs, as expected, went nuts. The owners just ignored the outbursts. After a couple of weeks of daily walks the dogs got used to seeing the other dog across the street. At that point the owners started moving closer, gradually diminishing the distance as the dogs got more comfortable in each other's presence. It hasn't made either dog less reactive around new dogs, but at least they're stopped freaking out when they encounter each other.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have long thought that there should be a bank of kind, well adjusted dogs available to help socialise puppies - mentor dogs for adults is an excellent idea. Many dog behaviourists are helped by their own dogs, I believe, although I have known a lot of trainers' dogs who have become rather reactive around other dogs. I suspect they reached the point of getting fed up with dealing with rude behaviour, and decided life was more peaceful if they made it clear they were not going to cooperate!

Sophy has acted as a mentor for small dogs - one little rescue dog in particular who was very anxious and nervous. Sophy is very good at keeping her distance and letting a nervous dog approach in its own time, while also modelling confident polite behaviour around other dogs and humans, and the little dog was noticeably more relaxed at the end of the walk than the beginning.
That's an excellent thought! That's really interesting. I think you're right about that. I would get fed up too if I had to deal with rude behavior from other dogs all the time! Wouldn't you?

Awwww, that's so sweet and awesome! Good girl Sophy馃挆
 

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Our trainer has brought her very dog social dog out for some play sessions. He's really neat to watch. He's obviously much more mature than our crew of crazy adolescents, but he's also just naturally good at keeping things calm.

Once you get into group classes, you'll start to identify the dogs that would be a good match for Sisko and can set up some play dates or side-by-side walks.
Wow馃ぉ hahaha! Our crew of crazy adolescents馃槀 he sounds like an awesome dog! What breed is he?

Okay, thank you! Do I just approach them and ask if they would like to set up play dates and or side-by-side walks? This will be something I have never done before.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I can lend you Annie - she can teach Sisko about how to go wild for squirrels?
To be honest though, i feel the same. My mom's dog isn't a great mentor as she is very anxious, but I find myself missing our old St. Bernard. She would have been an excellent mentor for Annie, just as she was to Trixie. She had, well, the patience of a Saint, would stand and gently hold a toy while the tiny yorkie puppie tugged and thrashed, and massively boosted her confidence. I remember mom babysitting the St. for a month, in which time the dog taught the very anxious Trixie how to pee outside (she was very hard to potty train), trust humans, come when called, sit for treats, play with toys, etc, etc. The same dog trained my friends dog to tolerate bigger dogs (calmly standing and waiting for the dog to stop attacking her and start playing). So much of dog culture is taught by older dogs. We call it "learning how to be a dog". I think it's a major benefit to a 2 dog household.
I would take her馃槅! Oh, no, I'm sorry to hear that. Awwwww, that's amazing! That made me tear up a little馃槩 That's so true about dog culture.
 

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Wow馃ぉ hahaha! Our crew of crazy adolescents馃槀 he sounds like an awesome dog! What breed is he?

Okay, thank you! Do I just approach them and ask if they would like to set up play dates and or side-by-side walks? This will be something I have never done before.
I believe he's pit/border collie and maybe something else. He was a rescue from Hawaii and extremely challenging, but she's done beautiful work with him. He definitely landed in the right home.

Once classes get up and running, you can strike up conversations with the other owners. I'm sure some of them will be looking for playmates for their dogs, too. And you can also ask your trainer if he or she can recommend some well-matched pals for Sisko.

Our trainer played matchmaker for us, and now we do weekly playdates. Side-by-side walks would also be great, but that's kind of what classes are like. Gosh, I miss them.
 

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I believe he's pit/border collie and maybe something else. He was a rescue from Hawaii and extremely challenging, but she's done beautiful work with him. He definitely landed in the right home.

Once classes get up and running, you can strike up conversations with the other owners. I'm sure some of them will be looking for playmates for their dogs, too. And you can also ask your trainer if he or she can recommend some well-matched pals for Sisko.

Our trainer played matchmaker for us, and now we do weekly playdates. Side-by-side walks would also be great, but that's kind of what classes are like. Gosh, I miss them.
Awesome, I'm glad he has a good home馃榿

Okay, thank you.

Wow, your trainer sounds like the best!
 
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