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Dog cruelty?

Posted: Sun May 13, 2012 11:08 pm
by chickenchargrill
I'm having a wee debate over on Facebook and wondered what people's opinion were. Someone has likened Pudsey (from Britain's Got Talent) to a dancing bear. Saying it's the same amount of cruelty and one day it will be banned.

Now, personally, I have a border collie who was born and bred on a farm but unfortunately, or fortunately for us, couldn't herd sheep due to a severe case of border collie OCD *squirrel*. The person arguing the most on the thread clearly has no experience with that breed, or similar, who need to be kept busy, either through walks or training. I'd certainly feel like I was abusive to our Lulu if we didn't do training with her. At the same time, I can kind of see what the OP meant, as Pudsey did seem knackered after each performance, but then Pudsey has pleased her owner, which is pretty much what dogs want to do. Surely, training a working dog breed to do the job *we* bred them for is nowt but a trick anyway? Or is it cruel and we should just leave dogs to it?

Re: Dog cruelty?

Posted: Sun May 13, 2012 11:19 pm
by British Red
Huh?

Don't watch that sort of thing but did look up a video to understand. Nowt cruel about it - people have been training animals to do tricks - useful and otherwise - for millenia. At least the dog gets cmpanionship, interaction and some activity. Far less ignored than those lonely, inactive dispirited riding horses that I see that are so bored they chew the tanalised fencing. A young girl having fun with her dog - what could be more natural?

Red

Re: Dog cruelty?

Posted: Mon May 14, 2012 3:55 am
by oldjerry
That's really an imponderable.What's the difference between training a dog to amuse people as opposed to training say a dolphin to do it?

Re: Dog cruelty?

Posted: Mon May 14, 2012 5:19 am
by The Riff-Raff Element
I've seen bears being trained to "dance" (Eastern Turkey about 25 years ago) and the comparison is a ludicrous one. Dogs - I believe - seem to enjoy the interaction, so I can't see it as being cruel unless the training methods employed use violence. Training dogs to fight, for example, is cruel; training dogs to run through a tunnel generally isn't.

What I struggle to understand is how the damn dog won. I mean, it was all very clever and all, but it was basically pretty samey. You couldn't build an hour long performance around it.

Re: Dog cruelty?

Posted: Mon May 14, 2012 7:00 am
by battybird
The Riff-Raff Element wrote:I've seen bears being trained to "dance" (Eastern Turkey about 25 years ago) and the comparison is a ludicrous one. Dogs - I believe - seem to enjoy the interaction, so I can't see it as being cruel unless the training methods employed use violence. Training dogs to fight, for example, is cruel; training dogs to run through a tunnel generally isn't.

What I struggle to understand is how the damn dog won. I mean, it was all very clever and all, but it was basically pretty samey. You couldn't build an hour long performance around it.


Completely agree with all of the above :thumbright:

Re: Dog cruelty?

Posted: Mon May 14, 2012 8:03 am
by chickenchargrill
Relaxes a little. Thanks for the replies, was starting to worry I was being short-sighted or over-reacting to being accused of abusing our Lulu. She does know a fair few moves that could be used in a dance, if we could be bothered to put one together and if a squirrel/cat/fly didn't appear halfway through.

oldjerry wrote:That's really an imponderable.What's the difference between training a dog to amuse people as opposed to training say a dolphin to do it?


TBH I think he'd probably see training dolphins as abuse too. Where do you draw the line though? He has a pet dog, one which has been bred by humans to behave a certain way. Surely, if you're going to see training as abuse, it's also abusive to keep a dog as a pet. I couldn't imagine having a dog that didn't at least know basic commands and I don't see those as any different to tricks, which improve attention within a dog and strengthen the relationship between dog and owner.

It's a program I do tend to dip in and out of. I like a good variety show, but how they won over some of the other acts...

Re: Dog cruelty?

Posted: Mon May 14, 2012 10:39 am
by trinder
I have just watched the utube video clip and I agree with all previous replies. The dog is clearly enjoying the "action" He is showing signs of anxiety when being carried and in one clip the final "pose" is where he stands on her- he takes the position but leaps down when the crowd roar their approval. ( the mouth open with tongue held inside the mouth is the most observable tension)
All anxiety is observed with reference to the crowd and situation not the "performance"

I would add that some of my far left friends would argue the justification for teaching any animal these tricks is unethical but that's a different issue.

Re: Dog cruelty?

Posted: Mon May 14, 2012 11:51 am
by boboff
Wow there are some silly billys around.

Teach a dog to do something, let it do it and get praise, thats cruel? What is school for kids then?

Those two LOVE each other megga.

Re: Dog cruelty?

Posted: Mon May 14, 2012 12:57 pm
by oldjerry
OK boboff,but how is that different to training dolphins to do tricks and have an audience applaud?I'm not looking to wind anyone up just pondering.

Was this dog on the Cowell talent thing? if so it's definitely getting more intellectual.( I remember Jedward).

Re: Dog cruelty?

Posted: Mon May 14, 2012 1:52 pm
by gregorach
oldjerry wrote:OK boboff,but how is that different to training dolphins to do tricks and have an audience applaud?I'm not looking to wind anyone up just pondering.


Dolphins are wild animals with surprisingly complex societies who range over thousands of square miles of ocean. Dogs are domestic animals who have been bred specifically to please humans for millennia. Catching a dolphin, separating it from its clan, putting it in a tank, and training it to perform tricks is a complete violation of its natural behaviour, whereas teaching a dog to do tricks is its natural behaviour (in as much as such a thoroughly domesticated beast can be said to have "natural" behaviour).

Re: Dog cruelty?

Posted: Mon May 14, 2012 3:46 pm
by MKG
I watched it (sad , ain't it?). What I saw was a young girl who had a dog which thought she was the bee's knees and she thought that right back. They've spent a lot of time together doing the things which dogs and their owners do, and this dog has turned out to be especially good at it - as has his owner. And she's now a half-million quid better off. Good for her. Good for the dog.

Anyone who thinks that was cruel in any way, shape or form needs to get a life rather than trying to score juvenile political points. The question I ask myself is whether I would rather live in a world of Pudseys or a world of miserable complainers who give the left-wing a bad name.

No contest.

Mike

Re: Dog cruelty?

Posted: Mon May 14, 2012 4:19 pm
by oldjerry
yep I'm sure you're all 100% right,(not sure I see the left-wing bit,or that dogs in the wild don't have pretty complex family systems),,I just have a bit of a prob with the 'Dominion vs.Domination' thing re all animals.Which is pretty stupid coming from an (ex) farmer...

Re: Dog cruelty?

Posted: Mon May 14, 2012 5:11 pm
by boboff
Indeed Mike.
I thought that dogs behaviour was still very pack based, your role as the alpha male is what makes it want to perform.
Same with cats, those that don't run away from you and kill thier dinner are just being kept as kittens until they die. The stroking of them maintains there position as juvenille.
I enjoyed watching a fish tank once, now I feel guilty for "a complete violation of its natural behaviour"

Yeah all you lefties are nutters I tell ya'

Re: Dog cruelty?

Posted: Mon May 14, 2012 5:41 pm
by Thomzo
I haven't seen the particular performance but was the dog chained up the whole time? I seem to remember that the dancing bears had to be kept on a chain and locked in a cage when they weren't performing. Surely if the dog wasn't happy it'd escape if it could. So unless it was chained up all the time, it'd just run away or stop performing if it didn't want to do it.

Same with cats. The way we treat them may be to keep them acting like kittens but they chose to stay and live that way. Unless the cat is locked in all the time (and cats are pretty good escapologists) they will quite happily walk away from an unhappy home and move in with someone else.

Zoe

Re: Dog cruelty?

Posted: Mon May 14, 2012 6:31 pm
by Susie
I do think there's an argument that doing anything with animals that isn't their natural behaviour (e.g. keeping them as pets) oppresses them (I can't think of a word other than oppresses and I know it makes me sound like a terrible left wing parody, so, although I probably am a terrible left wing parody, I want you to know I do realise it ;-) ). I'm not saying it's an argument I'm particularly going to defend but I do think there is an argument, although obvs the domestic vs dolphins argument is valid.

I think there are probably much worse things in life that could have been done to Pudsey, though ;-). And it's definitely not like bears.

Also, I'm obviously horrified to learn I've been going round infantilising cats. Boboff, I think I need you to tell me how to improve my behaviour in this regard: how can I help them to grow to their full emotional and social potential as non-human animals despite the expectations placed on them by a speciesist society? Might there be a self help book I could recommend? :wink: