An "honest" dog - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-11-2013, 02:32 PM Thread Starter
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An "honest" dog

I posed this question at the end of another thread where it never got answered so I'm hoping someone over here has some thoughts.

During our obedience training some experienced people have commented to me that Zoe is an "honest" dog. What does that mean? I've had the impression it was not necessarily a compliment. I've always thought all dogs were honest. (Please feel free to be "honest".)

The other comment that was made recently during a training session was that she seemed unsure and didn't want to be wrong. Is the not wanting to be wrong more a matter of temperament or just where we were in training at the moment?


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Zoe, Rockwall Nantucket Breeze, BN, CGC, Delta therapy dog, 5/4/2008 - 10/28/2013
Zeke, our introduction to the world of Golden Retrievers, 6/12/1997 - 12/18/2007
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-11-2013, 04:07 PM
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My Faelan is an 'honest dog'. In my opinion this is a very good type of dog to have.

He hates to displease although he will is willing to try things to earn rewards, even if only a smile. That is, he does not shut down with repeated failures.

He truly tries to do what you want and you can sometimes see him thinking - an example may clarify.

A recent agility assignment had him jumping toward me over a full height jump - and I was less than 22 inches away with a wall behind me - a lot of pressure for him. Faelan respects me and was unwilling to invade my space so I had to take additional steps to let him know it was okay (turning my back to him bit looking over my shoulder. then sideways etc). You could literally see him thinking about how to solve the problem he was faced with.

I have had tough dogs, I have had soft dogs. An honest dog is something a bit different. They may lie down or sit or stand while they are figuring something out but they will try various things - a true thinking dog.

With this type of dog, you need to allow that thinking space and experimentation but in my opinion both of you will be a stronger more bonded team By teaching him that wrong choices are merely wrong and not bad, she can blossom.


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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-11-2013, 04:21 PM
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Titan is an honest dog.. During training and showing he gives me everything. He focuses and totally wants to do it right. With an honest dog if the dog is not doing something there is a valid reason.. Either he does not understand it.. or can't do it..
He just doesn't decide to do something else.. When Titan went down on some sits.. I knew to start with the Chiro and work my way through it.. yep he was out and it was painful for him to sit... He is not a soft dog but will give me what I ask because that is what he wants..
If you've ever watched some runs there are dogs that will just stand there a look through their owners.. Try training a Chessie and you will know what I mean. They are stubborn and they do it on their time and if they want.. And honest dog will not.. would never occur to them..
I would take an honest dog everytime and am hoping that is was I have with Mighty..So far we are on the fence.. he has a little more all about me attitude..lol!
make any sense??


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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-11-2013, 04:27 PM
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For what it's worth, Tito has often been called an honest dog in obedience, the breed ring, and in agility (not in field, LOL). Sunrise and Titan have described it very well. I consider it the ultimate compliment to be told he's an honest dog.



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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-11-2013, 04:28 PM
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as far as not being wrong, one of the things we teach the dogs out in the field is that ANY answer is better than NO answer. They will never get corrected for an honest effort, only for lack of effort.



CH Rosewood Little Giant, VCD2 UDX VER RA MHU SH MXP MJP MFP T2BP TD DJ VCX WCX CCA CGC FFX-OG (born 3-10-2007), also UCH HR UH UUD UJJ URO1 UHIT a.k.a. "Tito" (the Tito Monster)

waiting at the bridge:
My first dog, and my most special girl
Gibson's Golden Girl, CD, CGC, TDI ( 3-20-1997 - 11-22-2013) a.k.a. "Tiny", "Queen B"
and my heart dog
Gibson's Golden Guy, CD, CGC, TDI ( 01-31-1998 - 01-02-2012) a.k.a. "Toby", "HRH"
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-11-2013, 04:29 PM
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Thanks for asking this here, I just brought it up again on the other thread, lol.
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-11-2013, 04:30 PM
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I think an honest dog doesn't try to "get away" with doing something just because he can.

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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-11-2013, 04:31 PM
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I always thought it was a compliment, and I think of it as my kind of Golden. It's why I love the breed. I think Sunrise and Titan1 have described it beautifully.
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-11-2013, 04:41 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses above, very helpful and encourage me to keep working.


Gracie, Sunfire's Amazing Grace, CGC, CCA, Pet Partner therapy dog, 9/12/2013
Zoe, Rockwall Nantucket Breeze, BN, CGC, Delta therapy dog, 5/4/2008 - 10/28/2013
Zeke, our introduction to the world of Golden Retrievers, 6/12/1997 - 12/18/2007
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-11-2013, 05:32 PM
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this was an interesting set of response... so far neither of mine are "honest" dogs! LOL

Tucker is the closest--he loves to please and will usually try. But he can be easily distracted by something he thinks is more important and blow me off. Bella could become such a dog but right now she's too fearful.
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