I am all about feedback; I use it in my day to day with my dogs and humans. It is one of the most important pieces of information that one can give and receive. Fdbk (feedback) is one of the most important and influential aspects of living with dogs. If you never give your dog feedback then you are failing them. Life around dogs is all about action/reaction; they learn through association so it is the response or feedback that offers the information needed to move on.
Yesterday as I was finishing up my walk with Elsa and heading to the Xterra; when I noticed a woman with two screaming dogs across the street. She had two tan colored Chihuahua mixes that were out on the end of the leashes and going off at a passing dog. The woman held the leashes as the dogs hurled themselves in the air and at each other in a frenzy. Attacking each other in redirected aggression the woman was merely there for the ride; she offered nothing in the form of educating, feedback or anything else. She was in over her head. As Elsa heard the screaming dogs I calmly said "do you hear those crazy dogs, funny eh?" Letting her know that I wasn't phased.
When we do not offer feedback in some shape or form to our dogs; we fail them in our role to teach them about our human world. Feedback for dogs does not have to be a long drawn out lecture; it should be instant, pairing itself with the behavior that it coincides with. Once given, drop it; no nagging, no guilt trips, no grudges. Just give the feedback and move on. Let's say you have a dog that likes to lunge at joggers as they run by. This is a common but very dangerous behavior. If you simply move off of a path to get some distance while yanking and pulling your dog, what are you doing? You are not only NOT offering feedback; but you are joining in the escalation of excitement by yanking and tugging along with your own level of anxiety thrown in there.
Feedback for dogs is a piece of information that we give our dogs to let them know how we feel about what they are doing. It can be sounds, motions or words. My dogs are very in tune with my feedback; they have both grown up with it and are experts at understanding it. If Elsa moves in on a piece of food that Luke has dropped I will give a low, one second sound meaning to leave it. She knows that she is not to touch it; but it is so tempting just sitting there under the oblivious old man. If she gets over excited when we are playing and bites too hard; she is given instant feedback. Dogs use feedback with each other; if you watch them interact it is given and received continually.
As far as humans are concerned; feedback should be given in small doses and when asked for. Not all humans want or appreciate feedback but if they ask, give it. Humans are a whole other bag of behavior issues. Dealing with canine behavior, body language and communication has offered me a look into human behavior as well. I find myself reading between lines and analyzing humans as well as canines. It extremely interesting how humans say and do one thing but mean something entirely different, not so with dogs.
I Yelp, do you? I believe that Yelp.com is one of the most important websites out there. I review just about every business that I deal with and every so often I get feedback for my review. Business owners who care about how they are doing use feedback to their benefit. Other owners who don't care what people think will never take or give feedback to learn and grow. That said there will always be the reviews that are biased; useless information given by someone either wanting to tear down or promote by untruths. Dogs are all about telling it like it is; humans, not so much. Humans tell untruths, have hidden agendas, egos and drama. Aren't dogs great?