Behavior vs Breeds: How to spot a friendly dog

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Dogs are such a part of our lives we may not give much thought to what dogs are saying to us.

But a dog’s body language speaks volumes.

Sue Sternberg has been working with, observing, and training dogs for more than 30 years.  She says – we need to carefully consider the personalities and behaviors of dogs we`re adding to our families.

24981824Friendliness is the single most important quality Sternberg looks for in dogs, regardless of breed.    A friendlier dog is much less likely to bite strangers and you.

But what does friendliness look like in dogs?

Sternberg talks with WGN’s Judie Garcia and visits a local shelter with tips like focusing on behaviors rather  than  breeds and considering the age of the dog.

Youtube Channel:  “Great Dog Productions”  

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  • Michele

    I'm sorry…The few minutes I watched this program i was very turned off by this person and her way of assessing a dog. It was a bit frightening and I went and looked her up and saw that many others have the same feeling…..We are in Chicago. We have our own dog whisperer right here….why not get Curtis Scott's thoughts on how to adopt shelter dogs, how to assess a dogs' personality. How to train dogs….He rescues many many dogs in Chicago, rehabilitates many many dogs and is teaching so many people about dogs and their behavior.
    This other person was too quick to judge on this and I was completely turned off by her.

  • James

    My dog loves all people….but is very territorial and is almost always aggressive toward other dogs. I would argue that any theories about animal behavior is not a one size fits all. This lady might meet my dog and think she's the sweetest dog ever, but she may fail to think a dog this sweet will bite another dog instantly. I agree that one should note "friendliness". But what a dog thinks of you may not be the same of every other person.

  • blanca

    I think Sue is phenomenal.
    With the knowledge she has provided me, I now know when to step in and get my dog out of a potentially dangerous situation.
    Not to mention, when my dog is having a great time and to let my little gal hang out and enjoy herself with the right group of dogs.

    Thanks, Sue!

    After all, don’t we owe it to our dogs to keep them safe?

  • Lil Irish

    What exactly makes Sue an expert?? Does she even own any dogs? Her assessments are way off; I find her to be off-putting and just plain dumb. Find a more competent trainer.

  • Gypsy 33

    From… "But she has been quoted as saying at seminars that the vast majority of dogs in her area – perhaps as much as 85 percent – should be euthanized for temperament issues. This doesn't seem to match up with the real-world experience of shelters, even those using Sternberg's method or tests based on or related to her method.
    The San Francisco SPCA's Jean Donaldson told The Bark that "we need tests that are scientifically proven to be reliable and valid. We couldn’t get Sue’s test past the reliability issue, and four of her five unadoptable dogs did fine." Trish King at the Marin Humane Society said that their failure rate on the test was only around 5 percent. If Sternberg really did say that 75 or 85 percent of dogs have such severe temperament problems as to make euthanasia necessary, it seems hard to reconcile that with the very different results being obtained on the other side of the country.
    And that doesn't even touch on the dogs who, with careful placement, could be the light of someone's life despite being outside the perfectly safe category.
    … and for all the dogs who don't make it because of the failure of heart and imagination and courage on the part of the idiots who deemed them dangerous:
    Sue Sternberg can kiss my ass.

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