User talk:Shawnregan

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Welcome!

Hello, Shawnregan, and welcome to Wikipedia! Thank you for your contributions. I hope you like the place and decide to stay. Here are some pages that you might find helpful:

I hope you enjoy editing here and being a Wikipedian! Please sign your messages on discussion pages using four tildes (~~~~); this will automatically insert your username and the date. If you need help, check out Wikipedia:Questions, ask me on my talk page, or ask your question and then place {{helpme}} before the question on your talk page. Again, welcome! VanTucky talk 18:41, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

February 2008[edit]

Information.svg Welcome to Wikipedia. Although everyone is welcome to make constructive contributions to Wikipedia, at least one of your recent edits, such as the one you made to Akita Inu, did not appear to be constructive and has been reverted or removed. Please use the sandbox for any test edits you would like to make, and take a look at the welcome page to learn more about contributing to this encyclopedia. Thank you. Oda Mari (talk) 09:34, 5 February 2008 (UTC)

Sorry. Forgive me. Oda Mari (talk) 09:46, 5 February 2008 (UTC)

Dog overviews[edit]

Hi,

I've seen the stunning work you're doing with regard to the overviews of the dogs. The table looks great and certainly most of the breeds could do with it, it's a good summary of the dog, well done :o)

That said, I don't think there should be the Guard-dog, learning rate, activity levels and temperament sections...at least not in the format they exist currently.

Temperament is as different from dog to dog as in humans and using words like cheerful etc seem like POV as does the guard-dog ability (that could depend on the temperament of the dog). Learning ability mainly is down to the patience of the owner (though they're very stubborn I've known Bulldogs perform in agility, which means their learning ability is quite high, it's their temperament that means they choose not to learn, or listen). Generalities are fine, to a certain extent, but best avoided in an overview I think.

Let me know what you think, and well done fotr the basis of a sterling piece of work :o) Drivenapart (talk) 09:35, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

Reforming the Dog overviews[edit]

Yes, I am in complete agreement with you. Dogs are individuals, and the breed characteristics are generalizations. I've been mulling over how to get that across even while writing those overviews.

That being said, people need to know what they are getting into with a dog. The dog pounds are often full of Labs because people do not realize just how hyper the field line of Labs are. People want a beautiful Siberian Husky, but don't realize how destructive and independent they are. So the overview presents them with some stark information they need to know when getting a dog. People seem to ignore the full text, even when they read it! I actually believe they spend more time looking at the photos!

One problem here is presentation. The overview is too simplified. For example, the English Bulldog is mellow and friendly -- not the classic guard dog like a Rottie or Dobie or GSD. But the Bulldog's appearance has a deterrent effect, so the Bulldog is often classified as a guard dog. How do I manage to explain _that_ in a little box that is designed to say "high" or "low"? Well, I could try.

I am thinking of including my sources in a footnote. Is that possible? Also, I could add a blurb from the AKC description of the breed, which is in some respects a formal guideline for how the breed _should_ behave. Any ideas?

cheers, Shawnregan

  • Cheers for getting back to me. I'm not sure that putting such things as guard-dog ability down is such a good thing, purely because that's all down to personal experience. From my experience with Bullies, while bulldog is placid most of the time, it is fiercely loyal and as has been known attacked dogs and attackers who've tried to hurt the owner. But that in itself isn't representative of the breed, and I've never known it been classed as guard-dog. I think it'd be far better to say within the article of each dog, as prose, that a certain dog has been used for guard-dog work (example GSD or DP) and leave it out of the box altogether. Same should be applied to the nature of the dogs. The facts need to be backed up and one box with some information that could be misleading might not be taken too well. Far better to put in the box some of the features of the breed standard and leave it at that I think. While I see what you're saying about giving people info with regards to dogs so they know what they're getting into, sadly Wiki isn't the right place for that. It's an encyclopedia, we've just got to give facts that we can back up, it's not a service to help people choose the right dog - far better that we link to a external site which explains the issues surrounding the dog, which can be as POV as it likes :oD So I think the box is perfect as it stands, and yep it is simple, but that's what works for it. I think the debatable points (activity rate - I've known Bulldogs be anything from...well, a doormat to out-running a Jack Russell - guard-dog, temperament etc) should be left out, but basic facts that can be changed by the breed speciailists who look after the pages should be there (height, weight, litter size, longevity etc). WHat you think? Drivenapart (talk) 10:17, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
  • While it certainly true that such things as guard-dog ability vary greatly and that judgments about them are personal, the same holds for just about every other aspect of a breed. This is true even for the size and look of a breed: for example, the AKC Bearded Collie standard calls for bitches with a height of 20-21 inches, but I've seen some that exceeded 23 inches--they just don't do very well in conformation shows. The breed standard is essentially an ideal, actual individuals come more or less close to meeting it, and conformation judges make decisions about how closely they do meet them. More to the point for this discussion, breed standards often include something about the desired character and abilities. The FCI standard for the Labrador, for example, describes it as "Good-tempered, very agile. Excellent nose, soft mouth; keen lover of water. Adaptable, devoted companion. Intelligent, keen and biddable, with a strong will to please. Kindly nature, with no trace of aggression or undue shyness." It is obvious, I think, that judgment is called for: does this bitch have a soft mouth? is this particular dog intelligent or devoted? The thing to do in here is to phrase the claim carefully, that is, to say "the breed standard calls for..." In short, entry on any breed must convey the characteristics which appear in the breed standard, the intangible as well as the visible and measurable.

I also have a suggestion about the two dog infobox and the overview box: lets combine them. The French Wikipedia uses a box that includes just about all the information which appears in the two boxes here. I think it would be easy to import it and use it.

Best, Awsguy1 (talk) 20:09, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

I would suggest discussing this at WikiProject Dogs so that the community knows what is going on with these Overview/Quick Facts tables. Coaster1983 (talk) 00:03, 9 February 2008 (UTC)
I do not think that combining these boxes is such a good idea. The French Wikipedia cites on the FCI, whereas the Anglophone entries usually list at least several (sometimes many) breed organizations. We'll see, though. Interesting idea. --Shawnregan —Preceding unsigned comment added by 72.234.116.91 (talk) 02:24, 9 February 2008 (UTC)

I agree with Shawnregan (though I think Quick Facts is a better title than Overview, as the info is IMO too sparse/bulleted to be an Overview). Almost every "breed in a nutshell" offering includes activity, intelligence/trainabilty, personality/temperament, guard/working ability or breed purpose - as well as often grooming needs and colors. Of course some of these will vary by individual dog, but the point is a general description of the breed, and these characteristics are in most cases clearly stated either in the breed standard or in national breed parent club publications. People who want a 'snapshot' of a particular dog breed are going to care more about how much exercise they typically need and what their temperament is than in how many puppies they usually have in a litter. (In my breed that varies from 1 to 14, so the ~6 that is used is really just POV as well.) Put a disclaimer, if you must, that "Quick Facts are based on breed standards; individual dogs may vary in these traits" or something along those lines.

Drivenapart (I think) wrote, "While I see what you're saying about giving people info with regards to dogs so they know what they're getting into, sadly Wiki isn't the right place for that." In that case, why have a Quick Facts/Overview box at all? Just have the article - which covers all of the Quick Facts item except maybe litter size (which could be easily incorporated) and leave it at that.

It might not have been your intention, but your recent edit removed content from an article. Please be careful not to remove content from Wikipedia without a valid reason, which you should specify in the edit summary or on the article's talk page. Take a look at our welcome page to learn more about contributing to this encyclopedia. Thank you. --Ixfd64 (talk) 22:40, 9 February 2008 (UTC)

  • On the proviso that the information can be backed up with a source, then by all means put in the box the disclaimer regarding "according to breed standard". Without source it would be POV, and that's what I was getting at there. However, I would debate the issue as to what people need to know. The article is information regarding the dog, not a guide for prospective owners. By all means, mention the coat, but grooming etc fall under the heading of husbandry and Wiki is about providing the facts. On the other hand I can see that grooming issues would be considered information about a breed that should be mentioned, but that depends on the way in which it is done. I'm trying to play devil's advocate here, and I honestly think the boxes should be taken to the WikiProject: Dog for consideration, purely on the grounds that a couple of people's views don't necessarily reflect what everyone else would think. Besides, more voices mean we could ajudge what we should or shouldn't put in the box, or indeed as to hwther the boxes should appear at all. Drivenapart (talk) 10:04, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
    • Hi, which article are you referring to? I had no intention of mentioning grooming. I am getting information from the breed standards, and I will make that more explicit from now on. You are right on all accounts! cheers, Shawnregan
  • Nah, it wasn't yourself that mentioned grooming, but someone just above...but thanks, I'm glad I'm helping in a small way. If there's anything I can do, give me a shout. Drivenapart (talk) 11:25, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
Regarding the opinion above, changing the title back from "Overview" to "Quick Facts":
A truly encyclopedic reference would be "Overview". "Quick facts" (note the lower case in the second word, a Wikipedia MoS guideline) is a buzzword, and would be more suited to a website or publication. Just a pet hate of mine. Thanks. Ref (chew)(do) 11:29, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
I haven't seen this at the WikiProject Dogs yet so am continuing the discussion here. I'm not sure if I should start the conversation there, as I'm far less involved in it than most.
"A truly encyclopedic reference would be "Overview"."
That's exactly my point; the little 'bullet-point' boxes are not encyclopedic references.
"The article is information regarding the dog, not a guide for prospective owners. By all means, mention the coat, but grooming etc fall under the heading of husbandry and Wiki is about providing the facts."
I didn't actually mean to include grooming here, simply mentioned that most other similar-type boxes include it. They are facts, though - things like activity, guard ability, trainability, temperament, coat type, have all been specifically bred for over a century or more in most breeds; while there will be some variation among individuals, it is not going to be extreme enough in most cases to completely invalidate the generalities of the breed. (As well, the articles themselves include the same information as in the boxes; so should there be disclaimers in the articles stating that these traits are typical for the breed but individual dogs may vary?)
Everything you've removed as POV can be backed up by a source, either the breed standard or the national breed parent club - even grooming requirements in most cases.
Frankly, I'm really starting to think these boxes are completely unnecessary. If they aren't giving a full picture of the breed "At A Glance" (another buzz-term ;) ), but rather simply bullet-pointing the breed standard, I'm not sure there's much use for them. 66.107.12.18 15:20, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
Hi. Thanks for joining the discussion. What I meant by "encylopedic" with regard to the term "Overview" is that it would ideally be a section heading, constructed during the edit phase as "==Overview==", not necessarily a templated table. However, tables within articles have always been, and are still, allowed within reason, if supporting greater understanding of the subject matter of the article. To dismiss them so lightly would be a mistake. This needs further discussion, to gain a wider consensus. I will be bringing this up at WikiProject Dogs, to try to decide the necessary consensus. Shawn, this may be the make or break for your infobox. Ref (chew)(do) 15:58, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

West Highland White Terrier[edit]

Hi. I have rolled back your recent edits (except that which adjusted the tablewidth) due to the Physique table interfering horizontally with the vertical infobox in my browser (Firefox), and no doubt doing the same in many others. There is no point in adding information to an article if you can't read it properly. This is the second time I have made this adjustment, for the same reason. Please discuss on the talk page for the article. Thanks. Ref (chew)(do) 00:55, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

Hi. I am using Firefox too, and there is no problem on this end. I don't understand! Let's work on this further. It's a mystery to me. -- Shawnregan
Right, well, the right side of your Physique table disappears underneath the infobox about two-thirds of the way down the infobox, and the text from one merges with the text from the other, to create a mess, basically. I'm using "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.0; en-GB; rv:1.8.1.12) Gecko/20080201 Firefox/2.0.0.12", which is the very latest (updated today); however, I have had this problem ever since you first introduced the (then) "Quick Facts" table.
I also get this problem on some "city" pages which use the UK Map infobox which generates geographical co-ordinates at the top of the page - two sets of co-ordinates appear on top of each other at the top right of the page, and it is impossible to read them due to one set of numbers overlaying the other. Please do not be too hasty to dismiss my problem - I have no doubt that some people are like you and have no problem, and some are like me and just see a mess, but I believe we have a duty to ensure that the page is seen correctly by all, or as many as possible.
By the way, I have always run 800x600 screen resolution, which may have something to do with it, but I cannot get on with 1024x768 upwards, due to the very small print and graphics displayed. Thanks. Ref (chew)(do) 01:31, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
Hi, how's it working now? I am putting the table on top, followed by text, then by the photo(s) (with the photos placed on the right side, which seems to help -- I think.). I want to thank you for your input. We must nip this in the bud!! I am using both firefox and IE, and it does not show up well on IE (but my Firefox is fine!). thanks again! -- Shawnregan
I cannot use IE for Wiki work anymore - it just freezes when I try to save an edit. However, the problem remains exactly as I have outlined above, with the table tucked underneath the vertical infobox to the right, about two-thirds down. I have edited to move the table further down, so that it now drops underneath the vertical infobox, and remains visible. That's the best I can get it. Ref (chew)(do) 01:41, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
Aha! The only way I can get a proper view of them both together at the top of the page is to remove the width setting in the table, so that it autoformats to whatever is being displayed with it. The width setting is "forcing" the table to go underneath the infobox. At least it's the case for me. Ref (chew)(do) 01:45, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
Okay, I'll see if I can do that with all of them. It never occurred to me that one could simply remove the width setting!! Cheers!! -- Shawnregan
Thanks, Shawn. You then give control back to the reader. I can vouch for the fact that, however much you try to refine the display of anything on your website (I design and run a few), people's individual choices as to screen resolution, text sizing and indeed which browser they use and how they set that up, very often defeat those objects, and if, as a webmaster, you have a feedback facility, they soon let you know! Best wishes. P.S. instead of just putting "-- Shawnregan" at the end of your messages, you'd use fewer keystrokes by typing 4 tildes ~~~~ (my ~ symbol is above # at top right of my keyboard)! That automatically signs and dates your post.
Okay. I am still trying to figure out what works best. Shawnregan (talk) 20:01, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
Ref (chew)(do) 11:39, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

Help[edit]

Someone is reverting to my older edits!!!! Flattered as I am, I spent a whole Saturday moving the "Overview" over to the "Description"!! I am going crazy!! -- Shawnregan

What reversions in which articles? Ref (chew)(do) 01:46, 10 February 2008 (UTC)
The German Shepherd Dog article -- which I just altered to satisfy him (or her). They like the "overview" at the top. that makes me happy, but I put it below with description. So what I did was simply move the description up to the top. I hope this works. ("History" had been at the top, as you can see for yourself.) -- Shawnregan
Information.png

Hi, the recent edit you made to Yorkshire Terrier has been reverted, as it appears to be unconstructive. Use the sandbox for testing; if you believe the edit was constructive, ensure that you provide an informative edit summary. You may also wish to read the introduction to editing. Thanks. Tuvok[T@lk/Improve] 01:55, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

I do not understand! It is almost exactly the same!! I merely put the same information under "Appearance" -- and it is still at the top of the article where everyone can see it! --Shawnregan
Information icon.svg
Hello. Please don't forget to provide an edit summary. Thanks, and happy editing.

--JForget 02:06, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

I do not know how to do that. Sorry. I'll try to. I do not understand what you are doing.

While editing an article there is a rectangular space called edit summary where you can explain what you did in that particular edit. It is recommended to provide an edit summary when making major edits like you did at Labrador Retriever. Removing content without providing an explanation to it (by edit summary and/or on the talk page) may be perceived as vandalism--JForget 02:10, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

Hi Shawn[edit]

I just wanted to say thank you for your help with the Olde English Bulldogge page. I'm the President of the OEBKC and have been trying to figure out how to format the page so it is consistent with the other dog pages so you're a blessing. I'm not very good with Wiki editing but I'm SLOWLY working on it. Thanks for getting the page squared away(my table was awful!), it looks great. On a side note or FYI, the OEB is catergorized as a "Working Dog" simply because it's supposed to be PHYSICALLY able to work and play without physical inadequacy or more specifically, possess the atheltic abilty of its bull-baiting ancestors. The guy that developed the breed isn't the sharpest knife in the draw and will agree with ANYONE that fawns over him. Personal Protection people think he's some guru until they get to know him. Unfortunately, many people (I have several names for these people but it would be inappropriate here) assume the categories "Working Dog" and "Guard Dog" automatically qualifies a dog for personal protection training. Not sure we'll ever be able to do anything about that. Anyways, I agree with you on temperament and drive, each dog is different for several reasons, but in general, the OEB should be proportioned and athletic there by preventing it from ever becoming the English Bulldog. I still don't understand these people that think that just because a breed is listed under a certain category that ALL dogs within that breed are capable of the same type of work. I suppose it takes all kinds to make the world go round. Thanks again for your hard work Shawn. Don Pelon (talk) 21:19, 16 February 2008 (UTC)

Dog breed appearance templates[edit]

Hello.

I'm not sure if you knew that your templates on the appearance sections in dog articles are being discussed by members of WikiProject Dogs and there is the possibility that the templates may be removed. There isn't a lot of consensus, but it seems many want to integrate "appearance" information into the pre-existing {{Infobox Dogbreed}} template and remove your templates. The discussion may be found here. I just thought you might want to know. Regards --Pharaoh Hound (talk) (The Game) 12:51, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

Hi again. I just noticed now that you've also added templates for history and temperament. I applaud your hard work to improve these articles, but I'm not sure if copying sections from the breed standards is the best way to do this. Often it seems that the article's own text (for example, Golden Retriever) explains these things in more detail than the standards do, making the templates somewhat redundant. I realize that you simply desire to increase the ease of reading the articles, but perhaps the most efficient use of page space would be to integrate the information from the templates into the article's text instead? Thank you for being so courteous and calm when your wok is being discussed! (also, thanks for toning down the colours and bold text in your templates, it makes them much more aesthetically pleasing) Regards --Pharaoh Hound (talk) (The Game) 22:55, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
In some cases, the information in the boxes is not even mentioned in the text of the article. For example, there was not even a "History" section in the poodle article. And if the article's text is borrowing from the breed standards, it often is not doing a good job in reproducing it -- or referencing it.
Not only do the standards and histories from the breed clubs complement the article, but I think that it complements that from other breed clubs, providing expert knowledge and authority that supplements other accounts that are by necessity incomplete. I find that there is a 'family resemblance' in the breed standards that while not identical with one another or with the text, provides the layman for a 'feel' for the breed. (And this is so very essential in making important decisions about getting a pet dog. This was my original motivation of providing an 'Overview', since I used to do a lot of rescue work, a saddening experience.) And I do not think that the layman (or even the breed expert) is likely to click on the kennel club links to view that information, which is often written in a less than 'user friendly' way.
The boxes are also user friendly because they organize information, preventing it from running all together in the text. That's important cognitively. In fact, I think that the color coding, so to speak, provided by the boxes helps to break up and organize the text in a pleasant, coherent way for the average reader, so that _hypothetically_ even if the boxes were empty, the reader would find the article easier to read. (Hence all my efforts to make the boxes look appealing.) I really believe in what I am doing here and in its usefulness for the average reader. Cheers! --Shawnregan (talk) 23:35, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
I am extremely sorry it took me so long to reply! (my life's been a bit chaotic lately). I can see your points, but I believe that the article's could be best served by improving the article's own text with referencing and style changes rather than simply lifting entire passages from the standards. Often the standards are biased when written by breed clubs or (e.g. Pharaoh Hound history) incomplete and verging on inaccurate. An interesting point that was just raised on the discussion is that these reproductions may be copyvio because of the amount of material copied, in which case they may need to be hastily removed. To quote from the Wiki page on copyvio, "it is essential that all text added to Wikipedia is compatible with this [GFDL] license.", which the standards are not. I also can see what you're saying about the colours (as an extremely visual and artistic person I find constant text difficult to read), but I find it disrupts the "flow" of the article and the information can be managed and broken up simply by using sections. I also believe what I am doing is better for the average reader as well as preserving Wiki's ideals. Cheers --Pharaoh Hound (talk) (The Game) 13:40, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

Labrador Retriever at Peer review[edit]

Labrador Retriever is up at peer review, please see Wikipedia:Peer review/Labrador Retriever/archive1. Cirt (talk) 06:19, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

ArbCom elections are now open![edit]

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