Interdog Aggression-warning signs...

This forum is all about training and behavior. Everything from potty training to working titles!

Postby TheRedQueen » July 6th, 2009, 8:31 pm

just ran across this old article by Karen London...

http://veterinarynews.dvm360.com/dvm/ar ... p?id=17521

Interdog aggression: What are the warning signs?
Apr 1, 2002
By: Karen L. Overall, VMD, PhD, Dipl. ACVB
DVM NEWSMAGAZINE


Editor's note In the last of a two-part series, Dr. Overall outlines her recommendations for an interdog attack that led to the death of a dog. The first part of the series was published in the February issue, p. 8S.

People who show and train dogs may know an awful lot more about dog behavior than does the average person; however, such exposure also may engender a specific form of "blinders".

While dogs may occasionally have agonistic interactions, repeated behavior as exhibited by the Corgi to the Husky is not normal. It's problematic and abnormal. That it happened repeatedly signals a problem, not a contest about who is going to be "alpha". The "alpha" concept is an outdated one with almost no data to support it. Even if there were an absolute rank, rank is not taken - it's conferred by others.

People who breed, train or show dogs often tolerate, and perhaps even accidentally encourage, truly aggressive behavior between dogs because they think it is normal when it is not.

Of the three clients I have had whose dogs have killed one of their group, all had similar pedigrees and histories as this client.

It's not normal

Here are some points to consider about this case.

* Dogs that disagree with each other usually bark, growl or snap, and almost never make contact. When they do, there is usually a nick on an ear or the top of the head or shoulders.

If the issue sparking the dispute is not going to be an ongoing problem, the dogs then solicit one another for play or grooming and they go slowly so that they are understood. This is not the same as mere tolerance of each other's presence.

* Hanging or biting on the neck are not normal dog to dog behaviors. They are behaviors that are associated with predatory events. For confirmation of this, review the location of the wounds on the Corgi.

* Fences are not sufficient to separate dogs that have a dispute if they can still see each other or otherwise continue to interact. All fences do in such cases is to raise the stakes without penalty. The dogs can and do increase their threats to a level that would not otherwise occur if there were costs in terms of physical responses from the other dog.

Accordingly, in such situations, fences make inappropriately aggressive dogs worse, and better at being inappropriately aggressive, quickly.

* A herding dog may nip a running dog or a person, but the other dog will signal it to stop. If not, its behavior is inappropriate and out-of-context. If it cannot do so, it is abnormal behavior. Herding behaviors can be redirected to more appropriate foci such as toys, games or stock.

Behavioral signs

There are no truly "submissive" or "dominant/alpha" dogs and by putting these labels on dogs we blind ourselves to all of the interesting information that the dogs are communicating with its species-typical postures.

Dogs that roll on their back are signaling that they are withdrawing from active, solicitous interaction.

If their limbs and tail are flaccid and their neck is fully exposed, they may invite/tolerate more passive interaction (e.g. sniffing, petting) from others.

If they tuck their tail and put their paws over their chest and groin, they do not wish to interact, period.

A normal dog recognizes this and withdraws, not because the first dog "submits" to them, but because they are capable of responding appropriately to the signals. An abnormal dog recognizes an opportunity and moves in for the kill.

Client after client has reiterated exactly this scenario to me...that they thought their dogs had worked it out and one was "submitting" and that's when the serious "emotional" and physical injury occurred.

In this case, the Corgi exhibited inappropriate behavior without a resulting fatality time and again. To allow dogs to continue in such distressing social situations is to make the aggressor more confident, no matter how abnormal they are, and to make the normal, deferential dog a victim.

Unfortunately, if you buy into the myths of "alpha" and submission, you would read the signals incorrectly and further reinforce these relative aggressor/victim roles.

As the client alluded to, the higher-ranking dog seems to engender peace. High ranking dogs are those whose behaviors are appropriate given a number of contexts. They feel the need to challenge no one because they do not have to do so.

This is exactly what the hound mix had always done, but when pushed, he protected his companion from the dog behaving in an abnormal manner. Even perfectly normal dogs can be pushed too far.

Social responses

Normal social responses are the outcome of a complicated signaling dance involving deferential behaviors that help map routes where all needs can best be met. This assumes normal behavior.

Note that in our case the outcome was not affected by age or size or strength of the animals involved. The females involved in the disputes were all evenly matched in size and age, and the male was very old. The only truism that we can rescue here is that, when damage is done, bigger, heavier, more heavily muscled dogs can do more damage.

· Activity levels must be considered. The client noted that the other dogs had begun to be concerned about the Corgi's behaviors and avoided her. Listen to the dogs; they do a better job of interpreting abnormal dog behavior than we do. After all, they speak fluent dog.

If the Husky and the Bull Terrier were beginning to be anxious about the Corgi's behaviors, as it seems, would this anxiety be made worse or better if everyone is a ball of unexercised energy? Worse.

Would the anxiety be made worse or better by being turned out in an exuberant group? Worse.

Would the dogs have a harder or easier time reading each other's signals in the dark? Harder.

Would signal translation difficulties make anxiety worse or better? Worse.

Taken logically, all clients and veterinarians can ask themselves these types of questions and better assess the risks in any multi-dog household.

Prevention

What happened here is tragic but does not have to be the death knell for the other dogs. They were not the problem...and the problem is sadly gone. Could this tragedy have been prevented? Maybe, but it's a lot of work.

Treating interdog aggression involves acknowledging and rejecting the myths discussed above.

More often than not, the aggression is not because of a determined upstart who is challenging the status of some older or more "dominant" dog. As I have written before, it's because the abnormal dog will not tolerate the status, signaling and behavior changes that the normal dog undergoes as part of social maturity and wants that dog gone.

It's the aggressor who is inappropriate. This is a true case where the victim has always been blamed. An article by Patricia McConnell in a recent APDT newsletter also notes this: that the dog that people usually reward so that they can "keep" their status is usually aggressive out-of-context and without provocation, and that reinforcement of these behaviors only makes the situation worse, not better.

Caught early enough, the aggressor can be treated with behavior modification designed to teach him or her to allow the other dog to exist.

Behavior modification can be as complex as desensitizing and counter-conditioning the dogs to each other using treats and good head collars that can close the dogs' mouths (e.g. Gentle Leader).

Or it can be as simple as letting the victim have free range during the day and locking the aggressor in a spare or lesser "status" room.

Completely separate

Aggression is based in anxiety and anti-anxiety medication has huge applicability here for both the victim and the aggressor. The victim must be protected - at all costs - from the aggressor. The victim needs to have a sense of control and safety. This can be provided in part by putting a bell on the aggressor's collar so that the victim always knows where the aggressor is (Bear Bells: Silverfoot; Box 2090 Squamish, BC V0N 3G0, Canada; silverft@mountain-inter.net). Predictability lessens aggression. Dogs should be supervised and when this isn't possible, kept completely separate.

If their relationship does not improve, what are the choices? You can place one of the dogs. If you place the aggressor, it is safest if she or he goes to an only-one-dog home. Note that in the case discussed here the problem became more, not less, global with time and experience.

It is usually easier to place the victim, which no one wants to do. If the clients decide to keep both dogs, and treatment with behavior modification and medication has failed, those dogs will have to live completely separate.

This means separate rooms for sleeping, rotations on walks and in the yard, and separation by at least double gates - the canine equivalent of a no-fly zone - for feeding and daily activities. The dogs cannot be permitted to threaten or otherwise endanger each other.

This situation has a zero-tolerance zone for mistakes, so doors must have a working lock so that children cannot accidentally unlatch it. (Highly placed hooks and eyes on both sides of the door are ideal for this). Is this hard? Of course, but if you are highly motivated you can do it in a way that is safe and humane for all parties.

Finally, the client had two additional questions.

If the dog tastes blood, does this mean they will kill again? No, not unless the context of the taste was hunting to feed themselves.

Why were the females involved - are females more common in this form of interdog aggression? It's an interesting, important, and presently incompletely answered question. Females are over-represented in this form of aggression in my patient population, regardless of hormonal status, which suggest that these data should be further examined.

About the Author
Karen L. Overall, VMD, PhD, Dipl. ACVB
Articles by Karen L. Overall, VMD, PhD, Dipl. ACVB
"I don't have any idea if my dogs respect me or not, but they're greedy and I have their stuff." -- Patty Ruzzo

"Dogs don't want to control people. They want to control their own lives." --John Bradshaw
User avatar
TheRedQueen
I thought I lost my Wiener... but then I found him.
 
Posts: 7184
Location: Maryland

Postby pitbullmamaliz » July 7th, 2009, 8:19 am

Good article - did you happen to see the first part that has the details of the case she's referring to?
"Remember - every time your dog gets somewhere on a tight leash *a fairy dies and it's all your fault.* Think of the fairies." http://www.positivepetzine.com"

http://www.pitbullzen.com
http://inaradog.wordpress.com
User avatar
pitbullmamaliz
Working out in the buff causes chafing
 
Posts: 15437
Location: Cleveland, OH

Postby pitbullmamaliz » July 7th, 2009, 8:52 am

Found the first article:
http://veterinarynews.dvm360.com/dvm/Me ... ryId=47848

Interdog aggression can strike with deadly consequences
Jan 1, 2002
By: Karen L. Overall, VMD, PhD, Dipl. ACVB
DVM NEWSMAGAZINE

Dogs within the same household can become violent with each other. In the case study explored this month, one dog is killed by another. The story of these dogs illustrates the classic interdog aggression scenario and all its misperceptions perfectly.

Readers should know that I did not see these dogs. All of my information came from the owner of the dogs after the event. Accordingly, the format will be a narrative, not a case report.

The story

The client wrote to me five days after the event because she was thinking of euthanizing two of her dogs. The client shares a house with a roommate and both have dogs. Prior to the tragedy the household consisted of: a 1.5-year-old unspayed, female, Pembroke Welsh Corgi belonging to the roommate, a 12-year-old male, castrated, hound-terrier mix that weighed about 70 pounds, a 45-pound, 7-year-old, female, spayed Staffordshire Bull Terrier, a 10-year-old, female, spayed German Shorthaired Pointer belonging to the roommate, a 45-pound, 7-year-old, neutered, male Border Collie/Cocker mix, a 13-year-old, female, spayed Cocker Spaniel, and a 3-year-old female, spayed Siberian Husky.

The first three dogs were the ones involved in the attack in which the Corgi was killed. All of the dogs were in the three-quarter acre yard when the attack occurred but none of the other dogs appeared to be involved. In addition to being large, the fenced yard has a series of dog pens, kennels, houses, etc. arranged in a way to ensure that each dog can have space and can get away from others.

The client realized that there were many dynamics in what she termed the "pack" behavior, so she provided detailed descriptions of each dog.

Closer look

The German Shorthaired Pointer was "spoiled" early in life and has developed a problem biting people, but not dogs, within the past two years. She has lived with the client's dogs for two years and seems to find security in being in the group. She is neither the most forceful or most deferential dog in the group, but sometimes needs a little extra space.

The Border Collie mix is totally "submissive" to the hound-terrier mix. The Border Collie mix would occasionally get into "obsessive" moods where he would posture over the hound cross and give him "the eye". Otherwise, he appeared to be totally playful and outgoing with the other dogs and with people. This dog has always been with the client and the rest of the group since early puppyhood.

After the attack, the client gave the Border Collie mix to a friend because she was afraid for him. Although he was not involved in the attack, she did not understand what had changed so quickly and did not want to put him at risk. And, as her friends had been saying, seven dogs is a lot and may have been too many.

The 13-year-old Cocker Spaniel has always seemed to be on her own planet. At the time of the attack she was almost totally blind and deaf. She had also been with the client and group since puppyhood, and until a month before the attack no one had ever seemed to notice her.

Savage attack

However, a month before the tragedy, the Corgi savagely attacked the Cocker with no provocation that anyone could note. The Corgi drew blood from the Cocker's ears and face before the client physically intervened. The hound mix spent the next four days cleaning the Cocker's ears and babysitting her. The client noted in her letter that she, unfortunately, just thought this was "cute" at the time. She didn't see what the hound mix saw: that the other dogs needed protection from the Corgi.

The Husky has always been outgoing, but like the Border Collie cross was always "submissive" in the "pack". She apparently tried to be everyone's friend. Even the older hound mix would run and play with her. The Husky seemed to be particularly fond of the Corgi, and they seemed to be "best buddies."

Three to four months before the attack the Corgi started to be very hard on the Husky: games that seemingly started playfully ended with the Corgi hanging from the Husky's throat. The Husky seems confused at first, but after the Corgi hung from her throat a few more times, the Husky became patently scared.

The client also noted that whenever the Husky and the Corgi engaged like this, all of the other dogs moved and stayed away.

All of the client's dogs are kept in a 6-ft. by 24-ft. kennel with houses and fans during the day if the weather is good. If the weather is poor, they each have their own crates in the house. The client's dogs are separated from the roommate's dogs when they are kenneled. At night they all sleep on their own dog beds in the house. Each dog eats in his or her own crate.

There was only one exception: before the Corgi began to terrorize the Husky, they both shared a giant run most times. After the Corgi began to hang from the Husky's neck, the Corgi was moved into a smaller run next to the Husky.

The client has always obedience trained her dogs and has had large groups of dogs before. At one point she had eight Siberians and three other dogs, including two of those discussed.

She has been involved in sled dog events and training, shown in conformation and in obedience training. As part of these activities she met many people with many dogs, and when a friend died, she took in her two old Siberians a year earlier.

These dogs also live on the property, but not with the other dogs. The inherited elderly female Siberian does not get along with other female dogs, so the client kept these two dogs on an adjacent piece of land.

This was comprised of a 30-ft. by 18-ft. "habitat" with a 10-ft. by 12-ft. building, pool, etc. While her dogs ignored both of these elderly Siberians, she was not willing to expose her roommate's dogs to them directly.

At about a year of age the Corgi began to run the fence line separating her from the elderly Siberians and barking non-stop. The client responded by starting to train the Corgi in some basic obedience, but stopped when she became busy at work. As the running and barking continued unabated, the rest of the dogs were becoming unnerved by the constant commotion. So, the client tried a shock-based, bark collar for the Corgi. This approach lasted a week, since the Corgi only seems confused by it and began to direct aggression to other dogs.

Torment began

In the month prior to the attack, the client noticed that the Corgi really began to torment the Bull Terrier. Any time the client was not directly present, the Corgi went after this dog. As soon as the dogs were let outside, the Corgi bit at the Bull Terrier's heels, feet, face and throat. The Bull Terrier snapped at the Corgi once, but usually she redirected her attention to the Husky, snapping and clicking her teeth, but never making contact. The client noted that while she has allowed her dogs to settle things among themselves in the past, she has never allowed them to have a knock-down, drag-out fight.

The client noted that if she had to pick an "alpha" dog from the group, before the attack, she would have picked the 12-year-old hound mix. He likes peace, and she described him as a "quiet enforcer."

On the night of the attack the client returned home a little later than usual. It had been cold, so the dogs had been in their runs. It was too dark to see well when the client let the dogs out of their runs. This concerned the client because the first 10 minutes when they were out was the time of biggest upheaval.

Because of her compromised ability to monitor them, the client put the Bull Terrier on a leash and let all dogs out in the order she always did. After 10 minutes, everyone had settled down so the client took the Bull Terrier off the leash. All the dogs then "piled up" at the back door for dinner. The porch light was on, so the client went into the house to make dinner for all the dogs. After about 20 minutes she went outside to let the dogs in, but didn't notice anything until they had all zipped into their crates and the Corgi was missing. The client went into the yard to look for her and found her outside the back door, dead.

A check of the other dogs revealed that the Bull Terrier has some cuts that looked like teeth slashes inside her nostrils, some smaller cuts on her head, and blood on her collar.

The hound mix was covered in blood - his muzzle, the top of his head, both of his ears - but the blood was not his and there wasn't a mark on him.

The client called her sister and had both of these dogs taken to a kennel.

The Corgi, when examined, had bite marks on her chin and tongue, and five to six deep punctures on her throat.

What happened here?

How could something go so wrong in a household that had done so much in order to meet each dogs' needs?

Quite simply, the Corgi was changing - behaviorally, neurochemically and socially - as she reached social maturity (theoretical mean ~ 18-24 months; range 12-36 months). The Bull Terrier noticed it, and the Husky noticed it, and changed their behaviors as a result of it.

The client noticed it too, but not in the way that the dogs did. Simply, the hound mix, the dog the client felt wanted peace, protected the Bull Terrier from what was like an offensive attack by the Corgi.

He had shown signs of intervening to stop the Corgi's obnoxious behavior toward the other dogs before: remember his care of the Cocker?

All the information necessary to understand this tragedy is contained in the client's descriptions. So many of her comments highlight myths and problems in interpretations about canine behavior that it are worthwhile addressing next month one-by-one.
"Remember - every time your dog gets somewhere on a tight leash *a fairy dies and it's all your fault.* Think of the fairies." http://www.positivepetzine.com"

http://www.pitbullzen.com
http://inaradog.wordpress.com
User avatar
pitbullmamaliz
Working out in the buff causes chafing
 
Posts: 15437
Location: Cleveland, OH

Postby amazincc » July 7th, 2009, 2:44 pm

Jeez... :shock: :sad2:

I'm not a trainer by any stretch of the imagination, but even I would've recognized the warning signs way sooner. I can't believe this went on for months, but the owner thought "everything changed very quickly"... what planet was she living on???

The client wrote to me five days after the event because she was thinking of euthanizing two of her dogs.

Of COURSE she did. :rolleyes2:
User avatar
amazincc
Jessica & Mick
 
Posts: 9814
Location: Holding them both in my heart.

Postby TheRedQueen » July 8th, 2009, 4:04 pm

Thanks for finding the first part, Liz...I went to look for it, and then promptly forgot to look again later...

I agree Christine...I would have felt "something" was up. :| But then again, hindsight is 20/20
"I don't have any idea if my dogs respect me or not, but they're greedy and I have their stuff." -- Patty Ruzzo

"Dogs don't want to control people. They want to control their own lives." --John Bradshaw
User avatar
TheRedQueen
I thought I lost my Wiener... but then I found him.
 
Posts: 7184
Location: Maryland

Postby DemoDick » July 8th, 2009, 9:21 pm

Wow, what a train wreck of an article. I couldn't disagree more.

"There are no truly 'submissive' or 'dominant/alpha' dogs..." Whatever you say, doc. :wave2:

The author may be correct about the events she is describing, but she is WAY out of line to make generalized statements like the one above.

Demo Dick
"My first priority will be to reinstate the assault weapons ban PERMANENTLY as soon as I take office...I intend to work with Congress on a national no carry law, 1 gun a month purchase limits, and bans on all semi-automatic guns."-Barack Obama
"When in doubt, whip it out."-Nuge
User avatar
DemoDick
They Like to Fondle My Gun
 
Posts: 1910
Location: New York

Postby amazincc » July 8th, 2009, 9:35 pm

DemoDick wrote:Wow, what a train wreck of an article. I couldn't disagree more.
Demo Dick


Elaborate, please! :)
User avatar
amazincc
Jessica & Mick
 
Posts: 9814
Location: Holding them both in my heart.

Postby DemoDick » July 8th, 2009, 9:53 pm

amazincc wrote:
DemoDick wrote:Wow, what a train wreck of an article. I couldn't disagree more.
Demo Dick


Elaborate, please! :)


No time. Watching Star Trek: Enterprise and choking down meal number 7 for today. You know how hard it is to get 200 grams of protein a day? Here's a hint, a can of tuna has about 13 grams. I think I'm getting tendonitis in my jaw.

Demo Dick
"My first priority will be to reinstate the assault weapons ban PERMANENTLY as soon as I take office...I intend to work with Congress on a national no carry law, 1 gun a month purchase limits, and bans on all semi-automatic guns."-Barack Obama
"When in doubt, whip it out."-Nuge
User avatar
DemoDick
They Like to Fondle My Gun
 
Posts: 1910
Location: New York

Postby amazincc » July 8th, 2009, 9:56 pm

DemoDick wrote:
No time. Watching Star Trek: Enterprise and choking down meal number 7 for today. You know how hard it is to get 200 grams of protein a day? Here's a hint, a can of tuna has about 13 grams. I think I'm getting tendonitis in my jaw.

Demo Dick


I think there are shakes... :rolleyes2: :wink:
User avatar
amazincc
Jessica & Mick
 
Posts: 9814
Location: Holding them both in my heart.

Postby mnp13 » July 8th, 2009, 11:01 pm

There are some interesting things in the article, but some that seem a little "out there."

While I don't agree with "alpha" theory in regards to human and dog interaction, when you watch a group of dogs together, I think there is clear hierarchy.

In general I think a lot of the article makes sense, especially for the "average" dog. However, there is nothing in there that addresses the dogs that are "hard wired" for dog aggression.

She says this:
There are no truly "submissive" or "dominant/alpha" dogs and by putting these labels on dogs we blind ourselves to all of the interesting information that the dogs are communicating with its species-typical postures.

but then says this:
High ranking dogs are those whose behaviors are appropriate given a number of contexts. They feel the need to challenge no one because they do not have to do so.

In my mind she is contradicting herself - there aren't any "dominant" dogs, but there are "high ranking" dogs? That doesn't make sense to me. The high ranking dog is the dominant one.
Michelle

Inside me is a thin woman trying to get out. I usually shut the bitch up with a martini.
User avatar
mnp13
Evil Overlord
 
Posts: 17232
Location: Rochester, NY

Postby DemoDick » July 9th, 2009, 9:29 am

amazincc wrote:I think there are shakes... :rolleyes2: :wink:


Which provide about 40 grams per 2 scoop serving. I drink them as a supplement, but still rely heavily on animal based protein sources./hijack

I'll respond to the article later tonight. It's not all crap, but there's a fair amount mixed in with the good stuff, and that will cause more problems than an article that is mostly false, and observably so.

Demo Dick
"My first priority will be to reinstate the assault weapons ban PERMANENTLY as soon as I take office...I intend to work with Congress on a national no carry law, 1 gun a month purchase limits, and bans on all semi-automatic guns."-Barack Obama
"When in doubt, whip it out."-Nuge
User avatar
DemoDick
They Like to Fondle My Gun
 
Posts: 1910
Location: New York

Postby kera09 » July 9th, 2009, 1:26 pm

good article. when you have more than 1 dog you have to really know them and constantly watch them together! mine get 2 rough with each other and thats it. ive seen a dog fight and never ever ever want to see one in my own home!!!
duge, ava, lulu and martini's momma :)
User avatar
kera09
Hyper Adolescent Bully
 
Posts: 318
Location: rochester

Postby furever_pit » July 9th, 2009, 7:35 pm

I feel that this article offers some good points as well as some that I do not personally agree with.

My main disagreement is with the comment that there are no truly dominant or submissive dogs. Just based on the dogs that my father and I have, I feel that I have seen truly submissive, truly dominant, and one truly alpha dog. The rest fall somewhere on the spectrum in between.

Otherwise I think it is a good cautionary tale. I think that, in general, it is a bad idea to release multiple dogs to free run together. To me, it is a recipe for disaster. I think that the point about housing dogs so that they can't see each other through a fence and continue to escalate the situation is a very valid one.

Really, I believe in crating and rotating. Not sure I would be so gung-ho about it if I weren't involved with bulldogs, but who knows.
User avatar
furever_pit
Supremely Bully
 
Posts: 1138
Location: NC

Postby amazincc » July 9th, 2009, 8:43 pm

Supervision, supervision, supervision... especially in multiple-dog households, and when one is/was known to be snarky. :rolleyes2: :nono:

I can't really comment on the "alpha and/or submissive" stuff... I don't have the experience or the knowledge.
I do know my own dogs pretty well though, and I have learned to recognize what does, or doesn't, work for whom. I try my hardest to act accordingly, meaning I try to avoid creating a situation where any of my dogs feel the need to "handle it" on their own.
It's a LOT of work at times, but it's a necessary "evil" when having more than one. :|
User avatar
amazincc
Jessica & Mick
 
Posts: 9814
Location: Holding them both in my heart.

Postby TheRedQueen » July 9th, 2009, 8:48 pm

I will state that I do not believe in typical alpha/submissive lines of thought. I think that's been pretty clear in other posts, so I won't re-hash it here. ;)

I will say that until getting involved with this forum, I had a few friends that crated/rotated, but those people were few and far between. There are big differences in breeds, so the crate/rotate idea and not having dogs roam free together does depend on breed/type. I used to be very involved with basset hounds...(I lost mine a few years ago, and haven't been able to get another yet). This is a breed that is bred to work in large groups without fighting...and I knew MANY people that had packs of 6 or more (pets, not working bassets) that lived in harmony. Completely different ideas on that forum as on this one. Most people with bassets barely crate, much less keep their dogs separated! :giggle:

And I'm with Christine...I don't let my dogs get to the "I'll handle this myself" stage...
"I don't have any idea if my dogs respect me or not, but they're greedy and I have their stuff." -- Patty Ruzzo

"Dogs don't want to control people. They want to control their own lives." --John Bradshaw
User avatar
TheRedQueen
I thought I lost my Wiener... but then I found him.
 
Posts: 7184
Location: Maryland

Postby DemoDick » July 15th, 2009, 10:25 pm

Ok, here we go.

Forget the semantics of "alpha", dominance-submission, etc. Consider the following instead.

This is a PIT BULL board. Let's remember that. I don't care what people do with their Bassets, Labra-whatevers, or Basenjis. We're talking about dogs who are hard-wired fighters, or at least their ancestors were. People who come to this board are frequently seeking help in managing multiple Pit households, or seeking help with other "problems" unique to this breed. Plenty of people want to know why Fido and Fluffy keep trying to kill each other and don't get along with their play-friends at the dog park. A few people have suddenly found themselves in possession of a hot dog (that as of yesterday was cold) and are considering putting them down because their temperament is "unsound."

What do we constantly PREACH to people who are trying to manage multiple Pit Bull households? We tell them to be ready to crate and rotate. It's a pain in the ass, but the only management strategy that can be reliably implemented among Pits that have shown tendencies toward aggression. What do we tell people whose Pits display aggression towards other dogs? We tell them to keep them separated at all times and that "No, your dog does not 'need' doggy friends." It's tough, because people don't want to face the reality that crate and rotate, coupled with separation from non-pack dogs, is a royal pain in the ass. NO ONE wants to do it. Hell, it's what we do around here and if I didn't have to, I wouldn't.

So we spend an inordinate amount of time trying to get people to realize the reality of this breed and how best to manage it. We get the in the fence, and they start realizing that they are going to have to implement some management strategies that are inconvenient at best and downright difficult at worst.

But look! Right here at the top of this forum is a stickied article from a credentialed academic who sure seems to make sense. Perhaps we can learn how to see the "warning signs" early enough to prevent any problems. Maybe we don't have to crate and rotate after all! Maybe my dog can be "managed" when interacting with other strange dogs. And maybe, when the inevitable happens he won't be a headline...

This is BAAAD info for Pit Bull owners, ESPECIALLY those who are at the lower end of the learning curve. And its placement here without a disclaimer makes it look like it has the endorsement of the board.

Demo Dick
"My first priority will be to reinstate the assault weapons ban PERMANENTLY as soon as I take office...I intend to work with Congress on a national no carry law, 1 gun a month purchase limits, and bans on all semi-automatic guns."-Barack Obama
"When in doubt, whip it out."-Nuge
User avatar
DemoDick
They Like to Fondle My Gun
 
Posts: 1910
Location: New York

Postby DemoDick » July 15th, 2009, 10:34 pm

Caught early enough, the aggressor can be treated with behavior modification designed to teach him or her to allow the other dog to exist.


Not with Pit Bulls.

Behavior modification can be as complex as desensitizing and counter-conditioning the dogs to each other using treats and good head collars that can close the dogs' mouths (e.g. Gentle Leader).


Not with Pit Bulls.

Or it can be as simple as letting the victim have free range during the day and locking the aggressor in a spare or lesser "status" room.


Not with Pit Bulls.

Anyone see a pattern here?

Demo Dick
"My first priority will be to reinstate the assault weapons ban PERMANENTLY as soon as I take office...I intend to work with Congress on a national no carry law, 1 gun a month purchase limits, and bans on all semi-automatic guns."-Barack Obama
"When in doubt, whip it out."-Nuge
User avatar
DemoDick
They Like to Fondle My Gun
 
Posts: 1910
Location: New York

Postby BullyLady » July 15th, 2009, 10:38 pm

Amen Demo. While I hate how the media sometimes makes our dogs seem like baby-eating dogs who fly off the handle and kill people randomly I still think it's important to admit and understand that these dogs have a very different background from most other dogs that are now commonly kept as household pets.
"I'm not all bad but I'm a faithful sinner."
~Dave Matthews
Cathleen
Shelby - AB Mix 1 yr - CGC
User avatar
BullyLady
Proud Uber Nerd
 
Posts: 1060
Location: E Washington State

Postby TheRedQueen » July 15th, 2009, 10:52 pm

So no one here has managed to get their dogs to ignore each other when near each other...dogs that would otherwise eat each other?

And if the article were to say...all these things are true EXCEPT for pit bulls...no one would have flown off the handle about pit bulls being singled out? :|

Just because this is a PIT BULL board, we are not able to discuss other breeds and training of said breeds? I brought up different breeds because someone said that they don't think multiple dogs should be loose together, and I mentioned that it might be the case with pit bulls, but some other breeds don't have the same issues. So we can ONLY talk about pit bulls and what is true and right for this breed? Heavens that we would broaden the discussion to include other types of dogs.
"I don't have any idea if my dogs respect me or not, but they're greedy and I have their stuff." -- Patty Ruzzo

"Dogs don't want to control people. They want to control their own lives." --John Bradshaw
User avatar
TheRedQueen
I thought I lost my Wiener... but then I found him.
 
Posts: 7184
Location: Maryland

Postby BullyLady » July 15th, 2009, 10:57 pm

Erin, it's not that other breeds can't be mentioned, but I think that since this is primarily a pit bull board then it needs to be addressed that these techniques may not be effective with bull breeds. Especially for those who come here for pit bull information and maybe aren't even registered but are simply looking for information concerning inter-dog aggression.
"I'm not all bad but I'm a faithful sinner."
~Dave Matthews
Cathleen
Shelby - AB Mix 1 yr - CGC
User avatar
BullyLady
Proud Uber Nerd
 
Posts: 1060
Location: E Washington State

Next

Return to Training & Behavior

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users