Dominance and Submission - question for trainers

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Postby mnp13 » September 23rd, 2006, 4:51 pm

This topic came up during a discussion with a couple of people and I'm interested in hearing from a few trainers on the topic. I'm not discounting the input of "regular" members / dog owners, but trainers often see many more dogs and many more breeds than the average owner does. This question does not necessarily pertain to Pit Bulls, but general dog behavior.

Of course, some may be neither, and just be bad manners

I have my opinions on these behaviors, of course, but I want to hear from others who have more experience and better knowledge

Some behaviors:
  • dog one shoving inbetween dog two and owner when dog two is getting attention
  • dog peeing on other dog or on other dog's bed
  • hackles raised when a command is given
  • warning growls when told to do something
  • raised front paw and leaning on handlers leg
  • licking handler under chin or on neck when handler is bending over dog
  • stiff posture when complying to commands
  • extremely slow response to commands
  • unwavering eye contact when not complying to commands
  • offering commands with no rewards present


Thanks, I'll be very interested to hear what people have to say on these.

and to head off the inevitable questions - no, these do NOT all pertian to my dogs. Most of them do not.
Michelle

Inside me is a thin woman trying to get out. I usually shut the bitch up with a martini.
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Postby jlewin » September 23rd, 2006, 11:03 pm

i don't have time for a full out reply b/c you have asked a lot of different questions here. one thing to remember any time you are tempted to say that a dog is exhibiting dominant behavior is that very very few dogs have any desire to dominate anyone. very few wolves are born into the alpha or beta category, (alphas being leaders and betas being candidates for future leadership) mostly wolves fall into the omega category who prefer to be led and be secure. now the domestic dog most likely evolved mainly from wolves in the omega category. so the majority of wolves are omegas and an even greater majority of dogs are. most behaviors which we tend to view as dominant are really just insecure or confusion responses. that may be hard to swallow at first but if you consider how you would feel if you landed on a planet where you knew you should follow direction from other beings you lived with but did not speak their language you would be pretty quick to respond out of insecurity or confusion. ok i'm going to stop for now but would be happy to elaborate on any of this or have constructive conversation with anyone who feels differently.
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Postby mnp13 » September 23rd, 2006, 11:09 pm

I agree with you - there are very very few truly dominant dogs. Most are dogs that need a lesson in manners or an owner that needs a lesson in leadership.

However, there ARE truly dominant dogs out there.
Michelle

Inside me is a thin woman trying to get out. I usually shut the bitch up with a martini.
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Postby jlewin » September 24th, 2006, 4:47 pm

yes there are. you can mainly see it in the body language. a cold hard stare with no barking or growling and you have a dominance problem. dominant dogs don't vocalize much they expect YOU to behave with minimal effort on their part and when you don't they are pissed. Most dominant dogs fall into the beta class and will recognize that they have to step down, and most will like it. i have met dogs who would not give up and it takes a dedicated and understanding owner to make that work. only twice in my life can i honestly say i have met a truly dominant dog. kind of scary.
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