Author Topic: Dominance  (Read 5170 times)

Offline GoofyNewfie

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Dominance
« on: January 25, 2009, 08:44:25 pm »
So Diesel now is 7 1/2 months and quite massive...and attempting dominance on some dogs. He does the thing where he advances on the dog chest forward and towers over their head. This is really new as a month ago even a pug could boss him around.

So my question is: what should I be doing about it? He does this so rarely but I'd hate for him to get himself in trouble--his last attempt was on a dog that could have probably taken him in 5 seconds flat  :-\

Diesel, 6 month old Newf.

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Re: Dominance
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2009, 03:51:07 am »
You just have to be on top of him and call him off. I think my pups are just on the verge of this behavior . . .

This was a huge problem with my rescue Staffie when I got her. She was SOOOOO defensive, and the best defense is a good offense. Took a lot of hard work, but if you're consistent about not allowing the behavior he will get the message.

Good Luck!

Offline ZooCrew

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Re: Dominance
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2009, 10:08:13 am »
I really think it depends on the dog, as well as the breed.

Keiko for instance...... ....in most dogs, when a dog lays their head on another's neck, they will interpret it as dominance.  But in most huskies I've seen.......... ..it is an invite to play.  Keiko is not dominant, nor is she submissive.  But the head on the back/neck thing is her subtle way of asking a dog to play.  In most cases, the other dog doesn't take the hint and she's left alone......... .lol.

I have very rarely seen this type of behavior misinterpreted to the point of a fight.   Nomally the other dog will just move or jump away.  You have more to worry about if he starts staring other dogs down.

But if you do not like this kind of behavior, then you can certainly try to curb it by distracting him or moving him away from the other dog.

Offline sc.trojans

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Re: Dominance
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2009, 12:00:42 pm »
I applaud you for recognizing the behavior for what it is - so many are not aware of what a "body standover" is and means.

According to most behaviorists I have spoken to, including Patricia McConnell, a body standover is one of THE most offensive gestures in the canine world.  Dogs are individuals and how each one responds to offensive acts by others varies and runs the gamut, but for the dog who takes this for the status seeking motive that it is, it could spell big trouble and is best to always prevent it.  One of my girls, Gracie is a great example of a sweet natured and dog social dog but there are two things she will NOT tolerate:  being mounted or taking a body standover.

The best thing you can do is to prevent the set-up and never allow him to cock his head over the neck/back of another - either by pulling him back with the leash, or taking him by the collar (if offleash) and gently turning him away while teaching a "cue" such as "leave it", "off", or "look at me".  Once he knows the cue, you should be able to verbally redirect him.  To best teach the cue, use high reward food treats to lure him off of things while saying the cue word. 

My dogs all know "look at me" for example and I find this to be the single best command we have.  It is super easy to teach - every time my dog looks at me, I clicked and treated.  After several times of looking at me, and recognizing the pattern that "I get a reward when I look at her" - I started saying the cue "look at me" and re-inforced it.  It took no time for them to learn the cue and now I can control any distraction with the cue or prevent my girls from focusing on a dog with crude social skills (who is about to do something offensive and for which I am trying to avoid having anyone get offended).

If you start now, you should have no trouble teaching this command and controlling the status seeking.  Last case scenario, getting yelled at by dogs he offends may be the best teaching as well, as long as no one means harm and is focused on just verbally discplining.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2009, 02:14:09 pm by sc.trojans »
SC Trojans
with Gracie and Skylar

Offline GoofyNewfie

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Re: Dominance
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2009, 12:27:54 pm »
Thanks guys! He hasn't done it lately. Last times I pulled him off, and one of the times the guy actually said "ah, he just wants to play!" Nope, not that way, he won't!
Diesel, 6 month old Newf.

lookingfornewf

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Re: Dominance
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2009, 12:57:13 pm »
I learned something new today, BPO is so good for that. Clifford did that to my sister's lab. I thought Clifford just wanted to play. He kept putting his head up on the labs shoulder and the lab did take offense and kept barking at him. I thought her lab was just old and crabby and didn't want to play. I didn't realize Clifford was trying out his dominance skills. Fortunately he just got barked at and didn't remotely get a clue, he continued to do it until I called him in. We only see them once or twice a year, but I will watch for this behavior with Clifford and other dogs.

Offline MagicM3

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Re: Dominance
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2009, 09:24:28 pm »
isn't human intervention problematic?


NO is is not..especiall ly if the humans involved know what to do..

Prevention here is very simple..as was explained..

It also wasn't explained if it was happening with dogs known or unknown..

Within a family ..meaning multiple dogs in a family..this kind of thing is usually worked out between them..fairly quickly..but it should never be allowed IMO outside of family..and if it becomes a problem in the family then the same applies..

Tricia and the fur kids

Offline maxsmom

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Re: Dominance
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2009, 12:01:22 pm »
Some dogs will not teach the dog that this is unacceptable in a manner that is kind or thoughtful.  In dog parks for instance, you have unknown dogs, who may have major issues with any show of dominance and simply attack.  As stated the best defense is a strong offense.  I don't take my dogs to dog parks anymore for this reason.  Max could care less, but Cody will not tolerate any show of dominance, growling, snarling, humping, body stand overs, etc.  He is ready to fight.  As long as the other dog backs down when he growls, he's just fine.  But, if the other dog growls back, he's going for him.  Small dogs can get away with anything.  I've had chis come up and bite Cody, with no repercussions at all.  But any large dog, close to his size or larger, the fight is on. It's better to prevent the behavior, than to have an expensive vet bill or a severely damaged dog.
Kathy
Max  2 Irish Wolfhound
Jake  2 Great Pyrenees
Cody   3 Tibetan Mastiff
ChiChi 1.5 Caucasian Ovcharka
John and Nicki Maine Coon cats