why do my doggies do this? need some training help...

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by mommy9994, Aug 20, 2008.

  1. mommy9994

    mommy9994 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've learned that some of the things that I allow my doggies to do are "dominant" behaviors, i.e. sticking thier nose under my hand to get me to pet them. SO, now I'm wondering about this behavior that we always thought was kinda funny.

    We've had Sparkie for about 2 1/2 years. He gets along with the cats, but when he sees us comming home down the driveway, he'll quick look around for a cat, and chase it away. We've always encouraged him t chase strays out of the yard. Our thought was that he was trying to please us. Is there something else to it? Roxi we've only had for about a month, and she does the same thing, except with the birds. She is just fine with them when we aren't outside, but as soon as we go out, she chases them.

    Also, they fight over the food, and the *premium* spot under baby's highchair. How do I get them to stop, or do they need to establish a "pecking order"?

    OH, Sparkie is a 5 yo Basset/beagle mix, about 20 lbs, and Roxi is a 9 yo daschund, about 5 lbs. Neither have ever bitten anyone or each other (and we'd like to keep it that way), though Roxi does tend to get a bit "nippy".
     
  2. tvtaber

    tvtaber Chillin' With My Peeps

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    First of all, they do establish a pecking order. The trick is for you to be at the top! As in most families, however, the dog pack leader is usually not the biggest bully but the one who takes the responsibility for safety and providing. Chaising the cat out of the yard is something you have probably praised her for in the past, and she wants to please you because she respects you; that is a good thing! She sees no reason to do this unless it is to please you, while other dogs may be more territorial and chase the cat away for their own reasons.

    I've never heard or read that nudging your hand for petting is a dominant behavior. I would rather say it is a submissive behavior so long as they are not obnoxious and can take no for an answer. Dogs come to the dominant animal and ask for attention, which is why the best thing to do with a new dog is ignore them completely until they decide to come to you. Also it is just polite in dog language to wait awhile to get to know each other.

    Fighting over food is another matter altogether. While a natural behavior, I personally do not tolerate it becuase of the risk a dog will take food out of a child's hand or, worse, bite them to get it from them. I may be too careful, but I crated our dogs at meal times until they realized that begging and especially fighting over things that fall is not allowed. Now they both lay under chairs quietly and are inconspicuous during meals.
     
  3. mommy9994

    mommy9994 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chaising the cat out of the yard is something you have probably praised her for in the past, and she wants to please you because she respects you;

    That is exactly what we thought. Just wanted to make sure we weren't doing something wrong.


    I've never heard or read that nudging your hand for petting is a dominant behavior. I would rather say it is a submissive behavior so long as they are not obnoxious and can take no for an answer. Dogs come to the dominant animal and ask for attention, which is why the best thing to do with a new dog is ignore them completely until they decide to come to you. Also it is just polite in dog language to wait awhile to get to know each other.

    I read it here a few days ago. I don't remember who said it. They are well behaved if they aren't petted when they do this.

    When they fight over the highchair, they are removed from the area. Roxi generally shows "doggie remorse" i.e. ducking head/tucking tail. I think she tends to be naturally submissive. However, she is the first one to growl over food. When they fight over the dog food, we remove them from the area, and sometimes feed them separate. They are starting to eat at separate times now, I think it was maybe just a matter of getting used to each other.​
     
  4. texasreb

    texasreb Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Demanding anything (including petting) is a dominant behavior. Pack leaders control all areas of life, including grooming. Petting falls under grooming or playing, depending on how the activity is pursued. If you didn't have an infant in the house it wouldn't matter whether or not you trained them out of it. Your baby makes things different. It is important that the child be above the dogs in pack ranking so that the dogs' don't take injure him or her later on.

    If the dog(s) are demanding petting from you and getting away with it, think about what they might try with the child.
     
  5. mommy9994

    mommy9994 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's something else too, they almost totally ignore the baby (she's 18 mos). She's a little unsure of them-- she'll sometimes get the nerve to toddle up and barely touch them --they usually get up and move somewhere else. They play with the big kids (13, 9, and 4), but not the baby.

    ETA: my thoughts on this. We have only had Roxi living with us for a short time, but have known her since she was a puppy, and through 3 babies. She's always loved dh, and thought I was her mommy LOL. We NEVER let the dogs on our laps/furniture when we are holding baby. Maybe they just understand that baby is a "no-no"?
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2008
  6. tvtaber

    tvtaber Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would have to respectfully disagree that asking to be petted is a dominant behavior, but no matter. [​IMG] It sounds to me like you and your doggies are doing exactly the right things. Ignoring the baby altogether is the best situation, IMHO, and if they gently move away when she comes near so much the better. When she becomes more stable (and fun, from their point of view) they'll play with her just like they do with the other kids.
    Good job!
     
  7. tvtaber

    tvtaber Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh, I wanted to mention the "Dog Whisperer" has a new book out. I forget his name (Cesar something) but I think everyone knows him by now. He explains this dominant submissive thing really well, including some common mistakes people make with their dogs. Can't remember his stance on the petting issue! Our library had a copy and it is a fast read.
     
  8. Dar

    Dar Overrun With Chickens

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    I dont know how I have done it but we have somehow managed to train our dog to chase the strays out of the yard but leave our own cats alone..she even follows the chickens around and when they go to far she barks at them...almost like a border collie...the only thing is ..the chickens are bigger then her [​IMG] but the gals listen to the dog...its funny because we call the dog the identity confused dog...sometimes she thinks she is a chicken she will walk among them and as the chickens scratch the ground the dog will scratch too...it looks really funny
     

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