I decided to create this thread, after reading and participating in this one:
First off, I want to state that I am NOT a dog expert, not even close, which will be evident shortly!
I thought it would be educational if we could discuss some dog behaviors, what they mean and of course if we learned anything from it. Or, if
you’re a dog trainer, help educate the rest of us.
What this boils down to is a desire to be a good, responsible dog owner. I can honestly say I’m getting much better, since our first dog.
Here’s the story:
My husband grew up with boxers. Loved them! So when we finally moved into our own home, I thought I would surprise him and the boys with a Boxer pup
for Christmas. I found a breeder, with references, papers, all that.
He picked out a beautiful brindle girl. She was amazing. I fell in love with her right away.
The problem? As she got older, she decided she was the Alfa female. I had no clue about dominance and Alfa’s.
Well, she was awesome if I was home alone, very protective of me. If my husband was home? I was not allowed on the bed without her growling and
nipping at me. She was very protective of the boys, but I could not discipline them if she was around.
I learned to just co-exist with her. I wasn’t afraid of her, but I knew what she didn’t like from me and I didn’t do it.
So basically, she trained me. Was it her fault, for being aggressive?
NO! It was all mine. I didn’t know enough. I learned a valuable lesson, luckily without be hurt.
We have had another Boxer, and a couple of English Mastiffs between her and our current dogs. All males. That was by choice, as I was the only
female in a house full of human males already. I have also taken them to dog obedience classes, which I highly recommend!!!
The dogs we have now, see my avatar, are both males as well, but this time it was by circumstance only. The Mastiff is almost 8 months, and the
Bulldog is 2. Both are fixed, but we are back to the dominance issues with the Bulldog. He humps the Mastiff, strangers, and one family friend. He
tried it one time only with me. I immediately laid him on his side and “bit” his neck. (Not hard, but I added a little growl) Not sure that is
textbook training, but it worked for me. He just seems to have to always let everyone else know where his place is in our pack.
One other thing I would like to discuss. Just watching your dog. Watch them when people are over. Watch them when other animals are around. Watch
them ALWAYS with children.
Not only for the safety of others, but for your dog as well. If your paying attention, dogs do actually express how they are feeling. They just
can't verbalize it. For instance, my Mastiff. When we have many people over, he will come and literally sit on my feet. He is overwhelmed. So I
tell everyone to ignore him and let him come to them. Usually within a half hour, everyone is complaining about the drool, as he makes his way to
give everyone Mastiff kisses.
Obviously there is so much more to a dog’s behavior. I just think that if more people actually took the time to learn about their pets behaviors,
some of the bad behaviors and injuries to people could be avoided.
And as a posted said in the other thread, be very careful of bad breeders. Do not be afraid to ask for references, see the parents of the litters,
ect. To many are just in it for the money. An actual good breeder doesn’t make a whole lot (except show breeders) they do it for the love of the
breed. Your going to have problems when they are inbreeding, with both behaviors and physical health.
So please, share what you know! The more people learn about dogs, the better dog owners we become!