Dog Behaviors and Lessons Learned

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posted on Jan, 23 2013 @ 12:49 PM
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I decided to create this thread, after reading and participating in this one:
www.abovetopsecret.com...

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!




posted on Jan, 23 2013 @ 01:01 PM
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Educating children about not behaving like prey animals or threats around them, eg, running, squealing and shouting, riding bikes, scooters, skateboards, etc, would cut down attacks by loose dogs dramatically. Teaching them that they can't treat a stranger's dog the way they treat their own would reduce the casualty toll even further.
edit on 23-1-2013 by IvanAstikov because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 23 2013 @ 01:06 PM
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reply to post by IvanAstikov
 


Great advice! To many people just don't teach their children the correct way to interact with a dog. Or bother to watch them closely around a dog.
Thanks for responding!



posted on Jan, 23 2013 @ 01:08 PM
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I have two male dogs that I have to keep separated at all times.
Both want to be the alpha. Im confident that if they were allowed to fight it would be to the death.
It all started with a sniff and a hump lol.
Anyone have any suggestions?

PS the fighting is instant and guaranteed.
As soon as their eyes meet it's on like donkey Kong.
edit on 23-1-2013 by GmoS719 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 23 2013 @ 01:17 PM
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reply to post by GmoS719
 


I'd like to know the answer to that as well.
Would another option be to muzzle them, when they are together?
(Not sure that I would like to have to do that myself.)



posted on Jan, 23 2013 @ 01:22 PM
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Meet an extraordinary Border collie and other dogs that are changing our view of canine intelligence. Aired February 9, 2011 on PBS. New discoveries are revealing that "man's best friend" is smarter than we ever thought, with a brain that resembles our own in ways we never imagined.

Travel to Wolf Park, where scientists are tracing the evolutionary path that turned wild animals into our cuddly companions, and meet a superdog with a vocabulary of over 1,000 words. This brilliant border collie understands 1,022 nouns



This is a really good documentary about dogs and how they were "created" by humans.


Full video


edit on 23-1-2013 by WaterBottle because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 23 2013 @ 01:25 PM
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reply to post by chiefsmom
 





If your paying attention, dogs do actually express how they are feeling. They just can't verbalize it.


They can verbalize it in certain ways. Like I can tell if my dogs making a happy bark, defensive bark, angry bark, playful bark, happy to see someone they know bark, etc.

Like if a stranger is knocking at the door, they will bark like they want to kill them. But if a family member is at the door they bark all happy sounding. lol. They definitely have an audible "language".

Dog Communication with Humans - Horizon: The Secret Life of the Dog - BBC Two

edit on 23-1-2013 by WaterBottle because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 23 2013 @ 01:25 PM
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im wondering if the males are intact? if so that could be the issue. I have an intact male belgian malinois, hes an awesome dog but he is very aggressive to strangers and other dogs as well. It is hard for me to dominate him and gain alpha control because any form of discipline or submission attempts is met with ferocity and growls even attempts at biting. Often times i find myself struggling with him for up to an hour just to get him to submit once i manage to put him on his side on the ground without getting bit. He is 1 and a half yrs old and hes quite a handful but i keep working with him and a trainer im hoping things will improve.



posted on Jan, 23 2013 @ 01:26 PM
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the problem is owners and their choice of breed and dog.

you got a boxer and mastiff.

a quick google search will show you that a boxer is a hunting dog, breed to hunt bear, wild boar and deer.

if you aren't hunting bear or large game, why did you get a boxer.

mastiffs on the other hand were bred for large game baiting and war, as well as guarding estates and homes.

in that case, you should be using, treating and training your dog for that.

he shouldn't be sleeping in your bed, as he is not doing what he was bred for, which is guarding your house.

all he is doing there is guarding your bed. he should have never been allowed or let to go upstairs. he should have been trained to stay on the first floor of your house guarding the entrances. if he was trained or not let to go upstairs, he would not allow anyone else to go apart of your family as he is not allowed.

he should not be allowed onto couches and furniture, as he will guard that instead, and not doing his job. he should have been sleeping on the floor near the entrances, guarding.

a well trained guard will not allow any intruders into your house, let alone go up to where you are sleeping.

he would have stopped him long before you even knew what was happening, and the intruder long gone before you even had a chance to reach for your gun.

if someone wanted to break into your house, he would have to shoot him. if he fired a shot, the whole neighbourhood would be woken up as well as you.

an burglar, unless he wants to spend the next 10 years in prison, get in a shoot out with police or get shot by you and or a neighbour, would not attempt to shoot a vicious mastiff to break into your house.

all that doesn't mean you can't walk him, play with him, but those breeds of dogs were not bred for companionship, they were bred to hunt and to guard and should be treated as such.

edit on 23-1-2013 by randomname because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 23 2013 @ 01:26 PM
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Originally posted by chiefsmom
reply to post by GmoS719
 


I'd like to know the answer to that as well.
Would another option be to muzzle them, when they are together?
(Not sure that I would like to have to do that myself.)


I've considered that. I hate having to keep them separated because they start to get jealous and lonely.
I'm afraid they still might hurt each other even with the muzzles.



posted on Jan, 23 2013 @ 01:35 PM
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I have 4 male dogs, my Collie and jack Russel wants to be the Alpha leader of the pack. They got into a few scuffles when I first got my Jack... but overtime they just got used to each other. The Jack Russel learned his place. There hasn't been an issue in years.

You just have to slowly ease contact with one another. Supervised visits until they'll accept their new family situation. They'll fall into their place in and become a pack.

If you have a dog aggressive breed this might not be possible to do though.



posted on Jan, 23 2013 @ 01:37 PM
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reply to post by GmoS719
 


What breed are the dogs?



posted on Jan, 23 2013 @ 01:40 PM
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Originally posted by WaterBottle
reply to post by GmoS719
 


What breed are the dogs?

Ones a standard poodle mix and the other is shiba inu.
It's not one sided either. They both start growling at eye contact.



posted on Jan, 23 2013 @ 01:52 PM
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reply to post by randomname
 


Actually, right now its a Bulldog and English Mastiff.
As far as the protection, the English Mastiff was breed for companionship and guarding of property. The way they were taught to guard, was to "tackle" the trespasser on the property and basically sit on them until the owner arrives. We are in the process of training him, when we are outside, the property lines.
You do not want to train a 220 lb. dog with any type of aggressive behavior. English Mastiffs just weren't bread for that, with good reason.



posted on Jan, 23 2013 @ 02:30 PM
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reply to post by GmoS719
 


Are they neutered?
What is their exercise routine?

Immediately start NILIF with both dogs.

Oh, and S&F to the OP!
edit on 1/23/2013 by Benevolent Heretic because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 23 2013 @ 02:33 PM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
reply to post by GmoS719
 


Are they neutered?
What is their exercise routine?

Immediately start NILIF with both dogs.

Oh, and S&F to the OP!
edit on 1/23/2013 by Benevolent Heretic because: (no reason given)


Neither are neutered.
Was planning on doing this soon.
They have plenty of space to run and do what dogs do.
Outside half the day.



posted on Jan, 23 2013 @ 02:48 PM
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reply to post by GmoS719
 


Neuter them ASAP.
Dogs need structured mental and physical exercise and human interaction. Left on their own to "do what dogs do", they will sleep.

My dogs can go outside anytime they want, but we still take them out for RUNNING and interactive games TWICE per day. A tired dog is a good dog. Get a Chuck-It dog toy and play with each of them for 20 minutes, twice per day, minimum.

And do NILIF!



posted on Jan, 23 2013 @ 03:03 PM
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reply to post by Benevolent Heretic
 


Yea!!! I was hoping your would find this thread! Almost sent you a U2U.
I really respect you opinion and advise when it comes to dogs!


Any other advise on behavior?
edit on 23-1-2013 by chiefsmom because: sp



posted on Jan, 23 2013 @ 03:46 PM
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reply to post by chiefsmom
 


You really hit on some important points in your OP. Dogs communicate their intentions ALL the time. I spend hours watching my dogs. With my husband and with each other. Their communication is fascinating. They have an entire language and if we can suss it out, we can communicate and understand them very well.

Most problems that people have with dogs is because they don't understand them and/or aren't willing to meet their needs. Dogs need exercise, structure and guidance. They are not just there for when we want company. They're like children - a HUGE commitment - and if left to their own devices, they will become destructive and/or aggressive.

The humping thing with your Mastiff is most likely excitement, but it's rude behavior for a dog. Some dogs will take it but others are highly offended by it. I would verbally correct it and not give him the opportunity to do it, using a leash. And if I were you, I would practice NILIF with him, too.

ALL dogs can benefit from NILIF.
When they understand that everything good comes through you, and that they are expected to behave a certain way to get what they want, it's amazing how good they can be!



posted on Jan, 23 2013 @ 09:40 PM
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My pack consisted of EIGHT mixed breed "rescue" dogs acquired over a few years - ALL NEUTERED. Until May 2011 our pack was limited to 5 big dogs. It's a long story I won't go into in detail but basically I have two bitches that will kill each other immediately if not segregated with thousands of $ in vet bills to prove it. Two males don't get along very well, so we segregate them as well, although they will generally tolerate each other for a while if there's an accidental security breach. We have a three dog Staffordshire family (got 2, had pups, kept one) that gets along with everyone, and a huge German Shepard mix raised from a 4 month old puppy that's great with all the dogs and loves puppies - we got it right with that dog. A few years back we got a rotweiler-great dane mix as a puppy, but he ended up being too big to control (200#) and too aggressive with people and dogs so we had to put him down. That was completely traumatic since he was the sweetest dog to US, very affectionate and loving - but he'd kill anything in the yard: squirrels, possums, snakes, frogs, cats. He wouldn't tolerate additions to the pack and attacked a pup, so he had to go.

Around Xmas time a pit-mix bitch showed up and didn't get along with any of the others very well except the Staffordshire's which are much smaller than her - she really likes the Stafford puppy. Five days ago she delivered ELEVEN puppies, and so far 8 are healthy and well - this is her first litter and she's crushed a couple of them. I'm having to keep a lot closer eye on them than when the Stafford bitch delivered pups (I think the Stafford's were breeder stock that were dumped in the neighborhood when she got pregnant again).

I'm disabled/retired and these dogs are my full time job in DogTown, while the wife works out in the real world.

LESSONS LEARNED
Fortunately we have some acreage, indoor cages for all the adult dogs as well as outdoor shaded kennels (with wind breaks and roofed sleep areas) about 75 sq.ft. each for six big dogs. The Stafford's share a 25x10 space, with an extra 10x10 occupied by the new mama (before she had her pups). Separate space for each dog is very important for their security & well being - as well as ours - until we got the kennels, having guests was completely impossible.

Strict routine is observed, 6 dogs share the yard while 2 are caged or kenneled - mama and pups aren't part of that routine at the present time. After evening meals, we send 4 outside and give treats and affection time to the other 4 - then we switch after an hour or so, then bedtime for everybody. With mama-pit, her outside time is before the other dogs get up from sleep, after they get caged for bed, and during the day she gets a walk off the property while all the others are kenneled. Mama & pups have the tiled laundry room as their secured living space; strict double door security leading to that area gives the other dogs access to the public rooms of the house during treat-affection time and gives us and the pups a no-hassle safety zone - that was a lesson learned from the Stafford pups that really worked out well.

Everybody gets caged for meals to eliminate food aggressive type problems.
The Alpha Male always is FIRST to go out, come in, get kenneled/released - this reinforces his position as first dog and relieves some of his dominance activity.
Whenever we have servicemen or guests, all dogs get kennelled outside.I've
The Alpha Male is a wuss when it comes to storms and insists on sleeping close to us - probably stems from our acquiring him during a thunderstorm.
The pit bull male is pretty passive, probably the runt of the litter, possible used as a bait dog since there are known pit-bull dog fights in our area - he was thrown out with the trash on a freeway off ramp, stayed there 6 hours with the trash bags until we took him home.

I'm not much of a dog whisperer, more of a dog shouter, since my next door neighbor has 4 dogs and both packs like to "fence fight" for exercise..


ganjoa
edit on 23-1-2013 by ganjoa because: neuter ad





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