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Dominance and what it means to you....

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by goodvic2, Jul 20, 2009.


  1. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

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    We have so many threads running about dominance at the moment, but what does it actually mean to you?

    I think the word is taken out of context and people have their own interpretation of it.

    To me it means:

    * Being the pack leader/boss 100% of the time
    * Implementing and maintaining consistant rules and boundries
    * Constantly reinforcing my status by way of training sessions, walks and other daily rituals, such as gesture eating.
    * Communicating to my dogs that I am the leader and as such I will take care of them.

    I look forward to your replies.

    PS. This is NOT a Cesar thread, so please can we not mention him! :)
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. sallyanne

    sallyanne Guest

    What it means to me,
    A word very overused for a poorly trained dog.

    I'm not Dominant over my dogs,they do as there told because of the way they have been trained, and they know there is something in it for them,nothing more,nothing less.

    They eat before us,they go through doors before us apart from when we go out on walks,they get on the sofa,but only when invited this is the way we trained them nothing to do with dominance,Tyler will try and start a game with me sometimes and that's fine,if I'm not interested for any particular reason he will go and amuse himself.

    I don't have any issue's with Tyler at all,the only one we have with Meg is that she doesn't like other dogs,I can live with that,not a major problem. ;)
     
  3. Guinevere13

    Guinevere13 PetForums VIP

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    Hi
    I look at my dog and think there is not a dominant bone in her body. If she pulls in front of me, it's because there is a REALLY interesting smell she needs to sniff. If she pushes past me to get out of the door, it's to get ready for me throwing her ball down the garden. :D To be honest I don't see it as a problem. She knows who is in charge when it is needed and looks to me for reassurance to see if she is doing the right thing etc.
    There are of course those dogs which like to be "top dog" and are dominant by design, much like some people are. However I think a lot of things are misinterpreted by humans as a quest for dominance when they are just enthusiastic.
    Chilled owner = chilled dog :)
     
  4. JSR

    JSR PetForums VIP

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    Interesting. Okay to me I'm certainly not dominant over my dogs, neither am I their pack leader but I am in control and in charge. I have to be with a pack, esp as some have behavioural issues that could determined the packs group behaviour in certain situations.

    My dogs certainly eat before me, I don't allow them out the front door before me but that is because it opens directly onto the lane and there could be a tractor or something going passed. They wait before jumping out of the back of the van, but that is something I train all dogs to do as it's important for safety. I allow them on the sofa and my bed, and I play tugging games with them, even the staffie crosses.

    I do think dominance is over used as is pack leader, I prefer to see myself as being in control as being a leader. My dogs do what I ask because they respect and trust me (well except Tiz who does what I ask for bits of Frolic I carry in my pockets!!:001_tt2: ) and I think them walking before me or eating before me would have little baring on that.

    The one thing I do agree with CM is that our demenour reflects on the dogs, I know the times I've lost my temper (and we all do it so lets not pretend we don't!!) then my dogs responses to me it totally different. If I ask them calmly to come back they will all recall perfectly, when I turn into fishwife and scream (usually because I'm tired and hungry and want go home!!) they ignore me completely!!

    Definatley agree calm owner will have calm dogs.
     
    Guinevere13 likes this.
  5. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

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    Ah ha, you mentioned him! :001_tt2:
     
  6. JSR

    JSR PetForums VIP

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    :001_tt2: I know I'm a rebel!!! Hee hee !!
     
  7. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

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    So if I left out the word "pack", would you call yourself a "leader"??? and do not all leaders, have to have a degree of dominance? Lets face it, if we were the opposite of dominant, would we not be seen as submissive and therefore weak?


    Alex Ferguson is a good example. One of the most sucessful football clubs. Do you not think he needs to be dominant and in control? Can't quite see him as being submissive1 :wink5:
     
  8. JSR

    JSR PetForums VIP

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    I don't know. I don't want to think my dogs are at all afraid of me so I don't like to use those sorts of words. Obviously I am in charge of them but it's not something maintained by aggression or force so I like to think of myself as the stern matron, hard but with a heart of gold!!!:eek:ut: :D

    I'll go now before I sound even more of a mad woman!!! :blush2:
     
  9. Natik

    Natik PetForums VIP

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    Im not dominant, but then im not a dog either ;)

    My dogs are well trained, they respond to me because i taught them to do so with positive training and they enjoy doing things for me when asked. Most commands carried out always involve a waggling tail :)

    I have some rules in the house and they respect those, they would never come up on the sofa when noones in the room or when not invited up.
    They never enter the house without my permission when back from walks.
    They dont leave the van when not asked to come out.
    They wont touch anything on the floor when told to leave.

    But all this has nothing to do with dominance, its simple training.

    I let my dogs eat before me, i let them go out into the garden throught the door first etc....and it only takes a simple sit and wait if i wish to go out first lol :D

    Dominance is far too often used when its a simple case of lack of training, and i believe some owners rather hear that their dog is dominant rather than being told they failed to train the dog and take the blame for their behaviour.

    Dangerous it gets when certain aggressions are put down to dominance, when its a case of a nervous or fearfull dog.
     
  10. Nicky09

    Nicky09 PetForums VIP

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    My dogs listen to me but they do eat first, can get on the furniture when told and aren't allowed to run out the door without us telling them. I do not however say that everything they do is them plotting to dominate me I think some people not mentioning any names say that everything a dog does is this trying to be dominant and not actually find out why they're doing the thing.
     
  11. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

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    No, I do understand what you mean. But dominance (to me) has nothing to do with being afraid or aggression. If you could see my dogs, they are happy, becoming more balanced (still a long way off though!) and are certainly not afraid of me! I like to think that I get respect and they look to me to keep them safe.

    Dominance is a word which certainly needs replacing :rolleyes:
     
  12. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

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    So you put your dogs good behaviour down to training alone? Nothing to do with the fact that in some way you have commanded their respect?

    Do you think dominance is a bad word? :)
     
  13. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

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    You don't think that they listen to you out of respect? Because you have worked hard for that title? :)
     
  14. JSR

    JSR PetForums VIP

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    I do think dominance is too harsh a word, I'd prefer to use respect. It's like the teacher at school who all the kids behave well for, usually it's not down to the teacher being stern and 'dominant' it's because they show respect and understanding of the kids and in return are shown respect back?

    Maybe I'm seeing the situation totally wrong and my dogs do what I ask because in some way they are fearful of me or of all humans (this is remembering all my dogs are rescues and most from horrific beginnings) but I'd like to think they do what i ask because of some form of respect?
     
  15. Badger's Mum

    Badger's Mum PetForums VIP

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    Couldn't have put it better myself:D
     
  16. Natik

    Natik PetForums VIP

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    I think dominance is used wrongly in association with a human being.

    Yes, i put down their good behaviour to training and socialization too of course.
    Wouldnt i have trained them that way im sure they would be all over the furniture, pulling on lead, running off without coming back when called, stealing food from plates etc :D
    Plus they respect me because i am the source of food and excersise and sometimes play, i keep their mind stimulated and i decide when we go for walks, when they are being fed and if i fancy to play with them lol :)

    Problems always arise when a dog is untrained and bored....
     
  17. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

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    Absolutely they do it out of respect. I'd bet my last dollar they were not scared of you! They respect you because you manage your pack and they see you as the boss. Like you say, poor mangement, with troubled dogs could equal trouble.

    If I asked you to write me a list of things to do to manage a troubled pack, what would these things look like? If I asked you "how can I make the dogs respect me? what sort of things can I do?" I'm not sure you would be able to pin point it. Not everybody has that "thing" about them.

    Even though I do all sort of leadership reinforcement on a daily basis, I am not sure if I need to anymore. But I think initially, being a first time dog owner, I didn't just "have it" and I relied on ways in which I could communicate to my dogs that I was in charge. This is where I found Jan Fennel and other people very helpful. Not all of her solutions are right, but the fundementals of being the boss are correct.

    Training is very difficult to do initially when you have frightened rescue dogs. I couldn;t do anything with Max and Lilly initially as they were to scared. It took them 3 months or so to come into the front room and sit with us! If I had brought out a clicker they would have run a mile! :)
     
  18. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

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    If only this were true about them being bored and untrained......

    Max and Lilly's problems were not quite as simple.......

    Do you think you can train a dog who has no respect for you? :)
     
  19. Natik

    Natik PetForums VIP

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    Difficult and a long process but not impossible and long term effective ....
     
  20. Natik

    Natik PetForums VIP

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    Why wouldnt a dog not respect me?
     
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