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The Natural Way

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by grandad, Apr 19, 2011.


  1. grandad

    grandad PetForums VIP

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    Having watched a bitch with her pups recently I am wondering if there is some credence to treating or training dogs in a natural way.
    I witnessed a senior dog, reprimand a 16 week old pup recently for being boisterous. This took the form of a low growl, to which the pup didn't respond, so the senior dog barged him twice with his shoulder and moved the pup back a few paces. The pup certainly took notice and became quiet.
    I have also noticed, the bitch put the muzzle of the pup gently in her mouth to quieten them and used herding to bring them back together again. Can we as humans use these techniques to help us train and live in harmony with our dogs?
     
  2. Nonnie

    Nonnie PetForums VIP

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    We're not dogs, we can not mimic nor replicate their body language or vocalisations. We can not communicate with them in their language.

    Dogs as a species, are aware of this.
     
  3. newfiesmum

    newfiesmum Banned

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    I was just about to say the same thing. People have been trying to do this for years, hence the outdated theory of being your dog's pack leader. Dogs understand the body language and signals of another dog, they do not understand ours.

    We are not dogs and the dogs know this.
     
  4. shibby

    shibby PetForums VIP

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    No..............


    Edit: I also fail to see how that is 'the natural way' at all.
     
    #4 shibby, Apr 19, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2011
  5. Rottiefan

    Rottiefan PetForums VIP

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    Not with great effect. We can use calming signals like yawning, lack of eye contact, lip licking and they appear to help calm situations (they seem to have worked for me before, anyway) but I think most are nearly impossible to really pull off effectively. I yawned at a timid Rottie the other day, whilst looking away, in his kennel and he perked his ears up in the most confused manner! I just laughed and took a treat out.......

    With things like growling and other antagonistic gestures and signals, I personally think the dogs are confused seeing such things from a human and can understand and comprehend the hostility 'in the air' so to speak, leading them to act deferent. However, some dogs go ballistic with an adrenaline rush :D

    Dogs are definitely masters at reading our body language and I find this area quite fascinating. But I don't think we can replicate their body language signals to any satisfactory level and, thus, should not be used in training or behaviour modification.
     
  6. lemmsy

    lemmsy PetForums VIP

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    LOL!
    or should that read:
    The holding the muzzle and low growl command to be quiet is a very effective way with most dogs of increasing your chances of being bitten :thumbsup:

    Stanley Coren's book is best used as a door stop or better still as toilet paper if that is the case.

    I don't suppose you are familiar with calming signals?

    Dogs are dogs (and they're not wolves either, and dominance and such like in wolves is debunked anyway). We are not dogs. Anyone who attempts to simplify dog behaviour in such a way that they humanize their interactions and further suggest that it is appropriate for us as humans to mimick such behaviours is incredibly foolish.

    Dogs have been selectively bred for thousands of years to interact and work with humans. They are the only species on the planet that has adapted to exhibit "left gaze bias" when looking at human faces. Isn't that amazing? Don't you think it's a crying shame that still people seek to simplify dog-dog interactions, the way that we interact with our dogs and simplify their behaviour so much.

    Please don't growl at or grab your dog by the muzzle unless you want to seriously damage your relationship with him or her.
     
    #6 lemmsy, Apr 19, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2011
  7. luvmydogs

    luvmydogs PetForums VIP

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    yeah, quite an effective way to a) get yourself bitten, and/or b) frighten and confuse your dog. :rolleyes:
     
  8. luvmydogs

    luvmydogs PetForums VIP

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    Great minds think alike, I wrote that and posted before yours came through :lol:
     
    #8 luvmydogs, Apr 19, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2011
  9. Rottiefan

    Rottiefan PetForums VIP

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    But why bother to tell it to shut up? A dog that growls is politely saying it's not comfortable and we should heed that warning and say to ourselves "What can we do to make the dog feel more comfortable in this situation?", e.g. let's feed him a bit of food or introduce a toy or slowly decrease the distance and ignore him/her and let the dog get used to our presence.

    People have a very one directional view of undesirable dog behaviours, i.e. that they are 'bad'. They are not 'bad'. They are natural dog behaviours. We deem them as undesirable for us and the dog.
     
    leashedForLife and lemmsy like this.
  10. lemmsy

    lemmsy PetForums VIP

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    You use a muzzle holds with aggression cases!!! OMG
    And haven't been bitten getting a dog to "shut up"?
    You are very lucky.

    Says alot that you describe the dogs as having "plenty of character" and needing to get them to "shut up!" What the hell does that mean? (I can guess but I'd rather not)

    :eek:

    Just shocking...

    ETA- WELL SAID Rottiefan!
     
  11. lemmsy

    lemmsy PetForums VIP

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    Clearly. :) You must see them alot by the sounds of things.
     
  12. Blondie

    Blondie PetForums VIP

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    I instantly picked up this thread from its title as I like to say I breed and rear my dogs the natural way, lol! This is more as I feed and rear pups on the raw diet though, rather than training purposes.

    I will comment though, that, to my mind, nothing is more fascinating than watching older dogs, including mam, interact with a litter of baby puppies. I have always allowed my pups to mix with my lot once they are up on their feet and running about. For instance, today, all 5 big 'uns, and pups have been out in the back garden mixing. I have a split level patio and the pups stay on the lower level whilst the adults have access to both levels and so can 'escape' from the pups when they want to. All of the adults will play with the pups, but all of them will also reprimand them when necessary. Cleo especially will mother them and 'love' them. may I also say though, they are never left unsupervised! I know many breeders who never let pups mix with any other dogs they own, other than the mother. I think this is a mistake, as pups learn a lot from others as well as the mother and it allows them to become a lot more socialised amongst bigger, older dogs, giving them perhaps an advantage when they go to new homes, especially those with other dogs, as they already know how to behave with them, at least to a certain extent.

    I love watching the pack behaviour that comes out naturally in my adults, I know many discount the pack theory, but its alive and well in my house! Each dog has its own role, and I have a top bitch and a top male, with the top bitch ruling the roost over the males too. They all know their 'place' and have never overstepped the mark.

    As for copying dog behaviour myself, no, the only I do do is to squeal when baby puppies bite and nip me, they soon stop, lol! Thats the simple 'bite inhibition' thing. I wouldnt dream of alpha rolling and that sort of thing, thats best left to the experts themselves - the dogs!!
     
  13. newfiesmum

    newfiesmum Banned

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    Isn't that because you are a few feet away with your remote control? What "everything is stress" are you talking about? Calming signals are not the only body language that dogs possess - they have different body language for different states of mind, some of them stressful situations, some of them not.
     
  14. Rottiefan

    Rottiefan PetForums VIP

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    No one discounts that in groups of dogs there are hierarchies and social relationships that need to be abided by- that's never been in question really. What people do discount is that 1) the high ranking dogs use physical force to put dogs in their place and are in a constant mode of domination (Except for learning pups, dogs have a natural understanding of their place, meaning reprimanding is very seldom needed) 2) that there are power struggles within the pack for top position (the very term 'power struggle' for a top place shows it to be a inaccurate theory) and 3) that dogs pack up with humans in the house and see us as another member. :)
     
  15. newfiesmum

    newfiesmum Banned

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    I am not sure that people discount pack behaviour altogether, just the idea that the dog and human have to be part of the same pack with the human as the leader. Obviously this is impossible, since the human is a different species and the dog knows that.

    I would love to come visit and see your dogs playing with your puppies. Sounds great. I have a video which I posted on here a while ago of Ferdie, aged two and about 65kg at the time, with Joshua, aged eight weeks, playing together. Adult dogs are gentle with puppies as a rule and the only shot I have of Ferdie getting a little fed up and growling, and Joshua instantly backing off. They understand each other - they do not understand us.
     
  16. Blondie

    Blondie PetForums VIP

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    Very true!!

    But I still have people saying to me either -

    1) I should expect a big fight one day due to power struggles
    2) They cant be living as a pack as they dont live in the wild

    LOL!!!:rolleyes::D:D

    What people dont understand is I let my dogs be dogs, I dont humanise them, something many people do then wonder why they have problems!!:rolleyes:

    And, above all, ALL 4 of us living in house are 'above' the dogs and they know it!!
     
  17. Rottiefan

    Rottiefan PetForums VIP

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    Our far more superior brain automatically makes us in a more (superficially) commanding position than dogs- we control everything in their lives more or less.

    I am eagerly awaiting a new term for a group of domestic dogs. People still use the term 'pack' but it's not that accurate as groups or dogs behave differently to groups of wild wolves.
     
  18. newfiesmum

    newfiesmum Banned

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    That is because that is where they want you to be. You wouldn't be much good to them if you couldn't provide their food and their resources, and they know that as well.

    I humanise my dogs to a certain extent, I tend to treat and train like children, though they are far less trouble, don't answer back! But they are well behaved, not perfect, I wouldn't want that, and if I started trying to act like a dog, I think it would scare them quite frankly.

    someone came on this forum the other week stating that if you show weakness to a dog he will try to overpower you! How bizarre. Who would want to live in fear of their animal in case he decided to overpower them?
     
  19. Blondie

    Blondie PetForums VIP

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    How about calling them a gang?? LOL!!:D:D

    I call mine the Ceearott Lot:D
     
  20. newfiesmum

    newfiesmum Banned

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    Why are dog babies called pups but wolf and fox babies are called cubs? Why are cat babies called kittens but lion and tiger babies are called cubs? I have often wondered, and the correct term is a pack of dogs, so I doubt the idea will ever change. Pity.
     
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