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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-10-2012, 08:58 PM Thread Starter
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Learning something new every day

Ok, so my Fedja just has some ‘space’ issues . I just found this article, and it helped me to understand his reaction toward strange dogs. People with 'friendly’ dogs would often give me a look like saying 'your dog is not raised well', and I would feel ashamed and offer a sorry word. Not saying it's a nice thing what Fedja does, I'm trying to work on this daily, but this article has been an eyeopener to me. Fedja IS reserved with strange dogs, has always been, and I always thought I did something wrong raising him, but now I believe it's just who he is. When strange dogs are polite and keep some, even small distance, he never behaves aggressive. Hope this article helps someone else who think they have bad behaved dog .

'Is your dog reacting aggressively because a strange dog is shoving his nose up his rear end or sticking his nose in his face? Not all dogs like that kind of thing from dogs they don’t know. This does not mean your dog has a bad
temperament or that he doesn’t like other dogs or won’t eventually learn to like this particular other dog. It just means he is more reserved about strange animals being pushy and getting in his personal space. He may just need a little more time to get to know the other dog and need for the stranger to be less pushy about getting in his face. If you are in tight quarters like a vet's office or training class, you may need to run interference by removing yourself from close proximity and/or politely ask the offender to back off. (Just say your dog has ‘space’ issues). Your dog may be growling because he is afraid of the overly friendly or obnoxious strange dog trying to be too
familiar with him. He is trying to more or less politely warn the stranger he doesn’t want him in his personal space. If the other dog doesn’t heed the growl because he is either clueless or doesn’t care, then it can escalate into a snap. It’s your job to run interference. Correct your dog if he reacts aggressively but also make sure strange dogs stay out of your dog’s personal space. Also do not allow any intense staring between the two dogs. (Staring is a challenge in doggy language. It may be to play or it may be a challenge to fight depending on the dogs in question).
I have seen people with overly ’ friendly’ dogs claiming their dog just wants to say ‘hi’. In reality sometimes the ‘friendly’ dog is using this as a way to come up and push the other dog around. Shoving his head over the top of a frightened or unwilling dog’s shoulders is a way to dominate him. Basically the overly social/friendly dog is terrorizing, bullying, and/or molesting the other dog. Grossly unfair! If both dogs are agreeable to the meeting, then that’s fine. They can make friends and have a great time playing. I am all for fun and socialization. In reality, not all dogs are extreme extroverts who love to be slobbered on by all other dogs or are immediately sure of themselves with all new comers. If the overly friendly strange dog really just wanted to
play with a scared dog he would react more submissively once he saw a frightened or aggressive reaction. He certainly would not continue to scare or push the other dog.'
Source: http://rijudawgskool.com/Documents/F...AGGRESSION.pdf

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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-10-2012, 09:45 PM
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Hi Sena, there is some truth to what's being said here. I do disagree with some of it. I have a problem with this statement from the site..."I use food, praise, petting, play, and toys for positive reinforcement along
with leash, collar, and/or verbal corrections for negative reinforcement". This is an indication the person really doesn't understand operant conditioning. I won't go into it, but I'm glad you got something from it. The more I read the more I disagree with this person. More so with the articles on the link. Biggest issue I have is that you don't "correct" aggression.

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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-10-2012, 11:30 PM
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That behavior is Momo to a T. She is a reserved and protective dog and does not appreciate the other dogs getting in her face.

Donnie, Momo and Ume's mom and loving it!



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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-11-2012, 05:18 AM Thread Starter
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Hi Sena, there is some truth to what's being said here. I do disagree with some of it.
Agree with you Dave. There're things in the rest of the article that I also don't agree with. That's the reason I did copy/paste of that part of the text about personal space only. It describes Fedja so well, and it helped me understand that he is not being snappy with strange dogs because he is aggressive, and that overly 'friendly' dogs are not always acting friendly in dogs eyes. I always thought that I had to let others dog sniff him so that he would eventually learn it's ok and get used to it, and learn to behave, but now I understand that he is just introvert and that I have to respect that and protect him from unwanted intimacy.

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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-11-2012, 10:06 AM
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Sena, my older dog, a lab, is exactly like this. He does not like other dogs who are too friendly/enthusiastic and won't leave him alone. When the other dog is also dominating, it's even worse. The other day I was at the dog park and a woman had a large, dominating dog who would not leave mine alone. She said, "He's just trying to play." Maybe, but he was doing so in a dominating way, and it was obvious from my dog's body language that he did not welcome the behavior. I kept moving off to a different part of the park, hoping she would get the message and call off her dog, but alas, she did not, so I left. As I was leaving she yelled at me for not being "social" at the dog park! I just ignored her. I was upset, but also felt a bit sorry for her.

I see this again and again at the park, people who have dominant dogs who let them bully less dominant dogs (usually mine) and don't call them off. I guess they think it's just normal dog behavior. And it is, to some extent - however, in my book it's terrible dog park etiquette to not call off your dog when you see the other dog is afraid or if a person does not welcome your dog's attention. I find it almost impossible to believe how many people (at least 70-80% I'd say, although perhaps I exaggerate after my recent experience) who don't also feel this way. Perhaps my feelings about it are odd, seeing I'm in the minority.

I have wondered what it would be like to have a dominating dog. Perhaps they are simply impossible to control and I should cut these people some slack. But somehow, I don't think that's the case.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-11-2012, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by El Bueno Habanero View Post
Agree with you Dave. There're things in the rest of the article that I also don't agree with. That's the reason I did copy/paste of that part of the text about personal space only. It describes Fedja so well, and it helped me understand that he is not being snappy with strange dogs because he is aggressive, and that overly 'friendly' dogs are not always acting friendly in dogs eyes. I always thought that I had to let others dog sniff him so that he would eventually learn it's ok and get used to it, and learn to behave, but now I understand that he is just introvert and that I have to respect that and protect him from unwanted intimacy.
EXACTLY Sena

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Last edited by davetgabby; 02-11-2012 at 12:40 PM.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-11-2012, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Kalico View Post
Sena, my older dog, a lab, is exactly like this. He does not like other dogs who are too friendly/enthusiastic and won't leave him alone. When the other dog is also dominating, it's even worse. The other day I was at the dog park and a woman had a large, dominating dog who would not leave mine alone. She said, "He's just trying to play." Maybe, but he was doing so in a dominating way, and it was obvious from my dog's body language that he did not welcome the behavior. I kept moving off to a different part of the park, hoping she would get the message and call off her dog, but alas, she did not, so I left. As I was leaving she yelled at me for not being "social" at the dog park! I just ignored her. I was upset, but also felt a bit sorry for her.

I see this again and again at the park, people who have dominant dogs who let them bully less dominant dogs (usually mine) and don't call them off. I guess they think it's just normal dog behavior. And it is, to some extent - however, in my book it's terrible dog park etiquette to not call off your dog when you see the other dog is afraid or if a person does not welcome your dog's attention. I find it almost impossible to believe how many people (at least 70-80% I'd say, although perhaps I exaggerate after my recent experience) who don't also feel this way. Perhaps my feelings about it are odd, seeing I'm in the minority.

I have wondered what it would be like to have a dominating dog. Perhaps they are simply impossible to control and I should cut these people some slack. But somehow, I don't think that's the case.
I agree with you. There are as many untrained people as there are untrained dogs at dog parks. I tend to avoid them. I tend to get pissed off at the people too easy. LOL. Yeah some of them just don't recognize or care to recognize when their dog is bullying. Generally a dog that attempts over the top behavior all the time, is more of a bully rather than a true dominant dog. Keep in mind , dominance is the relationship between two DOGS , that are competing for the same resource. There really is no such thing as a dominant dog per se. Yes, some are more assertive,(is the word I like to use ). They are only as dominant as the next dog that comes along is. Bullying and untrained social skills lead to most problems at dog parks. And it all comes down to the owners. I couldn't agree more with you.

Dave and Molly
Ian Dunbar was awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award from I.P.D.T.A. Here's a picture of me accepting the award on his behalf.
Member of IAABC ,International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants , Member of Pet Professional Guild

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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-11-2012, 01:10 PM
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Generally a dog that attempts over the top behavior all the time, is more of a bully rather than a true dominant dog. Keep in mind , dominance is the relationship between two DOGS , that are competing for the same resource. There really is no such thing as a dominant dog per se. Yes, some are more assertive,(is the word I like to use ).
Dave, you have solved a problem I have had for some time! I never like to call my dog "submissive" because that has never seemed to be the problem. He will "tell" dogs what he doesn't like by growling and snapping if pushed (which is a situation I try to avoid because I fear the more aggressive dog will interpret it as a reason to start a fight). Likewise, these "dominant" dogs that bully him at the park are not exactly dominant, but rather bullies as you point out. From now on I will be calling them bullies and my dog as "less assertive."

I too tend to get angry easily at people when I see my dog being bullied. I avoid confrontations of all kinds and am shy, so I cannot bring myself to "say something." I just end up leaving. I wish I could do more to protect my dog but I do try to pick times to go to the park when it is more likely to be empty, and avoid certain dogs. I have at times played ball with him outside of the fenced-in dog area when I have arrived to find many dogs inside. Fortunately the people park itself does not get many visitors and I have found a place that is usually empty and out-of-the way, away from the roads, in case I cannot go in the dog park area.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-11-2012, 02:03 PM
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Dave, you have solved a problem I have had for some time! I never like to call my dog "submissive" because that has never seemed to be the problem. He will "tell" dogs what he doesn't like by growling and snapping if pushed (which is a situation I try to avoid because I fear the more aggressive dog will interpret it as a reason to start a fight). Likewise, these "dominant" dogs that bully him at the park are not exactly dominant, but rather bullies as you point out. From now on I will be calling them bullies and my dog as "less assertive."

I too tend to get angry easily at people when I see my dog being bullied. I avoid confrontations of all kinds and am shy, so I cannot bring myself to "say something." I just end up leaving. I wish I could do more to protect my dog but I do try to pick times to go to the park when it is more likely to be empty, and avoid certain dogs. I have at times played ball with him outside of the fenced-in dog area when I have arrived to find many dogs inside. Fortunately the people park itself does not get many visitors and I have found a place that is usually empty and out-of-the way, away from the roads, in case I cannot go in the dog park area.
Right on. Submissive is another poorly used word. Love your viewpoint. A dominant dog does not have to prove anything over another dog. Violence is avoided, between the two dogs and sometimes dominance between two dogs is not always obvious. One will be dominant towards one thing and the other will control something else. Not always etched in stone. Enjoy the dog park , just be careful. I know you will. Pick up your dogs ****, but don't take any either. LOL

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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-11-2012, 02:20 PM
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Pick up your dogs ****, but don't take any either. LOL
Lol, thanks Dave! I don't imagine I will ever take my new Hav to the dog park, at least not this one - no small dog enclosure! But my lab needs a large area in which to chase his ball, which he will do until he drops. What he hates most about bullies is they interrupt his ball-chasing!

BTW, so far my Hav puppy has been doing a good job of picking up her own poop - yuck .
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