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Discussion Starter #1
this question is mainly for TX rider.

but other can pitch in..((and I put it in general so discussion may range freely))

in the context of resource control as dominance...

Does your dog NEVER dominate you?

also please continue the scientific side please...its fascinating.
 

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My dogs try to dominate each other. But when they do I bite them. Telling them no. I just nip at them (a little weird I will admit) and Brainard has never attacked another again. (Brain was the only real big dominance problem):)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I like to sleep straight through the night.

but when Bolo wakes me up at two am banging on the door to go outside...I MUST take her out. or ill be cleaning up pee on the floor the next morning.

she's conditioned me , using the resource of sleep as reinforcement..and the punishment of pee on the floor to take her outside when she bangs on the door.
 

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I like to sleep straight through the night.

but when Bolo wakes me up at two am banging on the door to go outside...I MUST take her out. or ill be cleaning up pee on the floor the next morning.

she's conditioned me , using the resource of sleep as reinforcement..and the punishment of pee on the floor to take her outside when she bangs on the door.
They know how to train us better than we know how to train them!

Think about it. They spend 24 hours a day doing one thing: figuring out how to get good things from you. Even a really active trainer spends what.... 4-5 hours a day?

They have infinitely more practice on a day to day basis!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
yep.

she doesn't care if there is pee on the floor. the only reason it matters is because I don't like it..

so we go outside...she sniffs around and checks some stuff out(which I believe is her goal in this scenario, she often sits by the window at night, alert with ears twitching) and goes to pee and then wants to go back inside(giving me my reward)
 

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in the context of resource control as dominance...

Does your dog NEVER dominate you?
If you define dominance as controlling the resources and if you mean do my dogs ever try to get me to do things? Try to get resources from me? Do they ever get what they want from me because of these actions? Then absolutely, yes, they "dominate" me.

That's not at all how I define dominance, though. Controlling the resources isn't the same thing as dominance, when we're talking about dogs, IMO.
 

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I think there is an element of pack rank in resource guarding. However, it's not so cut and dried because the dominance/pack rank/resource guarding can be quite situational. Whether that results from dominance being situational, or from particular resources being of higher value to an individual dog, I can't say. But I have seen a lower ranking dog posture for a preferred spot on the bed, where she would not buck the chain of command for food. Lots of similar examples, too.

To further confuse matters, assertiveness is often confused with dominance or rank seeking. A dog (like mine) who is a persistent "nudge" is not necessarily attempting to advance his pack rank. My dog is relatively submissive to humans, but he is pushy and self-centered in the extreme. He plays a lot of dominance games, but he's always happy to lose. F'rinstance: if I stand on a mound of dirt, he will bash into me to try to shove me off it. If I don't move, he will make hideous growling noises and mouth my shoes. If I merely touch his shoulder, he will flop over on his back.

The problem with the effects of dominance in dogs is that it can be tough for humans to read accurately. Unless you come to know one of the (comparatively rare) true Alphas. Those are pretty easy to read, and not so difficult to deal with.
 

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They spend 24 hours a day doing one thing: figuring out how to get good things from you. Even a really active trainer spends what.... 4-5 hours a day?
My dogs sleep for maybe 12, play by themselves and with each other for another 3, hang out, not sleeping for few more and play with me for a couple at least... That only leaves about 4 at the most that they're contriving ways to get something from me...

I'm not arguing that they try to get things from us, but 24 hours a day is a gross exaggeration.

And why do people keep bringing up wolves, wild dogs and professors? That doesn't hold a candle to the real life experience of living with and observing a pack of domestic dogs.

I just want to bring this in from the hijacked thread:

Regardless, everyone I've ever met who seems stuck on the notion of training via dominance and being alpha was a total lost cause...
If dominance equals controlling the resources, and training takes place by me sharing or withholding the reinforcement, then the above statement doesn't make any sense. My dog responds to training because he wants a resource that I have. I am controlling the tidbits until he does what I want. I am dominating him (as defined in this thread) to train him to do something...

Doesn't sound like a lost cause to me... Correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like you're contradicting yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
why do anthropologists study wild primate behavior? (anthropology=study of man)

because we are primates too.

wild dogs and wolves are just as much canines as your four.

here is an interesting thing.

I used to have six dogs living in my house.

three of them would display what you call "pack" behaviors together.

two of them were siblings...and hated each other's guts and regularly tried to kill each other. if one was out, the other had to be put up.

the sixth ignored and NEVER interacted with the others. if any of them came into the room, she would leave.


the point is that pack behavior isn't universal. when wild dogs pack up its usually for a reason such as to kill large prey...then they eat and go their separate ways.

social behavior is a mechanism of survival. but its only ONE mechanism of survival.
 

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wild dogs and wolves are just as much canines as your four.
Well, why is it, then, that when it's convenient, we are reminded how wolf packs behave in relation to dogs, but when it's inconvenient, as in discussions of "packs" and alpha, we're told, "Dogs are NOT wolves"?

In fact, as you've noted before, probably the closest wolf and domestic dog correlation would be the original studies done on unrelated, captive wolves. If ANY wolf study could be used to relate to dogs, it would be that.

Dogs are NEVER wolves. I'm sure there are some similarities, but IMO it does no good to bring the study of wolves or wild dogs into the discussion when we're talking about domestic dogs.

the point is that pack behavior isn't universal.
I think that a strong leader (human or canine) can provide the cohesiveness needed to bring any group of dogs together into a pack. Having said that, I know you don't like to think of yourself as a "leader" and a group without a leader wouldn't necessarily form a balanced pack on their own.

Without the constraint of having to live together, some may leave or be driven out, but the rest would form a pack and those that left would join other packs. So, as we choose to bring certain dogs together, and we control their lives, I think it's our job to lead them in forming a well-behaved pack.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
so here is my contention....

pack behavior is social behavior.

social behavior is a survival mechanism.

domestic canines survive by being smoothly integrated into human society.

many aspects of natural canine behavior do not integrate with human society(peeing whenever and whereever, chewing, social humping...etc...)

I am of the opinion that what you are seeing in your domestic canine "pack" is representative of the canine interpretation of HUMAN social behavior.

im planning out an experiment along these lines. im a bit behind TJ in my acedemic studies on this topic and need to get further along before actually conducting this experiment but it will happen.


I want to find a way to raise dogs that

a. can integrate smoothly in human society

b. aren't compelled to act like four legged humans by their environment.

Well, why is it, then, that when it's convenient, we are reminded how wolf packs behave in relation to dogs, but when it's inconvenient, as in discussions of "packs" and alpha, we're told, "Dogs are NOT wolves"?

In fact, as you've noted before, probably the closest wolf and domestic dog correlation would be the original studies done on unrelated, captive wolves. If ANY wolf study could be used to relate to dogs, it would be that.

Dogs are NEVER wolves. I'm sure there are some similarities, but IMO it does no good to bring the study of wolves or wild dogs into the discussion when we're talking about domestic dogs.



I think that a strong leader (human or canine) can provide the cohesiveness needed to bring any group of dogs together into a pack. Having said that, I know you don't like to think of yourself as a "leader" and a group without a leader wouldn't necessarily form a balanced pack on their own.

Without the constraint of having to live together, some may leave or be driven out, but the rest would form a pack and those that left would join other packs. So, as we choose to bring certain dogs together, and we control their lives, I think it's our job to lead them in forming a well-behaved pack.

you misunderstand me.

providing insight and being a strict guideline are two separate and distinct things.


no its not our job.

its our RESPONSIBILITY to provide food, shelter, stimulation etc
because we took that responsibility upon ourselves.

we are providers. they work with us in return.
 

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I agree with everything you said except for this:

I am of the opinion that what you are seeing in your domestic canine "pack" is representative of the canine interpretation of HUMAN social behavior.
I would have to disagree that that's what I'm seeing. I don't even think of human social behavior in relation to dogs. My statements are made according to my observations of dogs. Two of my dogs hunt together. They find a rabbit, chase it and work together to corner it or otherwise make it impossible for it to escape, each dog having their own role to play. Then they eat it together (unless I arrive to break up the party).

I also observe their relationships to one another and their interactions. It's nothing like any human interaction that I know of. I love dogs and the study of dogs. As regards humans, I have been described and nearly misanthropic...

im planning out an experiment along these lines. im a bit behind TJ in my acedemic studies on this topic and need to get further along before actually conducting this experiment but it will happen.
This sounds very interesting. Can you talk more about the experiment? Looks like we need another thread. LOL

I want to find a way to raise dogs that

a. can integrate smoothly in human society

b. aren't compelled to act like four legged humans by their environment.
That's a tall order, and very intriguing. But I don't have a clue how that would be done. My dogs are the furthest thing from four-legged humans, but they are not integrated smoothly into human society. Maybe because I'm not, either. LOL
 

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Discussion Starter #15
my family on my mother's side are all country folk. and all but a few of them hunt with dogs.

I've seen a lot of variation in hunting behavior.

from a pair of patterdales who will hunt beautifully, seemlessly together, yet get them back to the house and they have to be separated 100 percent of the time...yet socialize nicely with other dogs.

or my own Bolo...who treats strange dogs as prey yet socializes fine with dogs she knows.

to my cousin's coonhounds, 4 of them who display pack behavior at the home but will aggress towards each other during the hunt.


or the rescues I've worked with who display such a VAST and wildly different range of behaviors....


behavior is an individualistic response to environment.

the experiment is rather complex as I envision it and I need to take more anthropology before I can do a true contrast.

but basically it would involve raising separate groups of puppies under different control conditions.

the particulars of those conditions are what I need to develop more thoroughly.

im double majoring in biology(with emphasis on animal behavior), genetics and minoring in anthropology

I also may get a degree in physics(i intend to spend the rest of my life attached to school one way or the other lol) but that's beside the point...(jumped from two classes to EIGHT this SUMMER semester when I made that decision lol..hence my sporadic replies...im busy lol)

granted im a green freshman...but I digress...


my ideas are new and may not be even feasable...they are just on the drawing board at this point....so that's all I can really say
 

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My dogs sleep for maybe 12, play by themselves and with each other for another 3, hang out, not sleeping for few more and play with me for a couple at least... That only leaves about 4 at the most that they're contriving ways to get something from me...
.
That post was me attempting to be funny... i'm not all that good at it apparently.

If dominance equals controlling the resources, and training takes place by me sharing or withholding the reinforcement, then the above statement doesn't make any sense. My dog responds to training because he wants a resource that I have. I am controlling the tidbits until he does what I want. I am dominating him (as defined in this thread) to train him to do something...
If the dog ends up with the food in his mouth, no matter whether you gave it to him or not, he is the dominant member of that interaction. If you take the food away and do not give it to him at all, you are the winner of that particular interaction.

No matter how you obtain it, if the resource ends up in your possession, you are the dominant participant in that situation.

You see how that's not conducive to training? Dominance theorists want to be "dominant" over their dog all the time, but what that truly requires is never ever EVER letting your dog win a resource over you. No food treats. No moving over on the bed to allow them space. No taking them out when they whine at the door. It's impossible to be dominant over your dog 100% of the time and carry out any type of training program, even a purely punishment one. Cessation of punishment is also a resource, albeit quite an abstract one.

I do wish Curb was around in these threads, he's much better at explaining this stuff than I am!
 

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The four requirements of dominance (not dominance theory):
1) There must be more than one blooded-being contesting a resource; for example, a dog marking a tree would not be dominance.
2) There must be a primary resource being contested - food, in-season mating partner.
3) There must be a contest - both beings must want the resource. If I like pizza and you don't, there is no contest for the last slice. If you fight me for the pizza anyway, you're just being a jerk, not dominate.
4) The outcome must be repeated - only the repeat winner of the contest can be labeled dominate.

If a guardian is using food to train their dog, and the guardian fully intends to reward the dog for positive responses, this is not a contest, neither the guardian nor the dog should be labeled dominant. You could parse every aspect of a two-being interaction and assign dominate-submissive, but I find this practice tedious and not practical for the definition.
 

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*Phew* (wiping forhead in relief).

Good to C U here CP. Between the Wolf pack talk and the dominance stuff I "could stands no more" and went out and did dog training at the town Park.

BTW with advice from the DF and you CP, I have my dog sitting when kids pet her now. She had a few in tow this afternoon and loved every minute of it. She kissed a bunch of kid faces in the process to the squeels and giggles of children. The kids discovered if they made a kissing nose Atka woud respond by kissing their faces. Oh this went on for awhile. Or maybe they just tasted like chicken?

I forgot to even notice anything about Wolf Pack behavior, or dominance while this was going on. I was so pleased she sat and just soaked up the attention like a sponge... :D
 

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Sorry to be so wordy, but I'm really just trying to understand these concepts from (the collective) your point of view. If I look at the entire discussion, it really seems that we agree on most points. There are words I use that some are uncomfortable with and some of my definitions disagree, but if we get to the bottom of the concepts, we end up agreeing, even if we're using different words.

The four requirements of dominance by CP is very interesting and I understand that and agree with it as far as dominant behavior (a contest over resources). Nobody is "dominant" in a training activity according to this definition, because there is no contest over the resource (I don't want it, I want a behavior - I want to make a deal), but I didn't understand how that correspond with the idea that dominance = resource control, as put forth in the first post.

But CP answered that here:

You could parse every aspect of a two-being interaction and assign dominate-submissive
I think if people used resource control where they mean resource control instead of trying to work the word "dominance" in there, which really is something COMPLETELY different as defined by most people, even where dogs are concerned, it would be a lot easier to discuss.

That post was me attempting to be funny... i'm not all that good at it apparently.
Sorry, it's hard to tell without inflection and facial expression... Or even an emoticon. :p I'm sure you're fine at being funny. I'm just not always very good at interpreting.

You see how that's not conducive to training?
Oh, absolutely! I have said several times now that dominance has nothing to do with my training. But training isn't all there is to my relationship with my dogs and that part of the equation has been ignored about 3 times now. :)

Dominance theorists want to be "dominant" over their dog all the time...
If that's true, then clearly I'm not a dominance theorist. But I don't know of ANYONE who thinks that way or has that desire. (Maybe Koehler? I don't know that much about him.) I think most people want to make the rules of the household and have them be followed (as parents do). They want their dogs to get along and to behave in a manner conducive to harmony in the house. Making the rules doesn't have anything to do with dominance.

Being dominant over the dog 100% of the time is an extreme that I've never heard of or experienced. Even Cesar Millan and Ed Frawley do not fit your idea of a "dominance theorist".
 

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Sorry to be so wordy, but I'm really just trying to understand these concepts from (the collective) your point of view. If I look at the entire discussion, it really seems that we agree on most points. There are words I use that some are uncomfortable with and some of my definitions disagree, but if we get to the bottom of the concepts, we end up agreeing, even if we're using different words.

The four requirements of dominance by CP is very interesting and I understand that and agree with it as far as dominant behavior (a contest over resources). Nobody is "dominant" in a training activity according to this definition, because there is no contest over the resource (I don't want it, I want a behavior - I want to make a deal), but I didn't understand how that correspond with the idea that dominance = resource control, as put forth in the first post.

But CP answered that here:



I think if people used resource control where they mean resource control instead of trying to work the word "dominance" in there, which really is something COMPLETELY different as defined by most people, even where dogs are concerned, it would be a lot easier to discuss.



Sorry, it's hard to tell without inflection and facial expression... Or even an emoticon. :p I'm sure you're fine at being funny. I'm just not always very good at interpreting.



Oh, absolutely! I have said several times now that dominance has nothing to do with my training. But training isn't all there is to my relationship with my dogs and that part of the equation has been ignored about 3 times now. :)



If that's true, then clearly I'm not a dominance theorist. But I don't know of ANYONE who thinks that way or has that desire. (Maybe Koehler? I don't know that much about him.) I think most people want to make the rules of the household and have them be followed (as parents do). They want their dogs to get along and to behave in a manner conducive to harmony in the house. Making the rules doesn't have anything to do with dominance.

Being dominant over the dog 100% of the time is an extreme that I've never heard of or experienced. Even Cesar Millan and Ed Frawley do not fit your idea of a "dominance theorist".
I don't think I've meant to argue you with at all so far. I'm pretty much in agreement with everything you've said, if i remember correctly.
 
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