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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, somewhere along the line my husband has decided that the way to "control" a dog is to hold his front legs together (an alpha thing?) Can someone share with me if this is appropriate? It drives me crazy when I see it... if he is correct that this is the proper way to handle a dog I will look the other way.... Anyone?
 

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I can't think of a situation in which holding a dog's front legs together would accomplish anything. What is your husband's purpose in doing so? I mean, what is he trying to do when he holds a dog's legs together?
 

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No, it's not appropriate! Don't look the other way. As far as an alpha thing, has he ever seen an alpha dog hold another dog's legs together? It's a ridiculous idea.

Now that that's out of the way, :) What is your husband trying to control? Maybe you can get some help here on that so he won't feel the need to hold the dog's leg.

How old is the dog, etc.

Welcome to the forum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ok, this is the situation. My son and his wife bring their dog Max, a beautiful sweet black lab about 1 year old our house - for whatever reason he LOVES my husband! Crawls all over him, and well.... trys to "hump" him. Max doesn't do this to ANYONE else - if anyone has any advice as to why he does this I'd love to have the answer to that to :) Any way, somewhere, sometime my husband was "told" (by some "friend" who "knows" dogs) that the way to "restrain" him is to hold his front legs together.. He has done this to Max several times now, and I am INFURIATED when I see it - I can't even tell you why, it just really bothers me. first I think it is completely ineffective and ridiculous, second it is NOT his dog and I'm scared he will hurt him!
 

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I've heard of holding the snout or keeping the puppy belly side up ways to display one's "dominance" over their dog, but I've never heard of that method! o_O
 

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It would be far more effective for your husband to give the dog a cue, like sit, and replace the behavior he does not like with one he does. Another thing that works is to stand up and lean INTO the dog's space. when the dog gets too friendly by trying to get in his lap or whatever.

Beyond that it would be even better if the dog were controlled by his owners, even in your house (he is still their dog).

I can tell you if he held MY dog's front legs, she would think he was playing and chew on him.. and the harder he held, the harder she would chew... and trust me.. he would lose that battle!

I also have a suspicion there is more to your anger than him hold thing dog's legs but this is neither the place nor the space for THAT discussion! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
I need to add... my husband loves dogs, and is not trying to be mean... he honestly believes that this is the "right" thing to do.

The reason that I am currently more concerned is that we are going to adopt a dog in the near future... (we were recently married, and my dog passed away several years ago) Like I said, he loves them, and with the exception of this, is wonderful with them. To give you an example, he will stop EVERY time he sees a loose dog, and wait to make sure an owner is present, if not he will knock on every door, bring him home if necessary (several times actually) until we are able to find the owners.

I want to talk to him, and let him know that this holding is NOT ok (if it isn't that is - I don't claim to be an expert, it just doesn't seem right to me)

I was actually hoping someone was going to say "oh yes.... that is a proper technique" :) (and that i just don't know what I'm talking about, lol)

Any advice on why this isn't appropriate will help me in approaching him without hurting his feelings.

Ok, this is my last post, lol - then I'm going to just read :)

I just wanted to say to elana55, that yes you are right there is, and no, this isn't the place... luckily it has nothing to do with my wonderful new husband - old wounds :-(
 

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for whatever reason he LOVES my husband! Crawls all over him, and well.... trys to "hump" him.
He does indeed love your husband and wants to play with him.

He has done this to Max several times now... I think it is completely ineffective
You are right. If it was effective, the dog wouldn't do it anymore and your husband wouldn't have to keep doing it.

If it were my dog, I would keep him away from your husband. If you can't make your husband quit what he's doing, then I wouldn't give him the opportunity.

Ideally, when the dog started humping, your husband would say "uh-uh" and stand up and turn his back, in essence, saying, "I won't play with you if you do that". Eventually, the dog will learn that humping the man of his dreams takes his attention away.

That's the only way I know to stop the behavior.

Failing that, YOU (or your son) can try watching and redirecting the dog. In other words, when the dog starts humping, stand up, say "uh-uh" and call him away and do something enjoyable. Take him into another room. Give his a stuffed kong or something else to occupy him.

Or you can put a few coins in a pop can and tape the top shut. When the dog goes for hubby's leg, toss the can on the ground so it makes an unpleasant sound and gets the dog's attention. Then praise and redirect him to something else.

You can also leash him, crate him or otherwise keep him from performing his love dance. All of the suggestions except for the first, where your husband is involved, are just managing the situation. I'd much prefer that your husband handle it correctly, but I don't know if he's willing.
 

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Well, if you want some physical reason this is no good here goes.

Dogs front legs are only attached tho their bodies with muscle and tendons. Dogs do not have a collar bone.. and holding a dog's front legs together can cause the dog to struggle. Such struggle could seriously hurt the dog, assuming the holding is with the dog's front legs off the ground.

More damage can occur to the dog's back if the dog is standing on his hind legs and struggling to get away or down.

Beyond that, some dogs will bite if you do this. The only time I grab a dog's leg is to shake hands (trick), clip toe nails, or to grab both hind legs and wheel barrow the dog back out of a dog fight.

Trust me on this.. simply making the effort to stand up and lean into the dog will typically teach the dog to back off. The point is to teach the dog that affection such as petting and attention must be earned, not simply doled out on demand by the dog. This is just so important to teach dog owners to teach their dogs. It means the dog needs to do something first to get the affection he craves and if he behaves inappropriately to get affection, the affection will be removed (person stands up and leaves or leans into the dog's space and leaves.. either way the thing the dog wants is removed).
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I am going to talk to him.... I know his intentions are good, I just don't want to see a dog get hurt :-(
 

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There is a problem with taking advice from people who "know about dogs". Some people have the strangest ways of doing things. Sometimes those things even work--with their dog--for whatever reason. 10 different dogs would probably have 10 different reactions to having their legs held that way. Mine would probably view it as if you were initiating a game (like just about anything else you might do to him), and another might become very afraid. Just because it worked (to whatever degree) with one dog doesn't mean it would be advisable, or even safe, to try it with another dog.

Best to stick with widely accepted techniques known to change behavior in the vast majority of dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
You know, I was sitting here, thinking about talking to him, and I couldn't get the "Alpha" thing off my mind (It seemed he had said something about it being an Alpha move... )

I decided to do a bit of looking around online, and I am thinking that he thinks he's starting an "Alpha Roll" !

He will grab (or try to grab) both of his legs in one hand and I may be wrong, but I thought that little "twist" was him trying to keep hold, and I'm thinking he might be trying to roll him over.

Would make more sense. (in that someone could have told him the Alpha Roll and this is his version/attempt)

Regardless, I am talking to him tonight and especially if it is an Alpha Roll attempt, be explaining that this is not something I want to see him do again :)
 

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This also sounds like his "friend" who "knows dogs" thinks that the excited humping is a dominance behaviour. Silly man. True dominance mounting does NOT look like humping but everyone and their dog (lol) seems to think it does. This is a YOUNG excited, goofy labrador who knows a doggy lover when he sees one and loses all self control. Some dogs get excited and hump their pillows and dog toys (or even the AIR)..are they trying to dominate the AIR?? ROFL.

Even if he were trying to do an alpha roll, and even if I could say it's the right thing to do (which it isn't..I detest the rolling thing myself) he's not doing it correctly and has a very good chance he may hurt the dog. Which, being an animal lover, will hurt him as well. He sounds like a great guy (I would TOTALLY grab a guy that makes sure loose dogs have "humans" around) who is simply misguided.
Good luck. Great guys DO listen. It's a matter of saying it in the right way. Butter him up a bit...a little positive reinforcement goes a long way!
 

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This is a YOUNG excited, goofy labrador who knows a doggy lover when he sees one and loses all self control.
It's always risky trying to figure out what's in a dog's mind over the internet, but I'd guess Cracker has hit it. Sounds like a textbook case of "happy humping". My dog used to hump his dog bed when people came over. The lessons on not jumping on people had finally begun to take, and he just didn't know what to do with his exuberance.

Ignore the dog. You may have to use a leash to restrain him (best if it's clipped to an anchor or run around a pole) while hubby turns his back. The barking, whining, and even peeing that may ensue must be ignored. After a time most dogs will mentally regroup and try to solve this new puzzle. The moment he's calm with all 4 on the floor (sitting is ideal), Hubby can attend to the dog. If he starts getting wound up again, repeat the ignore exercise. Physically restraining the dog, and even Alpha Rolling him, is rewarding him for his poor manners.

The thing you must understand about most Labs and Goldens is that they would prefer a dislocated shoulder to being ignored. My guy would rather be beaten with a wet rope than to be ignored. Okay...that's hyperbole, but not too far from the truth. And tell your son that you shouldn't have to train his dog fer cryin' out loud.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hi,

Just wanted to thank everyone for your responses yesterday. I talked to my husband last night - What I said was "you know that thing you do with holding the dogs legs? are you trying to turn them over?" he said "no, just distracting him" and the conversation went from there. I was so happy because I actually read him a couple of the responses about the possibility of hurting him, and he was very concerned and I could tell he felt bad that he could have :) It was a great conversation, especially with us considering adoption soon.

Thank you all again
 

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I'm glad your husband has seen the error of his ways.

What a bizarre behavior!
 

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I just love this thread. How nice it is that you came on here and were able to tell your husband that he was not handling the dog correctly. Great job!! :)
 

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^ Me too, what a nice positive thread, haha. Everyone wins. Sorry I couldn't chime in earlier!
 

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Ok, somewhere along the line my husband has decided that the way to "control" a dog is to hold his front legs together (an alpha thing?) Can someone share with me if this is appropriate? It drives me crazy when I see it... if he is correct that this is the proper way to handle a dog I will look the other way.... Anyone?
Have him read this article. It debunks a lot of myths about alpha behavior and all that stuff.
 
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