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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
:)

Iam putting this in training...well because I think most "dominance" issues are training issues.


first a few links from credible sources.

karen pryor
Debunking Dominance Theory | Karen Pryor Clickertraining

from a CPDT
Debunking the Dominance Myth - Dog Public

american veterinary society for animal behavior
http://www.avsabonline.org/avsabonline/images/stories/Position_Statements/dominance%20statement.pdf

Jean donaldson
Are Dogs Pack Animals?

Dr. Yin DVM (the lady with that free shaping vid I always post)
Dominance in Dogs | Dr. Sophia Yin

and my favorite site...

http://www.nonlineardogs.com/

the specifics of dominance theory...from non linear dogs.com
http://www.nonlineardogs.com/100MostSillyPart1-2.html

Association of Pet Dog trainers
http://www.apdt.com/about/ps/dominance.aspx

lol I could keep going :)

questions? :) :)



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You should make this a sticky!! Thanks for the resources!! :)
 

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I have read many articles on this issue also. I agree that a lot of issues are blamed on a dog as dominance or pack mentality because owners can not, or will not see training issues, but I have always believed this. I also have seen simple play mistaken for dominance issues. Three out of around 20 +/- dogs that I have had the pleasure of working with (mine, exes, family, friends) showed true dominance issues and harbored pack mentality. Two were hounds, one was a Minpin.
I disagree with many of the articles I have read that imply that dominance issues do not exist in domestic dogs. It may be stronger in specific breeds, or individual dogs. I feel it still exists in a minor form, but not in every dog. People don't know their own animals well enough to know the difference, and that is why the dominance card has gotten out of hand. It is to easy to just blame a behavior problem on pack mentality then it is to take care of a simple training problem.

This is based on my own experience, an is my opinion. I guess I am to stubborn to ignore what I have seen.;)
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
showed true dominance issues and harbored pack mentality.

do you mind explaining what this means? What are dominance issues to you and why do you attribute them to "dominance"?Why is it dominance and not learning theory...or social learning? Dominance is a term to describe which animal has better access to a resource ...you can't use it to describe anything else..it can't be a personality trait because its always changing and by definition its mearly a description of who has an object.. thats like me saying the dog has a "walking in the hallway" type of personality....or my dog is a "looks at tables som'times" type of dog.


They problem with this term is people use it to decribe EVERYTHING under the sun...so forgive me since I need clarification on your personal definition. :)

Dogs don't form packs. Thats a proven, studied, scientific fact.

Ferral dog colonies all over the planet form nothing more than fleeting friendships, no dominance heirachies.:) In fact its been proven that wolves don't form rigid dominance heirarchies as well. Whats even better is new research links dogs lineage to dingos ...not wolves.

The dingo is legendary as Australia's wild dog, though it also occurs in Southeast Asia. The Australian animals may be descendents of Asian dingoes that were introduced to the continent some 3,000 to 4,000 years ago.

they now think that dogs did not decend from wolves... but that both dogs and wolves have a common ancestor.


Maintaining a social structure requires abstract thinking that a dogs brain simply can not do.

if dogs were pack animals you would not be able to introduce a new dog...or a new person....all wolves in wolf pack are born into the pack and outsiders are the enemy. A true pack animal would only accept offspring or a mate and would kill all others.

http://www.dogforum.com/dog-behavior/so-what-dominance-2045/

:) :)



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Not necessarily packs mentality in a sense of wolf pack, I have seen pecking orders in existence. The hounds were more of a pecking order issue. In my experience, when you have a pack of scenthounds, they each have their own place within the pack. This is reinforced by posturing, nips, growls, and general aggression (they do not hurt each other). Anyone who has run a pack of hounds has seen this. The Minpin was my arch enemy (I am just kidding, I did everything I could to work with him). No, i didn't try to train him aggressively, I never do. He would stand in my way and posture (blocking), would mark my boots and shoes (territorial), run in the door in front of me and trip me up (pecking order), sit next to my Ex and growl if I got near her (claiming), guard the food and kick some out on the floor for the rest of the dogs (feeding his pack). I ended up having to feed him in a seperate room behind a closed door. I may be wrong, but his body language and the way he acted was textbook on the lines of the old school way of thought.

I was the only one he would do these things to.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Not necessarily packs mentality in a sense of wolf pack, I have seen pecking orders in existence. The hounds were more of a pecking order issue. In my experience, when you have a pack of scenthounds, they each have their own place within the pack. This is reinforced by posturing, nips, growls, and general aggression (they do not hurt each other). Anyone who has run a pack of hounds has seen this. The Minpin was my arch enemy (I am just kidding, I did everything I could to work with him). No, i didn't try to train him aggressively, I never do. He would stand in my way and posture (blocking), would mark my boots and shoes (territorial), run in the door in front of me and trip me up (pecking order), sit next to my Ex and growl if I got near her (claiming), guard the food and kick some out on the floor for the rest of the dogs (feeding his pack). I ended up having to feed him in a seperate room behind a closed door. I may be wrong, but his body language and the way he acted was textbook on the lines of the old school way of thought.

I was the only one he would do these things to.
thank you for explaining.:)

now how can any of that not be explained with learning theory?;)

If one expects a positive outcome from a behaviour, or thinks there is a high probability of a positive outcome, then they will be more likely to engage in that behaviour. The behaviour is reinforced, with positive outcomes, leading a person to repeat the behaviour.
see what Iam getting at?



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lol, you hate me don't you.

It may be able to be explained. Obviously, You have researched it more then I have. I will still work with each dog on an individual basis, and determine how best to teach them.

As always, I am still an opinionated jerk. :p
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
lol, you hate me don't you.

It may be able to be explained. Obviously, You have researched it more then I have. I will still work with each dog on an individual basis, and determine how best to teach them.

As always, I am still an opinionated jerk. :p
Ack! My reply disapeared!

Your not a jerk...just a very good sport! :)

everyones personal definition is different so I was curious, I wasn't trying to pick you apart. :)simply understand you better :)



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Did you I say I am good sport. You ARE messing with me...:D

If someone stops learning then they are a danger to themselves and everyone around them.;)

I may have to do some more research on the subject, but now it is time to get off my butt and actually mow the lawn. It is about to go to seed. :D
 

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I define dominance as 'not being submissive' -submissive gestures are letting someone else eat first, go first, rolling over, licking faces (like pups do) etc.

Dominant behaviors TO ME are humping, forcing another to roll over or give up their resource (toy, food) fighting (When one won't submit) etc.

I agree dominance and alpha are overused and over applied. Usually when any scientific term ends up in common vernacular, it gets misused.

I'm curious about that research on wolf/dog lineages. There were genetic studies done just recently (mitochondiral DNA-which is really the best way to determine heritage) that proved which five wolves dogs were domesticated from
Ok I shouldn't have said 'proved' -science can only disprove or support...so the research supported. But do you remember where you read that-about dingos' and wolf/dog coming from a common ancestor?

(this is OT but I ahve to share, if you go far enough back, dolphins and dogs have a common ancestor-may be why they are so smart-or why we are so drawn to them!)
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
national geographic did a "thing" on it...I tried to find a link..but they don't publish alot of stuff publically...i'll keep looking..

I define dominance as 'not being submissive' -submissive gestures are letting someone else eat first, go first, rolling over, licking faces (like pups do) etc
but you have to look at why these behaviors are offered in the first place...dogs that are uneasy offer them more, and dogs that are confident offer them less...so if I yell at a dog until it pees itself that dog is now less dominant?

btw submission gestures are a way for the dog to get what it wants. Different dogs use different tactics....but they ALL are simply doing what works to get what they want. Basic learning theory. If growling works...they growl..if belly up works...they go belly up. Its all about reinforcement history.



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Well I think Learning theory is certainly a way to intepret them. Theories are ways to interpret things.

I don't know that it's THE only way to interpert them... ?

For instance, Electra complex theory is way to interprety why Dave's mom likes him best, and his sister less...That's probably not true, she likes Dave because he's nice and likes his sister less because she's very argumentative and screechy :)

BAH! i'm looking but all I can find is articles stating dingos came from domesticated dogs. :( I'm hunting now! :p
 

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Discussion Starter #16

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have you read actual dominance theory?

how does labeling "bad" behaviors as "dominant" help anyone tho?
Yup :) I majored in science psychology and have taken many learning/behavior courses at the grad study level :) Raed lots on behavior theory. I'm just starting on the links you gave though -may come back with a changed mind :)

I think the behavior is being labelled bad, it's bad because we choose that its bad right?
 

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how does labeling "bad" behaviors as "dominant" help anyone tho?
I agree with this totally though -labelling doesn't help in it's own, but labelling perhaps helps to compare behaviors of the same class?

It would not be good to go 'my dog is dominant so I can't teach him this, or that's why he bites' etc and just leave it because it's dominant ;)
 

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Hahah I'm on the second one
He prefers couches to floors? Watch out!
That's totally where I draw the line!! Gimmie a break-my dog is going to think he's dominant because I let him on my bed and couch?? Noooo..I don't think so.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
lol that letting the dog on the furniture thing is a HUGE one I see everywhere.

I agree with this totally though -labelling doesn't help in it's own, but labelling perhaps helps to compare behaviors of the same class?

It would not be good to go 'my dog is dominant so I can't teach him this, or that's why he bites' etc and just leave it because it's dominant
I think this is what Iam mostly getting at...the label used correctly is pretty useless as far as modifying behavior...and the label...used incorrectly...is pretty useless in behavior mod as well.

Basically the term has too much baggage to be usefull in explaining dog training and behavior IMO

I think the behavior is being labelled bad, it's bad because we choose that its bad right?
exactly...most of the "bad" behaviors are normal dog stuff. One human will label a barking dog dominant...but another who likes barking wont. Since "bad" behaviors vary the term gets even more complicated.



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