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Ok, I'm sure you've all heard this before: People telling you not to wrestle with your dogs, or not to play tug-o-war, not to let the dogs on beds and furniture, never let the dog eat first... I personally don't believe people who say this since I never had any dominance problem with my old Bullmastiff (a "dominant" breed), I just controlled the resources and he was the greatest. But I just can't help but wonder, as I'm not exactly an expert on dog behaviour, I just talk from my experience with my dog, so can anyone who knows about the subject gives me a final answer on this, so that when people tell me this I can argue with them, and be able to back up my claims?
 

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We've studied a fair bit of animal behaviour (I study vet) and I think I can maybe say something - take it or leave it though.

The fact is, dogs are a pack animal.. You are part of their pack, so if you act as the dominant member, they will recognise this. This doesn't mean you have to be horrid to them - it just means you aren't there for them to walk all over. You're the one that sets the rules - "sit when I tell you, shut up when I tell you, you can eat when I say so" all mean "I am the boss here". You can still play roley-poley, wrestle, tug of war etc.. as long as the dog isn't showing signs of trying to dominate you in those games - biting etc. If so, you just make sure the games are on your terms.

In a similair manner, if you act submissive to them, they will treat you as lower than they are. "Oh you can have treats whenever you want schnukems, you can sit in the couch I'll have the floor sweety" all mean "YOU are the boss here." That's why spoilt-rotten dogs are always so damn nasty.. Again, this doesn't mean you can't give your dog a treat or let him have the couch once in a while.. It's all checks and balances.

My two cents.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Err, I think you guys missed my question :p (I didn't word it properly, I know, sorry for that) I know you have to be the dominant one over your dog (which is done by controlling resources, not physically), but my question was that I need something to back up my claims with people when I tell them that playing tug of war or wrestling or letting dogs on the furniture (of course all done on your terms, not the dogs') won't make them dominant.

By the way, Phil, since you're studying vet, can I ask you a question? can I give my dog raw meat, or should I cook it a bit to kill the germs? and second, what sort of bones can I give my dog? and again, raw or slightly cooked? (I know I can't give her chicken or cooked bones since they break easily, but what CAN I give her?)
 

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The people that are telling you this are only giving you their opinions or what they believe, there isn't really any scientific test or study that I am aware of that would back a claim to the contrary. People who have been around dogs for a long time or as Phil studying to be a vet know how the hierarchy works in the dog kingdom. Alphas will play with subordinates however when it comes to certain things the subs still know their place. Personally I would tell them, you have a right to believe what you want and if that works for you great however I do not believe that nor will I give up playing with my dog because you don't think it's ok.
The bottom line is MANY dog owners don't know anything about dog behavior, they have dogs programmed to be robots sit stay heel lay down don't move or let them run a muck with no training at all. I have a pit bull, from the time I brought her home at a very young age of 5 weeks I started teaching her mom is the boss no way around it. She's a yr old now we wrestle, play tug of war all those things but when mom says enough she knows its time to stop and will behave accordingly. She isn't the only one I have done this with I have had other pit bulls, we have a clutz of pyrenees and I've had dobermans and great danes just to name a few I played or my kids played with all of them in the same manner did they think they were dominant absolutely not they knew who was in charge
 

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Discussion Starter #6
So there isn't a definite proof, eh? that's too bad. I wouldn't mind it much, but it's annoying me cause I'm getting sick of people telling me that my dog will become aggressive when they see us wrestle. From my experience, wrestling, tug and all that are just ways to have fun with the dog, though I did notice that if they win too much against you they will start trying to defy you.
 

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No sorry, but it is all opinions just like some people label pit bulls in general as being horrible killing monsters.
Play with your dog and have fun, no one knows your dog like you do
 

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I find that its better to just not bring things like that up som'times.

No matter what explaination you give chances are that If the person already disagrees, your not going to sway them. Raising dogs is like raising kids as in people get very emotional about their "way" of doing it. Unless the person your convincing is a close friend I wouldn't even bring it up.

Playing tug is awesome for building a dogs confidence and drive. I personally thing that as long as the dog has manners, or will participate in play in a structured way (if theres issues) I see no problem with tug and wrestling.


that said...raw is fine...never cook bones eva eva eva. lol



Dog | Forum | Rocks!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well, I wouldn't bring it up if people would just leave me alone. lol.
But glad to see that I'm not doing anything wrong so far :D, I should just stop listening to random people on the street giving me advice about my dog, lol.
 

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The people that are telling you this are only giving you their opinions or what they believe, there isn't really any scientific test or study that I am aware of that would back a claim to the contrary. People who have been around dogs for a long time or as Phil studying to be a vet know how the hierarchy works in the dog kingdom. Alphas will play with subordinates however when it comes to certain things the subs still know their place. Personally I would tell them, you have a right to believe what you want and if that works for you great however I do not believe that nor will I give up playing with my dog because you don't think it's ok.
The bottom line is MANY dog owners don't know anything about dog behavior, they have dogs programmed to be robots sit stay heel lay down don't move or let them run a muck with no training at all. I have a pit bull, from the time I brought her home at a very young age of 5 weeks I started teaching her mom is the boss no way around it. She's a yr old now we wrestle, play tug of war all those things but when mom says enough she knows its time to stop and will behave accordingly. She isn't the only one I have done this with I have had other pit bulls, we have a clutz of pyrenees and I've had dobermans and great danes just to name a few I played or my kids played with all of them in the same manner did they think they were dominant absolutely not they knew who was in charge
I have to agree, I have been rescuing, raising and breeding for 50 years. I have always wrestled and played with my dogs and never have they thought of themselves as dominant over me. Far too much assumption has been passed around for years on this with no actual proof. It is odd how assumptions eventually turn into facts that people are so willing to continually believe. If you look at dog training books from 30 years ago you will without a doubt find techniques that these days they tell you not to do. It is typical of lore, the more it is told the more people believe it til in peoples mind it is no longer lore but it real.
 
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