Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Colorado Spings, CO
Social dominance and hand biting - corollation?
As I've watched my puppy's behavior over the last 2 months I've noticed an action/reaction over and over and I wonder if its related.
My pup was an alpha from his litter and he continues to act that way around dogs his size. So while playing at the park or with other dogs, I see him place his paw on the head of other dogs and I assume its a sign of dominance. The reaction from submissive dogs is to take this action and often lay down. The reaction from old dogs and alphas is to pullback from the paw on the head and then lung in at my pup. All normal behavior I think, but I write this just for background for the next bit I'm going to write.
In social settings with people and kids Gunnar still believes himself to be alpha when confronted by strangers. And people being dumb like to pet puppies without asking and sometimes get nipped by him. But what I've noticed is that he reacts to being petted on the head just like the alpha dogs at the park react when Gunnar puts his paw on their heads. If people pet Gunnar on his back or sides he does not get as riled up.
Is my observation of dominance and head petting common across this breed?