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Old 11-27-2012, 09:10 PM   #71 (permalink)
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Also I think how someone lets their pack interact should be based on the pack and the person and what they are comfortable with. I myself am more familiar with behavior. I interrupt behavior that goes directly against my orders which is NO FIGHTING and NO AGGRESSION TOWARDS PUPPIES or young dogs.

I am personally comfortable with what you see in the video. If that were one of my males being challenged by a younger male then I would allow it to continue as LONG as it remained fair. Then again scenarios like this don't really happen in my house. If snarling ensues I help fix the issue. I would have told the foster to sit and behave to "back my dog up". If the dog in the "submissive" position is unstable and lacks recognition of the authoritative dog you must evaluate the reason. is the dog just dense? Is the dog actually challenging? Why is the dog challenging? is it lacking self preservation and going to result in a nasty fight? or is the dog slowly learning? Allow the dog to slowly learn in that case. The only reason I have seen fights break out in the scenario you see above is when a dog involved is unstable. That being said my dogs are personally very comfortable with one another and eating. They respect my authority and know that I will give everyone the same amount and there is nothing to guard or be upset about. So we don't see snarling. I do see snarling when a new dog enters the pack and is absolutely clueless about behavior. So I allow them to learn in a supervised and safe manner. The dogs are VERY fair and good at teaching so I sit back and let them do the work.

I don't create artificial structures or force someone to be submissive because I said so. But I do reinforce and back up what dogs say. If a submissive dog is being bullied, I will help them. If a dominant dog is being challenged by an idiot dog, I will help them. We are a pack. We work together. This varies depending on the pack to each his own
I suppose I should say, I don't allow bullying. Also, I have a level of trust in the foster's response I did not have 2 months ago. I *know* Jäger will correct and then stop, even if Koal flips out and throws a fit... I also know Koal won't be so bold as to try to actually make a go of a fight with Jäger. Jäger has taught *multiple* small puppies appropriate behaviour, and those dogs have grown up to have *manners* with regards to other dogs. I will much sooner use him for a puppy than I will Katya because his threshold for how much BS he will tolerate is much higher than her (infact he was there for her life) or any other dog I know of. Koal is a combo of social ignorance, insecurity, and a touch of "dense". He doesn't learn quite as quick as I would prefer.
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:16 PM   #72 (permalink)
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I suppose I should say, I don't allow bullying. Also, I have a level of trust in the foster's response I did not have 2 months ago. I *know* Jäger will correct and then stop, even if Koal flips out and throws a fit... I also know Koal won't be so bold as to try to actually make a go of a fight with Jäger. Jäger has taught *multiple* small puppies appropriate behaviour, and those dogs have grown up to have *manners* with regards to other dogs. I will much sooner use him for a puppy than I will Katya because his threshold for how much BS he will tolerate is much higher than her (infact he was there for her life) or any other dog I know of. Koal is a combo of social ignorance, insecurity, and a touch of "dense". He doesn't learn quite as quick as I would prefer.
The bolded is huge and is exactly why you and I would be more comfortable with our dogs snarling that someone with say rescue dogs or dogs they are less familiar with. not saying others who don't allow it, don't because they don't know their dogs. It's just a difference of opinion. But your reasoning is exactly why I do allow it to happen in my house when it does. I know my dogs thresholds, reactions, tolerance etc. I know I can trust my dogs to give a fair correction to another dog because they have demonstrated entirely that their whole lives. I have one dog who is very unstable and aggressive (my lovely little BYB girl). I would never allow her to snarl. I would not punish it in her, because she NEEDS this defense. Instead I prevent the situation from arising with her and I have taught her if she is uncomfortable to come bury her head in my lap and I will fix it for her instead of snarling. Her snarling allows her to get too close to actually biting. and if she bites after a snarl it is an attack not a correction. That was my solution. Different strokes for different folks.
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:44 PM   #73 (permalink)
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Someone started a post awhile back about how the number of posts a person has made on this forum does not, in any way, make them an expert.

I would listen to this Hunter.
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:26 PM   #74 (permalink)
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And yet, my trust in evolutions design continues to work without issue. Between me trying to decide what's best and putting faith in natures design I tend to lean to natures design knowing I cannot possibly be better informed or have a more mature solution
I just have to throw in there that this situation worked because you have stable dogs that you know well and trust. Even your foster who is still learning looks like he has a good base to him. If I tried this with my girls and allowed their communication to continue to this extent, there would be bloodshed. But only because they hate each other and have no respect for each other. They tolerate each other because I expect them to in certain situations but like someone else mentioned, if they were wild wolves they wouldn't live in the same area.

This does not mean that I disagree with you, I've had packs before that this approach worked beautifully, simply that what humans have created in the domestic dog is not always in line with what evolution designed. I will allow communication between my dogs to a certain extent but I also know that my GSD girl is a huge bully that will jump at any opportunity to be a bitch to my other girls. She is not a stable, confident, dominant dog, she's a wannabe that tries to bully my other girls into the ground. If I don't step in and my stable, confident girls feel they have to correct her, she'll try and finish them despite their appropriate response to her jerkiness.

I guess what I mean to say, is congratulations on your gorgeous, balanced pack but I just can't agree that this method would work with every combo of dogs out there.
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:39 PM   #75 (permalink)
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I don't need crates Thats why God created social hierarchies.

We have had zero fights with the foster... Zero.

Strong nerved confident dogs only fight in a social context when their dominant nature is so close as to prevent either dog from submitting. Anytime there is a reasonable difference in the level of dominant nature/personality it is resolved through these sort of ritual behaviors. Dogs do it, male lions fight violently (but do not extend their claws... because its a ritual no matter how violent it looks), nearly every pack animal has specific rituals to maintain a social order. The above videos show dog rituals clearly.

Jäger acted submissively to a neighbors 12 year old neutered lab (who had not a dominant bone in him). Why? dunno. He just decided to show submissive "puppy like" behavior to this old dog. Always did until he passed from cancer. Jäger has never been in a dog fight, FYI.

Actually, male lions, sometimes at least, do fatal damage to each other at least according to the shows I have seen on Animal Planet or similar channels!

Dogs will do the same as well sometimes! You must be a great pack leader in order to maintain order even when you are not home!

All it would take is a lack of submission in the second dog and BAM! It's on!

OTOH, if your group gets along, then go for it.
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:15 PM   #76 (permalink)
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you guys think lack of submission is all that causes a fight - rephrasing that, do you think all dogs will choose not to attack if another dog is submissive???
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:58 PM   #77 (permalink)
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you guys think lack of submission is all that causes a fight - rephrasing that, do you think all dogs will choose not to attack if another dog is submissive???

Nope, only MOST normal stable dogs!

Just like MOST normal adult GSD's will let a little puppy get away with almost anything and not hurt the little baby!

But i surely wouldn't let my baby puppy go up to the vast majority of adult dogs.
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Old 11-28-2012, 08:43 AM   #78 (permalink)
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I watched the video ... twice, I've read most of the comments, and haven't found the question I want to ask ...

My last dog was an alpha female ... a beautiful creature to watch. Always gave perfect corrections to other dogs, taught puppies the rules, and was an amazing mediator within a pack of dogs. Seriously, it was INCREDIBLE to watch her to her "role" in life. I rarely had to intervene.

I mention this because she taught me A LOT about dog behaviour - and I watched her constantly (she probably thought I was stalking her LOL). Anyway, I digress.

I moved in with a friend of mine for a year and she had three male dogs. Abby was the only female. They got along very well (had known each other all their lives).

Abby "corrected" them when they charged the front door. The door bell rang, her three dogs charged the door and she'd slipped through them and literally stared them down, and they backed off and went into the hallway. Do you know how many times she corrected this behaviour? TWICE ... they never did it a third time.

Supper time came. All four dogs were raw fed. They had their own bowls in the kitchen, in separate corners. Abby was still eating, and the bernese was done and he ambled over to see if Abby would share. As he approached, she turned her head, let out a low growl, and curled her lip. He backed off INSTANTLY and went back to see if there was anything else in his bowl. He NEVER did it again. And the other two dogs never tried it.

MY understanding is that a true alpha (of which there really aren't that many ... dominant and alpha are constantly interchanged and misunderstood) doesn't need to CONSTANTLY correct a dog. So my question is this ... why did your dog have to constantly snap at the other dog to "remind" them of their place?

I get that some dogs will NOT back down to another dog correcting them. One of my friend's has a dog that is a social moron ... not a clue how to greet other dogs. She ran full force into Abby, and Abby whipped around, stared at her, and curled her lip at her. The other dog? Just jumped all over her again. Abby backed off a bit, and let the dog be a twit, and then the third time it came at her, she let out a low growl and snapped the air. The dog stopped and then LUNGED at Abby. I got the other dog away from Abby - who by the way, did NOTHING ... because she knew I was her back up. To me, that's an alpha. My dog knew that I would let her do what was appropriate ... her role in life, but that I always had her back, and would step in if needed. I only ever had to twice ... and that dog was one of the times.

I've worked with loads of dogs and I've watched Abby do her 'corrections' and she RARELY had to correct the same dog more than once. In the video it appears that your dog is correcting the other dog constantly ... I don't get it ... For me that's not dominance / submission but the "correcting" dog is being an "a$$"

Clarification?
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Old 11-28-2012, 08:56 AM   #79 (permalink)
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MY understanding is that a true alpha (of which there really aren't that many ... dominant and alpha are constantly interchanged and misunderstood) doesn't need to CONSTANTLY correct a dog. So my question is this ... why did your dog have to constantly snap at the other dog to "remind" them of their place?
Because the foster dog kept encroaching?
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Old 11-28-2012, 09:30 AM   #80 (permalink)
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I get that ... but what I'm thinking (and I most definitely could be wrong!) is that if the correction was done properly the first time, maybe even the second, then it wouldn't have had to continue ... this is what I'm thinking ...

OP ... I'm not trying to knock you ... We really don't see the whole dynamic of your household, the dog's behaviour, etc. That's why I posed my question, with my experiences of my last dog. I get that every dog is different and all that jazz ... From what I saw on the video, it wasn't really a correction, otherwise (as I THINK - not KNOW!!!) the foster dog wouldn't have kept it up ... this is what I am confused about!

Thanks!
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