What does a dominant dog look like?

Discussion in 'Behavioural science and dog training philosophy' started by snowbunny, Oct 7, 2017.

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  1. selina27

    selina27 Registered Users

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    How absolutely right you are. In my nursing career I've worked under all sorts, 2 standout as having some innate quality which enabled them to nurture confidence and inspire their team to give of their best, others stand out as being little more than megalomaniacs under whom I could not work. The powers that be love to send new managers off on Leadership courses. I've long thought that for some you may as well send a Jack Russell off to train as a sheepdog.
    And I'm sure your feelings about dog/owner behaviour is well founded. Although Cassie causes me to tear my hair out (still!) with her extrovert behaviour, I find rather pleasing that in most settings she is confident, something I've struggled with in earlier life.
     
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  2. Harley Quinn

    Harley Quinn Registered Users

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    I don't want to derail this thread on a discussion on confidence and shyness and how I understand them to not be confused as being different places on the continuum. In my experience shyness is not necessarily related to a under developed sense of self, you can be shy but be very sure of your own identity and sense of self. So some of the insecurities I was talking about that I think dogs may feel in the people that are linked (in my now developing theory- watch this space) are more related to deep poverties in self esteem and self worth that are well layered under pseudo confidence.

    I think our dogs get to know us pretty well and they learn how we consistently react overtly or covertly in situations and perhaps that is more difficult for them when they are younger and as they mature so does their "understanding" of 'this is how mom feels when we go to a show' but the results have never been dangerous or awful for them so it is the normal. Maybe that is just the superpower of dogs?
     
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  3. Shamas' mom

    Shamas' mom Registered Users

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    The first thing that comes to mind when I think of a Dominant dog is Buck, from Call of the Wild.

    Smart, adaptable, knew when to fight and when to bide his time and wait for the other to make a mistake. Took advantage of human error to get the most out of his living situation. Loyal to those who earned it, thriving on leadership.

    I used to walk a Shephard that would be considered "dominant" but the more that I dealt with the owner, the more I realised it was a lack of respect for humans. He'll lunge at dogs passing by and claims ownership of the corner that he lives on. Other owners don't like to walk by his house. after nearly a year of walking him, I was able to train him to the point that I could take him to busy events in downtown parks without a fuss. He's confident, and needs plenty of exercise...and LEADERSHIP. But I have my own dog now, and he's reverted back to the dog he used to be when I first started. 2 years ago. no one can train a dog that doesn't have reason to respect humans.

    To me, dominance is merely a way of saying where one stands on the ladder of ranking. If the dog stands higher than the human, it's dominant. But you don't DOMINATE a dog- it must respect you if you wish to rise above it. Dogs respect leadership, strength and consistency.
     
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  4. Jojo83

    Jojo83 Registered Users

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    Dogs really don't have a hierarchy or ranking system. Dominance in canids is more about resource and who controls access to that resource.

    A dog can not stand higher than a human, the dog relies entirely on the human for all resources.

    If you don't believe me try reading
    Dominance in Dogs - Fact or Fiction by Barry Eaton or
    In Defence of Dogs by John Bradshaw
     
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  5. Shamas' mom

    Shamas' mom Registered Users

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    I would say that if the dog's "owner" is subservient to the dog, whines at it, free-feeds it, and generally caters to it's demands...the dog stands higher than the human and is dominant.

    But I thought this was an opinion thread, and I have only stated an opinion ;)
     
  6. snowbunny

    snowbunny Registered Users

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    You're right, it was a thread to find out people's opinion of what an unseen dog someone described as "dominant" would look like. I was interested because people talk about dominant dogs but have very different interpretations of what that means. People often call dogs that display bullying characteristics "dominant", whereas I would be more inclined to say that a dog with natural confidence who didn't have to resort to any sort of intimidation to get what they wanted actually carried more social weight. As we have a largely educated membership who knows that dominance theory between human and dog has been debunked, there was some nice side-stepping of that :D

    I think the thread has run its course now, and I don't want it to become misleading to people coming across it, so I'm going to close it to further comments. Thanks to everyone who participated :)
     
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