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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007

    Default Dog training problems and related issues

    Guys... I'm going to sticky this post for a bit... let's try to compile a resource with websites, books, and personal experiences in training dogs. If you've got questions, post them... this subject has come up several times in the past, and we've got some folks here who have a lot of experience with various types of canine training...

    To start us off, here is a really GOOD website with articles and information about many facets of dog ownership. She concentrates on breeding, but there is LOTS of useful stuff here.

    This article is a MUST read for anyone who has dogs, especially if you're really not sure what some of their actions mean! So many behaviors that people think are "cute" are really the dog saying "ha! I'm the boss... you can't make me do nuthin'!"

    I will say that the website owner/writer does her best to scare people off of breeding dogs at all!! I absolutely agree with her that it's not something to undertake lightly, and absolutely it can suddenly turn into a disaster without warning (my very first Akita litter, the dog developed anaphylaxis from an allergy to HER OWN MILK!! It was the middle of an ice storm, we had no possible way to get to a vets- we couldn't even get to a vet who lives 2 miles down the road from us to pick up meds...

    Thankfully, because we have the dairy and I do almost all our own vet work, I had sufficient meds on hand to save her.. and the eight more puppies she had after the treatment worked! Total of 11 pups... when the first three were born and started nursing, she went into immediate anaphylaxis... talk about a freakin' disaster. 140# dog, frantically trying to "run away" from the intense itching and hives... still in labor, but absolutely frantic. What an introduction to breeding Akitas!!

    So, I do understand why she is so strongly discouraging. I wonder if her breed is more prone to problems- for sure, I've never seen a deformed puppy (although we've seen some very weird stillborn kittens!), much less some of the disasters she describes.

    Back to the dominant dog article, here's the first couple of paragraphs. I suspect acvp will recognize MANY of these behaviors!

    Besides the obvious guarding, growling and biting, many dogs display a variety of dominant behaviors that commonly go unrecognized by their humans. Dogs very rarely display the highest level of dominance overnight. There are usually signs leading up to it over the years and dominant alpha dogs do not always growl and bite.

    If the owners are giving the dog what it wants, sometimes there is no reason for the dog to growl or bite unless it is challenged. Dogs understand that they exist in a human world. After all, who gives them food and opens the door for them to go potty? When humans perform these tasks on demand from the dog, though, why wouldn't the dog think it’s the leader?

    It is easy for dogs to get the impression they are alpha in their pack. Since many canine alpha behaviors are not acceptable in human society, for example, biting, it is important for humans to retain their leadership over their dogs.
    Below are some common behaviors dogs display when they believe they are above humans. Keep in mind that a dog does not have to display all of these behaviors to be in a dominant frame of mind. Sometimes an alpha dog will only display a few of the behaviors at random times, depending on what the dog decides it feels like doing at any given moment. Smarter dogs tend to challenge the pack order more than dogs of average or below-average intelligence.


    Headstrong and willful




    Pushing a toy into you or pawing in order to get you to play with them

    Nudging you to be petted

    Sitting in high places, looking down on everything

    Guarding a human from others approaching. People like to call it “protecting” but it's actually “claiming”—dog owns you.

    Barking or whining at humans which many owners consider "talking" (without a command to do so).

    High-pitched screams in protest of something dog does not wish to do.

    Jumping or putting their paws on humans (without a command to do so).

    Persistence about being on a particular piece of furniture when asked to stay off (dog owns it)

    Persistence about going in and out of doorways before humans

    Persistence about walking in front of humans while on a lead

    Persistence about getting through the doorway first

    Refusing to walk on a lead (excludes untrained puppies, dogs with injuries or illnesses)

    Nipping at people's heels when they are leaving (dog did not give permission to leave)

    Not listening to known commands

    Dislikes people touching their food

    Standing proud on a human lap

    Persistence about being on top, be it a lap or stepping on your foot

    Persistence about where they sleep, i.e. on your pillow

    Annoyance if disturbed while sleeping

    Likes to sleep on top of their humans

    Licking (giving kisses) in a determined and focused manner

    Carrying themselves with a proud gait, head held high

    Not liking to be left alone and getting overly excited upon the human’s return (see Separation Anxiety in Dogs)
    And another article on the same site, "Alpha Humans: What does it mean to be dominant?"
    Last edited by Summerthyme; 07-11-2013 at 09:00 PM.

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