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Thread: Saoirse's Primal Journal page 220

  1. #2191
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    Primal Fuel
    I know that dogs/wolves are predators and horses are prey- but have you looked at the pack structure? Horses, and apparently elephants, are matriarchial. The males are around to play stud, fight predators and, in the case of horses, to keep the herds separate. It's the oldest/strongest female that is actually in charge of day-to-day movements and discipline. My thoughts on this being- I know that there is an alpha-female wolf. I'm just not sure exactly what her role is. In other words, being female might not be a problem. Becoming the "boss mare" tends to be about being the one smart/old enough to know how to take care of the others and being fair in the discipline meted out. The herd my boss mare lived with followed her because they trusted her.
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  2. #2192
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    oh i don't think it's a "women can't lead" sort of thing. I think it's simply because dog growls and such are at a much lower pitch than a female voice, and that male voices tend to be lower than females. puppies and prey have high-pitched voices, and no one would take instruction from them. if i happened to have a low-pitched voice, i think he would have an easier time taking commands from me. he's learning, every time I take him out, he has already improved. this morning he must have been ravenous, but i made him sit before i fed him. every time i gave him a treat, he had to sit first. randomly throughout our walk this morning, he had to sit. most of the walk, he heeled naturally on a short leash, and mostly ignored distractions. he also sat on command for my son! now i have to figure out what he's going to do throughout the day. all he does is follow me around, which i know is good, but i want to figure out little tasks i can teach him to accomplish so he's not so bored.

  3. #2193
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    What a smart pup! I trained my dog to close doors and drawers, but I figure that's not quite what you have in mind. If he's not a hard-core chewer, there are puzzle toys that could keep him occupied. Unfortunately, both my bullies destrominate toys :/

  4. #2194
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    I have 2 malamutes and a husky wolf. They all know I am alpha. Next in line after the people is the female (she was the first here and is quite the princess) and then the two males. They all have worked out their roles and we are a happy family. We joke that my female "rules with an iron paw" and I've seen her go after the other dogs and bite them on the face (it only takes once and they never challenge her again). She would never do this to a person (I think - we've had plenty of times she's warned my son - but never a scratch). Little kids can really test a dog's patience (I'm sure you well know) so please use caution there! She is very protective of me though and I wonder what she would do to a stranger intent on doing me harm.

    It sounds like you are training your pup well. I use a low voice when I'm chastising her so that she knows I mean business. One thing I would have done differently would be to teach her to potty in only one area of the yard to make clean up easier. I'm sure I could teach them all this now, but am too lazy to bother with 3 adult dogs. I'm just happy that they mostly do it outside (we have some accidents at night when one of them has eaten something like a dead critter and getts a tummy ache)
    Last edited by Mud Flinger; 08-30-2012 at 10:22 AM.

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    Our guy is 9 now, getting very gray, but he gets plenty of exercise, play, and we try to feed him a good diet, so he's spry and playful still. He's a rescue dog, and we were told he was a collie-shepherd mix that might get to 100+ pounds. He stopped at 50-55#, but was so leggy and fast that I thought maybe he was part greyhound (and lab?). Swabbed him, sent it off to the CSI lab, turns out to be collie and poodle, but if you see standard poodles, they are leggy and high-cut. He can still jet, but he doesn't run as long as he used to.

    Being a rescue, you don't know the back story. He can be leery of men, though seemingly less so now than even a few years ago. But he's definitely Daddy's boy. On the alpha thing, I think part of it is vocal: I can be better as drill sergeant. But we did spend a lot of time training and reiniforcing training, and still do so. He's good off-leash, and will wait at the end of the block, sitting until I give the signal. The vocal and gesture signals have been greatly reduced over the years, like an old married couple. If I want him to stop I might just say Uh-puh-pup-up, and the tone conveys it all. And if I want to signal that it's OK to cross, I might just point a finger or say OK. Some of it is context; that OK would be meaningless in other situations.

    The first year of training was tough. He's always been a gentle, mellow soul, but he had your basic puppy ADHD, and it took a while for us to learn each other. There was just this time when it all clicked and I think I sort of relaxed a bit, instead of being textbook. So much of a dog's life is comfortable routine, the familiar, and we both enjoy the routine. If I say, Do you want to go on an adventure? he knows he's getting a ride in the truck as I go on errands. He knows that if I'm wearing a baseball cap that there's a good chance we're going on a walk, and that this will be preceded by the game of him jumping up and trying to steal my hat off my head. When I'm cooking dinner and he brings a tuggy toy and drops it at my feet, he knows I'll give him maximum drama. Get-that-stinking-rodent-outta-here-I-don't-ever-wanna-see-it-again! I toss it out, he brings it back, laughing and wagging with expectation. I play rougher and more over-the-top vocally; Mrs. FW plays nicer and more reassuringly. He tailors his level of aggression to who he plays with.

    A lot of the alpha thing is intuitive, for both dog and human. Especially strong dogs can be trying if you don't have matching strength; I keep the pit Astro and our boy's best bud, a shepherd mix named Boss, on a literal short leash when we walk them, until we get in synch and I can redirect their attention from all-over-the-place energy to focusing on cues from the leash and vocals. It KILLS me to see people who YANK their dogs, and I'll tell them about it.

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    Oh, and IMO much of the problem with dog interaction is 1) not socializing them with other dogs early and often, and 2) human intervention. Get your dog out there, sniffing other dogs, seeing how they interact (check in with the human first), and running and having fun. Too often people step in when dogs can figure out the rules instinctively. Obviously you break up stuff that goes over the line, but people can't distinguish play growls and nips and swoop in and break stuff up. Dogs know the boundaries. If you've ever noticed, dogs tend to be more anxious on leash than when you let them interact off.

  7. #2197
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    Quote Originally Posted by justyouraveragecavemen View Post
    Is he bored or just not thinking about humping the neighbor's collie? I'd look quite bored too if you took my thoughts of sex away.
    And you've read all about how to care for him from books and online sites but disregarded the vet looking at you and saying "no water, no walks, no play, etc."...come on now, the vet didn't tell you that for shits and giggles.
    that's shaming language. we're talking about a pit puppy, gotta give him a little bit of exercise. wrt food and water, i didn't give him food, only a little water because he was panting so much. the water restriction is a concern that he might vomit and then aspirate it. it's not really a concern unless he's asleep, which he wasn't.
    Quote Originally Posted by unsuperb View Post
    What a smart pup! I trained my dog to close doors and drawers, but I figure that's not quite what you have in mind. If he's not a hard-core chewer, there are puzzle toys that could keep him occupied. Unfortunately, both my bullies destrominate toys :/
    no, closing doors and drawers could be interesting. really, i just want to give him fun stuff to do. he has energy, we might as well put it to use.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mud Flinger View Post
    I have 2 malamutes and a husky wolf. They all know I am alpha. Next in line after the people is the female (she was the first here and is quite the princess) and then the two males. They all have worked out their roles and we are a happy family. We joke that my female "rules with an iron paw" and I've seen her go after the other dogs and bite them on the face (it only takes once and they never challenge her again). She would never do this to a person (I think - we've had plenty of times she's warned my son - but never a scratch). Little kids can really test a dog's patience (I'm sure you well know) so please use caution there! She is very protective of me though and I wonder what she would do to a stranger intent on doing me harm.

    It sounds like you are training your pup well. I use a low voice when I'm chastising her so that she knows I mean business. One thing I would have done differently would be to teach her to potty in only one area of the yard to make clean up easier. I'm sure I could teach them all this now, but am too lazy to bother with 3 adult dogs. I'm just happy that they mostly do it outside (we have some accidents at night when one of them has eaten something like a dead critter and getts a tummy ache)
    yes, so far he pees in just one spot. he has only poo'ed once, so it's hard to tell if it's going to be a regular thing. my daughter is the resident poo expert (it's a paid position), so thankfully i don't have to worry about it much.

    i have been rather anxious about the toddler/dog interactions, but so far he hasn't shown any aggressive body language. I test him at odd times: a poke while he's asleep, taking his food away, things like that. so far, so good. toddler has sat on him, held onto his tail, taken his toy, and the dog just looks at him. i still feel really anxious but i think we have a winner.

    Quote Originally Posted by Finnegans Wake View Post
    Our guy is 9 now, getting very gray, but he gets plenty of exercise, play, and we try to feed him a good diet, so he's spry and playful still. He's a rescue dog, and we were told he was a collie-shepherd mix that might get to 100+ pounds. He stopped at 50-55#, but was so leggy and fast that I thought maybe he was part greyhound (and lab?). Swabbed him, sent it off to the CSI lab, turns out to be collie and poodle, but if you see standard poodles, they are leggy and high-cut. He can still jet, but he doesn't run as long as he used to.

    Being a rescue, you don't know the back story. He can be leery of men, though seemingly less so now than even a few years ago. But he's definitely Daddy's boy. On the alpha thing, I think part of it is vocal: I can be better as drill sergeant. But we did spend a lot of time training and reiniforcing training, and still do so. He's good off-leash, and will wait at the end of the block, sitting until I give the signal. The vocal and gesture signals have been greatly reduced over the years, like an old married couple. If I want him to stop I might just say Uh-puh-pup-up, and the tone conveys it all. And if I want to signal that it's OK to cross, I might just point a finger or say OK. Some of it is context; that OK would be meaningless in other situations.

    The first year of training was tough. He's always been a gentle, mellow soul, but he had your basic puppy ADHD, and it took a while for us to learn each other. There was just this time when it all clicked and I think I sort of relaxed a bit, instead of being textbook. So much of a dog's life is comfortable routine, the familiar, and we both enjoy the routine. If I say, Do you want to go on an adventure? he knows he's getting a ride in the truck as I go on errands. He knows that if I'm wearing a baseball cap that there's a good chance we're going on a walk, and that this will be preceded by the game of him jumping up and trying to steal my hat off my head. When I'm cooking dinner and he brings a tuggy toy and drops it at my feet, he knows I'll give him maximum drama. Get-that-stinking-rodent-outta-here-I-don't-ever-wanna-see-it-again! I toss it out, he brings it back, laughing and wagging with expectation. I play rougher and more over-the-top vocally; Mrs. FW plays nicer and more reassuringly. He tailors his level of aggression to who he plays with.

    A lot of the alpha thing is intuitive, for both dog and human. Especially strong dogs can be trying if you don't have matching strength; I keep the pit Astro and our boy's best bud, a shepherd mix named Boss, on a literal short leash when we walk them, until we get in synch and I can redirect their attention from all-over-the-place energy to focusing on cues from the leash and vocals. It KILLS me to see people who YANK their dogs, and I'll tell them about it.
    aww how cute.

    what do you mean by "yank"? and if your dog was constantly pulling on the leash, how would you correct that?


    Quote Originally Posted by Finnegans Wake View Post
    Oh, and IMO much of the problem with dog interaction is 1) not socializing them with other dogs early and often, and 2) human intervention. Get your dog out there, sniffing other dogs, seeing how they interact (check in with the human first), and running and having fun. Too often people step in when dogs can figure out the rules instinctively. Obviously you break up stuff that goes over the line, but people can't distinguish play growls and nips and swoop in and break stuff up. Dogs know the boundaries. If you've ever noticed, dogs tend to be more anxious on leash than when you let them interact off.
    i'm hoping to socialize him quite a bit, but i've read so much about pits and socialization that i'm a little worried. apparently it's a common pit behavior to simply not pick up on, or not care about another dog's aggressive body language. so the pit ignores the other dog's cues, and the other dog eventually snaps, and in the worst case scenario the pit wins the fight because apparently they don't back down. it's hard to believe this gentle dog would do something like that, but really he's new to our family. you never know. we saw his first aggressive display this morning when someone came to our door. he barked, growled, and then when the cable guy was in the backyard, the hair on Dog's back raised. i have mixed emotions about that; good that he's protective, not good that he's aggressive to someone who *should* be in our backyard. he's going to have to be more discerning about threats and non-threats.

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    Dogs pull when on leash, it's their nature. They're obviously strongly smell-oriented and get distracted by every twig and daisy that's been peed on by other dogs, or whatever rotten funky junk they can stick their snouts into. They can be energetic and want to move faster than you're walking. I correct that by starting with a very short leash (doubled up in the grip, 24" or less) so they can't get a head of steam and really pull you along, or can't just go snuffling for truffles as their heart desires. The idea is to get them focused straight ahead, in synch with your walking patterns. Once they relax and settle down, the correction is just a quick, short tug if they go astray. I accompany it with a little sound. Hup! Hup! The tug and vocal work together as a cue to pay attention to what your wonderful person wants, Mr. Dog, and then you will get goodie-boy praises.

    A yank is hard enough to cause physical damage, especially with smaller or younger dogs. If the dog's head whips around, that's just wrong. There shouldn't be enough force to pull the dog off their feet unless there's some imminent danger (pulling the dog out of the way of a car, or away from a snapping dog).

    When socializing, you have to ask whether the other dogs are friendly, and then just see how it goes. If it gets snappy you can step in with distracting claps and shouts, pull them apart, but mostly the dogs sniff, dance, do their thing. You know what I mean by dance, it's the back and forth of Are you cool? Are you Cool? They can usually determine quickly if the other dog is a problem. It's usually the humans projecting their anxieties onto the dogs that seems to saddle them with weirdness.

    As for protectiveness, yeah, Ralphie is the sweetest creature on planet Earth. But he's also a dog, so he sounds like Cujo when the postal carrier arrives, bristling along the back. Next door neighbor at the door? Hated intruder until I open the door, and then it's just his buddy Mr. Larry. The only people he doesn't bark at when they approach is family. He's just doing his job, letting us know when the perimeter is challenged. But when we have people over to do work (furnace, chimney, whatever) and I show him it's OK, he'll let them go through the house without problem.

  9. #2199
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finnegans Wake View Post
    Dogs pull when on leash, it's their nature. They're obviously strongly smell-oriented and get distracted by every twig and daisy that's been peed on by other dogs, or whatever rotten funky junk they can stick their snouts into. They can be energetic and want to move faster than you're walking. I correct that by starting with a very short leash (doubled up in the grip, 24" or less) so they can't get a head of steam and really pull you along, or can't just go snuffling for truffles as their heart desires. The idea is to get them focused straight ahead, in synch with your walking patterns. Once they relax and settle down, the correction is just a quick, short tug if they go astray. I accompany it with a little sound. Hup! Hup! The tug and vocal work together as a cue to pay attention to what your wonderful person wants, Mr. Dog, and then you will get goodie-boy praises.

    A yank is hard enough to cause physical damage, especially with smaller or younger dogs. If the dog's head whips around, that's just wrong. There shouldn't be enough force to pull the dog off their feet unless there's some imminent danger (pulling the dog out of the way of a car, or away from a snapping dog).

    When socializing, you have to ask whether the other dogs are friendly, and then just see how it goes. If it gets snappy you can step in with distracting claps and shouts, pull them apart, but mostly the dogs sniff, dance, do their thing. You know what I mean by dance, it's the back and forth of Are you cool? Are you Cool? They can usually determine quickly if the other dog is a problem. It's usually the humans projecting their anxieties onto the dogs that seems to saddle them with weirdness.

    As for protectiveness, yeah, Ralphie is the sweetest creature on planet Earth. But he's also a dog, so he sounds like Cujo when the postal carrier arrives, bristling along the back. Next door neighbor at the door? Hated intruder until I open the door, and then it's just his buddy Mr. Larry. The only people he doesn't bark at when they approach is family. He's just doing his job, letting us know when the perimeter is challenged. But when we have people over to do work (furnace, chimney, whatever) and I show him it's OK, he'll let them go through the house without problem.
    Yep - totally agree - this has been my exact experience. I must admit though that I'm a little wary of other people we meet while walking because I don't want a confrontation because they don't understand "dog 101". I usually hold onto my dog and have her sit while they pass by unless the owner wants to let them greet. Many little yippy dogs have no "doggie manners" (luckily my dog ignores them for the most part) and I've found many medium sized dogs that will try to challenge my alpha girl. I figure that this is just another method to exercise my control over her and reinforce that she needs to listen as I am alpha.

  10. #2200
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saoirse View Post
    no, closing doors and drawers could be interesting. really, i just want to give him fun stuff to do. he has energy, we might as well put it to use.
    It's surprisingly easy to teach if you can teach him how to shake (and then progress to waving, which then progresses to waving done on a door/drawer/cupboard). I want to work on opening doors and turning lights on/off next.

    i have been rather anxious about the toddler/dog interactions, but so far he hasn't shown any aggressive body language. I test him at odd times: a poke while he's asleep, taking his food away, things like that. so far, so good. toddler has sat on him, held onto his tail, taken his toy, and the dog just looks at him. i still feel really anxious but i think we have a winner.
    I would say it's definitely normal to still be cautious, he's still a dog afterall. I kind of slacked on my dog's socialization with kids when she was younger, but she's very laid back and tolerates the ones we encounter. That being said, I also supervise all interactions and remove her if I feel she's not comfortable (or more often, is getting super excited because some kids like to wave and jerk about and ZOMGPLAYTIME)

    what do you mean by "yank"? and if your dog was constantly pulling on the leash, how would you correct that?
    Walk in the opposite direction. Once he's where you want him (mentally and in physical space), you can go back to your intended direction. It can be a bit of circle work for the first five minutes or so, but then it starts to click that walking with you is more conducive for forward momentum. I'm not a fan of the "yank", especially with bullies because they don't seem to give a shit

    i'm hoping to socialize him quite a bit, but i've read so much about pits and socialization that i'm a little worried. apparently it's a common pit behavior to simply not pick up on, or not care about another dog's aggressive body language. so the pit ignores the other dog's cues, and the other dog eventually snaps, and in the worst case scenario the pit wins the fight because apparently they don't back down. it's hard to believe this gentle dog would do something like that, but really he's new to our family. you never know. we saw his first aggressive display this morning when someone came to our door. he barked, growled, and then when the cable guy was in the backyard, the hair on Dog's back raised. i have mixed emotions about that; good that he's protective, not good that he's aggressive to someone who *should* be in our backyard. he's going to have to be more discerning about threats and non-threats.
    As for dog socialization, go slow and don't push it. Do you know if he was tested for dog aggression at the shelter? They can be selective with dogs they like, if they like them to begin with. Their playing style is also something that puts them at odd with some other dogs, so teaching him a command like "Enough" to signal end of playtimerightnow! would be good if he's okay with other dogs. Wrt aggressive displays, he is very new and probably still stressed (he did just get his manhood taken away )

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