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Let's discuss the role of dominance in the social hierarchy & training of domestic and wild canine.
  • Kobe1468Kobe1468
    Posts: 1588
    Thought this might fit into this thread nicely.

    http://www.whole-dog-journal.com/issues/14_12/features/Alpha-Dogs_20416-1.html


    "Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    This video has me puzzled.. I really think this woman is serious. haha


    I'm OK with people who train without treats, but this person's thinking is crazy.

    With training you can eventually phase out treats and sometimes randomly give treats or whatever..

    Saya will do tricks without treats.

    Though recall I always give treats a good come on command is worth it..

    By giving me food you are not really leadership material.. haha

    I think it's apes who follow this ideology..

    The higher ranking baboon has more leeway with food items or something like that.

    http://www.princeton.edu/~baboon/social_life.html

    Look for the Female rank and quality of life part.. I remember seeing a show on baboons or maybe some type of monkey in India or something I forgot.

    Photobucket
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • redcattooredcattoo
    Posts: 1960
    I don't know if this article was posted here, but I thought it appropriate to share on this thread

    https://wildewmn.wordpress.com/2013/06/18/hey-old-school-dominance-theory-schools-out/
  • shibamistressshibamistress
    Posts: 5171
    Wow, that was super stupid (the woman in the video). Hard to believe, with no basis in actual dog behavior! And yeah, Nicole, it's interesting, because it is true about great apes (which of course would include humans), this whole dominance thing, but not dogs. Interesting!

    And I love the wolf blog....great!
  • curlytailscurlytails
    Posts: 2779
    Linking to a stash of articles by Lisa Mullinax, CPDT...

    This is a good one for starters, relevant to this thread:
    "Dog Whisperer, Dog Psychology, and Cesar Millan"
    http://www.4pawsu.com/dogpsychology.htm

    (I linked a different but related article in the thread 'What the experts say about the Dog Whisperer').

    She also supplies a list of links on dominance and other topics, accessible via the "Training library"
    http://www.4pawsu.com/articles.htm
    image
    Bowdu 寶肚 (Shiba) and Bowpi 寶媲 (Basenji) with M.C.
  • Another great link, to Dr. Yin's work on dominance, including videos to decide if behavior is "dominant" or not. Great!

    http://drsophiayin.com/philosophy/dominance
  • NahatalieNahatalie
    Posts: 363
    Learning a lot from this thread. Definitely making me think about all the dominance theories I've been lead to believe. When I see certain behaviours in a dog, I'd instantly think it was about dominance or submission. Now I realise it's a whole lot more complicated and I wish I could read my dogs body language perfectly! Particularly when interacting with other dogs.
  • Kobe1468Kobe1468
    Posts: 1588
    What a great link....thx shibamistress!

    I really like her take on 'positive doesn't mean permissive'. This is something I find myself arguing with people about constantly. Just because I redirect Kobe's behaviour in a positive manner doesn't mean I'm accepting the behaviour. Many think I should punish said negative behaviour, and by redirecting I'm only ignoring it and actually rewarding the negative behaviour. Very old school, IMO.

    As Dr Yin says, rules are very important, and as long as you establish these rules and stick to them(expectations), I don't see how being positive can be mistaken for permissive.
    "Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
  • Kira_KiraKira_Kira
    Posts: 2482
    Great articles, thanks for sharing everyone!
    Cynthia, Proudly owned by Kira
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  • Kobe1468Kobe1468
    Posts: 1588
    Just wanted to add this short video of a seemingly innocent, yet obviously confused Vet demonstrating a "alpha hold...on the back" to a client.

    Head up=dominance??.....ok

    http://youtu.be/oHLFofsL4cw
    "Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
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  • Kobe1468Kobe1468
    Posts: 1588
    From one of my favs:

    http://m.psychologytoday.com/blog/canine-corner/201007/canine-dominance-is-the-concept-the-alpha-dog-valid
    "Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
  • Here's a whole list of information on the subject, with links to a variety of articles:

    http://www.squidoo.com/leader-of-the-pack

    It is a great one source stop for more information on this topic!
    Post edited by shibamistress at 2014-02-17 15:19:37
  • Wow. I guess I never really thought too hard about training methods when I was training my last Shiba. Honestly, it was pretty easy to get him to do whatever I wanted (besides not pulling on the leash, but I was working on that). All I did was guide him into doing things and reward with a treat. I'm still not really sure how I ended up conveying to him what I wanted for some tricks. I really didn't know how I was going to teach him stay. I just ended up making him sit, telling him to stay, and then as soon as he tried to follow going "Ah ah!" and he'd freeze. Really, I couldn't believe how simple it was to get him to learn these things.

    It never occurred to me to try and "dominate" him. Even when he was displaying undesirable behaviors, like play biting, my instinctive reaction was to stand up, walk away, and ignore him immediately. He hated the sudden loss of attention, so he curbed the behavior to prevent it. I'm sure there are other dogs who these techniques wouldn't work with. I agree that there is just no "one" training method. All people learn in different ways--some learn visually, some have to learn with hands on, some only have to hear instructions, some do it to please, some do it for reward, some do it for fear of consequence--and I don't see that dogs are much different in that regard.

    As far as the Alpha mentality goes, it really doesn't make sense for me to train my dog based on how wolves interact--I mean, neither of us is a wolf!
  • ArcticArctic
    Posts: 513

    As far as the Alpha mentality goes, it really doesn't make sense for me to train my dog based on how wolves interact--I mean, neither of us is a wolf!



    You'd be amazed how many people can't seem to comprehend this.

    That being said, I would be remiss to not point out that the dominance theory has also been disproved in wolf packs. Wolves form family groups with an inherent hierarchy already built in in the form of parents. Wolves do not fight for dominance within packs.

  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3495
    @SnowCrash11

    I act as a wolf all the time! When Bootz gets close to my food while i'm eating I growl at her and bare teeth ;)

    Also she knows i'm Alpha because she gives me cuddles when I demand it! :))
  • Arctic said:

    As far as the Alpha mentality goes, it really doesn't make sense for me to train my dog based on how wolves interact--I mean, neither of us is a wolf!



    You'd be amazed how many people can't seem to comprehend this.

    That being said, I would be remiss to not point out that the dominance theory has also been disproved in wolf packs. Wolves form family groups with an inherent hierarchy already built in in the form of parents. Wolves do not fight for dominance within packs.



    And not only can't people comprehend it, but they get pissed off when you point it out. Sigh. probably be the great apes, however, do have quite a system of dominance. ;)

    Post edited by shibamistress at 2014-02-27 21:01:54
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  • Kobe1468Kobe1468
    Posts: 1588
    Don't know if this is already on here(too lazy to look tonight). But I'm a sucker for McConnell so will post it anyway!

    https://www.patriciamcconnell.com/theotherendoftheleash/tag/canine-social-hierarchy
    "Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
  • NahatalieNahatalie
    Posts: 363
    Edited to say: nice link, Kobe1468.

    I just wanted to know what anyone thought about these situations:

    1) At agility, a large boarder collie puppy (10 months I think) is lying down. Oki (almost 5mo) steps between his sphinx-like long legs and pushes himself side first into the collies neck. Previously these two had a play and I took it as Oki trying to restart the play. The trainer pushed Oki off saying "Now we don't want that, that's a bit too dominant". I assumed it was just a play request. It's one his "moves" when playing. If so, is it normal and fine or is that normal but a bit rude of him? Or bad all together! Either way, I get the impression it's not a "dominance" thing?

    2) I see someone at training insisting to their dog (who pulls hard on lead) that she (the owner) goes through a door first and saying stuff to the dog like "ah ah, me first, you can go when I tell you to" giving me the impression that this first through the door thing is to teach the dog he is not alpha...I assumed the dog just went through the door first because he pulls anyway and doesn't consider himself "alpha" as a result of going through a door. Please tell me I'm right in thinking that's rubbish?!

    It's just that everywhere you go, everyone *does* always think it's about dominance, even trainers. I like one of the trainers at one of Oki's clases, good ideas on positive training and never ever uses negative (or I'd find somewhere else) but sometimes says the odd thing that makes me think she holds some dominance theory views.
    Post edited by Nahatalie at 2014-03-12 19:19:05
  • I just think it's polite to train your dog to wait for humans before entering things like an elevator or a new room. Dominance theory or not.
  • zandramezandrame
    Posts: 1106
    @Nahatalie, you are right on both points. Shiba play is just rude, so it can still be interrupted if the other dog is not receptive to it. And the door thing... It's better to frame it as a means to teach impulse control and prevent door bolting, but has nothing to do with dominance.
  • CaliaCalia
    Posts: 3664
    When a dog is used to interacting with another dog in a playful manner, they will sometimes have a higher likelihood of trying to initiate play with that dog when it comes time to being serious. Sometimes, they could just be trying to initiate play out of habit and other times (depending on the dog and situation) one or both dogs could be stressed during training and the play initiation could be an attempt to alleviate the stress. Definitely not a sign of dominance.
    image
  • JuniJuni
    Posts: 1269
    I just love that door issue that many take so seriously. In another forum someone wrote about how important it is and next sentence said something like remember that dogs are wolves. So I couldn't help responding so what is the importance of doors to wolves??
    I didn't get a reply.
    If there is a problem involving doors, the dog being pushy or something, then of course teach it manners. But otherwise why bother. I prefer to know my dog got in the train or the elevator with me which is easiest with her in front. For example.
  • NahatalieNahatalie
    Posts: 363
    Ok, so the door thing could have just been impulse control training (just the comment of "me first" made me think otherwise). Personally, I just tell Oki to "wait" and give him a release command if there's a reason I need him to. I don't care if he's infront of me. Usually this helps with things like getting out of the car. I'm not fussed if he's infront going through various doors, he's calm on lead and it's just easier sometimes, like you say.

    The silly ting about the play ting though, the collie was about to play back before the trainer separated them. If there are multiple dogs to choose to play with, Oki will target the most boisterous (usually biggest...). This was the second most lively dog at agility after his large friend who loves jaw sparring with him went home.
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3495
    @Nahatalie I would have thought the same. If she said "me first" I would think its an "Alpha" mentality and wants to train them to walk behind the owner. I do the same the same thing as you with my dogs, "wait" on the porch while I lock up the house.
  • poltergeistpoltergeist
    Posts: 426
    Hey, can anyone direct me to some actual articles written from universities about this subject? Cheers.
    image
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8584
    @poltergeist - Universities do not write articles... But I bet if you search some university library databases, you will find tons of scholarly articles written on this subject. You may also want to scroll back through the previous pages of this thread and click on the many scholarly articles linked in previous posts...

    If you check your local databases, check under veterinary and psychology.
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • Yes, there were scholarly articles linked on this topic too, in the previous pages. Even the statements from Mech (am I spelling his name correctly?) the guy who originally came up with the idea of "alpha" wolves and who has since repudiated his own work.

  • poltergeistpoltergeist
    Posts: 426
    Yes, I looked on Google and found some research papers from universities.

    I was having a debate with some people on a raw feed forum on Facebook (this all started because UK pet branch; Pets at Home has taken off all CM books) on why CM techniques are inappropriate. I pointed out that there are scientific evidences as to why and that CM doesn't know what he is doing + is a professional pet groomer.

    Anyways, one of the CM supporters pointed out they had an "Akita" and therefore he uses CM techniques--I said I had a Shiba (well, not now, but I'd still use positive reinforcement!) - so I think that sorta shut him up. But it was interesting as a lot of CM supports go on about his method as being 'the best' - yet no scientific evidence to back up their claim; just 'because I use it'.

    One of the people who uses the CM techniques has a bored border collie (I know that cos a) her picture has a border collie and b) she has asked advice on what to do with her - obviously bored - border collie and that simply "playing with her" is not an option. :-/

    Pssh, some people. Whatever. It's gone now, luckily I had some nice people to agree with me and it wasn't just me causing a flame war LOL. But, a lot of them had misconceptions about WHAT exactly is positive reinforcement (someone thought that we were constantly dispensing treats when our dogs obeyed us?) - I explained a situation where if my dog does what he is told; he gets lots of praise from me (no treats, just play and praise from me!) - this generally associates positive things for doing what I asked. It was baffling what people had in mind.
    Also, I noticed a lot of them simply flat out refused to read any articles I posted (and I used this thread to get a lot of the topics/research). Strange people.

    Anyways, keep posting those articles :)
    image
  • Kobe1468Kobe1468
    Posts: 1588

    Hey, can anyone direct me to some actual articles written from universities about this subject? Cheers.



    There are a lot of U's with Canine cognition labs that post research papers on their own sites.

    The U of Florida and Arizona State are the two I follow( mainly because of Clive Wynne). Wynne also has connections to Wolf Park, and has done a lot of research on wolves.

    The U of Western Ontario has a good lab as well, lead by Krista McPherson. They are doing some great work.

    These Cognition labs aren't necessarily doing research on training methods, but they all use PRT while conducting their research.

    They are all easily found on the net, and list lots of resources as well.

    Don't know if this helps you, but thought I'd mention it.

    Edit:
    Here's a very detailed essay. If you have a pot of coffee on, kick back and read!!

    http://www.examiner.com/article/dog-whispering-the-21st-century

    **sorry if it's a duplicate, but didn't want to go through entire thread!**
    "Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
    Post edited by Kobe1468 at 2014-03-27 23:14:24
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  • Kobe1468Kobe1468
    Posts: 1588
    Another good article...

    http://www.examiner.com/article/dogma-of-dominance-social-hierarchy-behavior-the-human-canine-bond

    I must admit that I wasn't familiar with P. Breeden until last years SPARCS conference. I really enjoy his work.
    "Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
  • natashanatasha
    Posts: 122
    Great article@Kobe1468.
  • NASANASA
    Posts: 189
    This was bumped for something I posted and I still pose the question... Pup takes a ball out of other dogs mouth and then begins to lay down and guard that ball.... Snarling and biting at any dog who gets near her- she resource guards stolen ball.

    Recommendations?
  • JuniJuni
    Posts: 1269
    @NASA post the question in the resource guarding thread instead so it is in the right category for future reference.

  • knnwangknnwang
    Posts: 645
    I don’t think this gamekeeper used the dominance approach. Supposedly this is the reaction from the wolfs after a 2 month leave.

  • shibamistressshibamistress
    Posts: 5171
    Love it! Look at their tails! Thanks for posting! :)
  • chradekchradek
    Posts: 69
    This is a great thread and I'm glad to see it got "bumped" and us newer members can read it.

    I love that many of you are pointing out that the theory of domestic dogs = wolves is no longer the accurate perception. I have only recently become aware that my "dominance" form of training was not ideal, could confuse the heck out of my dogs, and even damage the relationship we try so hard to build! I don't blame folks that still adhere to the made-famous-by-CM training ways, but I DO blame them if they are too stubborn or narrow-minded to review the research. I see where we got to that point (what we knew scientifically seemed to lead us there), but the tide has changed drastically, and fairly recently, IMO. There is so much good reading on the subject available. I am just finishing up "Dog Sense" by John Bradshaw. A terrific read for any dog enthusiast!

    I would just greatly encourage everyone new to the concept of positive training to do their due diligence and check it out. Domestic dogs are not wolves, and neither animal has pack hierarchies based on dominance/submission (as we think of it) Domestic dogs branched of from their grey wolf ancestors a good 10,000 years ago. Time to treat dogs like...well...dogs! ;-)

    As always, thank you for such an educational thread!

  • Kobe1468Kobe1468
    Posts: 1588
    Thought I'd post this here as well:

    @CanineScience: Dominance is a prediction about who will get access to a limited resource. Has nothing to do with training. McConnell #SPARCS2014

    @CanineScience: Dominance does not equal aggression and is not about control. Patricia McConnell #SPARCS2014

    @CanineScience: Just because dominance isn't useful in training does not mean it does not exist. Patricia McConnell #SPARCS2014

    @@CanineScience: "Whatever you want to call it, dogs do show ritualized displays" that show which dog "gets the pork chop." Patricia McConnell #SPARCS2014

    Just some points McConnell made over the weekend at SPARCS. She joked that the term Dominance should be changed to 'who gets the pork chop'. (Referring to an event that happened with her dogs when she actually did drop a pork chop!)

    "Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
  • Kobe1468Kobe1468
    Posts: 1588
    I stumbled on this McConnell post...very interesting and thought provoking. This is why she's one of my fav's!!

    https://www.patriciamcconnell.com/theotherendoftheleash/the-mystery-of-the-overmarking-express

    "Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    Cesar comes to Asia..

    https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=799938070027318


    I think even someone who likes Cesar would agree that bringing a dog who is dog reactive to a dog park is not a good idea. Your setting the dog up to fail for one thing and plus putting other members of the dog park in danger.

    Saya was attacked at the dog park thanks to lady who brought her dog reactive lab/mix.. :(

    She didn't help at all despite being right there. I had to push her dog off of Saya. Luckily Saya didn't suffer any physical injuries, but now she is no longer friendly to all dogs.

    Luckily she isn't too reactive, but she warns dogs when they get close.
    Photobucket
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
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  • Kobe1468Kobe1468
    Posts: 1588
    Don't know if this has been linked here, but another good explanation on why the whole 'D' theory is outdated.

    http://www.dogwelfarecampaign.org/why-not-dominance.php

    "Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
  • Kobe1468Kobe1468
    Posts: 1588
    http://doyoubelieveindog.blogspot.ca/2015/04/51-shades-of-grey-misuse.html?m=0#.VR9c_or3ac0

    ^^^A very good post regarding dominance and punishment. Very long and detailed, but very well balanced.
    "Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
    Post edited by Kobe1468 at 2015-04-04 23:42:47
  • Not sure if this is exactly the right post to share our experience, but this was pretty close.
    as it relates to "dominance methods"

    We took Winston out to do his business last night, and coming back in, we met this guy coming in who recognized him as a shiba (he was another resident). He seemed really excited, and pet and played with him for a bit.

    But then he asked for the leash and played with him a bit that way."Chhhh, Chhhh good boy" He kept going "I know shiba's I trained them for a while". Somehow I didn't believe that was true, seeing as he let the leash go for a few seconds (I had to tell him to pick it up) and expressed surprise at him being excitable. He said shibas were usually docile??

    Not to mention he kept mistaking him for a girl...

    We kept trying to excuse ourselves politely (Winston was getting mouthy and aggravated, since the guy kept goading him on), but he just kept repeating "no no, it's okay" and kept letting him mouth his hands roughly. (All part of his training plan??)

    Then he started talking about needing to calm him down (He was completely calm whenever he was next to us/ not attacking him) and he suddenly grabbed him and sort of pinned him in his arms, going "See, now he's calm". (Winston had whale eyes and ears back - obviously NOT calm and NOT happy.)

    Very Ceaser Milan, VERY Annoying. I finally practically yelled that we had to get to bed and we pulled Winston away from him. As soon as we got away he was back to his happy calm self.

    We do strictly positive only training, so needless to say we are very annoyed someone tried to handle Winston in that way. Reading up on dog behavior, it obviously wasn't doing what the boy said it was "calming him down", and was instead making him angry.

    If we ever see that resident again, he is NOT laying a single hand on our pup.

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