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Alpha rolling at the dog park for being dog reactive?

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

  
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Augusta,- CGC, RN

Such a Good Dog!
 
 
Barked: Thu Nov 29, '12 6:18pm PST 
The other day Gus was having one of her fast perimeter runs around the park when another female dog took exception and went way out of her (as in Gus wasn't near her) way to chase her down and chomp at her butt with angry snarking--like "we'll have none of that, Missy!"

Gus turned and snarked back at the rudeness.

The other dog's owner said, "oh good, I'm glad she (meaning Gus) told her off! She (meaning her dog) is a trash talker!"

Later the dog snarked at Golden Doodle more than twice her size--he ran away yelping like a scolded puppy (maybe he was young).

At this point the woman makes the dog lay on her side for a few minutes and tells her to lay back down when she tries to move . . ..


It then hit me that I seem to remember this woman doing this sometime in the past year . . ..

I'm not sure what alpha rolling in this situation would hope to accomplish, but I would think it would only make a dog who is reactive about other dog's commotion or having it's space invaded feel more vulnerable around other dogs.

I asked my instructor what she thought (she's all about "click to calm" and teaches a reactive dog class) . ..

She said not only that but it makes a dog who's feeling insecure not have a trustworthy person to look to ---just when they need to feel like you have their back, instead you're asking them to do something kinda crazy! She said yelling, no, no, no, jerking a leash, or getting worked up, etc. has a similar effect--you're making it seem like there is something to be alarmed about.
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Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
 
 
Barked: Thu Nov 29, '12 6:49pm PST 
That and the compounding effect. The dog is doing his "big dog bluff" because he's anticipating a potential fight and gets anxious. When you layer that other stuff on it, now it's doubled....worry about the fight, and the owner response as well.
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Lobo

"Stubborn" dogs- don't need- corrections
 
 
Barked: Thu Nov 29, '12 10:50pm PST 
^ Agreed with Tiller.

Lobo has never been a social butterfly, but when I was horribly unaware of dog body language, I would correct him for something that I (incorrectly) perceived as aggression. His interactions with other dogs slowly declined. They've only started to get better when I stopped "correcting" behavior and started rewarding for behavior I wanted.
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Lupi

I\\\'ll do- anything for a- treat!
 
 
Barked: Thu Nov 29, '12 10:58pm PST 
I've seen this a few times. It just doesn't make sense to put a dog in such a vulnerable position around other dogs. Something else I hate is when people lift their (obviously scared) pups off the ground, holding them so other dogs can sniff their butts. Inevitably this causes the dogs to jump up to reach the dog being held, which makes the dog in the air feel more nervous, which often causes him to snap..

If a dog gets a bit too snarky at the park, much better to distract him and lead him away for some mellow-out time.
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Smokey

Let's play tug!!
 
 
Barked: Fri Nov 30, '12 12:53am PST 
I've seen this too. It just makes you cringe, doesn't it? I had a friend of a friend whose dog got charged and became reactive, and she flipped him over and held him down when he didn't want other dogs to sniff him after that. It probably would have been so easily fixable with just treating him for letting himself be sniffed or putting a good greeting behavior on cue, since it was so new and he could get so close before reacting. All I managed to say was "I think he's just scared." I think most people just don't know what to do. It must ratchet up the anxiety hugely to feel like when something scary happens your mom goes crazy.
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Jackson Tan

Lad about town
 
 
Barked: Fri Nov 30, '12 3:27am PST 
God, if I tried something like that I'm pretty sure I'd get bitten.JT would be scared out of his mind, his first instinct is always flight. Not cool at all. And at times like that I'd be hard pressed to hold onto Jackson's harness handle, let alone splay him on his back.
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Shiver Me- Timbers- "Charlie"

My Little Dog, a- heartbeat at my- feet.<3
 
 
Barked: Fri Nov 30, '12 3:51am PST 
This is a reaction that has always, ALWAYS made me cringe because I can just imagine the mental damage it does to the dog. And it's common sense that the dog won't like other dogs any better if you make it a negative experience.. Ugh..
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Titus

Cave canis- vigilo omnis
 
 
Barked: Fri Nov 30, '12 7:25am PST 
Ugh. I'd think that would destroy any confidence the dog has in herself and any trust she might have in her owner. Being in a submissive position when she's not actually trying to appease another dog would make her feel terribly vulnerable and frustrated, and being forced into that position by someone she's should trust... naughty
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Dr. Watson

Not a wiener- dawg!
 
 
Barked: Fri Nov 30, '12 8:04am PST 
Just terrible. So upsetting to see this sort of thing in the name of teaching your dog. frown So likely to cause problems.
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Lucille

I am the Sock- Bandit!!!
 
 
Barked: Fri Nov 30, '12 8:43am PST 
I agree, it's really very sad because it's almost the exact opposite of what should be done to help a dog in that situation. I'd venture that it will increase this behavior during the time this dog is there leading up to the time the lady presses her dog down yet again.

Is this dog sort of a 'fun police' type at the dog park? Those pups need help relaxing around groups of dogs who are all doing their own thing, running about etc., and even then are often just not DP material because they tend to get so overstimulated. So that person doing this to the dog is really not helping...
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