|Barked: Sat Feb 2, '13 11:11am PST |
|I totally agree with Sawyer....who apparently Risa is fostering and is stinking adorable! Some dogs really do need our far greater involvement and nothing I have said about dog-to-dog corrections is anything I carry around as a steadfast rule. It is more a world of ideals, which quite frankly breeder dogs tend to be (responsibly raised breeder dogs, that is!) with good, balanced genetics, full time spent with his litter, continued socialization with dogs as he continues to grow.
Tiller went through a pretty dread teenage stage where he was literally too much of a bozo for any dog. Exceedingly rough and was trying to pop fights....not aggressive per se himself, but in a testing stage where he was really trying to spike something. He wasn't allowed loose with any strange dog at that time. He was kept exposed so that he remained socialized, and when I felt he was leveling off had a happy occasion to find a vigorous playing Pit who also happened to be deaf who I took on as a foster, the deaf part being brilliant as Tiller's vocalizations were still pretty ghastly. But Barton couldn't hear, could weather Tiller's rather intense playing style, and that reinitiated him to play without incident and from there he leveled off. Now I can use him to proof DA because he's extremely steady on lead....very erect as he tends to be, but will be still, won't bark, growl, etc., because he's over his bad stage but also very socially confident and composed as in his bad stage he was kept around dogs and asked for composure.
Some dogs struggle with social skills....that can be bad experiences, poor socialization or simply genetics coming into play...and for them it is a different world and we really owe them very carefully supervised interactions.
But in the optimum world, we do owe our dogs the right to be dogs. Which does include the occasional correction, which isn't about violence. I do question people who see them as such. Any puppy raised with mom and litter has been corrected. Any puppy past nine weeks is highly likely to have received sterner corrections. Those are things far removed from building a dog who has bad associations, but quite to the contrary can deal with stressors confidently and who also have learned some impulse control, which is something I think not everyone understands. We aren't the only ones who teach that. Most puppies learn how not to be bratty around other dogs through corrections when young. It's a fundamental part of their learning when everyone goes right. We ourselves need to stick with positives to deal with unhinged behaviors with pups as we don't speak their language. They can't translate what we are doing into dog language. And that's a critical difference. We certainly owe them those positive teachings, but not because we are evolved beings and can teach them an evolved way to be dogs. The rest of the dog kingdom is not involved in that teaching and so ultimately social isolation from their kind becomes a possibility due to our refusal to allow them to engage in a normal part of dog culture.
Nature is smart. Whatever normal behaviors there are are contributory to building a functional adult. Corrections are a part of that. Not a violence, but part of a social structure. Squ'mey's example of the Pit mix is a good example of things not going as they are supposed to. INEFFECTIVE corrections are healthy for no one and are putting all members of the interaction in a situation no one in the mix can really handle....everyone is being put in a position where things WILL get violent. But the corrections to which they were unresponsive are not themselves violent. We can see they are not working, and that's when we need to step in.
Air snaps or inhibited bites should bring response. If they don't, that's nothing to allow to continue. But those reactions in and of themselves are still expressions, conversations. Natural and functional to dogs and as long as they are occasional, not chronic (were they not those things, this really would be cueing a dog who simply may not have the patience to enjoy hanging out with other dogs)something we should not read wrongness into. Such an interpretation is a little odd because it's a natural part of dogs being dogs, and being uncomfortable with the nature of our animals is to me off the mark.
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