|Barked: Sat Mar 26, '11 10:24pm PST |
|This is not dominant behavior. Your dog is just exhibiting normal (perhaps untrained) behavior.
Though to be honest I am not big on all this dominance stuff-- the dog goes out the door first, he's being dominant, the dog humps or chases the cat, he's being dominant, he barks at strangers-, he's being dominant.
> cat- although spayed she has begun humping the cat, and her bed, as if to show dominance. Although she does not do this with us, I dont' want her to continue to think that she's the pack leader in any way, so I realize I need to nip this in the bud- any solutions besides continuing regular training?
Well this is pretty normal. I would teach leave it and so forth as suggested. It could be dangerous to the cat if your dog is big. (Or dangerous to the dog as the case may be.) You can also teach a behavior that will not go along with humping the cat, for instance teach the dog to bring you a toy.
>- she has recently become "vocally protective" of our property, and at times, us. She barks and growls and howls at people that walk by. This
Well its territorial not really dominance or aggression. You can work on something like a single bark. It's doable if you are around to teach it. (there are ways to teach it.) Torie barks. To be honest, I just let her bark. She isn't outside all night or anything.
>doesn't bother me, but I dont' want her to continue if it's a sign of domincance that could turn to agression, or disobedience.
You have to figure out whether or not this REALLY bothers you enough to correct it as it would take some amount of time and energy. But not if its just to worry about whether it is some amount of dominance or something.
>Don't know how to stop it though. I took her for a walk today, and we ran in to some small children that I know, but that Memphis had never met. She was very shy, and stayed away from them, which was fine. However when they walked up to her (not flailing arms, but calmly with arm oustreched to pet her), she growled and tried to nip them. I immediately pulled her back and had her sit by me, but it concerns me that she even did this.
Your dog is not socialized to children. There is no reason that she would naturally like them. I would not invite children to come up
to her right now, but when kids come by you can treat her and tell her what a great job she is doing. Make sure seeing kids is associated with great things. Find out what distance your dog is comfortable around htem, then get that distance away and treat the dog for calm behavior. If she begins to handle this, you might be able to find a
parent and kid that you could trust and work with treating
her when the kid is present.
I agree re: working on resource guarding. Young dogs need LOTS of socializating to get used to many situations. If your dog never has experiences, there is no reason that your dog will like or tolerate them. I still do this with Torie. Is there a skateboard? I'll ask the kids to use it near Torie and treat her it is going by. Find a kite, let's see this and make it a positive experience. How about walkers and wheelchairs, same thing. Barking and so forth are often a response dogs have to stress.
BTW, do NOT get the idea that growling is a bad response. Don't ever punish for growling or you could get a dog that bites first and asks questions later. You want the dog comfortable around kids by gradually getting the dog used to them.
I am not sure if a book on scared dogs like "Scaredy Dog" might help. But it can't hurt. It might help you to not overinterpret your dog's behavior.
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