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  #11  
Old 05-06-2009, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Laurelin View Post
One related question I have is why everyone always assumes the ankle biting is related to herding behaviors. Is it usually?
I don't think it's at all exclusive to herding breeds, but it is common with herders. Just as bully breeds tend to push with their hips and shoulders and boxers tend to use their front feet to sort of box.
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Old 05-06-2009, 08:48 AM
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Unless the beardie is really obviously worried by this, I wouldn't see it as a problem.

You should see my Border Collies play! I don't have any dogs that like to "work" the other dogs, but they do chase each other around and they do a lot of biting.

And I agree with Corgipower, I see a lot of herding dogs nip/nudge from behind to encourage another dog to play with them or, if the dog is already playing, to be a bit more lively.
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Old 05-06-2009, 09:06 AM
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I would be hesitant to do this... If the corgi is naturally more dominant than the beardie, than upsetting that order will, IMO, cause problems. By trying to manipulate the hierarchy, it is very probable that the corgi would feel the need to prove that he in fact, is the dominant one. I think by doing that the beardie would be subject to bullying.
I agree with this. When my friend got married, both she and her husband brought dogs into the mix, including a VERY alpha-female from each of them. The husband's female was clearly winning the alpha-war, and that upset my friend, who does most of the dog care. So she started manipulating things to keep her dog on top - feeding her first, giving her more priviledges, etc. The fights between the dogs got worse and worse, as the other female would 'sort things out' on her own at other times of the day. It wasn't until the owners accepted the order of things and treated the dogs accordingly that the fighting stopped completely.

I also suspect (but clearly don't know) that some of the reason that you see the chasing/biting behavior in many dogs, but more specifically in herding dogs, is that people EXPECT it from herding dogs and therefore don't correct it. If someone's lab is running and grabbing at other dogs who are in the chase, it's "Oh my god, that dog is biting!" and the situation is handled. If a herding dog does, many people just think "look, it's herding!". Obviously that isn't all of it, but like I said, I expect it plays a part.
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Old 05-06-2009, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by BostonBanker View Post
If someone's lab is running and grabbing at other dogs who are in the chase, it's "Oh my god, that dog is biting!" and the situation is handled. If a herding dog does, many people just think "look, it's herding!". Obviously that isn't all of it, but like I said, I expect it plays a part.
Perhaps.. but if everyone is having a good time why would I correct it (even in a lab)?

Sport likes to run in front of the whippets and try to herd them (he likes to head them off and stare at them) Sometimes the whippets like this game... play dodge the BC.. othertimes they get annoyed and tell him off. As long as they are not being bullied I let them sort it out.

The whippets are interesting. Their play style is very very low body contact. They hate body slamming.. so does that mean labs and other 'slammers' should be corrected for it-because some dogs don't like it? They like frantic running. (which pisses off the JRTs.....)
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Old 05-06-2009, 09:28 AM
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Perhaps.. but if everyone is having a good time why would I correct it (even in a lab)?

Sport likes to run in front of the whippets and try to herd them (he likes to head them off and stare at them) Sometimes the whippets like this game... play dodge the BC.. othertimes they get annoyed and tell him off. As long as they are not being bullied I let them sort it out.

The whippets are interesting. Their play style is very very low body contact. They hate body slamming.. so does that mean labs and other 'slammers' should be corrected for it-because some dogs don't like it? They like frantic running. (which pisses off the JRTs.....)
I also never correct my dogs unless it's needed. My crew is very very loud and growly when they play and they like body slamming and the boys like play humping each other (much to my dismay). It often sounds like I have a pack of tasmanian devils running around the house, but if they're not being bothered by it, then I let it go. Them having fun would probably look like a fight to a lot of people.

Summer has crossed the line once with her biting and Nard told her off for it and ended their game. She hasn't bitten him like that since though so I'm thinking Nard took care of it on his own. Occasionally Nard will really **** either Rose or Summer off and I will step in to stop him. He just doesn't know when to stop.

I was just curious because on another forum they were discussing the nipping issue in relationship to herding dogs and calling it 'instinct' and the dogs trying to 'herd' other dogs. I just got to thinking of Summer and I'm not sure that's the case at all, at least some of the time. I doubt Summer is trying to 'herd' anything, she's not remotely a herding breed. If a bc was playing the way she did though, I'm sure people would pass it off as just 'herding behavior'. I agree they're more prone to the nippy play style but I think it's just that- play.
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Old 05-06-2009, 09:39 AM
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depends on the dog.. there is nipping and then there is herding. Sport is more of a circle, crouch and nip (if the dog doesn't move) .. it not randomized chasing and biting heels.. its very obviously herding behaviour. Some people might call all chasing and heel biting herding behaviour.. and in a way it is.

Herding traits had to come from somewhere.. who says Summer couldn't be good at it? Look at all the non herding breeds who get their HICs....
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Old 05-06-2009, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by BostonBanker View Post
If someone's lab is running and grabbing at other dogs who are in the chase, it's "Oh my god, that dog is biting!" and the situation is handled. If a herding dog does, many people just think "look, it's herding!".
Whether it's a lab, a corgi, or any other breed doing it - if it's play, it's play. If one dog involved is clearly bothered by it and the other isn't getting that message, I might step in and redirect or have them take a break. If they're playing and having fun with each other, there's no situation to "handle".
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Old 05-06-2009, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by corgipower View Post
Whether it's a lab, a corgi, or any other breed doing it - if it's play, it's play. If one dog involved is clearly bothered by it and the other isn't getting that message, I might step in and redirect or have them take a break. If they're playing and having fun with each other, there's no situation to "handle".
Any sort of play here where both dogs are happy I leave alone. If one dog looks bothered.. I'll step in. Doesn't matter if it is chase and run over the dog if they aren't fast enough, or a hump fest. As logn as everyone is still happy and playing.. They are left alone.
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Old 05-06-2009, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Dekka View Post
depends on the dog.. there is nipping and then there is herding. Sport is more of a circle, crouch and nip (if the dog doesn't move) .. it not randomized chasing and biting heels.. its very obviously herding behaviour. Some people might call all chasing and heel biting herding behaviour.. and in a way it is.

Herding traits had to come from somewhere.. who says Summer couldn't be good at it? Look at all the non herding breeds who get their HICs....
Lol, I suppose I could get some bunnies or something to practice with.

One observation I've made (can you tell this ankle nipping intrigues me?) is that Summer is much much much more deliberate than Trey about nipping. Trey is more of a 'Oh my god, it just moved' *nip* type dog. Summer crouches, stalks, and then nips. It's always well planned out. She's not motion sensitive like him though and doesn't go after inanimate moving objects. And she has never nipped at anything other than ankles and butts, whereas he has jumped up at dogs' faces before.

She is such a weird little dog though.
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Old 05-06-2009, 09:51 AM
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I was just curious because on another forum they were discussing the nipping issue in relationship to herding dogs and calling it 'instinct' and the dogs trying to 'herd' other dogs. I just got to thinking of Summer and I'm not sure that's the case at all, at least some of the time. I doubt Summer is trying to 'herd' anything, she's not remotely a herding breed. If a bc was playing the way she did though, I'm sure people would pass it off as just 'herding behavior'. I agree they're more prone to the nippy play style but I think it's just that- play.
Well, herding behavior is basically prey drive with a check in place to stop them from going for the kill. So any dog with prey drive can exhibit this behavior.

Play is something dogs do for fun, but more importantly it's how they practice "real world" behaviors. Play fights, play chase, play stalking and hunting, etc. There's no reason why a non-herding breed can't exhibit chase and nip behaviors. I do find that some breeds have difficulty with other breeds - differences in play styles and they don't read each other as well.

As for non-herding breeds doing herding, yup, it happens often. They might be able to chase, gather, drive, etc. The part that non-herding breeds might not be good at is species discrimination. For example, Ares had a choice between the horses that were in the middle of an open field and visible and 30 feet away or the cows who were out of sight, deep in the woods, and much further away. Ares didn't even look at the horses and headed straight for the cows.
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