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Old 06-29-2010, 04:41 PM
RFM RFM is offline
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Default my friends dog acting dominant

Hello!

Someone I know has a young amstaff. In my opinion he has failed to set clear rules and boundaries to this individual. This dog will basically do what ever he wants. He will jump on the sofa if he likes to etc.. I dont consider him aggressive though, just very dominant.

So when guests arrive to this appartment, this dog likes to hump their legs and jump on them. Maby even try to nip a little from your arm or leg. None of this is especially aggressive, but very persistant.

What I have tried to do is I push the dog away with my leg. Amstaff is a pretty strong dog, and you need to use a lot of force if you start to wretle with one. Sometimes he chooses another wictim after I push him away again and again.. sometimes I need to call the owner which then will lock him in a cage for a while..

Most of the info on dogs I find on the net is written as a guide for the owner. If I was the owner of this dog Im sure I could set him straight. What I dont know is what can I do when someone elses dog acts dominant ? The thing is that in order to get this dog realize his not the boss, I would need to hurt him most likely. And because Im not an experienced dog trainer, I would most likely need to use some sort of weapon with such a strong dog. Is there any other way to deal with this behaviour ?
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Old 06-29-2010, 05:05 PM
~Tucker&Me~ ~Tucker&Me~ is offline
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Honestly...

I would tell the friend that I didn't want to come over unless he put the dog away.

In my opinion, the dog isn't trying to dominate everybody, he has just never been taught manners and lacks boundaries. He is behaving in a way that he has been allowed to behave, not because he is out to dominate humans.

The last thing you want to do is hurt the dog or really assert yourself. As much as he bothers you and acts rude, he isn't your dog and you are a guest in the house. I would be mortified if someone came into my house and tried to discipline my dog for me.

And just for the record, I don't think this dog needs to be harmed to be controlled. I think he simply needs an owner that can set really clear boundaries and enforce them, WITHOUT getting physical.
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Old 06-29-2010, 05:21 PM
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Dogs don't do things to be dominant, they do behaviors that are fun or somehow rewarding, or behaviors that are natural to them. Jumping up can be both of these things, dogs are naturally attracted to our faces, they want to lick them, since our are so high up they must jump to do that. It may also get the dog attention, as does nipping (which is usually something the dog does to seek attention or to attempt to play with someone). Pushing a dog may even be rewarding to that dog as it is physical contact and attention.

The best thing you can do is turn your back on the dog when he does these things, it removes the temptation of your face and removes any attention you could be giving the dog. When the dog gets off, turn back around, even if you had to wait for longer than you'd like. Whenever the dog is not jumping feel free to reward by petting him in a calm manner to try and keep him from getting all excited and jumping back up.

Nobody should ever be causing a dog physical pain in the name of training, dogs can learn perfectly well without being hurt or frightened, you just need to make it clear that some behaviors are rewarding and others are not. And no one has to be "their boss" for them to learn either, dogs can learn perfectly well from complete strangers, it's simply about rewarding proper behavior and making unwanted behavior less fun (than the behavior you want) or impossible (to break a habitual behavior) and anyone can do that.
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Old 06-29-2010, 06:06 PM
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Ask the owner to put the dog away when you come over. There is no reason that you should suffer because the owner isn't meeting his responsibility. The result may be that the owner finally realizes guests do not like to be jumped on and tormented by Precious, which may result in some training.
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Old 06-29-2010, 06:40 PM
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He is not trying to be dominant. He is trying to play, getting over-excited, and has never been taught to control his excitement.

I would tell your friend you don't want to come over unless the dog is caged OR trained. HOPEFULLY this will be a hint to your friend that he needs to do some training. I can't imagine, if the dog does this to a lot of guests, that you would be the first one to say something.
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Old 06-29-2010, 07:23 PM
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Why not tell your friend to join Chaz and we'll help him with training techniques. This pup simply hasn't been trained to behave the way humans like. He's exhibiting perfectly normal doggie behavior, which needs a little tweeking to get along with humans. He's not out to dominate anybody. There are all kinds of nifty little tricks to teach dogs things without being confrontational or having to use force or physical stuff.
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Old 06-30-2010, 05:53 AM
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ok, thanks for the replies.

So, it seems that theres nothing I can do to stop this kind of behaviour. Only the owner can ?

And I agree that the wisest thing is not to visit this person at all. Mostly I posted this question because I want to learn how to react in a situation like this in general. Im pretty sure if someone with experience on dogs would enter this household, he would have this dog under control in no time, even if he is just a guest. Am I right ?
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Old 06-30-2010, 06:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RFM View Post
Im pretty sure if someone with experience on dogs would enter this household, he would have this dog under control in no time, even if he is just a guest. Am I right ?
i doubt it. it's a training issue, and training manners and self-control takes time. the dog isn't going to magically not jump on somebody because they have experience with dogs. they'll know to not give the dog any kind of reinforcement, etc but it will take work to fix this kind of behavior.
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Old 06-30-2010, 09:33 AM
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If I came to this person's house and I were sitting on the couch and the dog started to climb up or jump on me, I'd stand up and turn my back on the dog and say nothing. I'd wait till he was back on all fours or until he sat and then I'd pay attention to him. If he did it again, I'd repeat it...over and over. If I were standing and he did it, I'd whip around, turn my back and ignore until he stopped, then give him a treat and attention the minute he sat or stood on all fours. If I spent about a half hour with him, he'd probably stop jumping on me for that visit. But he would likely try it with someone else if they didn't do that which I describe. He'd probably try it again the next time I visited if this kind of training wasn't implemented consistently by everyone who interacted with him for quite some time...like a couple weeks. So, just locking him up in another room isn't going to fix the behavior problem. It will save you from getting scratched and bothered though. So, it's up to your friend. He can either train the dog and ask other people to help him by immediately ignoring the dog and turning away, THEN reinforcing his nice behavior....or have his friends avoid coming over to be mauled by his untrained dog.
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Old 06-30-2010, 03:16 PM
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Quote:
So, it seems that theres nothing I can do to stop this kind of behaviour. Only the owner can ?
You can turn your back on the dog each time he jumps and that should make him less interested in jumping on you during your visit. Only pay attention to him when he's not jumping. The problem is that the owner will continue to let the dog jump up on every other guest that comes over so by the time you come again the dog will jump on you again because he's been allowed to do it so many times since you last visited. So to stop the jumping permanently it is up to the owner.

and no, even a person with dog experience cannot completely break a habit like jumping in one visit to the house, it takes consistency. someone with dog experience will no how to respond when the dog jumps (turning away from the dog when he jumps, only rewarding good behavior) and depending on how determined the dog is that may stop the dog quickly or it may take several attempts during the visit. But the behavior will be back the next visit unless the owner keeps up the training.
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