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  #11  
Old 06-22-2011, 12:57 PM
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Oooh those look like great resources!

I stumbled across this the other day, it looks like a very good read!!
Amazon.com: Dominance in Dogs: Fact or Fiction? (9781929242801): Barry Eaton: Books
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  #12  
Old 06-22-2011, 01:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoingNowhere View Post

Person: *insert comment on dog dominance*
Me: "I don't believe that most dog behavior originates from an attempt to be dominant."
Person: "Why do you say that?"
Me: "Well, it seems to me to be a lack of training. It's also been noted that domestic dogs don't actually form packs and pack hierarchies the way that wolves do..."
Person: "Says who?"
Me: "uh, well....." *goes on to mumble something about a dog forum on the internet.*
LOL I can relate to this! I learn a great deal of my facts from forums, but often when I get into conversations like this, people brush me off like I don't know what I'm talking about because I got my information from a forum.

Dogs are more like a dumbed down, less advanced version of wolves. I really enjoy watching my dog and trying to decode her ways of thinking in comparison to wolves. She obviously knows the difference between herself and other species, and yet she treats us and our cat as if we're one in the same. For example, when getting up in the morning or returning home after being gone all day, Charlotte will approach our cat and touch noses with him in the same manner wolves do to packmates when greeting each other. The behavior is very distinct and very clear. There's other things she does to that are comparable to very dumbed down pack behavior. She's "dominant" towards other dogs, but often ignores them when in our presence.
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  #13  
Old 06-22-2011, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Shakou View Post

Dogs are more like a dumbed down, less advanced version of wolves.
Actually if you read the research they are not. (and as is often pointed out dominance issues as portrayed by TV personalities aren't applicable even to wolves) Dogs are no more pack animals than domestic cats. Domestic cats are highly social and enjoy living communally, but being social is not the same as being a pack animal.
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Old 06-22-2011, 01:52 PM
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thanks for the sources so far. I'm going to start reading
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  #15  
Old 06-22-2011, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Dekka View Post
Actually if you read the research they are not. (and as is often pointed out dominance issues as portrayed by TV personalities aren't applicable even to wolves) Dogs are no more pack animals than domestic cats. Domestic cats are highly social and enjoy living communally, but being social is not the same as being a pack animal.
They certainly aren't the same as wolves, but I have seen pack mentality and behavior in large groups of dogs that live together.
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Old 06-22-2011, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Shakou View Post
They certainly aren't the same as wolves, but I have seen pack mentality and behavior in large groups of dogs that live together.
Pack mentality isn't the same as being a pack animal. Humans do horrible things when in mobs (pack mentality) doesn't mean that is who we are, or how we should be dealt with.

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1. Dogs are not pack animals. WHOAH you say. NO really they aren't. They are social and gregarious, much like the domestic cat. (no one says their cats are pack animals) Just like lions are 'pack animals' so are wolves. Domestic dogs are not wolves. Yes they are closely related to wolves, but we are closely related to, but not chimps. Pariah dogs (feral dogs living as close to 'wild' conditions as possible do not have stable pack structures. Yes they can 'pack up' on occasion. But pack animals have fairly stable family groups. Dogs don't. Members join and leave as they see fit. Any female and male dog will breed, not just the 'alpha' pair. etc etc.

2. Even if dogs were pack animals. Pack theory as taught by popular TV hosts is not correct. Heck the scientists who made the observations back in the 50's have came forward to say it is wrong. One of my fave quotes is that its like watching people in a prison and extrapolation that is what human behaviour is. They studied captive wolves that were collected from different areas. So stressed out wolves who were strangers to one another. [2] link

3. Even if dogs were wolves, and pack theory was correct. It also boils down to that fact that dogs know we are not dogs. They do not treat us like other dogs. Anyone who has worked with aggressive dogs can attest to this. Many human aggressive dogs are fine with dogs, and vice versa. If dogs saw us as dogs there would be no split. Dogs look to human faces to try to figure out what we mean more than any other species, including primates. They don't do this to each other. [3] link
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Old 06-22-2011, 01:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shakou View Post
They certainly aren't the same as wolves, but I have seen pack mentality and behavior in large groups of dogs that live together.
How large are you talking? In very large groups, say upwards of ten - fifteen dogs, aggression is far, far less likely. Think of packs of hunting hounds or even the pack of dogs that CM keeps. One of the reason problems disappear when Cesar brings a dog back to his complex is that dogs don't pick fights when they're likely to be ganged up on by ten other dogs.

Dogs are known to "pack up" and act much like a human mob like Dekka points out. This is one of the reasons feral dogs are such a problem, in areas where they are common. They egg each other on and don't regulate their own arousal very well (heck many pet dogs don't regulate their arousal very well) and get into a lot more trouble than one dog alone will. This does not make it a good model for the human-dog relationship, and in fact is a pretty crummy one.
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  #18  
Old 06-22-2011, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Raegan View Post
How large are you talking? In very large groups, say upwards of ten - fifteen dogs, aggression is far, far less likely. Think of packs of hunting hounds or even the pack of dogs that CM keeps. One of the reason problems disappear when Cesar brings a dog back to his complex is that dogs don't pick fights when they're likely to be ganged up on by ten other dogs.

Actually, I am referring to groups of ten - fifteen dogs. It's one of the reasons I no long go to the dog park, because "packs" were starting to form and it was getting...unnerving, to say the least. Fascinating, but still unnerving. Again, I know it's not at all the same thing as what goes on with wolves in the wild, but there's definitely a social structure of some sort going on in their heads. Disorganized and skewed, but still social structure.
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Last edited by Shakou; 06-22-2011 at 02:37 PM.
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  #19  
Old 06-25-2011, 01:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dekka View Post
Actually if you read the research they are not. (and as is often pointed out dominance issues as portrayed by TV personalities aren't applicable even to wolves) Dogs are no more pack animals than domestic cats. Domestic cats are highly social and enjoy living communally, but being social is not the same as being a pack animal.
By saying they aren't pack animals, do you mean they can survive outside of a pack of dogs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dekka View Post
Pack mentality isn't the same as being a pack animal. Humans do horrible things when in mobs (pack mentality) doesn't mean that is who we are, or how we should be dealt with.
Could you explain this more?

The whole dominace/pack/alpha dog thing interests me alot. I'm not sure I understand much of it (which is why I would like to learn more), but it does interest me since I do have a female who is 'alpha dog' in our group of dogs.

Is it not correct to use terms like 'alpha' or 'dominate' when describing a dog who is clearly in control of the other dogs?

Also, when speaking about 'pack animals', are people refering to a literal pack of dogs or are they refering to animals and humans?
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  #20  
Old 06-25-2011, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Shakou View Post
Dogs are more like a dumbed down, less advanced version of wolves.
Hmm, I dunno... From where I'm standing dogs look pretty smart. I mean right now they're sleeping comfortably on the leather sofa we bought for them, digesting their afternoon snack of cheese and mango pieces they managed to pawn off the kids by just being cute, and later they'll come with us to play in the stream.

They have us trained to answer to their beck and call.
Need out? Look longingly out the window. Need in? Bark Bark. They go with us everywhere, we arrange our lives around them, they eat better than I do, get daily massages (ahem, tick checks), pedicures, ear cleanings... get their butts wiped if they get the runs... Yeah, those wolves digging themselves a hole to sleep in aren't looking like the smart ones right about now...
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