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Old 08-13-2008, 10:48 AM
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Default Questions about Dominance

Iíve been talking to a breeder about a dog she has that Iím interested in. She said he is an alfa-male and gets along with all the dogs she has now. But, she did have one white male that she finally had to rehome because they didnít get along. That dog was apparently very submissive and for whatever reason the dog I like would put him to the ground. She said he never hurt the dog, and never bit him when he was down, but he would put him down a lot. Other than that one dog, heís never had a problem with any other dogs.

Oh, and heís being rehomed now because she broke her hip and have to have hip replacement surgery. She is now unable to care for the amount of dogs that she has. She also has been unable to show because it requires too much effort from her hip. So, she is rehoming a lot of her dogs and only keeping a few around. So, heís not being rehomed because heís a problem dog.

Anyway, I was wondering peopleís thoughts about this? Bailey is very submissive, and heís old now (and showing it), although he did perk up a bit last night! So, my main concern is for him. I also visit my family a lot, and everyone in my family has dogs, so he would be interacting with a lot of different dogs.
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Old 08-13-2008, 06:10 PM
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If a dog is truely "dominant," and another dog is truely "submissive," why would the dominant dog have to continuously put the submissive dog "down"? It doesn't make sense to me - the only dominance squabbles usually come from dogs who are middle-ranked and trying to get above each other.

I don't put a whole lot of stock in the whole "dominance" theory, anyway. I think there are dogs who are not always comfortable around other dogs, so they show it, and it comes out looking to non-experts (myself included, often) looking like a dominance display. I also believe that, in this situation, it should be relatively easy to teach the dog appropriate interractions with other dogs. Maybe take him to a reputable doggy day care, with staff who knows what to look for in dog interractions and is very well educated on dog body language. Or you could hire a trainer for a couple of one-hour sessions at the dog park to teach you how to teach your dog appropriate play with other dogs.
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Old 08-14-2008, 06:26 PM
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I've honestly never had dominance issues with my dogs other than the initial hierarchy establishment. I do know one dog that I will no longer bring my dogs around because itís dog aggressive, but I know there will be problems because this dogs is an equal opportunity sh!t starter.

What she told me was that the dog I like is defiantly a dominate male, but he gets along with all of her other dogsÖ except the one white male who was ultra submissive. That dog he repeatedly put to the ground. It doesnít sound like he has socialization issues because he gets along with all the other dogs. I donít know if anyone else has seen this in other dogs and can give me any information?

I would just introduce them to see how they do, but sheís a 7 hour drive one way, so it would require an entire weekend and a lot from Bailey to travel, so I want to be more positive I want him before I make the trip.
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