This seems like a crazy question to ask, but....

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kcobean
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This seems like a crazy question to ask, but....

Postby kcobean » Thu May 10, 2012 9:48 am

We are going on vacation in June and unfortunately can't take our boys with us. We have a place nearby that offers kenneling in addition to a facility with a lure course, dock diving a nature trail, etc. The kenneling includes 6-ish hours a day of out-time with 'the pack' doing the various activities offered there. The owner of this facility has been raising and training pits for almost 20 years and I feel like I should trust his advice and judgement when it comes to dogs. He's studied dog/wolf pack behavior extensively.

So a couple of things.

1. Our boys were socialized pretty well when they were puppies. We took them to dog parks and let them get their fill of other dogs and we took them to our son's football games and let the little kids crawl all over them. We don't do dog parks anymore because generally they're full of people I don't want my dogs around, and most of the people in our neighborhood with other dogs want nothing to do with us despite our boys' friendly nature. We had to take the boys to meet the owner of this facility and his staff for a behavioral evaluation so they knew what to expect. They don't turn any dog away and know how to work with everything from overly submissive to aggressive dogs. First, they wanted to meet Butch:

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Butch is the friendliest dog ever. He plays well with other dogs (though sometimes he forgets that "WW3" is not the style of play every dog likes). But when I brought Butch into the evaluation area and handed the leash to the owner, Butch squared off against him and started barking. The owner said "That's dominant behavior and needs to be modified!" I'll be honest, I was a bit shocked to see him do this, as normally, he wants to say hi to people for about 10 seconds then it's "oh, look...grass!" and he's done. They introduced Butch to one of their dogs and Butch, as usual went straight into a play bow, wagged his tail and tried to encourage the dog to play. Has anyone ever seen their dog react differently to certain people than others?

Then we brought in Conan.

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Conan was fine with the people but was tense around the other dog. This is typical for him. He has to meet dogs slowly and this was a pretty quick introduction. No surprises there.

The owner mentioned something toward the end of our visit that I have to wonder about and am curious what some of the behavior experts here think. He said that if your dog rolls over and "asks" for a belly rub, you shouldn't give it because it's an assumption of dominance and that he expects to be services. In wolf behavior, a dog who allows or expects to be "preened" on the belly is a dog higher in the social order than those he would allow/expect to preen him.

So what is y'alls take on that? Truth or rubbish?

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jamielvsaustin
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Re: This seems like a crazy question to ask, but....

Postby jamielvsaustin » Thu May 10, 2012 10:06 am

I say run away from this place! I don't like all this dominant/submissive talk. At the very least, dogs are a domesticated pet-unlike wolves.

And yes, I've seen my dog act differently towards different people. There isn't a type of person I can point out and say my dog doesn't like this kind, but there have been people that clearly make my dog(s) uncomfortable.

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Amie
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Re: This seems like a crazy question to ask, but....

Postby Amie » Thu May 10, 2012 10:09 am

Rubbish. I wouldn't leave my dogs with anyone who was still using dominance-theory as a training method.
(beyond that, the rolling over thing: Dominance theorists use it as they like. In your case, the dog was "demanding" attention, If the trainer likes the dog to roll over, they call it a submissive behavior because the dog is exposing his weakest side. The fact is, he wants a belly rub for the same reason I want a shoulder rub - because it feels good, not because it's a plot to take over the world. Cuz dude, how much would it rock if shoulder rubs meant I could take over the world?)

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Shearaha1
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Re: This seems like a crazy question to ask, but....

Postby Shearaha1 » Thu May 10, 2012 10:10 am

First off dogs are not wolves! They do not form packs like wolves or hierarchies like wolves. The study the whole dominance theory came from was an artificially created wolf pack that the author of the study has since retracted. Unfortunately those books are still out there. Dominance theory in dogs has been debunked, thoroughly. There are still those that learned it back in the 70s and 80s that believe and train through it. Time in the field does not mean that they've continued to study new research, or that they haven't just been going back to the same sources again and again for "new" information.

Some dogs just don't like some people. The individual in question may have been doing a number of intimidating things, especially if they follow dominance theory, from direct eye contact, to leaning over the dog to simply pushing into the dogs space. Given what you've stated I would be concerned about what kind of "modification" techniques they use at this kennel.

On the belly rubs. They're your dogs. If you want to give them a belly rub when they "ask" for one go ahead. If you're busy or not in the mood you don't have to. Asking for a belly rub is not dominant behavior, it may fall into some kind of social grooming, but there's no research on that yet.

Personally I think this guy is spouting a bunch of outdated and debunked information. If I were to board my dogs there I would be very specific on how they were to be handled and what if any "training" would be done, and I wouldn't leave my dogs there unless I had no other (better) options. If I were you I'd see if you could observe how they handle, train and interact with the dogs as well. It's going to come down to if you are comfortable leaving your dogs at this facility or not.

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AllisonPitbullLvr
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This seems like a crazy question to ask, but....

Postby AllisonPitbullLvr » Thu May 10, 2012 10:14 am

I agree with the above-- I would never again let someone who claimed to be a dog expert and yet bought into all the dominance crap within 50 yards of my dogs.

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Stormi
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Re: This seems like a crazy question to ask, but....

Postby Stormi » Thu May 10, 2012 10:33 am

No way I'd ever trust a place that stated that nonsense as fact with my dog. Not a chance. Just because someone has 20 years of experiance, doesn't mean they have any understanding of animal behavior. Which this person clearly doesn't.

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Murfins
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Re: This seems like a crazy question to ask, but....

Postby Murfins » Thu May 10, 2012 10:48 pm

I would run as far away from this place as possible.

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Jazzy
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Re: This seems like a crazy question to ask, but....

Postby Jazzy » Fri May 11, 2012 8:11 am

Murfins wrote:I would run as far away from this place as possible.


Really, I think you're just looking to come home to problems that never even existed before you left.

Also, forgive me for being un-PC; but to put it succinctly: I think the guy sounds like a whack job.

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nsbullylover
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This seems like a crazy question to ask, but....

Postby nsbullylover » Fri May 11, 2012 10:23 am

Murfins wrote:I would run as far away from this place as possible.


Me too!

Not only because of the dominance rubbish he was spouting, but because you're dog clearly didn't like whatever vibe the guy was putting out. Over the years I've learned that if my dog doesn't like someone, they're usually right.

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Kingsgurl
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Re: This seems like a crazy question to ask, but....

Postby Kingsgurl » Sat May 12, 2012 1:36 am

Not someplace I would ever send my dogs.

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Poohs Dad
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Re: This seems like a crazy question to ask, but....

Postby Poohs Dad » Sat May 12, 2012 3:49 am

nsbullylover wrote:
Murfins wrote:I would run as far away from this place as possible.


Me too!

Not only because of the dominance rubbish he was spouting, but because you're dog clearly didn't like whatever vibe the guy was putting out. Over the years I've learned that if my dog doesn't like someone, they're usually right.


X2 This hits the nail on the head for me

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tiva
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Re: This seems like a crazy question to ask, but....

Postby tiva » Sat May 12, 2012 7:19 pm

If I were introduced to that dude, I'd growl too. What a nitwit. Your dog is the smart one, not that "trainer".

Good luck finding a good kennel!

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Re: This seems like a crazy question to ask, but....

Postby rgyoung777 » Tue May 15, 2012 3:01 am

Yeah, definitely someone I wouldn't entrust my dog to under any circumstance, even if his boarding kennel was the last one on Earth.

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ChevellesMomma
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This seems like a crazy question to ask, but....

Postby ChevellesMomma » Tue May 15, 2012 3:05 am

I got into it today with someone spouting the dominance crap...he claimed to have years of experience and a degree. I said "Well, you can have all those things and still be WRONG."

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amelie
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Re: This seems like a crazy question to ask, but....

Postby amelie » Fri May 18, 2012 4:15 am

I would not expect my animals to mind another human as they do me. I have raised and trained them and they respond to me well. Yes they mostly get along and I probably could take them to the dog park but don't. They do mind other people for the most part.. .but I would not expect them to be comfortable with a new group of dogs and a new person. When I leave, all my animals are securely seperated (dogs, cats, goats and sheep) and I have a trusted friend feed water and scoop and she knows which vet to take them to should anything go wrong. If I only had two dogs and had to board them in a facility I would choose one where there was no interaction with strange dogs. Even a few weeks of being kenneled alone with just feeding and maybe a few individual walks won't hurt them if they are well balanced animals.


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