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Thread: GSD Pup Attempting to Control Walk

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Wollongong NSW
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    The study referred to has massive methodology issues when attempting to justify their position.

    Firstly only 50 dogs/owners were included in the study and were only assessed once.

    50 dogs is nowhere near enough dogs to test any association, if anything it proves how little the authors know about what is required to assess such traits and their development.

    They also state
    "It is equally plausible that owners who are aware of the dog’s aggressive tendencies allow them to win possession of toys rather than winning causing the aggression. Longitudinal studies may prove useful in resolving this issue."
    They seem to assume for some reason that who "wins" the game of tug of war somehow impacts upon the behaviour of the dog. Thankfully they found no relationship that who wins has little relevance to this debate.

    Enough about this flawed study, back to the subject.

    Dog dominance is a massive problem, it usually starts with small things and grows. A dog in experienced hands can ofter play tug of war without any problems whatsoever. Sometimes not!
    Same dog with an owner or family that know nothing about training may equal a disaster.

    The behaviours start small and grow. I hear similar conversations all of the time.
    It is so "cute" when he/she plays tug of war. It is so "cute" when they pick up a slipper/sock/cushion/towel and pull/run around with it. It is so cute when they get on the lounge/chair/bed.

    I recall a very experienced handler with a GSD, his previous dog attained the title of U.D. so he knew what he was doing, when dealing with his quiet GSD.
    His dog passed away and he got another dog. This GSD was very different and loved to play. this playing extended to the point where he would destroy leads and he had to wear leather gloves to stop the damage that the dog was doing to his hands, not to mention the leads.

    I had an inlaw where the dog loved to play tug of war. He would happily start his own game with the household occupants. He grabbed whatever got the best reaction and ran, often chased by various humans. He got a wonderful reaction from them everytime. After which he generally got a walk, but if this was not possible he at least got some exercise by being chased. He got them up in the morning, he set when he was fed, he would simply start grabbing stuff until he was fed.

    If this dog were assessed in the study cited his results would have been startlingly high as he absolutely loved to interact with his owners and everyone else.

    Dogs are a lot better at studying and learning from us than we give them credit for. They generally know what is going on far earlier than we humans do. This is the reason why the "cute" behaviours may or may not become problems in the future.

    I will happily agree that tug of war is not about dominance. It is simply a game that is played with a dog. It is what occurs afterwards that may lead to dominance, aggression or simply doggy problems. (Please insert whatever word, label or term you would like to apply as I hate arguing over the meaning of a words, like Dominant, Dominating and Dominance)

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew View Post
    The study referred to has massive methodology issues when attempting to justify their position.
    Unless you are working scientists, I doubt you have the skills to make this determination. It was good enough to pass a peer review and be published.

    Firstly only 50 dogs/owners were included in the study and were only assessed once.
    Statistically, 50 is more than enough, in fact at n=30 you have enough to have confidence in your results.

    Dog dominance is a massive problem,
    Just about every veterinary and ethological organization disagrees. They have moved from the dominance model to a multi modal approach and fear/anxiety is seen as the major problem.

    I had an inlaw where the dog loved to play tug of war. He would happily start his own game with the household occupants.
    If you read the abstract carefully, you see where they noted this.

    "If the dog started the majority of the games, the dog was significantly less amenable and more likely to exhibit aggression."

    He grabbed whatever got the best reaction and ran, often chased by various humans.
    So they unknowingly rewarded him for grabbing and taught him that it would initiate a nice game of chase. This is not dominance, they just reinforced and rewarded certain behaviors. Whether they knew it or not. We use the same methods to train.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Wollongong NSW
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    I do not like pulling apart people's posts as a lot can be taken out of context and people begin arguing about the words used and not the actual issues involved.

    Call it aggression or "multi modal approach and fear/anxiety is seen as the major problem" I could not care less. Perhaps I have learned a new term to use in the future.

    But what I do care about is that Tug of War is or can be, a poor way to play with a dog and it can lead to problems, calling them whatever you like.

    Lastly a sample of only only 30 dogs is statistically significant? And without any followup? Australia has an estimated 4 million dogs. In the US there are over 74 million dogs. 50 dogs is not enough and without any followup.

    I have said enough about the meaning of words, happy to discuss the problem and what to do about it, I will leave it to others to discuss the other components and what they are called.

    cya
    Matthew

  4. #24
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    Feb 2009
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    I always win tug with my gsds - must be super woman! I might let adults win, but not puppies - not unless they need confidence building.

  5. #25
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    Dec 2009
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    melbourne australia
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    A TV vet once said if you play tug o war make sure you win as GSD's and Rotties are much stronger than us how can this happen what a load of crap.[/QUOTE]

    our last dog, a 8 stone rottie, loved to 'win'. He could pull anyone holding the tug toy, AND the sofa accross the room.

    "win" was him stopping tugging on command. But id call that a win/win fun game. Not dominance at all.

  6. #26
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    Jul 2008
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    Of course it's not a dominance, my rottie won thousands of times, this is her favourite game, if I don't play she plays with little one. Sometimes she lets little bugger win - it's hilarious.

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