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Thread: Dominance

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    Default Dominance

    Can anyone suggest ways to deal with a dominant dog? My 2 year old kelpie cross (neutered) tries to dominate any new dog he meets, sometimes to the point of humping them - seems to go for the boys more than the girls

    How do I teach my dog better manners? Gets very awkward down at the dog park!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Adelaide
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    humping everything is not the same as trying to dominate.

    Your dog just enjoys humping and you need to give him something else to do, a distraction.

    If my dog is playing too rough or freaking people out (some people are easily freaking out) or spectating at a dog fight, she loves spectating, never joins in, I call her. If she ignores me, I go get her and put her on lead for a while until she's behaving and then I let her go again.

    If she comes when I call her, she gets a jackpot treat (eg roast beef not kibble) and/or a game of tug with her favourite toy. We might also practice a bit of on-lead obedience, ie lots attention from her and treats.

  3. #3

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    If he doesn't listen to commands like "leave" or "come" then put him back on lead at the park until he masters them. He has to learn that you are the one that tells him what is acceptable and what isn't. If he doesn't pay attention, then he doesn't get the fun stuff (off-lead at the dog park that is!) until he does listen. Just like a naughty child. Back to school with him.

    And yep, humping is not always dominance. We used to have a super submissive girl. The most submissive dog I've ever seen. And she was our resident humper... Yes it used to irritate the other dogs no end. But that never stopped her, as soon as they weren't looking she'd be up again.

  4. #4
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    May 2009
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    Victoria
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    Humping can be seen as dominance or the yucky word that starts with m and ends in asturbate. Either way, im sure its quite embarrassing.
    As Hyc said, he needs to divert his attention with a toy or something. If that doesn't work, try a clap and a deep 'No'.
    If neither of those work, then try water in a spary bottle.
    Its important you break the 'habit' now cause it will be a lot harder later on.
    Education not Legislation

  5. #5
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    Apr 2010
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    Tasmania
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    Default

    Thanks everyone. He doesn't tend to hump objects at home - tried it on my leg the first day I brought him home but I put a stop to that straight away! He will try to hump my girl dog but I think that's sheer dominance because (how do I say this politely?) he keeps a distance from her and doesn't seem to get, um, excited. But seemed quite excited by this new dog - maybe he just smelled good!

    Having him off-lead in the first place was partly peer pressure, I had Marnie on the lead because she will get a bit overwhelmed by new dogs and goes away from the group, so I was getting comments of "Why is she on the lead? It's very important for them to socialise" so I guess I'll just have to accept that in a dog park you'll be judged by somebody whether your dog's under control or not!

    Plus Pedro on-lead can get a bit aggressive, if he can't reach another dog to greet it he'll start barking and growling at it. I don't get this problem with him when he's off lead.

  6. #6

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    Mmmmm... Yummy new dog....

  7. #7
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    Aug 2009
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    Adelaide
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    I've got a friend at the park who carries a travel deoderant sprayer with water on it which stops her dog misbehaving the second she gets it out, he dislikes it that much. I reckon a pump up water pistol would work as a good distraction too.

    Re the "peer" pressure problem, it's up to you to decide whether to cave in or not. You know your dogs. They can socialise on lead. Sometimes if they are difficult to catch, letting them run with a lead on can make catching them easier. Otherwise, getting your "peer" to promise to help catch your dog before leaving might give them some first hand experience about the perils of pushing people to do what they are not ready for. Or you could say - still in training, not ready for off lead. Can meet and greet on lead.

    For dogs that are "lead aggressive" ie on lead aggressive - you need to train that out too. And practicing recall is one way to do it, and practicing no pulling is another. Get someone else with a dog to help, and repeatedly approach and turn away if your dog shows any sign of frustration or aggression, and only return approach when he calms down etc.

    I make Frosty come right back to me and sit before she gets off lead at our local parks. It's good practice for her and makes undoing the lead much easier.

    Don't reward your dog (let it approach another dog or get off lead) if it is misbehaving in any way and that includes lunging, barking or growling at another dog. Or you just encourage it.

    Always approach other dogs with a loose lead - so dog knows he has room to retreat. If the lead goes tight - turn and move away...

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