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Thread: Do you let your dog make requests?

  1. #1

    Default Do you let your dog make requests?

    Right now I am sitting on my couch with Sammy beside me. I was giving him hugs but then I started replying on Facebook and so needed my hands for other things. This was not to Sammy's liking. He sits up, looks directly at me with his cute, but not entirely impressed expression and then, if I ignore him, he moves his paw onto my arm. I found it somewhat endearing (probably why he does it) and so I started patting him again. He likes to look into my eyes while I pat him with them half dimmed and then from time to time, attempt to lick me on the nose. After a while, I tried to go back to the computer but Sammy was no more pleased than last time, and so repeated his actions. I may have patted him a couple more times, but then eventually, I told him enough. He got off the couch and now eating a small piece of some toy he chewed up earlier.

    So it made me curious. I don't think my dog is being dominant over me, because he stops if I say anything or make him aware that I'm over hug time. But he definitely likes to ask about things. Another example is that I keep all of his toys where he can reach them on the cupboard. He knows he can't touch them without permission and never does. If he wants to play with them though, he will go and stand in front of me, look into my eyes and then look at the toy. He repeats this a few times and I either say, ok or no not now. Either way he accepts what I say and never asks twice (usually a few days go inbetween requests). But I was wondering, do other people's dogs make requests? What do you make of this behaviour?

  2. #2
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    Having your company plugged into the internet, is very very boring for the non user. Be they 4 or 2 legged.
    My dog will take me around the house by my hand, and show me what he wants. I dont see that as dominance. a) because dominance theory is a load of crap and has been disproved, and b) im so impressed when he take me to sick animals, his leash at 15 mins before school kick out.
    Generally, if he's really persistant, i go check, as there is usually something wrong he's telling me. ie. the water bucket is empty. There is a bird on the floor not flying and injured, a dog stuck in a dyke to rescue etc etc.
    Its been 4 yrs now, and for 3 of that, ive realised this is a smart dog who you need to pay attention to.

    The dog is pushing you for attn. So? what's the issue there.
    my dogs have more drive than i have energy. Of course they will push for stuff. They only work part time here, so will need stimulation outside of that. Im not fussed who instigates it, them or me. But others get their knickers in a twist about this stuff. So lets see what others think.

  3. #3
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    I suppose the most basic example is dogs asking to be let out. And we all oblige!

    I allow my dog to ask for more pats, but she also knows "enough". She doesn't really ask for anything else that I can think of.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by bernie View Post
    Generally, if he's really persistant, i go check, as there is usually something wrong he's telling me. ie. the water bucket is empty. There is a bird on the floor not flying and injured, a dog stuck in a dyke to rescue etc etc.
    Timmy's in the well?

  5. #5

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    I dont simply because I know what problems it can lead too in the future. I tend to take the NILF approach to dogs. I am the pack leader and like to make sure the dogs are never confused on that fact.

  6. #6
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    Bear and Kimba make requests all the time. Kimba will paw at the door to go out, If I ignore she will jump and try to open the handle (the only door she cannot open herself.) I then have to run out to stop it being scratched. (Kimba needs as much water as she will drink and we put extra fluids in her food so she often needs to go out more frequently)
    They do the same when their water bowl is empty.
    Kimba will flick your hand to pat her, she is not a dominant dog in anyway she just loves affection.
    When Bear has a toy he loves to share it so if Buddy wont play with him he will push it into you to encourage you to play. Kimba lets me know when she wants to go to bed so I can cover her in the blanket...
    My dogs know their place, I'm glad they let me know what they want/need.

  7. #7

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    Oh goodness yes!
    All of my dogs have to some extent , mainly Loppy but none quite as clearly or as much or in such a intelligent type way as Tonka.

    He will tell me when he's hungry by going from me to in front of the fridge ( he has other health issues so this is fine)
    He will go back and forth between me and his lead when he needs to poo ( he wont in his own yard )
    He will , like Kimba , let me know when he wants to go to bed so he can get under the doona.
    Should anything be out of place , empty water bowl as example, he will constantly seek my attention.
    In the house with me he is such a laid back dog that when he starts I start crossing things off the lists until I get it right .
    He will also place his toy on my leg and just stare imploringly at me to play also the same for just some simple attention.

    Portia has just starting coming to me to go and open the back door and for water bowls.

    This topic is one of the reasons I find it very hard to swallow that dogs are 'at the base of things' just a dog with purely an animals brain power/waves/behaviour. Most people call it humanising our dogs but I have difficulty with much of this theory as I believe dogs feel emotions such as we do. Maybe not in the same strengths/concepts and at a more base level but I strongly believe they do. I believe they also understand far more than we give them credit for, else how do we train them for example. You cannot put it down to purely dogs being opportunity driven.

    Good topic by the way, I have been wanting to discuss this for ages ,just wasn't sure how to broach it as other threads have often become....well....quite devided shall we say
    GageDesign Pet Photography
    Site still in construction so will post link when it's finished.

  8. #8

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    IMO it depends on the individual dog as to what you let them get away with.

  9. #9
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    I think it's not because you let your dog make a choice of his own and engage you in an activity occasionally that they will automatically think they can walk all over you. As I mentioned before, we teach them to do this when they need to go out for wees and heap praise on them when they do.

    My dog still knows I call the shots, also because I don't always oblige to her requests. Sometimes when she asks for pats I will tell her to bugger off too.

  10. #10
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    Kodi will bring her lead to me when she wants to go for a walk.
    If her biscuit bowl is empty and she's wanting some she'll either push it around with her nose or with her paw and make a hell of a racket with it until i fill it up for her.
    Both her and Zeus will bring their toys or balls to me if they want to play.
    Kodi will also stand in the bathroom at the bathtub if she's thirsty as she prefers running water and likes to drink out of the tap.
    I don't have a problem with any of it. If they're hungry or thirsty and letting me know that's fine. If they want to play i understand but when i tell them "no more", they stop. And if Kodi wants to go for a walk i figure she's nearly 13 so if she has the energy then good for her and i'll take her as walks only last about half an hour now for her and they're more of a casual stroll and sniffing time.
    Last edited by tkandz; 12-11-2012 at 08:32 AM. Reason: can't spell
    If you think dogs can't count, try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket and then giving Fido only two of them. ~Phil Pastoret

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