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Thread: Dogs, but not wolves, using humans as tools

  1. #11

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    I agree Beloz and if we have guests or I'm not in the mood, a quick, bugger off ensures the proper power distance is maintained. I think sometimes I like it though, like you said, you can't blame them for trying. It would annoy me though if I had a dog that wouldn't leave me alone to eat - I think you need to be able to get space/respect when you want it.
    Eye contact is how he will ask for something he wants that is mine when he knows he needs to tread carefully. For example, his toys all live up on the mantle piece where he can reach them but knows he can't without permission. Sometimes he feels like playing, and so he will stand between me and the toys and look between us - making it very clear what he wants. If I say ok, he will go pick one to play with. If I say no, he just gets on with life.

    If there's something else he wants or that he thinks I'll be interested in that's more serious, I get either barked at or bunted. For example, when the cat was a baby I didn't want him going outside but he was amazingly cunning and escaped a few times without me noticing. Sammy would run to me and bark right at me until I followed him and led me to naughty Vasco. Other times he has done this because he wants to show me that there is a dog walking on the other side of the road that he would like to play with... He gets told off for making me get up for that kind of crap. Thing is, he does it so rarely and often it's something so important that I always go now when he raises the alarm like that.

  2. #12
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    Asking for food at our place only works on one person here, the OH.

    This means you can guarantee, when he is eating his dinner, they are both sat right in front of him and every time he goes tot he fridge, the get up and follow. They dont do this to me or the kid.

    The eye contact thing is quite interesting, me and Pippi have big long sessions where we look deeply into each others eyes. Then we start smooching, or "making out" as my OH likes to call it...it kind of is similar to that I guess LMAO.

    I for sure thinks dogs can use "tools" just not in the same way we do. But I have seen dogs move a chair so they can get up higher. I have watched one of my own dogs test the fence line to find the easiets bit to get out.

    I found that article really interesting, though I think for best results, the wolf bitch would need to have been raised by humans (and her mother and maybe the mother before that) so they were fully indoctrined into human life and the pups would have to be removed immediately after birth. Or, best results, both litters made via IVF and carried through in a fake womb til viability LOL

  3. #13
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    The mother influence wouldn't have mattered because they were taken away from their mothers when they were a few days old. And if you go the 'several generations being raised by humans' way, then you get back into the genetics, which is basically what makes the difference between wolves and dogs, if that makes sense. Though presumably there would've been some selection process when dogs were domesticated, but it is known that environmental factors can have an effect on genes, even without any natural selection process.

    And they also weren't saying that using tools as such was something that is special about dogs. Wolves could possibly use chairs to reach things etc too - they probably have a similar intelligence to dogs. They just never recognised their humans as a tool (haha!) they could use to achieve a goal.

  4. #14
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    I enjoyed the article.........There have been many years of selective breeding to make the dog what it is today

    I am doing a different experiment at my home ............We went back to the basic dog language/behaviour..........Away from too much eye contact and humanizing

    Because we had an extremely people and dog aggressive dog in our home....I went back to some basic dog language, which is sort of taken from wolves. using a cross between Rugid Rugaas and Jan Fennell.

    Annabelle was always under my control and managed if i was there and would never attack another dog if we were around, but we had to change the environment in the home, because we were not always home and I wanted my dogs to be free when we were not home. I have always been amazed how so little changed so much in our household so quickly and how it Made the aggressive dog so easy to get along with with all the other dogs and every other person or dog we now bring into the home.

    A lot of my dog trainer friend initially said "bullsh**t" and thought we were crazy......But seeing and knowing her and now quite a few other dogs we have dealt with and how their behaviour has changed they are all surprised. Some still refuse to try it, but some are using it.

    The Leadership issue is so important and it is not dominant aggressive leadership at all, no alpha rolls LOL........The dogs choose t follow a good Leader

    We were already naturally doing quite a bit of it, but we are now diligent with it all. And anyone who is willing to learn, we have helped them to setup the management/system in their home. It is quite involved for us and we have to maintain it. A lot of people still give us a laugh or hard time over it.........I don't care, I know we have really easy dogs at home, can allow any other dog into our home and have well behaved dogs. It does not affect all our other training ( Obedience, Tracking, Water Rescue and such), which is just whatever system we choose to use (Karen Prior or Ian Dunbar). It is the ground rules that are laid down before. I have really been surprised how it helps anxious and fear aggressive dogs.

    I know I put my neck out here, when I mention it....There are some very hard core trainers about. having done a lot of the same courses they have, I know where they are coming from. But I like to try anything at least once. And if it works it goes into my "tool-box".....I will listen to anyone and take it on board or think that at least it might not work for me. I believe every "famous" trainer has something to offer.

    Anyway, back to topic.........I do also see that some people are easier for their dogs to use as "tools" as others. That is why some dogs rule the home and other people, even if they do not have a lot of knowledge, still have great dogs. It is also why some dogs behave differently for some people in the household compared to others. it is very difficult to do "scientific experiments" when the human element is involved. Because if the same people do not handle both litters the experiment in my eyes is already void. Just the way all people are so different. Even if you train people to use simple instructions like to "get your dog t focus on you and reward". you will get a hundred different results ......

    Anyway..............

    I love all these "studies" that behavioursts do and I hope to pick something out of these or at least follow the research up.
    Pets are forever

  5. #15
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    Hyacynth, do you have anything you can post further on: Because we had an extremely people and dog aggressive dog in our home....I went back to some basic dog language, which is sort of taken from wolves. using a cross between Rugid Rugaas and Jan Fennell. Ive looked up both authors on line, and there's very little aside from adverts for books.
    Im intrigued.
    With Kevin 2, a foster for ever. He was incredibly dog aggressive, and would growl at people who came into the house, and god forbid if someone looked at him. We went back to basics with him too. No eye contact, lots of curved approaches, lots of lip licking, he came good to us rapidly using non challenging and calming signals. Id love to read something about it if you have a link please?

    I installed a dog door, into the sliding glass door that is the dogs exit door onto the deck. Pohm offerred plenty of eye contact to be rescued as she was trapped outside! For 5 mins, whilst she worked out, how can i go through that? Took 5 mins to pluck up the courage to touch that shiny plastic flap, that could tear her to pieces at any moment!, and one huge lure of marrow bone, just out of stretching reach on the inside

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beloz View Post
    The mother influence wouldn't have mattered because they were taken away from their mothers when they were a few days old. And if you go the 'several generations being raised by humans' way, then you get back into the genetics, which is basically what makes the difference between wolves and dogs, if that makes sense. Though presumably there would've been some selection process when dogs were domesticated, but it is known that environmental factors can have an effect on genes, even without any natural selection process.

    And they also weren't saying that using tools as such was something that is special about dogs. Wolves could possibly use chairs to reach things etc too - they probably have a similar intelligence to dogs. They just never recognised their humans as a tool (haha!) they could use to achieve a goal.
    Yea I got all that....I was just going off on my own tangent

    I think the mother influence could affect the outcome...as was mentioned on the page, happenings outside the womb can affect inside the womb.

    And raising a few generations of wolve with people would support the genetic theory that they are different because that wouldnt be enough time for them to "evolve" I guess is what I was getting at.

  7. #17
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    Turid Rugaas - well worth getting her CD. Frosty enjoys watching it too. Or the book if you don't like a norwegian's version of English.

    Turid Rugaas - Calming Signals Community

    has loads of q/a and articles.

    Calming Signals Community
    When you get angry and aggressive and appear threatening, the dog will often freeze and not move in order to make you be good again.
    Dogs doing the look of shame or guilt - are also training their humans to calm down.
    A Glimpse at "Guilty" | Susan Garrett's Dog Training Blog

    The above includes a link to a video where it's clear the dog is not guilty, but acts as if it is.

  8. #18
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    I went to see Turid in Norway......she is amazing and has many dogs, she is a kind non-emotional person........Quite alternative

    if you can ever meet her and listen to her i would highly recommend it ........

    Tony Knight is Jan Fennels son, he does many seminars/lectures in Australia.....I was at one last weekend. I really enjoy his Seminars. 10 hours just flew past, awesome
    Pets are forever

  9. #19
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    I found the Q and A sections Turid has on internet.
    And, yes, i liked it all !
    But im saving: A glimpse at guilty, for later this morning with a latte, thankyou, a treat. Im such a freak getting excited about reading new/more doggie stuff.
    Hey ho, everyone's gotta have a hobby.

  10. #20
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    I found the Q and A sections Turid has on internet.
    And, yes, i liked it all !
    But im saving: A glimpse at guilty, for later this morning with a latte, thankyou, a treat. Im such a freak getting excited about reading new/more doggie stuff.
    Hey ho, everyone's gotta have a hobby.

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