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Genuine Q about dominance or not?

(22 Posts)
AdoraBell Mon 28-Oct-13 14:44:55

Okay, so I know that the old dominance/pack theory has been discredited, so why does one of my dogs appear to be doing it?

4 GSs, youngest 2 are siblings, all 4 are nuetered.

One of the older ones, male, consistently puts the younger male down. Growls, jaws round younger one's neck úntil he's on the ground.

Trainer says he's asserting himself as pack leader. Trainer is a Latín American ex police dog handler. Don't know if that makes any difference. He doesn't do the things I've seen César Millán doing, fingers jabbing into the neck or the kick to keep them in líne, there's none of that. And everything he does with them is done gently, there's no shoving, yanking or forcing them onto their backs.

Younger dog now approaches older one with his chin almost scraping the floor, like he's trying to crawl past without drawing the attenetion of the older male.

What can I do about this? Younger male has always been moré tímido than his sister but is getting worse.

ExitPursuedByABogieMan Mon 28-Oct-13 14:48:01

I thought it was just the dominance with humans that had been discredited. I think in a pack there will always be a leader or the alpha male. And four dogs probably make a pack.

Although I have no real idea only my gut instinct smile

AdoraBell Mon 28-Oct-13 15:05:42

Ah, that would make moré sense. Thanks.

PinkFairyArmadillo Mon 28-Oct-13 15:14:28

This article might be an interesting read for you.

AdoraBell Mon 28-Oct-13 15:19:06

Thanks, I'll have a read.

Lilcamper Mon 28-Oct-13 17:52:35

Dogs aren't pack animals, they just aren't.

ExitPursuedByABogieMan Mon 28-Oct-13 20:22:50

But wolves are. And dogs are related no?

And Wild Dogs are pack animals.

idirdog Mon 28-Oct-13 20:48:42

Dogs are not pack animals at all. They are scavengers and actually live more solitary lives than wolves. Dogs however are social animals (this is where they are very different from wolves) and will gather in groups usually around a food source, but these are not packs as they are very loosely structured with dogs coming and going randomly. Wolves will stay in a close nit group.

It is purely down to the dogs social nature that allows dogs to fit so well into our families. Experiments with hand reared wolves has shown that this is never possible with wolves. The wolves have never ever been able to fit into a human group.

Dogs worked out that it is in their advantage to be near man and hence this is how the domesticated dog come around that we know today.

ExitPursuedByABogieMan Mon 28-Oct-13 21:54:43

But aren't dogs descended from wolves?

toboldlygo Mon 28-Oct-13 22:26:17

That's kind of like saying that we should look to chimpanzees for evidence of human social behaviour. In Defence of Dogs by John Bradshaw is a great place to start for an explanation.

idirdog Mon 28-Oct-13 22:30:49

Dogs could be argued to be a subspecies of wolves however dogs made a major transformation from wolves and wolves dna (nearly 100,000 years ago!)

There are roughly 400 million dogs in the world about a thousand times more dogs in the world than wolves. So if wolves were the ancestors dogs have had a major coup smile

It is a bit like saying humans are related to chimps so we should behave like them at all time.We like dogs have evolved from the original species over thousands of years.

ExitPursuedByABogieMan Mon 28-Oct-13 22:45:14

Erm. I think we can establish why there are more dogs than wolves. But that wasn't the point.

idirdog Tue 29-Oct-13 08:44:41

In Biology and Zoology it is a major point that there are more dogs than wolves. It shows that one species has adapted better and more efficiently than the original species. It shows that the DNA and characteristics of the original species have had to be altered to make the dog in this case totally different from the Wolf to survive.

The scientific conclusion is that Dogs are completely different from Wolves in DNA, behaviour and group structure.

Dogs are dogs, Wolves are wolves.

Interestingly there have been experiments to try to domesticate the Wolf. Wolves from several generations of hand reared wolves has been used. It has been impossible at any level to domesticate the Wolves even when they have been removed from their natural habitat, however the same study with wild dogs has the dogs being domesticated from the first generation.

MonstersBalls Wed 30-Oct-13 11:45:46

So in a 'group' of dogs that live together say, would one of them be 'alpha'? Or is the 'alpha' one just a more aggressive dog?

ExitPursuedByABogieMan Wed 30-Oct-13 12:15:01

In a group of humans isn't there always those who lead and those who follow?

AdoraBell Wed 30-Oct-13 12:50:23

Yes, probably, but dogs don't behave the same way as humans, which is something my DH has trouble grasping. <head implodes with effort of unravelling DH's thought process>

ExitPursuedByABogieMan Wed 30-Oct-13 13:15:06

Mine too Adora. He fails to understand that there is no point shouting at the dog when he comes back, you have to reward him.

AdoraBell Wed 30-Oct-13 13:33:52

Sounds similar, and a paír of puppies left to their own devices are obviusly going to behave like a Well rounded adult human hmm

Lilcamper Wed 30-Oct-13 14:48:40

It has nothing to do with who is Alpha. Some dogs are more confident than others, dog A might be ball obsessed where dog B isn't bothered, dog B might think the comfy chair is more important than the ball.

34DD Sun 03-Nov-13 12:04:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Lilcamper Sun 03-Nov-13 13:26:58

Observer bias, you are seeing what you want to see.

DameDeepRedBetty Sun 03-Nov-13 13:32:55

I suppose the truth lies somewhere in between, as with so many things we can't ever really understand.

Dogs have co-evolved with us, I can't imagine that we haven't influenced their behaviour patterns, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if we haven't learnt some behaviour patterns from them!

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