Why dog trainers will have to change their ways | Science | The Observer
Just bought the book on Amazon...In the US its called Dog Sense: How the New Science of Dog Behavior Can Make You A Better Friend to Your Pet
My dogs are always allowed to win at Tuggy.
'Don't grow up too quickly, lest you forget how much you love the beach.'
~ Michelle Held
Rhys, Ruby and Nola
interesting article! thanks for sharing.
my dogs occasionally let me win at tuggy
“I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.” H. Keller
Thanks...I was reprimanded more than once by a trainer when I let my lovable guy put his forelegs around my neck. They'd tell me he was trying to dominate me but that wasn't the look on his face so I stopped going to the trainer.
He was on NPR's "Fresh Air" a few weeks ago. I was very impressed with the interview. (Archived HERE.)
As always, there are going to be outliers. I'm not sure I would recommend all of this advice to every owner of a Presa canario or Fila brasileiro, or a livestock guarding breed, but for MOST pet owners MOST of the time this is the way to go. I'm convinced of it.
The problem with these "experts" are the generalizations. Just reading at the description of tail and body positions as well as hackles up it is not always true. "Ears down and flattened: fearful, intention to withdraw" that is not true, actually ears down and flat to the skull usually mean a greeting posture towards their owners, Misha uses that ear position when she´s calm and happy, sitting by my side to receive a pet.
Tug of war doesn´t mean domination, and most good labs will come back with the toy and ask you to keep pulling when you let them keep the toy, but for some dogs tug of war does become posession and strength. Dogs that "win" the toy and then proceed to "kill" the toy and growl aggresively (different than playful growls) can bite you if you try to take the toy away or keep playing (my parent´s Shih Tzu does that, if she wins the toy she will retreat with it and if you try to engage her to play or take it off her she will attack)
Dogs are individuals and are more complex than humans want to believe.
Sometimes we over-analyse things. I don't think everything my dog does is an attempt to either dominate or submit.
My dad used to tell me that if people were mean to their dogs, they'd turn "ugly". "Don't talk to a dog when they come up to your car; they'll learn to jump on cars", etc. Common sense stuff, and I didn't know anyone with an ugly dog.
I have not won a game of tuggy in a long, long time. Bauer will literally pull me right off the couch or chair, then drop the toy and happily lick my face (yep, I allow that too), repeat, repeat, repeat. We have always played this way. He is in no way dominate. Very interesting article, thanks for sharing.
Debi and Bauer
Some people are like slinkies. Not really good for much, but bring a smile to your face when pushed down the stairs.
I see what you're saying though, but I think it's more about application than theory. The theory is sound and true pretty much all of the time, regardless of breed and sometimes even species. Can/will people mess up the application and blame the theory? But of course.
Baloo - 5 year old black lab
Peanut - 7 year old minpin
Monster - 3-ish year old frenchie/jack, rescue