Overly Confident? Maybe Dominant?
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Thread: Overly Confident? Maybe Dominant?

  1. #1
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    DefaultOverly Confident? Maybe Dominant?

    Apollo is 14 weeks old now and I am a little worried about one thing...if I scold him or reprimand him for anything he acts as if he doesn't care or that I am just playing. He never, ever, puts his ears or head down in a submissive stance unless he's with other dogs or when I first get home from work. Should I be worried? What might help?

    Sometimes I crate him if he is biting too hard or I stuff another toy in his mouth. Sometimes he'll start jumping on you when you are sitting on the couch and vocally scolding doesn't work so the only thing I can think to do is put him in his crate, but that's not much of a discipline since he loves his crate.

    He rarely is a problem dog, training is going great (he'll do absolutely anything for a treat). I guess I would expect him to stop when he hears the deep, serious tone to get "off". Any suggestions would be great!

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    MidwestGirl is offline Senior Member
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    Toby is the same way and he really gets vocal if I put him in his crate. I don't use it to punish him but only when I feel he needs to calm down. Apparently I need to use a firm voice because when DH told Toby to STOP biting and jumping he did. The next time I got louder and Toby listened...then he kinda wanted to bark.

    I am surprised he actually still has hair on the scruff of his neck!!

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    IdahoLabs's Avatar
    IdahoLabs is offline Senior Member
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    I'd much rather have them that way than too "soft." Just be firm, insist on obedience, don't be afraid to get tough with him (physically and verbally), but remember he's still a puppy. He'll tell you if you're too tough - watch his body language - but do insist he obey and have good manners. 3 months is old enough. If you scold him and you're not seeing immediate behavior modification, don't be afraid to get in there and make sure he understands you're actually upset with him. Some Labs are so happy-go-lucky they don't have a "Yikes, s/he's mad at me???" button.
    ~your decisions are only as good as the information you base them on~

    Claire DVM
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    theoconbrio is offline Senior Member
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    He's a baby, and at this age his little lemon brain is all over the place and he doesn't have much self-control. It's far more likely that he's playing and getting too excited and riled up. Just put him away and give him no attention, and then go back to training when he's a little calmer. Even one-minute time-outs can help. I personally don't believe in physically correcting a puppy at that age--humans have terribly timing and you don't want him to make the wrong association (that being around you leads to bad things happening). Just be patient and consistent, and know that it *will* get better. Good luck!

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    Thank you for your advice! It makes me feel a little better about this!!!

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    Aspen is the same way. She will be 4 months tomorrow. The one thing i have found that always works for her if she isn't listening is pulling out the spray bottle. I don't even have to spray her. She will stop doing it and won't go back. Sometimes she will respond to a no but it depends on how much she wants to do what she is doing. I started the spray bottle because i was tired of my hands looking like I was attacked by a dog and her bites, which now she only mainly does when she gets excited, are a lot softer and don't even leave a mark. I tried all the suggestions prior to the spray bottle and nothing worked for her. So that has become my default when she's acting like she doesn't hear me. I think i only had to spray her like 5 times, now she just see's it and stops.


    Amanda

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    One thing I had to ask our trainers is about the 'demand barking' which is what our Malone does! (he is 4.5 months) He wants attention and starts barking to get it. Our trainers at the obedience training we attend are very adamant about IGNORE IGNORE IGNORE! HA HA. I don't know if this advice helps you, but I'm really trying to stick with it and slowly but surely I am getting results. If Malone starts barking at me or even trying to nip at my head for attention, I look away and completely ignore him, sometimes even leave the room.

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    BigBrownDog is offline Senior Member
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    I too am not a fan of physical correction of a young puppy. Withdrawing your attention in a dramatic manner, YIPE-ing and time outs in crates do work for uppity puppies.

    And - the concept of dominance is overworn, old-fashioned and much too frequently applied in my opinion. Think about it - dogs are very successful as a species due to their ability to ingratiate themselves to humans. They make themselves of use, do jobs, provide companionship. For that - they are given shelter, food they really don't have to work for and their offspring usually ALL make it to maturity. What part of that happens when dogs as a species decide to dominate people? Dominance as a behavior is totally contrary to what has made the species successful.

    I propose that if there are any naturally dominant dogs - they are very few and far between. Now - there are dogs who are not well led by their owners and encouraged to behave in a manner that is very un-doglike. I don't really see that as dominance - it's environmentally induced bad manners.
    Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.

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    Sharon - I have to assume you're speaking of dogs dominant toward humans, because if you're speaking of naturally dominant dogs in generally, I'd have to disagree. One only has to watch a group of dogs interact to know that there is a hierarchy; it's part of being an animal and will be there no matter how domesticated we make dogs, cats, cows, horses, etc. I've had and/or worked with some dominant dogs, had some extremely submissive, and some that are really neither submissive nor dominant - they're just man's best friend.

    I don't think we have to approach all dogs with the attitude that they must be dominated - but yet an alpha among dogs has a tendency to rule the human "pack" as well, and the human owner does have to keep it in mind. Generally insisting on obedience alone is sufficient, as that right there establishes authority. Sure, we have a companion, but the dog is not equal and we do not take turns making decisions.

    A pup in this case... sounds like a lack of respect, lack of understanding that command is actually a command, and just general puppyness. Not dominance. Part of taking a puppy from the bratty puppy stage to a well-behaved adult is insisting on manners. Just because a puppy acts like a puppy doesn't mean you have to put up with it.
    ~your decisions are only as good as the information you base them on~

    Claire DVM
    Lijah UD GO VER RE CGC TDI ASCA-CD (7/10 UDX, 186/200 OM1 pts, 9/100 OTCH pts + UB/OB wins)
    Zen UD VER GO JH
    Boaz JH CD CGC
    Brie CD CGC
    Tara (future amazingness!)
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    BigBrownDog is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by IdahoLabs View Post
    Sharon - I have to assume you're speaking of dogs dominant toward humans, because if you're speaking of naturally dominant dogs in generally, I'd have to disagree. One only has to watch a group of dogs interact to know that there is a hierarchy; it's part of being an animal and will be there no matter how domesticated we make dogs, cats, cows, horses, etc. I've had and/or worked with some dominant dogs, had some extremely submissive, and some that are really neither submissive nor dominant - they're just man's best friend.

    I don't think we have to approach all dogs with the attitude that they must be dominated - but yet an alpha among dogs has a tendency to rule the human "pack" as well, and the human owner does have to keep it in mind. Generally insisting on obedience alone is sufficient, as that right there establishes authority. Sure, we have a companion, but the dog is not equal and we do not take turns making decisions.

    A pup in this case... sounds like a lack of respect, lack of understanding that command is actually a command, and just general puppyness. Not dominance. Part of taking a puppy from the bratty puppy stage to a well-behaved adult is insisting on manners. Just because a puppy acts like a puppy doesn't mean you have to put up with it.
    Instead of me writing a windy post that will not explain it as well as Trisha McConnell's blog does - please check this out. I think her very well informed and researched opinion make perfect sense on this issue.

    The “D word” and Social Relationships in Dogs » TheOtherEndoftheLeash
    Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.

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