Friday, December 22, 2006

Packs don't have Vice Presidents

This is something that I learned from Cesar's book. I thought that packs had a pecking order from the alpha dog down to the weakness member. But it is more of a family organization then a corporate one. The is the top dog and sometimes a mated pair of dogs are the leader, but after that everyone is equal. This was a big eye opener for me.

I run into trouble with dogs that are just too aggressive in their play. I can usually solve the problem by controlling the mix - I figure out who can play nicely with who, and then I just separate the dog groups. Or if a dog is still too rough, they get a time out. This has served me pretty well and I determined long ago that time out work so much better on dogs than my kids.

I decided to try out Cesar's theories on dog behavior - if I insist that I am the top dog then all the dogs in the play yard automatically become equals. So for the past two weeks, whenever I had a mounter, or a herder, or any dog that growled while playing, I put them on a lease and walked them around, I had them sit for me, and for a couple of them I laid them down on the ground and held my hand over their necks until they relaxed.

DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME, at least that is what Cesar says...I say you might have very good luck with your dog.

I noticed that as soon as I let the dog off the lead or up, he was ready to play and at a much more acceptable level. It was freaky how well it worked. Only for some of the dogs, herders in particular, did I have to do it over and over again. Testing the limits, is what I call it when my daughter tries to see if see can get away with something - this time.

I tried with two of my problem dogs, they can't play with anyone else they are becoming a menace in general. I thought I had done some good with the first short session on the lease, but they were even more aggressive during the next playtime. I told their owner to go get some professional help training their dogs - they are a dog bite just waiting to happen.

Hey, I am not the Dog Whisperer after all, just the babysitter.


Semavi Lady said...

Great post! Yep, when living with a pack, you've got to work with the psychology of the dogs at their level.

Best of the holidays to you and yours -- from me and my Turkish Delights. :)

yawningdog said...

'Turkish Delights', I live that name for your doggies.