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Bill "Papa" Lee

Advice about Dogs...Please.

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I have a Golden Retriever,  who spends her days outside, in a very large yard (but comes in on cold nights, instead of freezing. My wife and I bought her around six years ago. My daughter who moved back in for a while, left a small dog when she moved back out. My Son and his wife fell on hard times, so they moved in with their dog, mixed breed and a midsize dog. I am of course the "Alpha-dog", to insure each dog is obiedent. I never feed them from my hand, but wish other family members would never give them food from the table.

All I have to do to get all three to stop what they are doing and mind, is no make eye contact. If something more is needed, everyone wants to jump in an save them. My wife, some of my kids, and all my grandchildren get upset if I speak harshly to their respective dogs. Unless one of the dogs makes a miss, and then they want me to be the Alpha-dog. Undisciplined dogs, are unhappy dogs. 

However if any of our grandchildren get in the kitchen while my wife is cooking, or do something they know to be wrong, they will get put in "time-out", or voices will be raised to warn them of harm. It seems to me that many dogs are treated better that (in my case) grandchildren.

 

Any suggestions, on the proper discipline of dogs, vs people? 

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I think dogs get a pass and should when humans are inconsistent or not responding quickly.  For example, if you discover poop where it shouldn't be hours after it has been put there, it won't produce the right behaviour to scold the dog then.  He won't get the connection unless you catch him in the act.

certain things work to communicate to dogs and if you can't do them, discipline only screws up the dog, turns it confused or even neurotic.  Humans have more options in how disciplined is communicated, including discovering inappropriate behaviour later even if consistency in discipline  is important for both dogs and children.

Yelling at dogs is overkill, imo.  

Edited by Calm

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The alpha male in a wolf pack has his own version of yelling. It is backed up with teeth. A key to all discipline is consistency . Good luck with that Papa. Sounds like too many cooks making stew.

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1 minute ago, strappinglad said:

The alpha male in a wolf pack has his own version of yelling. It is backed up with teeth. A key to all discipline is consistency . Good luck with that Papa. Sounds like too many cooks making stew.

Yeah, but it tends to be quick and precise and not hours later.

I am not saying Papa is doing it the wrong way, just that precision in discipline with dogs works.  You have a bit more leeway with humans.

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12 hours ago, Calm said:

I think dogs get a pass and should when humans are inconsistent or not responding quickly.  For example, if you discover poop where it shouldn't be hours after it has been put there, it won't produce the right behaviour to scold the dog then.  He won't get the connection unless you catch him in the act.

certain things work to communicate to dogs and if you can't do them, discipline only screws up the dog, turns it confused or even neurotic.  Humans have more options in how disciplined is communicated, including discovering inappropriate behaviour later even if consistency in discipline  is important for both dogs and children.

Yelling at dogs is overkill, imo.  

The only thing I yell, is when after two or three attempts is, "get out of the kitchen". The little dog is always under my wife's feet, causing her to trip, and one time to fall. We are in our 60's now, so falling is never good. 

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11 hours ago, Calm said:

Yeah, but it tends to be quick and precise and not hours later.

I am not saying Papa is doing it the wrong way, just that precision in discipline with dogs works.  You have a bit more leeway with humans.

Your point is valid, but even little ones sometimes are disciplined with an elevated voice to protect them from harm. Dogs can know and understand up to 600 words (so the trainer told us), so they understand more than toddlers. It is why they hide when they do something wrong. My Golden Retriever responds to whatever I ask of her, the major problem for me is three dogs, each wanting to be the Alpha.  

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The whole alpha does not exist in wolf or dog culture. The guy who coined the term discovered he was wrong and tried to correct the myth but no one listened.

Now we have to listen to endless garbage about alphas and betas in human and wolf culture. :( 

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1 hour ago, The Nehor said:

The whole alpha does not exist in wolf or dog culture. The guy who coined the term discovered he was wrong and tried to correct the myth but no one listened.

Now we have to listen to endless garbage about alphas and betas in human and wolf culture. :( 

I  think, IIRC, that the term alpha may apply in the animal kingdom, even in some cases the wolf or canine culture. There is controversy (but it has not been unproven data that there is not an alpha wolf in a wolf pack). The alpha concept may created a misconception in wolf packs, but has not been disproven in other canine species and has definitely been proven in other animals (e.g. gorillas). However, I do not disagree with you here and my personal thinking is that the conception of an alpha leader is more established by social context rather than strength or aggression.  Traditionally we have thought as an alpha in a pack (or group) as the strongest, ruthless, aggressive, etc., but current theory is there are indeed alpha's, but they are alpha because of societal rather than strength.

Thus, a wolf pack may have an alpha leader, but is now considered that alpha is based on what it contributes to the pack and not because of it is the strongest, etc..

Long story short (too late), alphas can be a bishop, politician,  father, mother. Alphas can even be a combination of father and mother, husband and wife, male and female,  etc. Which to me is extra confusing because does not the combination of two negate the term alpha?

Ignore all of the above. I love dogs!!! I feed them at the table, take them in on sniffs, my Bassett did not go on walks she went on sniffs (one long sniff). Dogs are awesome and if you feed them at the table, c'est la vie.

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On December 6, 2017 at 12:03 PM, The Nehor said:

The whole alpha does not exist in wolf or dog culture. The guy who coined the term discovered he was wrong and tried to correct the myth but no one listened.

Now we have to listen to endless garbage about alphas and betas in human and wolf culture. :( 

Come on now, my many years as a Police Officer taught me that Alpha's do exist. You get enough in one room and everyone is peeing and marking their territory. That goes for Police Dogs as well. :) 

Edited by Bill "Papa" Lee

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On 12/6/2017 at 10:45 AM, Bill "Papa" Lee said:

Your point is valid, but even little ones sometimes are disciplined with an elevated voice to protect them from harm. Dogs can know and understand up to 600 words (so the trainer told us), so they understand more than toddlers. It is why they hide when they do something wrong. My Golden Retriever responds to whatever I ask of her, the major problem for me is three dogs, each wanting to be the Alpha.  

You have to be the Alpha with your wife coming in a close 2nd. That's how it works with our dog. I have not had to raise my voice in a long time, and I have always offered rewards for good behavior rather than punishment for bad. 

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On December 6, 2017 at 12:03 PM, The Nehor said:

The whole alpha does not exist in wolf or dog culture. The guy who coined the term discovered he was wrong and tried to correct the myth but no one listened.

Now we have to listen to endless garbage about alphas and betas in human and wolf culture. :( 

There have been others here? 

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3 minutes ago, Bill "Papa" Lee said:

There have been others here? 

I meant ‘here' as in the whole internet. And no, I am not mocking you. I used to love reading about wolves and have talked at length about the alpha/beta dynamic before learning it is really not a thing. So if you took it as mockery know that it was mainly annoyance at myself for being wrong for so long.

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Nehor, if you don't believe in Alpha's you've never owned multiple animals. I have and I guarantee, they exist in any multiple dog/cat family.

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4 hours ago, mnn727 said:

Nehor, if you don't believe in Alpha's you've never owned multiple animals. I have and I guarantee, they exist in any multiple dog/cat family.

Yeah, if you change the meaning from the original coined meaning to just refer to any form of dominance but the alpha and beta dynamic was not about how domesticated dogs and cats interact in a household.

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