April Magazines 2018 89014 - Page 40

How that dominant behavior manifests depends entirely on the individual dog. A more introverted dog may exhibit dominant traits by laying in your path in a hallway, nudging up against you demanding attention, submissive peeing when someone comes in the house. A more extroverted dog will have the behaviors manifest in more obviously domi- nant ways: always jumping on people, pulling on the leash when you walk, not coming when called and that sort of thing. It also can be somewhat breed related as some breeds were specifically designed and bred to execute specific jobs or tasks, and those tasks sometimes require a dog have more critical thinking and leadership. Examples of this are pro- tection dogs as well as dogs used for hunting or herding. Why Breed Type Matters Last year we had someone come to Hydrant Club for an assessment. Their dog, a four-month-old unaltered male English Bulldog, presented signs of extreme dominance when they came for an initial assessment. The English Bulldog is one of those breeds that has a deeply innate sense of dominance–they were bred for “bull baiting”, a barbaric practice that inclined this breed to a deep sense of domi- nance. This second visit was to determine if he could pass for spending time in daycare for training. On coming to the front door and walking past the daycare dogs, the entire pack triggered to the new dog outside. This is, of course, entirely normal. Dogs will always respond to a dog (or other stimulation) outside a fence. Where the situation shifted was in the intensity/energy of their response. The dogs’ reactions were intense and sharp, with the majority of them refusing to stand down. The bulldog’s response was equally challenging, with bristling, barking and exhibiting a physi- cally challenging position in return. A calm, behaviorally stable dog might bark or alert in response but would even- tually walk on without having to challenge back. In the case of this bulldog, it’s a breed with innate tenden- cies towards dominance–and when that goes unchecked, aggression can arise. This is why whether you have a pure- breed or a mixed breed dog, having some knowledge of what type of dog you have is so important. Having this information is not about being able to show off that you have some sort of exotic or special pup, but rather being able to better understand the behavioral inclinations of your