Friday, November 5, 2010

Pooches: The Unpopular Kids

Our trainer told us dogs are like people; they are scared of other dogs with intimidating features. So when dogs stare with bulging eyeballs:
Or have wrinkly faces that look like scowls:
Other dogs find them scary. If you haven't guessed already, Miss M isn't very popular among the dog set. Even beyond her bulging eyeballs and over-attention problem, she just doesn't understand social cues. She used to greet other dogs by rushing up to them and getting in their face. And even when they would correct her, she would just think that meant they wanted to play.
We were even able to document evidence of her bullying behavior; just watch how she uses Mr. B for a table and tries to force his head through the ring:
We do work to "introduce dogs" properly, but without a proper introduction, teaching social cues can be a long process. Eventually, I think having Mr B at her disposal made her less interested in other dogs. We do reinforce for positive interactions; how else do you make sure your dog is playing nicely?

35 comments:

Zona said...

Interesting question!! My Ginger, a Shar Pei, was this way but she was fairly aloof with other dogs so our introductions usually went "okay" because the new dog was more interested in the rest of the pack, once we arrived on the scene. Does Mr. B help ease the way for her when meeting other dogs?

Wags,
Zona

jet said...

Mr B has the most beautiful eyes :)

Bender has social issues, he likes to hump. We have to body block him to stop him. He also tends to ignore other dogs when he is playing with toys to his peril. Pushy dogs don't like to be ignored so jump all over him and get in his face.

Barbie is a bit of a bully but I keep an eye on her and correct her if she is causing another dog to be scared or angry. Dogs can chase her and snap at her and she thinks its a great game cos they will never catch her.

Corbin said...

Oh my goodness! Seeing that video made me realize how similar Ms. M and Corbin are!!! He loves using other people or dogs as his personal "stations" where he can leave things on them, chew things on them, sit on them, or just plain walk all over them. We've had a lot of issues with Corbin thinking it's okay to walk all over someone as they're sitting or laying down, but that's a story for another day! Corbin also has trouble with introductions to other dogs. He's very in your face, happy to see ya! And most other dogs don't like him. So we have to be careful when he meets a new dog. He's usually fine with females, or should I say, females are usually fine with him. But the males usually take this as an invite to get defensive and growl. And that sets Corbin into a tizzy. Since we've worked with a trainer in April, it's been MUCH better, but I always have my eye on him when he meets a new male or plays with a new male.
-Corbin's mom, Jenn
ps. that video made my morning!!!

Kate@TwentySixToLife said...

We try to be really careful about how we introduce our dogs to other dogs. They are so eager to see other dogs that they come across as "psycho" dogs because they want to see the other so much. Luckily Melanie has excellent doggie social skills aside from the over-eagerness, so she's always been great. Molly's so old she doesn't care much about other dogs anymore, and Nemo has some issues with other males, but he's always been excellent with females (what can I say? He likes the ladies!).

We have a good routine for dog introductions, but we never let them meet and greet random dogs when we're out walking them. T and I often change course when we see other people with their dogs coming near us. Maybe it seems rude, but rudeness is preferable to a dog fight breaking out.

All that said, I really freaking love that video. Mr. B is so tolerant and Ms. M just wants a little attention. Adorable!

jen said...

Great description pictures.

I try to make the boys sit before interacting with other dogs.
Leroy is much better around strange dogs than Sherman is, SHerman seems to always be in defense mode. We are trying to work on this.

Jessica M said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jessica M said...

I am obsessed with Ms. M's big bulging eyeballs and cute little frown! Adorable!

Mr. Pip said...

Well, you know Pip, he pretty much ignores other dogs (and hopes they will go away) if he is not interested in playing or interacting with them.

Kristin

mayziegal said...

I'm going to have to wait to get home to watch the video. But Miss M's face never fails to crack me up.

Mayzie is very unsure and nervous around groups of dogs. Especially if they're barking. She HATES it when other dogs bark. And she's nervous when we're out walking if another dog approaches us. She'll stare them down and then run to the end of the leash and make a big show (although she doesn't bark or growl). I know it's because she's scared and wants the other dog to go away. We're working on it but it's a process. She's actually really great with dogs smaller than she is, though.

Ranger is generally good with other dogs as long as they're respectful. He has NO tolerance when other dogs break any social rules. NONE. If they do, he'll growl and snap (although he'll NEVER actually bite another dog). We're serious when we call him the "dog cop."

Amber

EmilyS said...

honestly I've never heard that dogs are afraid of other dogs with bulgy eyes. For that matter, I've never heard that PEOPLE are afraid of people with bulgy eyes, so I don't understand your trainer's comment about dogs being like people. Plus dogs are NOT like people in almost any way, especially in social interactions. Have you read McConnell's articles on "don't treat your dog like he's another primate"?

I'm quite sure Ms M's problems with other dogs have more to do with the (typical bully-type-dog) rushing headlong into other dogs, which is EXTREMELY rude in the dog world. And perhaps her inclination to bop other dogs with toys (lol)

dw said...

Poor Mr. B! He's looking like, 'mom, she's picking on me!' as he keeps getting thwacked by the ring. And was that a little parental chuckle I heard there as Mr. B was whacked yet one more time? Heeee!

Kari in WeHo said...

Mesa doesn't understand social clues. The same cat smacked her in the face 4 times yet she kept going back for more


Kari
http://dogisgodinreverse.com/

Kristine said...

This is a tough call. My dog Shiva's manners seem very similar to Ms. M's. She's a very "in your face" kind of dog. She rushes up very boldly and quickly. Not a lot of other dogs are very appreciative. So for the most part, unless we've met the other dog before, I limit her social interaction. For her own safety.

I wish I knew how to teach her to be softer and more polite when greeting other dogs but I'm kind of at a loss.

I hope you find something that works for you, and share it with the class! :-)

brooke said...

hahahah That was such a cute and funny video! Miss M is a character!
Darwin rushes over to greet people and dogs, both of whom can find her to be intimidating (I wonder why... 130lb Great Dane rushing up to you). I've been working with her to "leave it" when we pass other dogs or I make her stand off to the side so other dogs can pass without her rushing them and that's helped. She's a people dog so she's more prone to rushing up to people than dogs though.

Traci said...

That is too funny with Miss M hitting Mr. B over the head with the donut! He's so sweet and just stands there, slowly wagging his tail :) Our two former greyhounds were actually litter-mates, and after being separated during racing, they somehow ended up in the same home, then we adopted them at age 10, so they actually spent most of their lives together. One of them had a very dominant personality and the other very sweet and laid back. The dominant one, Odin would often just walk up to Thor, the sweet one and put his chin on his neck or back and just rest there for as long as he wanted. Thor, being so laid back, wouldn't even move! Odin didn't do that with other dogs, probably because only other greyhounds or large dogs were the correct height - haha!

Dogs with big eyes crack me up, but I actually do feel a bit uneasy with those with frowns/wrinkles which many pit bulls seem to have. It's funny that other dogs seem to feel the same way. It's not as if the breeds with wrinkles can change that or that they are aggressive simply because of the way they look, but I think they often get a bad rap due to their appearance.

Mango said...

That was a wonderful movie. Miss M. My goodness you are so silly. I fear I am not a good model for doggie interaction. If I meet a gal I want to hump her. As for guy dogs, well, I want to play for a little bit, but then I don't. And I get pissed if any doggie touches my toys. Momma says she is just glad that I have little PeeWee who has figured out how to read me and knows when to play and when to back off. Heck he even pushes ME around sometimes.

Slobbers,
Mango

Roo said...

Interesting :) Actually, Miss M's ring scenario made me think of "I want the attention" rather than dominance. They are both so lovable :) and very different too. Mr. B is pretty kick back and Miss M is more in your face "love me love me love me" from what I've seen anyway :)

Ahem...that was Mom talkin. Now, from my perspective. Miss M and I would get along fine as long as she shared my toys ;) And Mr. B, well he would probably think I was a little too in your face ;)I charge other dogs and then stop just before I bowl them over to say HI! This does scare some doggies :( Others? Well...we play :) So that's why I think Miss M and I would get along just fine :)

Oh, one final comment. Don't come on my property unannounced or not properly introduced. I can be very protective at times :) No southern hospitality (drop in without callin first) here :) Mom thinks this is good! :)

Waggin at ya,
Roo

houndstooth said...

We nip it in the bud when we see it starting. I tell Morgan, who seems to have no clue about how to interact with other dogs, to knock it off and I redirect her. It's not perfect, but it is getting better. She's only been with us a few months, so I remind myself that it's still a work in progress!

road-dog-tales said...

Mr. B is one cool customer! Mom & Dad wish they had HIS patience :)

The Road Dogs

Rescued Pittie Family said...

Oh my God I just love her!
Absolute hilarity!

A Couple of Misfits said...

Oh bullies... I thought Skye was a hopeless case. She thought growl/barking while jumping around the others dogs was playing. It took us a week of very strictly supervised play before she figured out that if she wanted to have fun with Parker, she had to be quiet and fairly polite. If she wasn't she had to go inside for a minute. It helped to teach her to put a toy in her mouth :D

It's been about 3 months of clicker training at work for her to be appropriate in group play. I literally had to train her to play bow at home, then help her initiate play at work. She still needs to be reminded every so often that barking is rude, but she's catching on. Our last hurdle (like miss M) is that Skye thinks that a warning or correction from a dog that has had enough does not mean "let's play more!" I wonder if dogs that look off-putting are predisposed to social ineptitude, since they couldn't pick up on subtle communications from their siblings that other breeds express well...

Meeka said...

Miss M is like, why are you ignoring me?

Those Elgin Pugs said...

HA HA HA!! OMD!! This is hysterical!! Miss M Antics are the same as IzZY's and Mr. B acts like my Anakin Man!! Too cute!!

Nicole said...

That video is just too cute! I can't believe Mr B just takes the bullying from Ms M. Too funny! Luffy also has a problem of thinking that behavior corrections are just another way of playing. I need to get him out and socialized more.

gamebred said...

some dogs pocket just clicks with and they are usually other pits. go figure. hahaha. but i find it hard cause most people want to just rush the introduction rather than go for a nice long no dog playing walk. thats what i like to do and it really really really smoothes the tension or errases it entirely between the two dogs. then the next time they see each other they have already bonded on an important social level for dogs and she gets excited to see them. i wish that, as an apartment building with multiple dogs, we could go on mini group walks. like have the dogs in the building go for walks together. rather than like no interaction at all. i think that would really smooth things over for people and dogs alike.

with pocket and the little brother, jimmy legs (who is now almost 6mo old), we try and calm him down before he gets to that crazy zone. that way he learns how far he can go cause pocket doesnt correct his naughty behavior we have to. which is ok by me!

great question! and great answers! youve got some doggie savvy readers on your hands!

browndogcbr said...

Hi Y'all,
Just hopped by, after a busy week here, to see what y'all are up to...Miss M whatcha tryin' to do?
My Human Momma thinks y'all are the most handsome breed of all...hmmm...I guess I should take that as an insult...
Growin' up in a large pack of all ages is great for learnin' how to get along...
Mr B you better step up to the plate and teach Miss M the secrets to gettin' along with your four legged friends.
Y'all come by now,
Hawk aka BrownDog

Brooklyn Book Lover said...

Hi guys,

Sorry I haven't visited in awhile. As you know, I love your fur babies and enjoy the photos you post of them. :-)
I want to ask you a favor. The cat rescue where I volunteer is in the running to win a $25,000 grant from Pepsi. Would you please help us win by voting for us every day at: refresheverything.com/kingshighwaycatrescue
I thank you and the cats thank you! :-)
P.S. Please spread the word.

Daisy's Mom said...

Miss M and Mr. B are so adorable! I have found that sometimes dogs can learn social cues from being around other dogs that have the proper social etiquette. Maybe Mr. B will show her how to act more dog-like. :)

Kirby said...

Well Kirby doesn't prefer to play with all dogs. He has some dogs he will play with and some he will growl and bark at. When he has a chance to meet another dog, he doesn't like that dog in his face or charging him. So basically I have to just judge the situation and go for it. When he does play though he loves it, he loves to run circles around my sisters dog and has jumped over her and they love to "mouth" each other. Your dogs are hilarious!

Kirby's mom

browndogcbr said...

Hi Y'all,
Just stopped back to thank y'all for stoppin' and to reply to your comment.
Yep! Snow...and since we just came back to the mountains from the coast my Humans are freezin'. We're high, about 4000 ft, and the Thundering Herd is higher than us although they're further south still.
My Human Momma is scared of snow. She's afraid the car'll slip off the mountain and we'll all be killed. I like it for a little while unless it's too deep.
I like the cooler weather.
Miss M and Mr B, do you mind the cold much? I know your humans bundle you up, but...
Y'all come back now,
Hawk aka BrownDog

hero said...

Bulging eyes and wrinkly face are adorable and not scary... at least to me :) Miss M is a smart dog and she will learn quickly.

Licks, hero

Oonafey said...

Gidget was basically a perfect specimen of well-trained, socially acceptable pitty until we brought Dozer home. Now she growls at dogs when we take her to art shows and parks and, like you said, she is much less interested in other dogs. It's unfortunate, but I'm not sure what to do about, besides correct her and be embarrassed when she does it.

I think that's funny about the bulgy eyed, wrinkly scowl thing, because those are the dogs I want to squuuuuuueeeeeze... I am a sucker for an "ugly" dog. The wrinkly and "meaner" looking, the happier I am.

Mollie Jo and Bobo said...

OH Miss M...If my momma didn't have allergies I so would want you to move in with us...You make us laugh!!! Mr. B as a table...BOL BOL BOL


Wags and Licks,
Mollie Jo & Bobo

Daisy Dog said...

OMG!! That video is too funny. poor Mr. B! he is so patient with her.

Toad734 said...

I don't know how anyone could mistake that huge pitbull smile for intimidating.

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