Bonita of Bwana
Posted : 5/22/2008 1:14:44 PM
I do correct my altered dogs when they play humpty games.
why do you correct them for playing? dogs play-fight, play-hunt, and play-have-sex, all perfectly normal behaviors; humpees who don't want to play are perfectly capable of stopping the game themselves; so why do people so often feel the need to stop play-sex? perfectly normal, ordinary dog behavior. Humping a human leg, fine, correct that.
This is a great question, in a multi dog house there is a social ladder. (Please understand I am not trying to be condenscending just clear), I am worried I may not explain this well but let me give it a shot. This is based on 50 years in dogs and just barely shy 30 in my breed.
With a Breeding Kennel, even if you only breed rarely... the intact dog is of a higher social value in the pack. This is NOT simply a human and dollar thing. The dogs themselves organize to acknowledge who will continue the pack, who will protect it and who is simply a member.
When I have a litter the girls set up a structure that is amazing to watch. IE the last litter Mtzee , youngest girl in my kennel jumped up in importance to the pack. Jasmine the foundation dam ( and G'ma) became her mentor and constant companion. There were many accepted investigations from G'ma to Mtzee, sniffing and literally watching Jazz check the belly , the progress in the teats, the status of her "rear" ( I am never sure which words I can use and which will get me censored) Miranda , an altered older sister remains a companion but her closeness changes in that she now gives a wider area, sacrificing the better , more comfy spots, setting herself up as a guard at doorways and in the hallways. She will investigate the whelping box as it is set up but as the date gets closer there is a line she will no longer cross. All of the RRs altered or intact towards the due date and after went from Frisco our nanny dog and rescue lab's best friend to making sure she was never allowed close to any puppy under 4 months old. Frisco had bitten a 3 month old years before and from that point on , while loved and an important part of our pack was NEVER allowed near a very young puppy. Jasmine drove her away from Mtzee's last litter with great roars even though Frisco had only poked her old head around the corner of the hall over 30 feet away. The Boys have different roles as a litter happens also. An intact dog becomes a total protector. Even if it is not his litter he takes on the role of "Daddy" dog. The altered dogs become support dogs, They follow the lead of the head man, If he reacts strongly to a door bell or an odd noise on TV they back him up as if a lion had come on the property. All are controllable by the two leggers, all respond and listen, calling off when told to but the atmosphere changes 100%.
So with that as a basis for my example what we have also found in the nearly 30 years of this breed is an altered animal allowed to continue Breeding Play or the Humpty game tends to think they have a different position on the social ladder. They act as if they have more leeway, (think late cut or proud gelding in a horse). More arrogance , higher challenge response. They take less crud off of a younger intact dog, sometimes acting as if they need to put that younger dog in a reduced place to maintain thier own status in the pack. Since the intact dog is not "corrected" but distracted to make sure IF it is used in a breeding program in the future it does not have the baggage of " Hey I am not allowed to do this" to get in the way. An Altered dog is "corrected", an by that I mean first by distraction and second " Hey Clyde Knock it off, No No." They understand this is not a behavior they are allowed. They will never be allowed to use this "skill" (for want of a better word).
I know many, many multi dog kennels who follow the same theory and like my kennel the incidence of dog fights between the pack is minimal I have had 2 dog fights fight in 30 years of RRS. Not one fight lasted longer than 1 minute and each involved one intact and one altered animal. ( Of course 1 also involved evacuation from a hurricane and the other during a severe thunderstorm).
We find that setting specfic role skills and behaviors reinforces the pack ladder. Everyone is taught manners, CGC and ATTS training, Herding , Conformation, Coursing, They get dressed up in play clothes , they are walked , and given play times to work off energy and promote pack skills.
I hope that at least explains why we do what we do. I do not expect everyone to agree, but then not everyone has 9 dogs equalling about 600 pounds of prey driven canine as family members.
Bonita of Bwana
Paws For Peace