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Standover Tactics?


Guest blueberri
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Guest blueberri

Hi folks,

 

Our new grey, Willow, is a sweet and loving ratbag. She has many different behaviours to our existing grey, but one puzzles us. She will literally stand over the top of a grey if it's lying down, and has done this to the baby I look after as well. I thought at first it was coincidence, but as the baby crawled away a few paces, she walked over to resume the same posture. There does not appear to be any aggression in her facial gestures, no growling or tension or anything. It seems strange, if it is "dominance" related, that she would stand over greys she has only just met, or over the baby who is fed before her.

 

Any ideas around this?

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People have all kinds of theories on this one. I have one dog that does it and I actually think its more of a security thing. I don't allow her to do it with the kids. But she has even jumped on my bed and stood over me. It has never been in a dominant way. It's just a quirk that she has.

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~Beth, with a crazy mixed crew of misfits.
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I have one that will do this too. She will even take her foot and put it on the head of the dog she is standing over. Not hard or mean, more like just wanting to touch. Most dogs she has done this to do not seem to mind it at all. I do direct her away from dogs that I don't know well as I don't want any problems.

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My greyhound stands over any dog she can (well, any greyhound she can, but I'm pretty sure she's tried to do it over other dogs if they are lying down) and will stand over my legs if I sit down on the floor with her. Seems to be a greyhound thing, it's quite common. Both she and other greyhounds (unless they have space issues) seem perfectly relaxed about it. She is a very confident dog but it has never seemed a dominance move in a way I would worry about. But I wouldn't have a baby on the floor under the dog or that close to a dog in a vulnerable position, to say nothing of someone else's baby.

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With Cocoa (DC Chocolatedrop), missing B for Beth (2006-2015)
And kitties C.J., Klara, Bernadette, John-Boy, & Sinbad

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Guest herbsofmine

They do this in the racing kennel during turnout all the time. I'm not sure if it is a protection thing, but it never seems to cause an issue with the dog they are standing over.

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Mine do it too with never any problems, unless someone gets stepped on. I think it's sort of a way to ask for attention and pets - like the other dog is going to reach up and rub their belly or something! I'm not sure, but they mostly will go lie down if you pet them a little and urge them away. It seems mostly harmless.

 

 

 

That being said, I, too, would absolutely not allow a baby to be in that position with any dog, even one I know well. They're just too unpredictable (the baby that is) and you never know what is going to set a dog off sometimes. And if it *is* a dominant behavior, and I'm NOT saying it is, that would raise a huge, gigantic, enormous red flag to never, ever let that happen again. Don't ever set your dog up to fail in a situation involving small children.

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

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Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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I don't know about a "dominance" behavior, but one of the books I read talked about how personal space is a huge part of dog's social language, and there are three recurring, basic statements/questions that occur. "I'm on top. I'm in front. This is mine." And to a lesser extent "can I crowd?" So in dog language, she COULD be staking a claim over the baby "this is my tiny human/this is mine." (the book also talks about how dogs need to feel "owned" hence the "this is mine" part of their vocabulary. "This is my dog" is comforting and a source of security for dogs.)

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Guest blueberri

Downtownhoundz: it looks sweet and endearing, that's what I was confused by. It's interesting others have found it a non-aggressive stance also.

 

For those commenting/judging my care of a child, I appreciate the concern, however I go with the stance of close supervision being more powerful than any muzzle, and as a result this toddler has learned about gentleness and empathy with animals, and is learning safe behaviour (ie never go up to a sleeping dog etc). Her parents have signed a waiver, and said they prefer her to be in close proximity than having the dogs restrained, and have been delighted with how her learning is translating to their own pets. Our dogs know where their dog-only zones are and use them.

 

I don't know why I find myself justifying this... it's just like when people cross the road to avoid Sparky because he's big and black. There's a lot of learning, and loving, that can take place when a child engages with pets in a supervised manner.

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I don't know about a "dominance" behavior, but one of the books I read talked about how personal space is a huge part of dog's social language, and there are three recurring, basic statements/questions that occur. "I'm on top. I'm in front. This is mine." And to a lesser extent "can I crowd?" So in dog language, she COULD be staking a claim over the baby "this is my tiny human/this is mine." (the book also talks about how dogs need to feel "owned" hence the "this is mine" part of their vocabulary. "This is my dog" is comforting and a source of security for dogs.)

Side issue, but what book is this? Sounds fascinating. Haven't encountered these ideas.

With Cocoa (DC Chocolatedrop), missing B for Beth (2006-2015)
And kitties C.J., Klara, Bernadette, John-Boy, & Sinbad

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That being said, I, too, would absolutely not allow a baby to be in that position with any dog, even one I know well. They're just too unpredictable (the baby that is) and you never know what is going to set a dog off sometimes. And if it *is* a dominant behavior, and I'm NOT saying it is, that would raise a huge, gigantic, enormous red flag to never, ever let that happen again. Don't ever set your dog up to fail in a situation involving small children.

:nod

 

Have to agree on this!!!

 

It's one thing to allow this behaviour with other dogs...those dogs can most certainly let her know that they do not like this behaviour.

 

But never would I allow any dog to stand over a child...especially if that child was not mine.

It only takes a split second for a baby/toddler to do 'something' to a dog ... not on purpose... and not matter how vigilant you are, it only take another split second for the dog to react.

 

Nancy...Mom to Sid (Peteles Tiger), Kibo (112 Carlota Galgos) and Mario (2nd Chance Rescue).   Missing Casey, Gomer, Mona, Penelope, BillieJean, Bandit, Nixon (Starz Sammie),  Ruby (Watch Me Dash) and especially  Nigel (Nigel), waiting at the Bridge

 

 

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Side issue, but what book is this? Sounds fascinating. Haven't encountered these ideas.

It's From Shelter to Service Dog, while there isn't actually anything on actual service dog training, like I'd hoped, it was still a very worthwhile read. I got it from B&N as a Nook Book and read it on my tablet XD According to them, this issue, standing over, would def. be a 'claiming' behavior. 'This is mine.' Which isn't necessarily dominance or aggression, but it can also be about belonging, which is something that dogs thrive off of.

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Guest blueberri

It's From Shelter to Service Dog, while there isn't actually anything on actual service dog training, like I'd hoped, it was still a very worthwhile read. I got it from B&N as a Nook Book and read it on my tablet XD According to them, this issue, standing over, would def. be a 'claiming' behavior. 'This is mine.' Which isn't necessarily dominance or aggression, but it can also be about belonging, which is something that dogs thrive off of.

 

From watching her since then, this definitely makes the most sense. Very much a "dis is my hooman!" as she does it by standing over our knees when we're seated and she's havin loves. Have also seen her do it when she was uncertain and was seeking reassurance. She is such a love bug :beatheart

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Guest Greyt_dog_lover

My big boy Bart does this all the time with me when I lay down in the back yard after I mow the grass. I think it is actually a guarding behavior, not as in resource guarding, but he is protecting me from others.

 

I would consider the hound's body language when he/she is standing over someone/a hound. Is the hound stiff and staring down at the human/dog, or is the hound relaxed and looking around?

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