Someone called Tessa dominant today-LOL -blows my mind-but have questions

Discussion in 'Tibetan Mastiff' started by Catia, May 19, 2014.

  1. Doggyhelpplease

    Doggyhelpplease Well-Known Member

    My dog does this with her bigger friends that she knows well all the time and it probably started around that age Tessa is or just before (she is 17months now mine). "She is going for the throat-with her whole mouth" She doesn't care when her friends do it to her either and her GS friend doesn't even bite half as soft as my dog but mine never cries or corrects her so I figure she is fine with it. They are watched all the time and have been playing this way for awhile. She doesn't do this with dogs she just met or anything but maybe Tessa needs some regular friends she can get a little rougher with?

  2. kbuchanan66

    kbuchanan66 Well-Known Member

    I thought I would input my own experience with my own dogs.

    I have a 10 year old Lab (Duke) who is a "pin to play & for the Jugglar" pooch. He always successfully pins Barron (Rott/Mastiff) who is a good 25lbs heavier and 8 years younger. Duke is a VERY laid back old man only getting excited for walks/car rides. He puts up with a lot from Barron, cats, kids and even myself/hubby.

    Here is the thing about Duke he is dominant with bigger male dogs in a quiet & non focused way. Sounds contradicting? It is confusing as people think Duke Is just playing as no sound and no rigid body language comes out....but this is where I know he is being Dominant as when he plays he does get vocal and slightly bouncy & focused. Duke will pin stranger male dogs that are bigger than him and hold them down by the throat and he does it quick and obviously with some sort of menacing energy that people cant pick up on but dogs can and the usually stay down with out much fuss. He has NEVER reached Dominant Aggressive as I have never let it escalate and honestly I do not think Duke does it for a fight but for hierarchy

    Anyways my point is my dog is totally backwards body language wise from normal dogs. Does Tessa's body language/Play differ in any way from a normal play date to those instances where she throat thrashes?
  3. Catia

    Catia Well-Known Member

    Her body language isn't necessarily 'backwards'-just *barely perceptible* when playing.

    She doesn't do the play bows, I think it may be a hind end issue-that's a discussion for another day.

    Anyway, you know when a dog gets a hold of one of their toys & shakes it so violently you just sort of watch in awe that they can shake it like that?
    That's what the thrashing for the throat looks like.

    In each instance: The other dog is on their back belly up-Tessa is full on top-either standing over them full body-or laying on top full body-
    Yesterday the other pooch was trying to get away-feet kicking in the air-wiggling in a let me go type of way. I immediately pulled her. She was in a low growl, and immediately I put her in a sit a few feet away.
    she relaxed immediately. The other pooch stayed away for a minute, then came back for more.

    Initially, from the start, he was doing that jump on your back thing to Tessa & was more high energy. Tessa doesn't like that.
    I think Tessa says "hey, I might be submissive--but I'm not THAT submissive".

    I think there's some thing where she will be totally submissive to me-but is getting to a point age-wise where being the totally submissive dog with every dog isn't her 'thing' ...So she'll go soft as soon as I intervene, but that's for me--Is that just me being stupid?

    Also, after thinking about it for a couple of days, she DID do this as a puppy, with other full sized dogs, & they let her.
    There was the instance I mentioned where I pulled her when a small pup (40lbs)-because she wouldn't let up.

    Also--She DID do this to her favorite boy retriever--and drew blood--but it was her own--she lost a tooth on him!
    I remember the owner seeing blood on his mane when we were leaving & looking at me really concerned/panicked--blood really shows on a golden. I started checking Tessa-- I looked Tessa over & saw the tooth hole bleeding & showed him--I was all "I'm so sorry--she's teething & just lost another, it's her blood, no one is hurt, I'm really sorry" .
    The look of relief on his face was obvious.

    Her body language with her favorite buddy is the most I have ever seen & she really likes to mimick things he does, she gets really expressive, & he is so sweet, it's just a relief to see her choose to mimick him.
    It is because she watched him be told to stop at the entrance of the field by his owner that she learned to do it to--just took her seeing him do it once.
  4. Hector

    Hector Well-Known Member

    Maybe you find something in these videos:







  5. ruthcatrin

    ruthcatrin Well-Known Member

    i wouldn't be surprised
  6. Catia

    Catia Well-Known Member

    --That very 1st video "Sammy handles dominating dog" is almost an exact copy of what occurred with Tessa & the 'offensive female retriever'--in terms of how she did what she did.

    Tessa would be the rottie, & the female retriever was the other dog(is that a pointer? that's a pretty dog).

    So am I correct in understanding that was Tessa performed was a correction & nothing more?

    Tessa did that flip of the retriever, & was initially standing over, & thrashing at the throat--then Tessa put full body weight on & pinned her head full to the ground-with her mouth around the retriever's throat-
    Tessa wasn't as mild as Sammy the rottie was-

    *BUT* this was the 1st time Tessa ever corrected a dog, 1st time she ever needed to. So Tessa's not experienced in doing this-
    It is obvious that rottie has experience & has has great control & patience.

    Stepping when I did, in theory--should have served 2 purposes--1 it allowed Tessa to perform her full correction--sending the message to the retriever--
    & #2--Letting Tessa know where my limit was for this type of interaction.
    But of course, I am human, so it's all just theory.

    I gave a short break (sit & relax)--but after the break--the retriever did just what that pointer did--the jumping on her in a dominating fashion, so Tessa corrected again, a partial 2nd, but the pooch wiggled free, then the 3rd & final correction was 'heavier' that the 1st & I pulled her & decided no more play-
    -that female retriever was not going to have manners & didn't take the message.

    Honestly, when the man started calling Tessa 'very dominant' I thought it was ridiculous, but decided not to engage in a whole dissertation because if the man had a clue from the start, the whole thing would not have occurred. He did not even allow me time to make a decision before he set his ill mannered but friendly dog loose & running.

    Most simplistic comment I can make is for this situation is:
    Stupid dog owner with no clue sets dog free-- since that dog is friendly--without my permission to approach.
    Offending dog tried to dominate from the onset-
    Tessa made necessary corrections properly, offending dog didn't take the message 1st 2 times.
    Stupid dog owner blames Tessa because his dog is an ass who won't take a message.
    Tessa did not display ANY dominant behavior until the corrections took place.

    Had the 'dominant' crap not been brought up by the guy, I honestly wouldn't have even given time for a 2nd thought--
    He was so accusatory-& I 2nd guessed myself & Tessa.
    The accusation seemed so ABSURD--since Tessa is by far the most submissive/butter soft dog I have ever owned.

    The food for other thought is now this...Tessa did her 1st corrections-with that retriever-& seemed to gain some deserved 'glee' from it.

    So now she's testing the move with other pooches...Like a 140lb rottie, who gave a yelp because she was too rough when she pinned him.
    The part I forgot to mention was that this rottie was wearing one of those pointy stud collars--2-3 inches wide with 3 rows of pointy metal studs.
    She couldn't get full throat contact so went to the ears/cheeks when she pinned him & he wasn't hurt, he gave the small yelp like pups do when playing & the other nips too hard. He does dominate her, but takes turns & will go belly up for her.
    He's intact, so play will eventually lead to him attempting to mount, but he's a good boy & will stop on command, but Tessa doesn't like it one bit when he starts that business, which is usually within about 3-5 min of we break it up a lot.
  7. Siloh

    Siloh Well-Known Member

    That rottie did awesomely. That's similar to how my little hound would correct a dog, except she doesn't have the mass and will be more intense in pinning with her mouth from the side since she can't really get on top of most dogs. I've never felt she was dominant, quite the opposite. I call her the top dog of our pack, but it's because she is an effective leader and does not seem to really display rank drive so much as she has a drive to keep everyone polite.

    Sidenote: that min pin needed to get out of there. :(

    "Nothing is neither good nor bad, but thinking makes it so."
    Hamlet Prince of Denmark

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