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Advice: Understanding Dog Behavior
#1
Hi Guys

As some of you guys probably know I like to run in the morning. I always run past this one particular house, which is guarded by two German Shepherds. One is white (Splotchy) and another one is dark chocolate. I notice the owner doesn't take care of the dogs very well. The dogs are dirty, look sad and kind of unhealthy (Particularly the white one. It has reddish eyes). The owner likes to let the dogs out for a few hours. He let them wander in front of the house by themselves. That's where they pee and poo too.

Now I've been running past this house since year 2009. The white one barked at me on the first month on 2009. But he eventually stopped. Both of the German Shepherd like to sit and watch me run from behind the house gate.

Last year, I stumbled into both of them wandering outside the house. To be safe, I stopped running and walked slowly. The dark chocolate German Shepherd approached me slowly and started to snug/rub his head and body on my legs. The white one just sat and watched his brother. I responded by patting and stroking his head gently. I continued my run after patting the dog for a few minutes. The dark chocolate German Shepherd followed me from behind for few steps and then turned back to his house.

Nowadays the white German Shepherd is no longer hesitant to approach me. But I notice he only becomes comfortable after being 'convinced' by the dark chocolate one.

This morning I stumbled into both of them. As usual the dark chocolate German Shepherd approached me first. The white one followed him from behind. I patted the dark chocolate dog. Suddenly he 'stood up' and tried to give me a hug. He rested his two front paws on my chest. Did his best to balance himself. Once he lost his balance, he stood up again to gave me another hug. In total, he tried to hug me four times. The white one also tried to stand and hug me. I maybe wrong but both of them always look excited when they see me. Particularly today.

Were they really excited to see me or were they just displaying their dominance behavior? They didn't try to bite my face.

Note that I discovered a dead cat in front that house (close to the gate) few months ago. The cat stomach was ripped apart with guts hanging out. I had no idea who did it. Those two dogs or other dogs.

So any advice? Should I continue to pat them if they approach me or should I avoid them by changing my route? Any kind of help is much appreciated.

Note: I don't know much about dogs compare to cats as I am actually forbid to touch and interact with dogs due to culture, race and religion. But since I'm gay and going to end up in hell, I might as well play with dogs.
#2
Everything you've said tells me the darker one is the alpha or leader of that pack. So far, he's been nothing but friendly, though I would make him get off you if he "hugs" you again, just to remind him that you are the boss when you interact with the dogs.

He's trying to say you are welcome in his pack, and the white one, as he should, follows the darker one's lead. They see you as a part of their pack or family. That's good, just make them stay with all fours on the ground, not only does it insure they can't knock you over and remind them you re the boss, it's bad manners for a dog to "hug" people and, doing so could get them in trouble with their owner.

If you ever decide to bring them a toy or treat, make sure you give it to the darker one first. He's the Alpha of the two and, by dog rules, he gets the good things first. He would take it away form the white one if he didn't get his share or get to hold the toy first. And do keep petting him first, thier rules say he has to accept you before the white one can.
#3
As a owner of three male dogs ( 25 kg. 25 kg and 55 kg )I can tell you that 2 are considered as individual dogs with a rank ... 3 are a herd with a strong herd-structure - I can tell you that - If they want to attack you they had done it bevor a while. I don´t like German Shepherds they are mostly a bit guileful when they are not very well trained.
Important is : NEVER show them any fear... If you show fear in front of a dog you are out. Strong voice.... on unknown dogs never at eye level ... always stop, do not run, do not squat down.
Talk to them as you are their owner.
Dog-chocolate can be a help .... give them some chocolate but ONLY after you give them the order to sit down..... they learn it. And so they know that you are a friend... higher in the rank... but not a danger.
It seems that one of them if higher in the rank .... accept that ..thats their own thing ... show them that you accept their ranks..... ever give the rank-higher at first his chocolate..... then the other... thats very important because the Rank-Higher is not interested what the dogs under him do, he just take care that nobody take his place. So you show him that you are much higher in the Rank but accept his strenght and his Rank-place

If they start to growl be careful... but don´t show fear.... stare them into their eyes... as long till they watch away... never watch away first. Dogs feel the fear of a human by the smell of a human... so try that you don´t start to sweat when you have fear....

My three know very well when someone can't act with dogs. My mother-in-law has the opinion that dogs are like kids ... they need a owner like a lovely grandma. Always nice... ever forgiving..... but that is so totally wrong. In the same moment when I leave the room the dogs show her that she is very down in the Rank and that they don´t accept her. She does not understand that dogs are pack animals with clear rules. They want a owner who shows them who is the boss and who protect the pack. Relent is cowardice in the eyes of a dog.
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#4
The Chocolate dog is the Alpha Male, the white one is the submissive. By jumping on you and trying to get to your height or gain height over you, the dogs are trying to dominate you in a way, in another respect they are welcoming you to their 'pack'.

Dogs are creatures of habit, and your habit of running past them has become their habit, in essence you have become part of their routine. Dogs also need discipline for their own good, so I would suggest you give them a low growl as you push them away when they try to jump on you. So basically, you need to place yourself in the role of Alpha male now that they have welcomed you into their pack. ;-)

If you are interested in reading, a great book by Bruce Fogle called 'The Dogs Mind', a brilliant read to help you understand more about dogs that can also be used with other animals as well.
#5
unless you want to take on the dogs and be responsible for them i would avoid them. Its sad to see people who dont take care of things but possession is nine tenths of the claim. Nothing to say the owner has to be a decent provider for his animals.

Clinically speaking there are not a lot of diseases that can bridge species. The proof to this is we eat meat with success. Sorry about your culture and thinking. In any population of humans there has to be a social stop to limit the dog population, lots of issues with un wanted dogs here. And again sad to see thousands of dogs put to death because they are un wanted.

Be careful with your love, let it be unless you can step up.
#6
Thank you Blue, Fen, Daz and Pellaz. I learned a lot from every post. Dogs sound more complicated than cats.

Quote:If you ever decide to bring them a toy or treat, make sure you give it to the darker one first. He's the Alpha of the two and, by dog rules, he gets the good things first. He would take it away form the white one if he didn't get his share or get to hold the toy first. And do keep petting him first, thier rules say he has to accept you before the white one can.

Quote:Dog-chocolate can be a help .... give them some chocolate but ONLY after you give them the order to sit down..... they learn it. And so they know that you are a friend... higher in the rank... but not a danger.

Is it a smart move to bring toy or food to these dogs since I am not the owner? As much as I don't like how these dogs being treated, I don't want to trespass the 'owner's territory'.

Quote:They see you as a part of their pack or family. That's good, just make them stay with all fours on the ground, not only does it insure they can't knock you over and remind them you re the boss, it's bad manners for a dog to "hug" people and, doing so could get them in trouble with their owner.

Quote:Important is : NEVER show them any fear... If you show fear in front of a dog you are out. Strong voice.... on unknown dogs never at eye level ... always stop, do not run, do not squat down. Talk to them as you are their owner.

Quote:Dogs are creatures of habit, and your habit of running past them has become their habit, in essence you have become part of their routine. Dogs also need discipline for their own good, so I would suggest you give them a low growl as you push them away when they try to jump on you. So basically, you need to place yourself in the role of Alpha male now that they have welcomed you into their pack. ;-)

I wasn't scared when the dark chocolate dog hugged me. Was surprised but wasn't scared. I stared directly into his eyes. Then he lost his balance and 'fell'. Then he climbed back and fell again. I took the opportunity to walk away from both dogs when the dark chocolate dog lost his balance. The dark chocolate dog continued to follow me and rub himself around my legs. But I ignored and walked away. I said bye to them though.

So correct me if I'm wrong, I need to push the chocolate dog away if he tries to hug me again? I assume push him away slowly and gently?

And Daz, giving a low growl as in making dog sound?

Quote:unless you want to take on the dogs and be responsible for them i would avoid them. Its sad to see people who dont take care of things but possession is nine tenths of the claim. Nothing to say the owner has to be a decent provider for his animals.

Clinically speaking there are not a lot of diseases that can bridge species. The proof to this is we eat meat with success. Sorry about your culture and thinking. In any population of humans there has to be a social stop to limit the dog population, lots of issues with un wanted dogs here. And again sad to see thousands of dogs put to death because they are un wanted.

Be careful with your love, let it be unless you can step up.

No, I'm not planning to adopt them. I just pat them whenever I stumble into them. So is it best to avoid them all at once? I fear too much interaction will create a closer attachment between the dogs and me. As Fen, Blue and Daz have said, they already accepted me into their pack. I don't want them to be too close to me as I am not their owner.

Thanks for responding to my questions, Blue, Fen, Daz and Pellaz. Very much appreciated.
#7
It the chocolate one tries to hug you again, a firm "NO! Down." then pet him when he puts his fornt feet back on the ground should do it.

No giving them food or toys isn't the best idea but I know people will do it if they think the dog needs it and, they like the dog.

Just remember they are just canine friends that might be gone any day. You don't know how old they are and, accidents do happen to dogs too.
#8
Quote:It the chocolate one tries to hug you again, a firm "NO! Down." then pet him when he puts his fornt feet back on the ground should do it.

No giving them food or toys isn't the best idea but I know people will do it if they think the dog needs it and, they like the dog.

Just remember they are just canine friends that might be gone any day. You don't know how old they are and, accidents do happen to dogs too.

Okay, roger that Blue. I'm sure I will stumble into both of them tomorrow.

Another question, I stumble into this one stray dog around my neighborhood from time to time. I'm not exactly sure what breed. He looks like a Labrador Retriever. He was very skinny (I can see bones on his tummy) and kept looking for food. He walked away when he saw me. I assume he was scared.

Is it wise to try to approach him and to feed him? Will he become dependent on me afterward?
#9
Don't try to feed that stray, unless you want to adopt him and take him home. If you make friends with the lab looking one, and feed it, chances are it will follow you home and expect you to be it's new owner.
#10
Okay got that, Blue. I will not feed the stray as advised.

Thanks very much, Blue.


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