Before You Adopt
When people take the time to gain some competency in behavior and ethics, it's good for everyone involved, and it's not asking too much for them to do so.
We need to do all we can to give our companions the very best lives possible because, while it may surprise many people, a large number of companion animals don't get what they want and need from their humans—not only near the end of their lives, but also throughout their cohabitation with humans. We are the lifelines for other animals, and they, each and every individual, totally depend on us for our goodwill and concern for their well-being for as long as we are responsible for them. When they're doing well it's also good for us, and it's a win-win for all. However, even if we have to leave our comfort zone to give them the respect and dignity they deserve as living beings, we are obliged to do so from the moment we become their caregiver. If you don't want to do the work that begins even before an animal becomes your roommate, it's best not to bring it home.
Human involvement in dog-dog interactions can reduce the tendency for neutered companion dogs to engage in agonistic encounters and form dominance relationships. Overall, dominance appears to be applicable to some, but not all, relationships among neutered companion dogs. When dominance relationships are present among dogs (neutered, intact, and/or feral), they tend to be expressed primarily though affiliative displays of submission on the part of the subordinate rather than dominant displays of aggression on the part of the dominant.
It is also now clear that dominance is generally not the cause of bad behavior. This is evident once you know the definition of dominance. In animal behavior, dominance is defined as a relationship between individuals that’s established submission. Human involvement in dog-dog interactions can reduce the tendency for neutered companion dogs to engage in agonistic encounters and form dominance relationships. Overall, dominance appears to be applicable to some, but not all, relationships among neutered companion dogs. When dominance relationships are present among dogs (neutered, intact, and/or feral), they tend to be expressed primarily though affiliative displays of submission on the part of the subordinate rather than dominant displays of aggression on the part of the dominant. With this definition in mind, it is clear that most of the unruly behaviors we see in our pets are not directed toward to a desire to gain higher rank over us.
So what is the root of unruly behavior? The psychology studies on learning and behavior of the last 60+ years have shown us that animals (and humans) behave in undesirable ways because these behaviors have been reinforced. To change behavior we have to remove the rewards for undesirable behavior and focus instead on rewarding good behavior.
The simple approach, along with attention to the nuances of timing, body language, and motivation, forms the basis for establishing a relationship of trust between the human and the pet. Training becomes a joy rather than a chore and the methods open up a whole new connection with your pet.
Not all dogs are unconditional lovers, nor are they all sponges for hugs. When in doubt, don't hug.
The bottom line for me is that hugging a dog is okay when the human gives very careful consideration to who the dog is, their relationship with the individual, and context. It is essential to pay close attention to the overall context in which the hugging is taking place. For example, is the dog nervous? Is there food around? Every single dog with whom I have had the privilege of sharing my home loved hugs from me and some of my friends. However, two of them didn't like hugs from anyone but me when there was a lot of noise; one didn't like anyone close to him when there was food around; and one, who was terrified of thunderstorms, didn't like hugs from anyone at all in the midst of thunder and lightning or shortly thereafter. I needed to know each dog as an individual and respect their differences. And I always told visitors and others about their individual personalities so that everyone could get along just fine.
So a safe rule of thumb to follow, in my humble opinion, is to pay close attention to what you know about the individual dog and what she or he is telling you. And, if you're unsure, don't hug the dog! Better safe than sorry.
Just like people, some dogs love it, some sort of like it, and some may not like the close contact at all. This follows in line with the fact that dogs are not all unconditional lovers nor sponges for hugs, and we need to respect these differences when interacting with them.
Becoming a student of dog behavior would be a win-win for all: It's essential to get things right and to tell the truth
We know so little about what dogs are thinking and feeling when interacting with humans in different situations. Assuming that “we”, either you or WRAR know exactly how a dog will behave in every situation is, well, unreasonable, not to mention, ill-advised.
It is OUR responsibility to notice, be aware, and notice.
Dr. Sophia Lin
Parents generally have little understanding of canine body cues that would indicate a dog might bite. In fact, most parents believe that a dog is responsible for their actions. And complicating matters further, most parents get confused by the good intentions of the child and fail to see when a dog is exhibiting signs of stress.
Actually, Understanding What the Actions that Might Cause the Family Dog to Bite are just Common Sense
In fact, understanding what can drive a dog to bite the family kids is pretty simple. They are the same things that drive humans to need a break from their kids.
Reason 1: For instance, most people dislike it when others stick their grimy hands in their meal. Similarly, dogs want to eat in peace.
Reason 2: We teach children that it’s clearly wrong to steal toys from each other. It’s also rude to steal toys from the dog. Kids should be taught to leave Fido’s toys alone. To build in a tolerance in case the child makes a mistake when your attention has lapsed, dogs should be trained to give up their toy for a reward or even a sequence of rewards. That way, they will willingly give the child the toy instead of feeling possessive. (See Perfect Pup in 7 Days, chapters 1 and 6 .)
Reason 3: Kids frequently can’t help but get in your face. They often have to be trained to maintain the appropriate social distance. Similarly, putting your face into a dog’s face, even if it’s all in the family, can be irritating to the dog, especially when the dog has no control over the child’s behavior.
Reason 4: Most people dislike being disturbed when they are resting or sleeping. But fortunately for us humans, we can often close or lock our bedroom door. Similarly, dogs need a safe location where they can be away from kids and excitement. Kids should avoid bugging them in their “private” location or any
time they are sleeping or resting. If they call the dog from far away and the dog chooses to get up and come over to the child, this type of interaction is okay. But if the dog chooses to be left alone, he should be.
Reason 5: Kids dislike being handled roughly, and so do dogs. Dogs can be trained to tolerate or sometimes even enjoy this handling, so that they are not reactive when an accident occurs (See Perfect Puppy in 7 Days, chapters 1 and 6), but in general children should be taught to be polite.
Reason 6: It’s rude to climb on, step on, or otherwise invade someone’s personal space. It’s also rude to do the same things with dogs.
Reason 7: Loud screaming can frazzle humans, imagine its effect on the more sound-sensitive dog!
Reason 8: We often forget that even some friendly gestures, such as pinching a child’s cheeks, may be irritating. In general, dogs dislike being hugged, even by family members. You can tell by the expression on their face. (See the Body Language of Fear and Anxiety in Dogs poster and chapter 7 in Perfect Puppy in 7 Days.) You can train dogs, especially as puppies, to enjoy cuddling and hugging (See Perfect Puppy In 7 Days chapters 1 and 6) and other close handling. But even so, it’s important for children to know the types of interactions their pet likes and also to realize that other dogs may not have the same tolerance as their dog does.
The FACT is that a bite often occurs because humans, especially children, are extremely rude. https://drsophiayin.com/blog/entry/kids-and-dogs-how-kids-should-and-should-not-interact-with-dogs/- Dr. Sophia Lin Kids and Dogs: How Kids Should and Should Not Interact with Dogs July 18, 2011. Cattle Dog Publishing