Sunday, June 5, 2011

Predatory Drift

On the subject of predatory drift; can we agree that dog drifting over the line has a hair trigger compared to the dog that can engage in stimulating or competitive play without losing it.

Some breeds come by a lower threshold of stimulation genetically. Hmm, pits come immediately to mind.

My experience is that in many cases; the drifter has been trained with coercive techniques.

The other important factor in my opinion is young dogs need to develop social skills beyond the litter box. A litter bully needs to learn consequences to uncontrolled behavior. If a puppy like this has no further contact with others from leaving the litter mates it beat up until adulthood that dog has not learned the social pressure of self control. Does that make sense?

In street dogs I’ve seen groups of males interlope another dog’s spot. I could see the rage in the face of the dog whose space was invaded. The boys swarm around and may jostle the home dog. Home dog wisely tolerates the intrusion. Watching these dogs has taught me how na├»ve our dogs are when it comes to social skills or dog language.

Canine social skills are impaired by isolation during maturation.

Finally, we introduce dogs one on one. Two dogs without the skills acquired in adolescence are better when they get to know each other without one of them having his buds to back him up. A month later the new dog is friends with these dogs. The first dog jostles new dog, who can now respond without the dogs backing up the other dog, so now you get the one on one. It’s fast and it can be ugly.

Predatory drift is not a mystery. I believe it follows these threads. What do you think?

1 comment:

  1. You said:
    "Canine social skills are impaired by isolation during maturation."

    I fully agree and feel that's an important point that many people and dog books do not take into account. And, in severe cases, they may never advance very far. It's often easier to take a feral dog who lived with a pack and socialize them, then many hoarder and ignored dogs. You just need to understand the social skills related to a pack upbringing.

    However, I do not associate a hair trigger with predatory behavior. I just haven't seen that. Far more often with abused dogs.