I have now read two different views on approaching your dog and giving affection and having a dog come to you asking for affection.

At first I was under the impression when a dog comes to you for affection, you ignore it, only when he is called do you reward the dog with affection. Otherwise they are always in control when they are to get rubbed / love.
I then read how to train a dog by Gaby Popper - and he states that you should not go to a dog and give affection, that is beta asking alpha for approval, instead whenever the dog comes to you give love and affection has beta is coming to alpha to see if he belongs.

My dog comes to me all the time and rests he head on my lap during whatever I do, if I am seated. I was loving on him, and then ignoring him and waiting for him to leave then calling him and loving him.

Thoughts?
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I then read how to train a dog by Gaby Popper - and he states that you should not go ... the dog comes to you give love and affection has beta is coming to alpha to see if he belongs.

I really don't think that this alpha wolf crap is an appropriate way to describe dog behavior to new dog owners. While yes, dogs care about pack structure, excessive and heavy-handed concern about it tends to lead to all sorts of idiotic nonsense that can undermine your relationship with your dog rather than enhance it. In my experience all it takes is showing your dog good leadership, where "good" means consistent, clear (unambiguous), and continuing training. Don't reward bad behavior and do reward good behavior, and grab a few minutes here and there every day to work with him on his training even if you don't have specific performance goals in mind. I want my dogs to want to come to me no matter what, and I can't imagine training them to do otherwise.

Melinda Shore - Software longa, hardware brevis - (Email Removed)

Tell your Congressman that you want Don Young's Way built in Louisiana, not Alaska
My dog comes to me all the time and rests he head on my lap during whatever I do, if I am seated. I was loving on him, and then ignoring him and waiting for him to leave then calling him and loving him.

some dogs can be obnoxious about soliciting attention. if it's a problem, then it needs to be addressed. if it's not a problem, then there's no reason to create one.
when my dog thinks it's time to go outside or to eat, she'll come to me and push her head into my lap. she's kind of obnoxious about it, but she usually has, i think, a valid point. when she does it just for attention, i either tell her to knock it off or i pet her. it's no big deal either way, and i see no reason to subject her to any hard and fast rules about whether or not she's allowed to solicit attention.
Thoughts?

yes. i think the alpha model is frequently misunderstood and misapplied. i'd be leery of any source that relied too heavily on it.

shelly
http://www.cat-sidh.net
http://cat-sidh.blogspot.com /
I have now read two different views on approaching your dog and giving affection and having a dog come to you asking for affection...

The answer might be different for service dogs. The answer might also be different for people who's dog(s) are the only source of affection, and the only recipient(s) of their affection. My dogs are merely my companions: that's all I need for them to be. When they ask for affection, they get it, nearly 100% of the time. I'm rarely too busy to deny them. Sometimes, I go to them because, I Aways consider it an exchange of affection: not merely a matter of giving affection.
All three of my dogs are neutered males; two Shelties and a Chow Chow mix. I believe they are clear on who the alpha is and its not either of them. Its not easy to pet all three of them simultaneously;. Fortunately, they like different forms of expression. The Chow Chow mix loves any form of attention. The 18 pound Sheltie loves being held, petted and sleeping next to me. The 26 pound Sheltie is not quite two years old, and the youngest of the three. He likes petting, but rarely comes for affection.

Melinda expressed my thoughts: "I want my dogs to want to come to me no matter what, and I can't imagine training them to do otherwise."
When I die, I want to go where dogs go!
when my dog thinks it's time to go outside or ... rules about whether or not she's allowed to solicit attention.

It's my house, my dog, and my rules.

of course.
And the rules are hard, fast, and entirely consistent.

what you describe below sounds neither hard, nor fast, nor consistent, from a dog's point of view. not that that's inherently a big deal. IME dogs are smart and tend to be incredibly sensitive to their people's emotional state, so they are perfectly capable of picking up on such
inconsistencies.
If he solicits attention, and I want to give it, I'll give it. If I don't, I won't. And If ... that with a minimum of fuss. Which he hasn't, always, though he's getting better at it as he gets older.

are you agreeing with me or disagreeing? because, what you are actually describing does not seem substantially different from what i described.

shelly
http://www.cat-sidh.net
http://cat-sidh.blogspot.com /
shelly (Email Removed) said in
are you agreeing with me or disagreeing? because, what you are actually describing does not seem substantially different from what i described.

Some of Jeff's early responses to me were such agreements and I spent some time trying to figure out what my response should be, especially considering that I agreed with him (seemingly agreeing with me).

Matt. Rocky's a Dog.
I have now read two different views on approaching your dog and giving affection and having a dog come to ... the dog comes to you give love and affection has beta is coming to alpha to see if he belongs.

I really don't think it is that simple. Even clear alpha dogs will approach lower dogs for attention they want, initiating play for example. I think worrying about how dogs might interpret any one behavior is a lot less important than your overall relationship. Does your dog tell you what to do or do you tell him what to do? If he thinks he can tell you the way things should be in general, fix that in any way it crops up. If not, whether he can approach you for attention won't make that much difference in either direction, IMO.

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar and sometimes a dog seeking affection is just a dog saying he likes your attention, which isn't a bad thing in and of itself.
My dog comes to me all the time and rests he head on my lap during whatever I do, if I am seated. I was loving on him, and then ignoring him and waiting for him to leave then calling him and loving him.[/nq]I think if you want to be sure you are not reinforcing any inappropriate uppity thinking, I think it would be better for you to have your dog do something before petting him. Right now, he is putting his head in your lap, which interrupts a lot of things you might be doing. You respond to his request by loving on him. If you want it to be more on your terms, ask him for a sit or a down or something before loving on him. But, as I said, if your dog isn't bossy or uppity with you, I don't think you need to do anything other than love on him, not even ignoring him and then calling him back for more.

Molly is kind of anxious at times and likes to come up and smile and wag at me. I pet her and talk to her and she wags more and smiles bigger and then she goes off and does her thing. Other times, I call her over and talk to her and pet her because I want to. We're both happy and she still obeys my rules. She doesn't seem to be trying to figure out if she has just reinforced or undermined my status. It's pretty obvious she just likes to be around me and to show and be shown that we like each other and feel a bond with each other.

If she develops a bad attitude or gets pushy with me, then I'll take steps to know that it has to be on my terms, not hers, but until then, it ain't broke and I ain't worried about fixing it.
It is more important to me, personally, that the dogs not get in the way than it is that they know their place. They know their place just from everyday life, so I don't worry about whether being able to ask me for lovies makes them think they are alpha or beta or anything else. But since I don't want a dog head in my computer or book or whatever, I would not pet a dog who put a head in my lap.

I'd tell her "get back" (which is all purpose here for back up and give me some space or get out of the way) and give her the affection she wanted after she had backed up and taken her head off my lap. But that's just a personal preference. If you don't mind that signal and he isn't trying to take over the household, go with it and enjoy.

Paula
"Anyway, other people are weird, but sometimes they have candy, so it's best to try to get along with them." Joe Bay
I have now read two different views on approaching your dog and giving affection and having a dog come to ... you reward the dog with affection. Otherwise they are always in control when they are to get rubbed / love.

When my daughter was two years old, she would sometimes just come running up to me to give me a hug and say "I love you". Stay for a minute or two and then go on to something else. Sometimes she would be a little tired and want to crawl up in my lap or up on her father's shoulder for a little cuddle.
We never once thought that she was trying to become Alpha. Why would I assume that of my dogs?
~~Judy
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