Canine muzzle grab behaviour

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JudyN
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Canine muzzle grab behaviour

Post by JudyN » Tue May 13, 2014 6:32 am

http://ethology.eu/canine-muzzle-grab-b ... -language/

This article suggests that a more self-confident dog will muzzle grab a more insecure one and thus assert its social position. I'm not sure I've ever noticed a muzzle grab, and the explanation here certainly has dominance overtones. Has anyone else here seen and interpreted the behaviour? Could it be related to Jasper's arm-grabbing behaviour when he gets worked up/frustrated?

There's more discussion of the author's approach here: http://naturaldogtraining.com/blog/roge ... dominance/ I haven't read the whole thing but there's plenty to disagree with in his claims :wink: I'm more interested in the behaviour itself though.
Jasper, lurcher, born December 2009

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Nettle
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Re: Canine muzzle grab behaviour

Post by Nettle » Tue May 13, 2014 6:51 am

I'm not saying my own experiences are the be-all and end-all, but I have never seen a b itch muzzle-grab her puppies, and I've never seen muzzle-grab between adult dogs or one adult and one puppy. In fact, I've never seen it dog to dog at all, but many times dog to fox, the situation then being antagonistic rather than 'dominance'.

If we think on it: if the muzzle-grab was normal behaviour we would have a LOT of pet dogs with pock-marked muzzles. Soft puppy skin and adult teeth would leave evidence even if the adult dog applied minimum pressure.

I have seen b itches warn puppies by growling, and have seen the puppies given the closed-mouth punch (but very lightly).

Know what? I've never seen puppies go over backwards in response to their mothers at all. I have never seen puppies go over backwards to each other. I have seen it between puppies and adult dogs they have only just met.


I would like to know more about these studies.
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WufWuf
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Re: Canine muzzle grab behaviour

Post by WufWuf » Tue May 13, 2014 6:58 am

Nettle wrote:I have seen it between puppies and adult dogs they have only just met.
The only dog I've seen do the muzzle grab was a bossy little terrier girl who was put in with some pups as she couldn't be with the adult dogs. She'd do this to the pups and they'd drop like flies around her but she was not being motherly she was a bully and she was also overwhelemed by the swarm of pups.

That KB guy gets my goat so much that I couldn't even bring myself to read the second link :roll: .
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Anatine
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Re: Canine muzzle grab behaviour

Post by Anatine » Tue May 13, 2014 9:57 am

Domestic dogs sometimes approach their owners puffing to them gently with their noses. By grabbing them gently around the muzzle, we reaffirm our acceptance of them. We show self-control and that they can trust us. After being muzzle grabbed for a while, the dog will usually show a nose lick, maybe yawn and then walk calmly away. It’s like the dog saying, “I’m still your puppy” and the owner saying, “I know and I’ll take good care of you.” Yawn back and all is good.
That's not advice that anyone should give... Especially not a 'professional'
I've not seen this behaviour between dogs, but I don't have the years experience of many of the people here. Even if it does happen between two dogs, like those photos show, it should stay between dogs, and we're not dogs.
What a misinforming article.

I do agree with you though Judy, I'd like to know what the behaviour really means

JudyN
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Re: Canine muzzle grab behaviour

Post by JudyN » Tue May 13, 2014 12:34 pm

Anatine wrote:I do agree with you though Judy, I'd like to know what the behaviour really means
Maybe it doesn't 'mean' anything in particular - it's just dogs being mouthy :lol:

We do like to interpret behaviour, don't we? This afternoon Jasper saw his deerhound 'friend' running towards him over the heath, like Heathcliffe towards Cathy, and Jasper lay down. It occurred to me that 'dominance' based dog people would immediately interpret that as Jasper showing submission, but knowing the dogs I'm almost certain it was just Jasper's strategy to avoid Ozzie's relentless sniffing of his boy bits, and to discourage Ozzie from throwing paws at him, practically knocking him off his feet, and trying to get him to play.

We so often see what we want - and expect - to see.
Jasper, lurcher, born December 2009

jacksdad
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Re: Canine muzzle grab behaviour

Post by jacksdad » Thu May 15, 2014 11:55 am

I can't really comment to much on Roger Abrantes or his article. would like more info and supporting arguments, evidence regarding the muzzle grab. I strongly suspect that when it does happen, it may not mean what he is asserting. it might, but my skeptic meter is on pretty high alert right now.

as for the Natural Dog Training Blog. I pretty much write off just about anything this "crowd" has to say on dog behavior. I have read most of founder Kevin Behan Dog is your mirror book, I stopped reading when he talked about hanging a dog off a table see page 147 of the book if you have it, or the google books copy

http://books.google.com/books?id=1eyAbR ... le&f=false

This was his solution to a fear of nail trimming.

many of Kevin's theory's made no sense to me, and that was before I knew what I know now.

JudyN
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Re: Canine muzzle grab behaviour

Post by JudyN » Thu May 15, 2014 12:11 pm

jacksdad wrote: I stopped reading when he talked about hanging a dog off a table see page 147
Jeez.... :shock: Some great logic there :roll: On the other hand, the dog might just have been scared out of his wits and shut down. But that's too simple. (I really wouldn't like to see him try that one on Jasper :lol: )
Jasper, lurcher, born December 2009

jacksdad
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Re: Canine muzzle grab behaviour

Post by jacksdad » Thu May 15, 2014 2:16 pm

the following is just my opinion, take it for all that it is probably not worth....

some of what KB says in his book makes CM looks like a highly trained and educated dog behaviorist.

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