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Bailey so far stays in our kitchen/dining room area (all open) and is never with us in the living room. We have too many toys laying around and that's the reason she can't be in the living room. She only goes up to the second floor at night when we go to bed, she sleeps in the crate next to our bed.
I am sure when she's older we will let her in the living room and even on the couch. So far when I want to snuggle with her I will lay on her big bed with her.
 

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I'm always mystified by the "dominance" argument about letting dogs on furniture. We've never had even the shadow of a "dominance" problem, and our dogs are allowed on the couch and are occasionally invited up on the bed. They have to get down when we say "off," no exceptions, and we turn them away if they jump up without "asking," so they learn they have to come ask before we let them up.

Frankly, I think a dog learns a lot more obedience by working on a good "off" command than by not getting on the couch at all. By all means, keep your dog off the couch if you don't want hair and dirt on the furniture, but as a means of asserting your "dominance," I think it's a bit silly.
That's because you have never had a dog who was acting "dominant". My Jasmine is a good case in point. Even as a puppy, when she would get up on the sofa and I would tell her "off" she would growl or snap at me. Then, a few years later, when she would sleep with my son, if he bumped her when he turned over, she would growl and snap at him. So I researched NILIF and started using it with her. Since she was "demoted" and not allowed on the couch or in my son's bed, the growling and snapping has gone away. Her behavior has improved immensely and now she would never dream of growling or snapping at us, and she asks permission to get on my sofa. Though she can get on her sofa any time she wants. Until you have dealt with the behavior, you can't really know. And to call it a bit silly is rather condescending in my opinion.
 

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That's because you have never had a dog who was acting "dominant". My Jasmine is a good case in point. Even as a puppy, when she would get up on the sofa and I would tell her "off" she would growl or snap at me. Then, a few years later, when she would sleep with my son, if he bumped her when he turned over, she would growl and snap at him. So I researched NILIF and started using it with her. Since she was "demoted" and not allowed on the couch or in my son's bed, the growling and snapping has gone away. Her behavior has improved immensely and now she would never dream of growling or snapping at us, and she asks permission to get on my sofa. Though she can get on her sofa any time she wants. Until you have dealt with the behavior, you can't really know. And to call it a bit silly is rather condescending in my opinion.
So you cured her "dominance" simply by changing the rules about the couch?

I'm not pooh-poohing NILIF in general, but I don't see how getting on the couch translates as being in charge in a dog's mind.

and PS - how do you know I've never dealt with a dominant dog?
 

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The only problem I really have with Lucy sleeping with us is that sometimes when she cuddles up on me, she's such a heavy sleeper, I can't get her to move when I need to move. It's like dead doggy weight on me. I also have to admit that I sort of like it too, because I'm her mom.
 

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So you cured her "dominance" simply by changing the rules about the couch?

I'm not pooh-poohing NILIF in general, but I don't see how getting on the couch translates as being in charge in a dog's mind.

and PS - how do you know I've never dealt with a dominant dog?
Because you said you "never had a shadow of a dominance problem". That would lead me to believe you have never dealt with a dominant dog.

As you know, male dogs try to pee higher on the tree than the dog before them did. Some dogs fall over because they lift their leg so high.

Elevated in height= elevated in status in some dogs. With some dogs, that means being on the same level as the person, with others, it means being higher than the person. I never said being on the couch translated to being in charge, but that she growled and snapped when she was allowed on the couch and bed. The growling and snapping stopped when she was no longer in an elevated position. Now she is allowed when she asks permission. And there is no longer any growling or snapping.
 

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Fostermom - the peeing on the tree thing - that would explain why it's not a dominance thing with Duke. He pees like a horse. He's always wondered how dogs pee on a tree - he sniffs and sniffs and then pees like a horse. We just figured it's because that's his role model - 2 geldings. lol
 

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Elevated in height= elevated in status in some dogs. With some dogs, that means being on the same level as the person, with others, it means being higher than the person. I never said being on the couch translated to being in charge, but that she growled and snapped when she was allowed on the couch and bed. The growling and snapping stopped when she was no longer in an elevated position. Now she is allowed when she asks permission. And there is no longer any growling or snapping.
I'm not really arguing against your experience. I think people tend to see dog training in terms of "dominance" way too much. Certainly, if a dog is defending a space aggressively, I wouldn't let the dog have the space. I'm still not so convinced about the elevation issue, but I respect your experience on that one.

We can definitely agree that training them to ask permission and to cede a space when asked are good things that help establish human leadership.
 

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I'm not really arguing against your experience. I think people tend to see dog training in terms of "dominance" way too much. Certainly, if a dog is defending a space aggressively, I wouldn't let the dog have the space. I'm still not so convinced about the elevation issue, but I respect your experience on that one.

We can definitely agree that training them to ask permission and to cede a space when asked are good things that help establish human leadership.
Which is why I used "dominance" in quotation marks. I also don't feel that it's necessarily dominance, but it was with Jasmine an effort to become higher in the pack hierarchy. So we were establishing human leadership.

Fostermom - the peeing on the tree thing - that would explain why it's not a dominance thing with Duke. He pees like a horse. He's always wondered how dogs pee on a tree - he sniffs and sniffs and then pees like a horse. We just figured it's because that's his role model - 2 geldings. lol
Dukes Momma, that is Danny to a T! Except up at the lake. I have no idea what pees up there, but it's the only time/place that he actually lifts his leg. Otherwise he assumes the gelding stance and lets loose! LOL
 

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Which is why I used "dominance" in quotation marks. I also don't feel that it's necessarily dominance, but it was with Jasmine an effort to become higher in the pack hierarchy. So we were establishing human leadership.
I see what you mean. The average dog might not see it as confusing in the hierarchy, but in one that's defending the space aggressively or fearfully, you have to deny them that space temporarily in order to help sort out that confusion. Can we agree on that?
 

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I see what you mean. The average dog might not see it as confusing in the hierarchy, but in one that's defending the space aggressively or fearfully, you have to deny them that space temporarily in order to help sort out that confusion. Can we agree on that?
Yes.

I will even go further to say that she has an alpha personality. She is the alpha over my boys (the dogs, not my son) and any fosters that come in. So I think with her, maybe it was a bit of she was born to be an alpha and didn't quite know how to translate that into living with humans that didn't allow her to be that way with them. So we taught her that she would not be alpha with us, but we would allow her to be so with the other dogs. She was never fearful, and not really what I would ever have called aggressive because she never bit us, just snapped at us. Now she is the happiest, wiggliest girl you could ever meet.

And I do agree, she is not dominant. Especially not in a Cesar Milan sense of the word.
 
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