Everything under control! The world order is restored.
It is possible that the dog is staring at us and barking because he has learned that he will succeed and get his chewing stick. It may be that he tries all kinds of pleasant and unpleasant behaviors to get the chewing stick because he has learned that there is usually a chewing stick at this time of year, and that he conducts his expectations – which we have raised – and his frustration through the delay, must express in some way.
It could also be that the dog underbuttered another dog because he came too close, because he felt harassed, because all polite attempts to keep another dog off his neck have not been fruitful in his previous life, so that he has learned again that he is much more successful if he behaves more vehemently.
He may not let the other dog into the kitchen because the kitchen is an important resource for him that he does not want to share.
Perhaps he scans the environment and “controls” it because he feels insecure and fears that the sky will fall on his head.
Why simple when it can be complex?
It can all be. We don’t know that either, because the dog cannot speak. We can only watch him and draw our conclusions. The interpretation “he wants to control me” is admittedly a seductive one, because it appears simple and not as complex as an interpretation based on data collection and research into the causes. And we often like it simple, don’t we?
But since when has anything in life been simple ??? ?
The topic of “control” simply does not occur in my train of thought, because on the one hand I never feel controlled by my dogs, any more than I feel controlled by other people because I do my own thing anyway. On the other hand, it just doesn’t get me anywhere. I would sit e.g. B. in the loo and felt uncomfortable if my dogs were wrong, the only question I would ask myself was what I could do to change the behavior. So the next time I would just lock them out, or rather teach them to lie relaxed in the basket as soon as I went to the toilet. But I literally miss my ass, whether my dogs are in the loo and, above all, why they do it, because obviously they don’t get stressed there, they are fine. And me too, by the way …
Data collection instead of a drawer
And of course the emotion behind the behavior plays an important role. Of course, the dog cannot name them either. But I can make an effort and try to find out about my knowledge of dog body language. Because this gives me a lot of signals that would then allow a reasonably valid interpretation.
Does my dog follow me to the loo because of separation stress or because he is bored? Two very different motivations, based on different emotions, expressed in different body language displays and which would therefore also entail different training approaches.
The question of whether the dog wants to control me, on the other hand, offers me no added value at all, at most a comfortable drawer in which I can put him.
In addition, the word is very negatively used in our world, and in the case of dog training, it is almost always accompanied by an aversive approach – just like the one mentioned above. Imputing dominance or stubbornness. The dog is forced to give up its behavior through rigor, fear, inhibition or pressure with the aim of submitting it to the will of man. For this reason alone, the word is banished from my vocabulary.
So if the dog molests others, I first try to understand why he does it. Then I take care of good training conditions and train him an alternative behavior, with which he can keep other dogs stress-free from everyone’s neck.
Does it bother me that my dogs are loudly demanding their chewing stick, then I teach them to lie down in the basket instead and rest.
If my dog wants to keep someone else out of the kitchen, I am working on their resource problems.
Does it bother me that my dog stands on my feet, then I teach him that it is also worthwhile for him to stay next to him or put on winter boots.
And if it annoys me that my dog is constantly scanning the area, I analyze whether he might feel unsafe and give him more security so that he can feel more comfortable.
The whole thing is actually not that complex. And I personally live much calmer when I don’t have to worry about whether my dog wants to control me and is about to take over the world?