Flashcards in Lecture 4: Canine Social Organization, Communication & Aggressive (Curtis) Deck (53):
"sensitive" periods for dog-dog, dog-human, and for dog to explore novel environment
period of time when animal is plastic and open to new experiences.
dog-dog: 3-8 wks
dog-human: 5-12 wks
novel environment: 10-20 wks
Puppies handled during what age are most responsive to humans?
What happens if puppies are raised only with kittens from 2.5 to 13 wks?
-don't recognize dogs as conspecifics
-prefer to be around cats
What happens if pups separated from mother at 6 wks?
-neg. effect on physical condition
-no superior human bonding created
-at-risk for anxiety-based issues
At what age do pups develop attachment to location and companions?
At what age do pups develop elimination/location preference?
by 8.5 wks
At what age do pups have best response to novel objects?
At what age does stabilization of pup-pup social hierarchy occur?
Best time to adopt puppies
What is ritual signaling?
normal "soft" communication of body language between dogs. Involves ears, tail, head, lips, stance, eye contact, licking, mounting, and urine marking.
4 signs of aggression
snarling, growling, snapping, biting
up and forward ears represents:
down and back ears represent:
*dominant/confident dogs may also lay their ears back to protect them from damage in a fight*
Up tail represents:
midlevel tail represents:
down tail represents:
an up head represents:
Down/turned away head represents:
elevation of the lips w/o retraction of the commissure represents:
dominant aggressive threat
retraction of the commissure with exposure of the teeth represent:
defensive threat, submission
upright/leaning forward stance represents:
crouched stance represents:
what is the most submissive position?
rolling over (lying down = 2nd most)
dominance. Usually is social NOT sexual!
dominance in eyes:
submission in eyes:
looking away, blinking
Dog who urinates over another dog's urine is dominant or submissive?
a form of communication in which info is provided that modifies the meaning of subsequent communication. ex- the "play bow"
deferent = dominant or submissive?
signals of dominance/confidence
-makes/hold eye contact
-body leans forward
-piloerection (hair stands on end)
-standing over/jumping on
signals of submission/anxiety
-ears lowered and turned back
-turns head/body away
-may roll on back
T or F: No treatment for aggression is 100% effective
Aggression directed at humans is almost exclusively related to: *
4 F's that result from fear
fight, flight, freeze, fiddle (ie. lip-licking, yawning)
what is fear aggression? Treatment?
aggression coupled with signals of fear and submission.
Tx options: do NOT punish, avoid situations that are likely to trigger fearful/defensive behavior, classical conditioning, desensitization, counter-conditioning, off-label use of medications
possessive aggression and Tx
dog defends specific items, but otherwise doesn't exhibit aggression. often fear-based.
Tx- remove defended items or desensitization/counter-condition
Tx of territorial aggression
Tx - don't give a territorially aggressive dog a territory to defend! Never leave dog outside alone, DS & CC, classical conditioning
protective aggression and Tx
an extension of territorial aggression. Dog perceives that the owner is threatened.
Tx - avoid situations that dog believes it needs to protect, command control, DS & CC, classical conditioning, collar/harness
post-partum protective aggression of pups. Usually wanes as puppies mature
pain aggression is usually assoc. with what conditions? Tx?
chronic conditions, nail trims, grooming, arthritis, skin conditions
Tx: make medication positive, treat underlying condition
risk factors for predatory aggression? Tx?
loose dogs, history of predatory behavior.
Tx: contain dog, command control, DS & CC, classical conditioning, harness/muzzle, medications
dominance aggression and tx
persistent aggression accompanied by multiple ritual dominance signals directed toward the owner. A "problem of relationships."
Tx: NO punishment, alpha rolling
canine relationships are FLUID, with contextual deference and a continuum of possible scenarios. Disputes usually settled through ritual signalling
Reasons for inter-dog aggression
status-related, fear, arousal, possessive, protective, territorial, redirected, predatory
usually territorial or fear based. Difficult for owners to control
b/w dogs in same household. Most commonly limited to one pair of dogs. More severe than aggression b/w non-housemates. Female-female aggression most severe
Triggers for household aggression
excitement, control over resources, physical proximity, owner presence (esp. when owner SUPPORTS the victim and PUNISHES the aggressor)
When does household aggression usually onset?
-onset of social maturity of younger dog (18-24 mo. old)
-hierarchy not clearly established
-"dominant" dog is aging or ill
increased irritability --> tolerance to conspecifics
Tx for household aggression
-separate dogs when not supervised
-establish owner control
-collars, harnesses, spay/neuter
-stabilize pack hierarchy by identifying and supporting dominant dog
-avoid "mixed signals"
-allow and reward ritualized signaling
-off-label use of medications
Bottom line goal for stopping household aggression
diffuse the situation and to give both of the dogs a way out
Tx for evenly matched dogs who try to both be "top dog"
-randomize order of feeding and handling
-desensitize and counter-condition to each other's proximity
-look for ritualized signals and reward
Prognosis is poorer if: initiator is younger than target, person has been bitten, or aggression is unpredictable