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Please help with doggy school paper...

April 10th, 2005, 03:31 AM
Ok.. I am doing a research paper for an animal behavior class (not as fun as it sounds...) and I decided to research that dominant females prefer to play with intact males and I encountered an issue and I thought I would ask you all for a bit of help. I was thinking of listing the dominance by rank to make it easier for my clueless prof... Keep in mind that the list is very general and there are many many exceptions to it- this is what I got so far:
Most dominant to least dominant:

Dominant Intact Female
Dominant Intact Male (I don't know which one comes first intact male or female)
Dominant Fixed female (2-6 years old)
Dominant Castrated Male (9 months to ~8 years)
Quasi-submissive Castrated male (1.5 years to ~8 years) (quasi because he is generally submissive but gets very dominant when confronted by a dog of a lower rank, but can give in in a fight pretty easily...)
Submissive female (1 year and older)
Submissive males (1.5 to 8 years)
Submissive female (1 year and under)
Submissive males (under 1.5 years old)

(never seen a submissive intact female...)

Is there anything or everything wrong with this list? Is it too much of a generalization? I'm just trying to say that dominant spayed females will prefer to play with intact males or intact females because they are above them in the heirarchy and they benefit more and learn more from them. And that submissive females will play with just about everyone because they are near the bottom of the pack and will learn something beneficial from just about every other dog around.

Any ideas?
Thanks :)
(PS here is my main dominant fixed female test subject...Anything to post the growly pic..)

April 10th, 2005, 09:07 AM
From my limited life experience, it seems to fit. The categories I mean, I don't know if intact females wanna play with intact males since I've never come across that senerio.

I found it intersting that my parents' dog was on the very top of the list and my dog was on the very bottom.

My only issue is that dominence/submission is such a complex issue, it's hard to generalize. For instance, take Cinnamon, a very domiment, intact female. She will try to fight and/or dominate any dog that enters her yard. She won't let other dogs eat from her bowl or lay on her pillow. She's a real hardcase.

But when it comes to people, she's a pussycat. She wags her tail if you even look at her, isn't food agressive, follows every command immediatly, and so forth.

Perhaps she's not people dominent because she was never allowed to be. I don't know much about it really so I can't say.

Lucky Rescue
April 10th, 2005, 11:37 AM
It's a very complex issue, and sexual status (s/n or intact) is not necessarily the deciding factor - breed, socialization, age and of course individual personality all play a part. There are way too many variables to be able to make such generalizations.

In my experience, the most dominant/aggressive dogs are adult intact males, generally speaking of "generic" dogs.

Of course, an adult spayed female pit bull will be more aggressive/dominant than an adult intact male Golden Retriever. In general. Maybe not.:p

April 10th, 2005, 12:19 PM
Thanks guys, that really helps. :)

Cactus Flower
April 10th, 2005, 02:49 PM
I was thinking of listing the dominance by rank to make it easier for my clueless prof.

The professor who is teaching you animal behaviour is clueless?? :eek: ??

April 10th, 2005, 04:16 PM
He studies fish and he doesn't know anything about much else. He's the type that thinks all animals only react on instinct and nothing else. He also chew tobacco all the time and it's incredibly disgusting.

I like to think I know a lot about dog behavior and I had to do an ethogram of dog behavior (basically a list of behaviors, in this case it was for play initiation and aggressive interactions) and I got 65%. It just proved to me that life knowledge and practical knowlede is worth squat in acadamia. Tell some one who has had dogs all her life, worked with dogs in many different ways, that she doesn't know dog behavior. Not very motivating.

I really thought this class would be on animal behaviors and why animals behave the way they do and instead it's just another population ecology course focused just on natural selection. Not very fun.

April 10th, 2005, 04:56 PM
I think you work is really interesting,but agree with Lucky that there are way too many variables to generalize.We've had some submissive intact females in the rescue,and we've had dominant intact females who would happily play with anyone,it all depends.

Lucky Rescue
April 10th, 2005, 05:43 PM
To really study dog behavior, you would be better off watching the interactions of truly natural dogs, like Cape Hunting dogs and see how they behave with no human influence. The fact that they are all intact seems to have no bearing on their relationships and conduct towards each other.

They have a very rigid and strict hierarchy. Alphas seem to be born and not made, and the puppies of high ranking members will be high ranking and dominant themselves, while pups of low ranking members will themselves have that status.

April 10th, 2005, 06:58 PM
You're right but this is just a reseach paper for a 2nd year undergrad course... Nothing too realistic. Most people are watching squirrels or gold fish...

doggy lover
April 10th, 2005, 07:23 PM
I've been doing alot of reading lately, a few problems with Tucker, anyways I'd say an dominant intact male would be the highest. It is like in wolves the alpha male is first, then the alpha female, the rest of the pack fall into different catergories under them. Where are you taking your schooling, I'm kind of interested in taking animal behaviour or training or both. If you want private message me. I'm getting tired of my job fedup with the back biting at least a dog shows its teeth and normally attacks from the front.

April 11th, 2005, 01:30 AM
doggy lover-I pm'd you...
(I'm still up-- halfway done my research paper and then I have to study for a lab exam and then I have to do a lab report. Yey student life.)