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Strandner, Johanna, 2014. Social struktur och dominans hos hund. First cycle, G2E. Skara: SLU, Dept. of Animal Environment and Health (until 231231)



The dog (Canis lupus familiaris) is the first species ever domesticated. They can develop a close bond towards other dogs, almost like a relationship among siblings, which can be a high valuable resource for good relations and cooperation’s.
Dominance in dogs is sometimes used to explain undesired behaviors and explained as a personality trait. Dominance though, is not a trait in a dog or a source for undesired behaviors, but can rather be explained as a relationship between individuals, were one of them receives more submissive signals from the other. A dog’s social status is not permanent and can change in different groups of dogs, because the social status depends on how many submissive interactions the individual receives from others. Older individuals receive more submissive signals and are more often seen in a high social status position, why the social status appears to be related to age. Dominance is most often displayed when a dog returns to the group after being separated, and then receives submissive signals from conspecifics. Interestingly, dominance appears without aggression contrary to what sometimes is used when training dogs showing undesired behaviors such as aggression. When aggression is displayed among dogs, it is because there is competition about recourses such as food. Despite competitive situations, aggression is not a winning strategy. Dogs seem to behave carefully when around individuals expressing agonistic behavior, why aggression is not an advantage. Similar to the dog, the wolf does not have a permanent social status either. In the wolf pack, the breeding pair works as a family mum and dad and nor in this composition aggression has been observed to contain social status.

Dogs use almost their entire body when communicating with conspecifics. The ears, nose, body posture, tail, lips and eyes are all parts of their signaling system. But dogs’ morphology can complicate the signaling and receiving of signals between individuals resulting in conflicts between them caused by confusion. Long hair over their eyes and face can confuse other dogs by making it hard for them to determine the dog’s attention and signals.

The result of this literature study can be a valuable resource when educating dog owners how to handle their dog and avoid fear aggression and aggression as self-defense, caused by wrong training methods when working with undesired behaviors. That by the information about dominance in dog and that it is not about being hard and aggressive, but that individual that dogs want to follow. The information by the result can be used when holding groups of dogs as well. That by creating groups with the best conditions for good relations among the dogs.

Main title:Social struktur och dominans hos hund
Authors:Strandner, Johanna
Supervisor:Axelsson, Helene
Examiner:Gunnarsson, Stefan
Series:Studentarbete / Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet, Institutionen för husdjurens miljö och hälsa
Volume/Sequential designation:600
Year of Publication:2014
Level and depth descriptor:First cycle, G2E
Student's programme affiliation:VK002 Ethology and Animal Welfare - Bachelor's Programme 180 HEC
Supervising department:(VH) > Dept. of Animal Environment and Health (until 231231)
Keywords:hund, dominans, social struktur, interaktioner, varg
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Animal husbandry
Deposited On:26 Mar 2015 13:51
Metadata Last Modified:26 Mar 2015 13:51

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