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Someone put up this link the other day (on the Border Collies thread) and I have only just got round to reading it all.

I found the last two articles very interesting, as they follow more or less what I have suspected all along....Aggression breeds Aggression. So by "Dominating" a dog, you could be causing long term problems which were previously non existent.

Anyway I just thought you lot might like to read it for yourselves, if like me you missed it earlier. :wink:

Scroll down to last two articles
 

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Jules I am much more comfortable with this way of looking at training than the old dominance theories, it never did make sense and I think was just based on our own misinterpretations of canine body language and behaviour.

It's why I posted this a little while ago, as I really do feel that Ceasar Milan is creating ticking time bombs :(

http://www.labradorforums.co.uk/ftopict-63586-.html

Whether the petition will do any good, I doubt it, but it's always worth a try!
 

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ASK WHY? of those ‘behaviourists’ who persist in deploying those long out-of-date ‘dominance reduction’ and one-size-fits-all ‘nothing in life is free’ programmes in the name of behavioural therapy. Why are they telling you to ignore and thus punish your dog? Don’t they know that this threatens the bond you have with your dog and potentially inflicts huge psychological damage on him?
Mmm. Like many things, I cant help thinking that the article bounces too far in the other direction. But again, I think the net makes the world seem overly small. We are not all the same and dont all work in the same way. For example, I have many times recommended using NILIF techniques and used the way I tell people it is reward based. The reward comes from giving me the action I want. For example, I might tell a dog to sit before giving food, the dog sits and is rewarded with food. This does not mean that I would withhold food because the whole principal of the thing is that the dog knows what is happening and that he/she is controlling the situation. Or maybe I demand a sit before putting a lead on, and of course, the reward here is going for a walk. Even the action of stopping when doing heelwork and the dog gets in front is a NILIF technique, the payment for being in the right place is that we continue on our walk. What can be wrong with that? It talks about prong collars and electric collars in the same breath as NILIF I simply cannot understand! Certainly if someone is using NILIF in a way comparable to an electric collar they are not using it in the way I could ever imagine comparable to the way I advocate it. I have never, in all the articles I've read about it, ever seen punishment advocated in a NILIF program!

Dont throw the baby out with the bath water. No of course there is no "One size fits all." but people are talking on that site about things which almost never happen amongst thinking trainers in the UK.

Regards, John
 

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I agree with John.

This article would have us allow the dog to dominate and be pack leader. I don't like cruelty in any form but to adopt a passive training method gives all the wrong signals. Have you ever tried telling a child not to touch a naked flame? What happens. For safety alone dogs need to have a frame work of rules. Can you imagine a wolf pack with no leader and no rules?
 
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I have to agree with John about the NILIF method. I have never seen it used in an aggressive or negative fashion. I view it in much the same way as Clicker Training....I ask for an action and the dog is rewarded when it does it :? . Perhaps NILIF is used in some way I don't know about....maybe it is referring to all that "ignoring" the dog or shutting it out of the room to think about it's actions, which a certain so called behaviourist/trainer seems to recommend as a one size fits all Fix. Anyway, that is not the way I would describe it and I can see nothing wrong in rewarding an asked for behaviour and witholding that reward if the dog doesn't comply. :?

What I was getting at in my OP was the strange advise given out by many trainers about having to dominate you dog from the word go. One of the reasons I WON'T be going back to the Training School I used to go to, is that they still give the talk to all the new puppy owners about NEVER allowing your dog to exit a door before you, NEVER to allow your dog on the sofa or bed, NEVER walk round your dog ask it to move instead, NEVER allow your dog to walk ahead of you... because if you do, your dog will think it's the Alpha Dog and it will Dominate you 8O 8O 8O . I couldn't keep my mouth shut last time I heard that speech and had to say I thought that was a load of baloney, as I have commited ALL of those sins with my dogs and NONE of them are what I would call "Dominant" dogs, in fact they are generally very submissive and easy to live with. Yes I have rules, the main one being, What I say Goes, but I've never used any of the methods of Cesar Milan or Jan Fennell and probably never will because I think they can be storing up trouble.
 

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I use what I have learned by watching dogs behave with each other. There is a hierarchy system going on. There is marks of respect by who sits where or rests where and who eats what and when and the lessor ones DO hang back when the elders go anywhere. The ignoring comes from when pups get ingnored by mum when they get over the top. I have seen it happen time and time again.
I am sure you feel it wrong, it goes against human values, but this is what dogs seem to do.
It is when humans have a blanket method for dealing with ALL dogs and not taking each one as a separate case.
You can have a hundred dogs and treat them all the same and out of those hundred dogs you may have three who need some other way of learning.
In any case, I believe that a quiet voice and a calm manner is all important. Above all, look at things from a dogs point of view.
Sherry
 

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Really interesting Jules, thanks for posting. I've been clicking through the videos further up the page too and found some interesting tips.

I'm the first to admit that I'm no expert when it comes to dog training. Hudson is our first puppy and we've dabled in training classes and hopefully soon gundog training.

We've always used reward based methods, which has pushed patience to it's limits at times. I've observed several things since having Hudson, mainly with his siblings. When one of them is naughty, a loud voice and quite often a smack are issued. When Hudson's been naughty and I haven't got to him first he's been yanked by his collar and smacked. We have very differing opinions to dog training. But, Hudson is the only one who still pulls on the lead. So have the other owners scared their dogs into submission? It doesn't look like it to me.

Hudson is well balanced in every other way (as well balanced as a daft lab can be) but still pulls on the lead.
 

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Hi,

I'm definitely no expert as Truffle is our first puppy, but I have to agree with the idea that agression breeds agression. At our puppy socialisation class at our vets Truffle was quite vocal, barking and growling at the other pups, and boisterous, and the vet pinned him to the ground and he calmed down (probably from shock!). She said we should do this at home, but after a few days I noticed he was becoming more agressive towards us, barking and growling if we came too close, and decided this wasn't going to be done to him again. Now, he's much less 'aggressive' and I think it was just a phase he was going through (he was only 13 weeks old at the time). I dread to think what we could have done to him if we'd taken that advice and treated him like that more than a few times.

I find it very worrying that vets are giving this type of advice to novice puppy owners who quite frankly are willing to try anything to make sure that their pup turns out as a good member of society. I certainly won't be listening to advice from them again!

We're off soon to a nice reward based training class and I'm sure he'll learn a lot more from there.

Cat and Truffe
 
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So have the other owners scared their dogs into submission?
Ah but to me, instant correction is not the same as Dominance Reduction.

I would and do use instant correction, whether that is a sharp "AH AH" or a jerk on the lead, followed immediately with a "Good Dog" when it quits whatever it is doing. I do firmly believe in Positive Training Methods but I would never not correct a dog who was ignoring me or being defiant, anymore than I would if a child was chucking a deaf 'un. :wink:
 

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It wasn't so much the instant correction that concerned me, more the smacking as a way of showing dominance.

I've made it sound as though I don't do anything if Hudson's naughty, and I do. I just can't physically punish him in the same way as others.
 
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Sir_Rufus said:
It wasn't so much the instant correction that concerned me, more the smacking as a way of showing dominance.
But is it? See the way I look at it if a pup is getting on another dogs nerves, perhaps ignoring the rules of the game, getting over excited, the other dog will correct the naughty one and sometimes that can be a physical correction. That doesn't mean they are dominating the naughty pup, they are just telling it off. Now I'm not advocating smacking dogs, but if in the instance you described the dog got a smack and it then did as it was told, then that to me is just an effective physical reprimand. Short, sharp and instantly all over with.

Dominance Reduction is much more than that, it is about affecting the whole way the dog lives and thinks, with some methods of showing it who's boss being much harsher and more demeaning than a smack on the bum.
 

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I think it's a pretty fine line between reprimand and dominance to be honest. Surely reprimanding a dog should be seen as some kind of dominance, i.e. you know better, want the dog do something specific so tell it.

I've been to classes (KC) where you're taught to make the dog wait at a door and you go first follwed by the dog. I can't see how that contributes to dominance reduction though. I just thought it was a bloomin practical idea - otherwise Hudson was pulling me straight through the door and potentially into danger/mischief. As for all the other things the article quotes like eating before the dog - I never really got that anyway. We had a cat when Hudson arrived and he did a pretty good job of putting Hudson in his place. :)
 

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I thik there is also a lot of misinterpretation by other owners too.

For example a couple with a new choc lab pup appeared, this pup came bounding over and instantly jumped on Bonny (bad move) now Bonny told this pup off in a rather noisy grumbly bark, no teeth, no nipping just a chase away with a very nasty sounding bark (all bluff and bluster). I immediately said she is only telling off not going to attack!

They went all gooey over said pup, saying nasty dog did she hurt you? which really got my back up and I promptly said no she hasn't hurt her, she has told her off!! if she was aggressive she would be on lead and muzzled!

So do we humanise reprimands / discipline too much?
 
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Sir_Rufus said:
I think it's a pretty fine line between reprimand and dominance to be honest.
I suppose there is, although I think the former is more about the dog learning manners then learning to be submissive. :? I'll have to think more on that one though.


We had a cat when Hudson arrived and he did a pretty good job of putting Hudson in his place. :)
See to me that is an instance of a reprimand for undesirable behaviour (my cats do much the same) but they don't RULE the dogs. They can't, they are a different species and as such think differently.

As an aside I do like to exit the house before the dogs, purely because I have three in a tiny hallway, so I expect them to shove over a bit to let the old girl through to open the door :lol: . But this is done, like yourself for practical reasons and nothing else and only for this doorway. Any others while they are off lead and they can go through as and when they choose.

I don't think a lot of the Dominance Reduction methods work at all, in fact I would say they could cause problems (thinking of that 13 week old pup that was pinned down by the vet for getting a bit excited 8O ) . And that was my whole point to this thread really. Why use something which at best doesn't work and at worse has the potential to cause problems.

Like Sherry, I try to watch how my dogs interact with each other and how they interact with other dogs and I try to behave as dog like as possible because that is what they understand. You don't ever see another dog put it's buddy in a Time Out for instance. Ok they might end the game and walk away but dogs reprimand one another swiftly then it's all over with. Yes I have seen an older dog pin a boisterous youngster down by the throat but this was not before several subtle "Warnings" had been issued first and yet again this was swift and meaningful (loads of noise but no actual biting) then it was all over and they were mates again, albeit the youngster was more respectful after that (some would say Submissive perhaps :? ). The bitch who did the pinning had no desire to be the Boss of this dog though, in fact she has very little to do with him normally, she was just sick of his pestering. She certainly isn't the "Alpha" dog in the household either, that title falls to an ancient castrated JRT, who never needs to command respect, he just gets offered it as soon as he walks into the room.

I suppose what I'm thinking is you can be the Boss without using "manmade" methods which dogs may not understand because confusion breeds fear and fear sometimes leads to aggression.
 

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Something I always find quite amazing is the number of people that teach there dogs to sit and stay before allowing them to eat there meal, and yes another one is the sit and wait while I go out the door first. But they just teach this "parrot fashion" to the dogs and do not extend it to other parts of there training.

If you have taught your dog to sit and stay before it is allowed to eat then this is supposed to be carried forward to training in other situations. There is really no point at all in teaching this if you are only going to use it at feeding time. The whole point is that it will be used elsewhere in your training.
 

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The one I hate is taking the dogs bowl away whilst it is eating,
you'd have to be pretty darn quick with my lot, they just suck it down.
Sherry
 

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They went all gooey over said pup, saying nasty dog did she hurt you?
And sadly owners like that are actually provoking trouble by actually giving their dog the idea that something important happened. If my dogs get growled at, or even bittern, they get no sympathy from me! And even a growl back will get them a good telling off. I know it sounds hard on my dogs but I don’t want them to ever get the idea that I will tolerate retaliation.

Regards, John
 

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When we first had mambo I was advised to get atrainer in as we had limited experience training a dog. She taught quite a lot of useful stuff and also things that with more experience we have discarded. Always feed your dog after you???????? Why????? I did not want my dinner that early!! She showed us how to 'gentle' a pup who was going dotty. That did work so much that even now if one of the dogs climbs onto my lap and I turn her over, she gives a big sigh and goes to sleep!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Not sure if it will ever be of use tho.

I do make them wait when I give them their food in order to put all bowls down and then let them hoover!! But sit and stay is used at other times too :)

Marianne
 
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Carroll said:
So do we humanise reprimands / discipline too much?
Yes from what I've seen naturally going on between dogs, I do.

The one I hate is taking the dogs bowl away whilst it is eating,
Now that is one of the methods I feel could cause food aggression/guarding problems. I really can't see what is achieved by taking a dogs dinner away, spitting in it and giving it back 8O :? . Nothing like that happens between dogs, ok another might bowl in and take the dogs food completely (if allowed to) but you'd never seen one spit on it and walk away, so how on earth is a dog meant to understand that, eh?
 

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I have taken Skittles up and held it in an attempt to slow her down. She was being sick as she ate!! I dont remove the bowl completely just to slow the hoovering!!
 
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