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Old 01-06-2014, 11:26 PM   #11 
Tolak
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Always combine verbal with visual. Dogs are a lifetime commitment, they get old, blind and deaf. If they lose one sense you have a second to work with, and can work touch or vibrations off of that. My old girl is 14 now, has gone blind in the last year, so verbal along with working in touch has been part of our routine. My old cairn went deaf, then nearly blind, we worked in touch & vibration once the hearing went bad.

There are many techniques for training out there, some work better than others for someone new to training dogs. Nearly all are based in some way on leaders controlling resources, how soft or hard you are with your technique depends very much on the individual animal. The old Kohler method is towards the hard end, and will work with some dogs, but will shut down others. Operant conditioning methods are towards the softer end, a harder dog will give you nothing but misery if you try this approach.

I've got 25 years with terriers in the 20 pound range, smaller dogs with a harder edgyness to them. I've got another 20 years before that working with my uncles & terriers, I guess the terrier thing is genetic. If the OP is unsure about training by all means have someone with professional experience do a bit of hands on evaluation. This doesn't mean Petsmart or some such, they're about as good with dogs as they are with fish. This will give you more direction with training, what approach to take, and make for a happy long term relationship with you & your dog.
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Old 01-07-2014, 05:11 AM   #12 
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Dogs don't feel love
I think that's one of the most erroneous things I've ever read.we have had dogs as part of our family all our lives and they most certainly do feel love & give plenty of it too.


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And the dog breaks free and comes after my perfectly behaved dogs, it will certainly meet my blade. I've seen too many little dogs get turned inside out....
Plenty of little dogs cause problems with other dogs too,whether they are perfectly behaved or not.I'm not saying you're like this,but I've seen lots of owners with small dogs at dog parks etc who think it's ok or even funny if their dog snaps at or causes general trouble towards bigger dogs etc.I don't care if a dog is as big as a bear or as small as a rat,I won't tolerate any dog being nasty towards my dogs in any way.

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Old 01-07-2014, 07:02 AM   #13 
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Plenty of little dogs cause problems with other dogs too,whether they are perfectly behaved or not.I'm not saying you're like this,but I've seen lots of owners with small dogs at dog parks etc who think it's ok or even funny if their dog snaps at or causes general trouble towards bigger dogs etc.I don't care if a dog is as big as a bear or as small as a rat,I won't tolerate any dog being nasty towards my dogs in any way.
The 9 family dogs were lab and lab mixes. The 4 I've trained solely myself were 3 chihuahuas and a pug. I don't treat the little dogs any differently than I do the 100 lbs labs. I couldn't agree more with what you said, and I've actually caught a lot of heat from disciplining the little dogs. You are absolutely right - people allow little dogs the liberty of acting like monsters because they find it "cute". It's just as bad as the people who get big dogs and can't control them, but it's not nearly as dangerous...

But, little dogs don't kill other dogs while they are out enjoying a leashed walk. Some way WANT to, but they just can't tear a dog in half like those big ones can. I mean, my parents current dog, which I had a large hand in training when my mom got hurt, has toys that are larger than my chis.

I'm not trying to make this a big dog vs little dog thing, as I clearly love them both. My only point is that it's the big dogs that have a tendency of getting free from their yard or whatever and terrorizing the neighborhood. I know in my parents nice middle class suburban neighborhood that there are a couple such dogs, and there were two small dogs killed while out on a walk just last year. You had better believe that I've visualized taking the dog out (that lives 10 houses down the street), and will not hesitate to spill that dogs guts on the sidewalk like it did to the Maltese it killed. Poor things - I can't imagine the horror of having another dog run up and tear your dog in half like that. I think people are better off dropping the leash if they are not prepared to engage the dog themselves - at least then the dog has a chance to get away. It sucks to have to think about dispatching a dog. I don't believe in bad dogs - just bad owners....

Too, that's the big reason I like harnesses for little dogs - allows you to pick them up with the leash without hanging them by the neck.

Last edited by jaysee; 01-07-2014 at 07:11 AM.
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Old 01-07-2014, 07:58 AM   #14 
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IMO you should not forget that your dog is an animal and should not be treated the way as you would treat a human baby. This is the most common misconception among dog owners who spoils their dogs too much
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Old 01-07-2014, 08:09 AM   #15 
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Well my dog is a little brat and thinks he runs the show, (not to mention he is terrible on walks) so I have recently started trying to put my dog in his place and be the "Alpha", but it is harder than I thought. Meaning it is emotionally hard for me. For example, I am supposed to ignore him when I get home, but he looks totally dissed when he runs up to me and I ignore him. It makes me feel really bad. It's also really hard for me to not let him sleep under the covers with me. When he chooses to sleep with me at night, that is the only way I know he loves me, and if I can't let him do that, I don't feel like he does. It's just hard. idk....
You are the leader - you are in charge. Doesn't matter whether you call that being alpha or not. The biggest problem I see with the whole dominant/submissive thing is people not understanding what that really means. Many people attach negative feelings and emotions based on a tenuous grasp on the mechanics of the dynamic.

One of the biggest issues with how I see many people train their dogs is that they wait for the dog to do something wrong and react to it. You have to take a more preemptive approach. As I say, you have to provide opportunities to teach them what you expect of them. If the dog likes chewing shoes, then use that to your advantage. Don't wait till the dogs chews another shoe - bring the shoe to the dog. By YOU initiating the exchange, it puts you in a position of power, and puts you in control of the situation. Play with the shoe, tease the dog with the shoe, and when it goes for the shoe intercede. It's how you claim the shoe as yours. Same thing with tissue and anything else the dog thinks it owns. It's your house - you own EVERYTHING in the house, including the dogs toys, it's bed, the water it drinks and the food it eats. It's all yours. (Isn't that the essence of the no free lunch method?) I think that such a change in attitude on your part will bring about positive changes in the dog.... As long as you are consistent.

".....When the dog chooses to sleep with me...."

The dog will love you more when it respects you as the boss. Right now you are in a battle of wills, and you have to toughen up if you are to win. That's what it means to be dominant - to exert your will over overs. A GOOD dominant will satisfy the needs of the submissive in the process. It's quite a dance that takes place, even though it occurs subconsciously for most.

When I brought my chis home they were terrified of everything, including me. They did not trust me at all. While it was hard to see them existing in this state, I knew that I could not feed into that which means beginning the training process immediately. The most important thing for them trusting me was for them to know EXACTLY what to expect from me, which is nothing more than consistency. It's that stability that made them comfortable and happy. I know personally, there's nothing worse than dealing with someone who is fickle because there's always the element of doubt. Happiness for a submissive comes from operating within the bounds of clearly defined limitations and expectations. That's all the dog wants.

Last edited by jaysee; 01-07-2014 at 08:13 AM.
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Old 01-07-2014, 08:13 AM   #16 
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Talking

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I hate the word 'alpha' in regards to dog training. Dogs aren't even really a pack animal. If you google 'pack theory/alpha theory debunked' you should get quite a number of articles explaining why its erroneous to approach dog training that way.

Not everything dogs do is because they are dominant and have aspirations of taking over the household.

It's like entering the door first. For me it's not a dominant behaviour when they push in front of me, it is a rude behaviour. Therefore, I don't tolerate it.

There is the NILF (nothing in life is free) approach that you may want to look at.

Just don't try and alpha roll your dog. I wish Cesar Millan hadn't made that such a fad amongst owners who don't know any better.
In my case, I still believe in ''Alphas''. We had a dog and then it gave birth then we raised 3 pups and you can see that who dominates the other and the other 2 will be the followers of the alpha in the batch. Its just like a pecking order in sorority betta tanks. Plus, the alpha dog is mostly the eldest dog in the pack and the followers are probably just respecting what the alpha dog wants or do. so overall, IMO the alpha dog will be either one of the parent. Most of the time it will be the female since others just uses stud dogs. then the pups will be the followers when they grow up then the alpha dog will order them what to do and their limitations of play among others and to the alpha dog himself. The followers also get to eat after the alpha dog. And this is why some owners feed their dogs separately as all dogs wants to have a bite of every food they see. And when they try to touch the food of other dogs, chances are there will be a dog fight between the alpha dog and the follower or follower to fellow follower. So basically in human society its just like Boss and workers.

And also, the reason that they train dogs with physical contact, not because we see them as aggresive or dominant dogs but we are just correcting their unwanted behaviours. If you can see a follower and an alpha dog playing and when the alpha dog doesnt want to play anymore but the follower kept playing with him, he sends a bite to a part of the followers body (most of the time at the leg) this does not mean agression but just a correction from the alpha dog and this is what the behavior trainers are trying to mimic

Last edited by jayr232; 01-07-2014 at 08:17 AM.
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Old 01-07-2014, 08:45 AM   #17 
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''I could not agree w/ elenathedevil more! Cesar's techniques have totally been misconstrued here...I've watched every single episode & can't seem to see the monster that I've seen described here & in other articles. If people claim that his techniques are so far off, I'd have to see proof that it's being done better. And to the comment about Holly the resource guarder - HELLO...Cesar is still human, & from my recollection, has never once claimed to catch every single sign from a dog. If there's a more perfect dog trainer out there who has never once made a mistake, I'd love to hear about them. Until then, I'll stick w/ what I've seen work (on TV & at home), & not some twisted version of it that's been completely taken out of context.'' -jlg051490

In one of the debunking the Alpha Theory
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Old 01-07-2014, 09:05 AM   #18 
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''I could not agree w/ elenathedevil more! Cesar's techniques have totally been misconstrued here...I've watched every single episode & can't seem to see the monster that I've seen described here & in other articles. If people claim that his techniques are so far off, I'd have to see proof that it's being done better. And to the comment about Holly the resource guarder - HELLO...Cesar is still human, & from my recollection, has never once claimed to catch every single sign from a dog. If there's a more perfect dog trainer out there who has never once made a mistake, I'd love to hear about them. Until then, I'll stick w/ what I've seen work (on TV & at home), & not some twisted version of it that's been completely taken out of context.'' -jlg051490

In one of the debunking the Alpha Theory
I agree.



Here's the thing though - whether or not domestic dogs are true pack animals is IRRELEVANT. Dominant/submissive transcends all that.


Regarding pecking orders, we always had multiple dogs that were spaced out by 4 years or so. Yes the pecking order was oldest to youngest, which was reenforced by us. With my chis (and the chi and pug), they are the same age and were brought into the home at the same time. In both cases, one dog was clearly dominant over the other while both were unquestionably subservient to me.
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Old 01-07-2014, 11:42 AM   #19 
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My dog came from another home and was awful with many things. Stealing, anxiety, manners, rough play, reactive etc. He is a very sweet dog but he just was never trained well. He was taken to obedience classes at Petco but ...I would hardly call that anything. I used a combo of both the "Alpha" approach and Positive reinforcement. He is extremely food motivated so I have found that he responds better to the Positive Reinforcement.

He is MUCH better now and I've had him for 4 years, but there are still things we need to work on...like chasing cars.

Personally, I believe it depends on the dog with which type of training works for that dog. I do not think every single thing a dog does is out of Dominance but I do think SOME dogs are way more dominant than other. My friend owned an extremely extremely dominant St. Bernard who eventually became aggressive. His mom used the "alpha dog" training (not rolling or anything like that) but he didn't respect anyone else but her. He eventually became dangerous. To be honest I don't know what happened to him. My dog happens to respond better to food and get trained well that way, but what works for me doesn't work for every dog...so I try not to judge.

I was once a Cesar Milan hater, but I took the time to watch the show and honestly - he's not as bad as he seems. Sometimes I get mad at some of the things he does but overall, I really do think this man is trying to help animals and he knows them very well. Not everyone is going to agree with his methods but I am sure there are worse.

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Old 01-07-2014, 02:31 PM   #20 
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I was trying really hard to stay off this thread, and I probably wont be back to it, because I've had enough of internet forum arguments I just wanted to say my little part.
I will say though, not as a response to any of the other replies, just to the initial question - No, I do not believe in pretty much any methodology of training based on dominance theory. To make a very long story short, the initial research that backed the entire idea of dominance theory has been seen to be faulty, and dominance theory training has been debunked. The study that started this all was done on wolves (which while similar are NOT our domesticted dogs) in captivity. The fact that small captivity caused them to behave in a different manner than they naturally do, combined with the fact that the researcher was incorrectly observing certain behaviors and putting human emotions behind them resulted in data that just isn't true. Anyone interested can google dominance theory debunked and I'm sure you'll find a lot of info.

I am a positive reinforcement trainer by trade. I used to use aversive methods (prior to my education and career) and I have seen what (good, correct) positive reinforcement training can do. Positive doesn't mean permissive, and it doesn't mean shoving cookies in your dogs face. While MOST of teaching the behaviors is food based reward (if that is a high motivator for the dog) that isn't all it is about. It is based in, well really it IS, behavioral science.
Regardless I don't MIND using treats. Why should I? What is so bad about it? I know I don't work without a paycheck! If my boss (well bad example, I am my boss, but shh) told me she was only going to pay me in hugs, or told me that I will just be shocked, or rolled over and pinned down for being late, or calling out, or messing up some paper work I'd quit in a second. And maybe bite her on the way out

I'm not trying to say anything bad about the methods any of the members reading use, everyone is free to make their own decisions about the methods they use. However we should ALL educate ourselves on our choices, so I strongly suggest reading up on dominance theory, on the pitfalls of punishment and what the fall out can be, and also on how to correctly execute punishment (it actually is a very tricky thing to do right). But through my education, my personal readings, and my experience and observations I strongly believe that positive reinforcement is the way to go, and the methodology I choose to use.
As I said before I don't want to get into a debate or argument, and please no one take offense, we all have our own views. If anyone is further interested in learning I can recommend some great books to read (two I already saw listed) and give some online resources. Feel free to PM me :)


EDIT: Oh also, I just wanted to note that the word "dominance" is often incorrectly used. Dominance is not a personality trait. Actually it describes the relationship between individuals. This means that it can be a fluid thing. A may be the "dominant" one over B when it comes to picking a toy, but then defers to B when it comes to the best napping spots. Just wanted to note that since it is a widely misused phrase nowadays in the animal world.

Last edited by Quinn; 01-07-2014 at 02:37 PM. Reason: adding info
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