|Barked: Sun Jan 13, '13 5:53pm PST |
|Using dominance tacts makes very little sense if you understand the concept of social dominance.
Using force to obtain valued resources. That's basically it in a nutshell. Dominance and submission aren't personality traits. It makes no sense when people say that they have a dominant or submissive dog. The dog can only be that way in regards to the resource at hand.
So it comes down to, should we fight with dogs over these resources? I certainly don't think so. Why fight? Why would someone prefer to use violence and bullying when there's learning theory and other things that we, as humans, can arm ourselves with for a stress free and violence free solution?
We're supposed to the more intelligent species. What does it say about a person's intelligence if they have to resort to base, crude force? That's not really impressive to me. Nor is everyone capable of it. Should they then not have dogs? I'm still waiting for my service dog and pet dog to turn on me if that were the case. I'm physically not capable of employing manhandling tactics though, like I said, I train all kinds of animals, including those with severe behavioral issues. Not using force isn't just one method. It's a variety of methods. But it's violence and bullying free. It's what I enjoy and judging by the animal's body language, it's also what they enjoy. And it works when properly executed.
I would like to know though, how do you know that a dog understands what's expected and thus justifies the need for corrections? Did you ask them?
Dogs don't learn exactly the same way that humans do in all aspects. A dog may know how to sit in the living room but may not understand in the kitchen. A dog may be very well behaved and obeying all cues at home but may be so over threshold in the middle of a busy pet store and that's the handler's fault for not building up to that criteria. You may not have sufficiently rewarded the dog or practiced the behavior enough times. You may have been unclear in your teaching. Poisoned cues, frantic hand waving, mumbling, etc. I see it all the time. And another thing I frequently see with dogs who were claimed to have developed a "stubborn streak". The dog stops obeying certain cues all of a sudden. A vet visit later, or a vet specialist visit and a MRI later and it shows that doing sits, downs, or what have you would have been causing the animal great pain due to arthritis, dislocation, spine issues, thyroid problems, or any great number of things.
Then there are also unrealistic expectations and wanting instant results. Throwing a leash on a dog who's never worn one before and expecting that they'll just understand how it's supposed to work.
Teach well and you won't need corrections. Review how you could have taught better. Don't blame the dog. Read Karen Pryor's book, Don't Shoot The Dog. And don't shoot the dog.
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