Dominance fallout – aggression, fear or both.

dominance not workingI’m starting Johnny’s story with a little rant on dominance from my soap box.

As a force-free, modern trainer/behaviourist I don’t need to dominate a dog to get compliance.

I won’t say that dominance – being very firm and overpowering – doesn’t work. It can and it does. Sometimes.

In the old days I’m ashamed to say I didn’t know better and that is what I did until I learnt how inefficient it was. I have been there. I know what I’m talking about. Being kind and allowing the dog choices does not mean being permissive. I apply rules also. I don’t use force.

Many people still believe that being what they erroneously think is ‘being the Alpha’ is the right way to train and control their dog. It’s not helped by certain TV trainers who make a lot of money using old-fashioned techniques that look like quick fixes.

Unsuitable for ‘Alphadom’

Few dog owners psychologically would make effective ‘Alphas’ anyway. (more…)

Control – Carrot or Stick?

GSD lying down

Murphy

Update on two dogs I saw some weeks ago.

After a run of German Shepherds who are very reactive to anyone coming into their home, it was great to go to a Shepherd who welcomed me immediately.  Murphy and Mastiff-type Bailey are well socialised, well-trained and gentle with their children.

Carrot – or stick?

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Guarding Food. Guarding Resources.

“We must show the dog who’s boss”. Rex guards his food. Guarding food and resources can be a contentious issue where human response is concerned. Many conscientious dog owners, doing what they believe is best, follow dangerous, outdated notions. These techniques can involve, right from the start as routine training, Read more…

Consequence Drives Behaviour

I have just been to the most stunning puppy. A four-month-old Leonberger called Amra. What was troubling the couple was their large puppy’s painful biting and pawing, particularly directed at the lady when she comes home. The gentleman initially referred to this as ‘dominance challenge’. It’s easy to explain behaviour where the dog seems Read more…