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Didnt realise so many people believed in Alpha nonsense.

13498 Views 172 Replies 45 Participants Last post by  Pawzk9
So I have moved areas and become part of a face book group for the local dog park.

There are quite a few members who post, asking how do I get my puppy not to be the alpha over the older dogs and blah blah blah she needs to know she is at the bottom.

I REALLY did not realize how many people bought into that BS.

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I know eh? I cant talk to anyone here without hearing about dominance theories and alpha this submissive that... not to mention the people that fawn over a certain celebrity dog trainer
Well, I got called stupid the other day by someone telling me I needed to let my dog sniff the other dog he was reacting to. long story, but his issues aren't normal issues and the polite bum sniff isn't going to work with him... she called me stupid, cuz she knows that it always works!
ha ha ha. too true!
I have too, actually. I used to rescue on reserves, and would often see a female in heat with multiple males around her taking turns...
I LOVE this article/blog post! It's awesome and is a fantastic way to try to change CM fans opinions without offending them :)

I think, sometimes, people who are touting all positive, all the time, training are thinking mostly of preventing issues, not resolving them. I am very, very pro-positive - just to be exceedingly clear. I firmly believe that there are very few dogs, where - trained absolutely consistently, perfectly reenforced for good behavior and never reenforced (or allowed to self-reenforce ie: distraction) for undesirable behavior, have any need of corrections/punishment/aversives. That situation is exceedingly rare, if not downright impossible. Most people, when a dog develops an issue, can manage distraction/replacement/ignoring from that negative behavior - and still get a really good god, with really good behavior. I would say that applies for 99% of the dogs on this forum - pets and competing dogs alike.

However, I am not purely positive. I recognize that sometimes, you have a dog who is endangering their OWN LIVES, or the safety and lives of others (dogs or people). The point when techniques like socialization, distraction, or replacement would be effective is gone. At that point a harsh 'no' and a leash correction may be what it takes for the dog to GET IT. Or, as the case may be, to stop what they are doing.

There is no reason, in my own life, with pet dogs who have no major issues, for me to use punishments or corrections. It's simply not necessary. If, however, there was a situation -for whatever reason- that one became a danger to itself or someone else (aggression is what I am thinking - and dogs get put down for that), I would be all over whatever it took to make it stop. No apologies for it, either. I would however, probably think that I did something, somewhere, to make the issue happen - and regret the heck out of it.
I do not agree. I rehab aggressive dogs too, but I use totally and completely positive methods (Click to Calm, BAT Training, LAT training, etc). Corrections would only ruin the strides I've made with my seriously aggressive (HA, DA, FA, and any other types of aggression you can label) dog, Oliver. Sometimes corrections can be used without making things worse, but positive methods will do the same job, with ALOT less stress on the dog.
Yes I do, because I do not let the dog I'm working with go over threshold, and if it does accidentally happen, we just get away. I do not correct any aggression, as it can make the dog fear/hate the offending dog/person even more. If corrections have worked for you, great, but it's certainly a crapshoot if it works, and can often make the situation worse (or suppress it until the dog explodes). Clicker training and positive training will not cause worse reactions, but correcting them can!

I was working with Oliver one day at Petsmart, a couple of years ago. We came across a little ACD puppy quite suddenly (I didn't know another dog was in the store!) but Ollie was ok with puppies. at this point, using LAT training, I'd got Ollie's threshold down to 10-15 feet (which was a miracle considering he was a "kill on sight" kindof boy when I first got him) so we were about 20 ft away, and Ollie was calmly watching the puppy. The "trainer" who believes in CM came up to us and said "you gotta break his concentration" I said, nope, he's not staring, he's watching, and that's a good thing! I was periodically clicking and feeding him. She then said no he's staring and you gotta break his concentration, like this!" and proceeded to poke him in the side, just a poke, but Ollie leaped back and flipped around, looked at her, then looked back at the puppy. This time he was staring!. I didn't do anything for a second, cuz I was shocked she actually touched my dog! Then she proceeded to poke him again, this time harder... Ollie Exploded! he lunged at the puppy, lunged at her and just generally freaked right out! thank goodness he was wearing a muzzle!!! I got really mad, told her off and left the store, as Oliver was so upset, that there would be no more learning done that day!

After that, he was no longer fine, and his threshold went back to on site! I have spent the last 2 years trying to get him back to where he was before those 2 pokes! They weren't hard, they didn't hurt him, but they were at an AWFUL time, and he never forgave that trainer (he used to be friends with her) afterwards, he wouldn't let her anywhere near him!

So yes, corrections can make the situation WAAAAYYYY worse!

ETA the pokes were not timed wrong according to CM and other correction based trainers that advocate doing it. it was not bad timing (according to their theories)
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The DA pup I'm working now, loves praise, and treats, but her ultimate reward is the ball. After a few corrections, the reward has worked well.
I have had a couple that there just wasn't anyway to be near the dog besides a catch pole. They would just wait, as collar.smart dogs will, and once the opportunity arose would really hurt you. On these types, I haven't been able to find a positive only solution.
I would like to learn, or depending on your area even send them to you on the handler aggressive dogs if you can work them positive only, and have experience dealing with seriously aggressive dogs. Keep in mind most have been trained to bite, so its not a bluff or fear aggression issue.
I have never worked with a dog trained to bite, I've only worked with Feral, Reactive, Fear Aggressive and DA dogs, so as far as working with a dog like that, I would have to do some research. But I dont imagine it would be much different than working with ferals...
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