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Despite what information a popular "Reality t.v. Personality" has perpetrated in the past, Training and Behavior modification does not require "dominating" nor inflicting any kind of pain on a Dog to reach training goals! Here a few of the "old myths" that still linger today and the Facts of what science and decades of study now tell us.

FACT: Dogs have evolved alongside us humans for many thousands of years. They speak in their natural animal language as well as learned our human languages including body language and hand signals!

Dogs are truly multi lingual! However, humans still have not learned to understand Dog language universally. Adding to that mis-communication we have created all kinds of assumptions that have led to very bad habits when trying to understand our four legged partners in evolution!

Because of this lack of understanding, we as a species have put Dogs through harsh, damaging treatments in pursuit of gaining "control" over them.

 

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DOMINANCE

The myth that Dogs try to dominate their owners or that dogs need to be dominated in order to "teach them whos boss" is probably THE most perpetrated and by far THE most damaging myth in dog ownership and training. Dogs soiling the carpet or chewing on shoes is often labeled as an act of dominance. Charging through doorways in front of the owners, Jumping up on people or stealing food off a table are also mis labeled as dominance behaviors.

 

 

Dogs are highly social animals. They seek out bonds with each other and humans. They don't make plans or effort to dominate us!

The use of pain and physical punishment only breaks down trust and destroys bonds. Any trainer or Dog owner who uses aversives such as shock collars/ e collars, prong collars or inflicting pain in any way is following this horribly damaging , antiquated myth.

 

    "Rolling" a dog on its back, pinning / holding it down, hitting or striking with rolled up newspaper, holding a dogs nose down into the poop it made on the floor are all "old ways" of dealing with behavior issues.This can also be labeled as ABUSE!
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WOLF DESCENDANTS

Dogs are descendants of wolves therefor, they need to be trained the way wolves behave with each other. ie: pack order, Dominance and fighting for leadership position.

 

 

 

Dogs are related to wolves the same way humans are related to Neanderthals! Yes, dogs and modern wolves have a distant relative in the past however, there are several species of dogs that came after ancient wolves and before modern dogs. A few behavior traits have been passed down through the species but, just as walking up right or making tools ties us humans to our early prehistoric ancestors, the relationship is very distant. Wolf packs are made up of related family members. Mothers, Fathers and siblings and sometimes, "adopted" siblings. Fights within a pack are rare and never about gaining "dominance" Wolf packs are held together by respect not strength. The same can be said for you and your dogs relationship. We are "providers" not "mothers" or "fathers".

BRIBERY

Using food or treats to train a dog means you will always have to use treats to get the dog to behave. Treat training only works sometimes. Its bribery.

 

 

Dogs, are willing to work for what they want / need. Food, sex and self preservation and even, play! Using treats to teach your dog gives your dog a reason to "try". Some dogs would rather have a tennis ball thrown as their "treat". whatever motivates your dog this is what will lead your dog to better understand what you want to teach them. This connects to another myth " dogs just want to please us" is also an old, antiquated belief.

Dogs want and / or choose what behaviors they will do depending on how beneficial it is for them, not us.

    Your dog may or may not "always" need to be motivated by a "treat" or reward but, why shouldn't they? Every good behavior should be rewarded. whether its a verbal praise, a tasty treat or playing tug. They first need to be motivated by a Positive reinforcer to teach a behavior. After that, its up to your dog if what we are asking for is what your dog "wants" to do.