Rant-and-advise alert on this impulsive, unstructured post about harsh training methods.
Every dog needs to be trained. This is something extremely important to remember if you have a dog or are considering buying one. This stands for every type of dog out there. People love dogs, and dogs love people. Not surprising, considering dogs have been domesticated for thousands of years and are now more suited to be with people than in the wild.
However there is gross misinformation in thinking that you cannot take the wild out of the dog.
Dogs simply are not wild animals or pack animals anymore.
It really bothers me when I see dogs being trained forcefully by using techniques that are downright damaging to the dog. The alpha dog theory, that claims that the dogs should look up to their owners as “alpha” or the more dominant one, is absolute and pure nonsense.
Made popular by high profile proponents such as Cesar Millan, the Dominance Method has been debunked many times over(read here, here, and here, and watch a well-explained video here) by respected, reputed scientists and behavioural psychologists. The theory advocates actions that scares and confuses dogs, and advocates punishments such as laying your dog forcefully on his side, and hitting him. It also encourages the use of devices that physically harm your dog like shock collars.
Here’s a video of someone using brute force and physically harmful methods to curb a dog from nipping:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jc1Nw_u9g4 (I refuse to embed it here on principle). The man in the video forcefully jams his hand down a puppy’s throat to gag him to prevent him from biting. Not only could it create a health concern in the dog, the technique is downright abusive to the dog. Besides, when you forcefully, physically dominate over a dog, the dog is going to hate you and be afraid of you.
There are numerous ways to train dogs. When you train a dog with punishment, you can still get a dog to exhibit the behavior you want. But only because the dog is scared of you, not because he wants to, which is what we want.
Here’s a dominance theory parody video to further explain the elaborate, complicated stupidity behind the alpha dog method: click!
You can find some amazing positive reinforcement training techniques by people on YouTube-
Dogs are happy creatures. They want to be happy. Keep them happy and they will love you.