People are nuts. We are. If you can’t agree with me that people are nuts please stop reading Now.
For those that can recognize that as humans we are a bit crazy I want to direct your thoughts towards this current crazy time in history. This interesting time in our lives where we find we have several thousands of professional dog trainers and professional behaviorists that actual teach and want to keep teaching you (as the owner of your dog) that you shouldn’t ever disagree with your dog or pup! Think about that for a second.
What have we come to? How has it come to this babying, this coddling, this ridiculously imbalanced and greatly disconnected, poor-excuse for a relationship with our dogs? How and why do so many pet pros talk dogmatically with 100% absolutism (and quite ferociously toward anyone who might disagree until they are shouted down) about the evil of corrections and that you should never “force” your dog to do anything? I encourage you to take those questions ponder them honestly and then consider and ask why we also currently have a terrible dog bite record (dogs attacking humans and attacking other dogs) and it’s been steadily increasing for the worse! I know the two are deeply connected!
Don’t just go with the majorities opinion on this topic of disagreeing with your dog vs positive-only and force-free methods. Please THINK for Yourself and come to your own conclusions. Examine history, examine the stats, examine the methods of different pro trainers and behaviorists (and especially note and examine their results) and most of all… examine your own dog and the history of dogs and how dogs think and how they experience the world and how dogs communicate and behave.
Then ask yourselves…would the mother dog or father dog constantly bribe their pups with food treats? Would they constantly attempt to condition them or would they seek to build a healthy relationship based on the dog language and respect and trust and manners (not frivolous tricks and obedience commands)? Would the parent dogs ever disagree with their young? Have you as a parent ever had to disagree with your own children? Was it beneficial in any way? Did you overdo it or under-do it?
What is lacking in our current culture is the balanced approach to disagreeing and so the pathetic “positive-only” dogmatists (who aren’t really that positive in their own lives) scream and shout about how any correction, any disagreement, or forcing your dog or pup to do anything is totally wrong! Let me tell you outright…this is hogwash and they are wrong! It’s only wrong to correct or disagree if you are performing it wrong.
Dogs speak through movement, energy, smells, and touching. Most people I meet (and I do this non-stop) are woefully, dreadfully unaware of the intricate and marvelous language of our dogs. They are woefully unaware because MOST pro behaviorist and trainers are horribly unaware! The common pro trainer/behaviorist whole premise and approach to training is not beneficial and does NOT prevent behavioral issues from developing!!!
But let’s cut them some slack for a moment. I don’t want to be too hasty. Maybe these “professional dog trainers” and “scientific professional behaviorists” haven’t ever see older dogs and how they talk to and deal with younger dogs? Maybe they haven’t seen the older, balanced dog correct and address the younger imbalanced one? Maybe these so called “pros” haven’t ever visited a local dog park and observed the dog language? Maybe they’ve been too long in the library reading about dogs or too long in the laboratory or in the classroom? Maybe they haven’t had kids of their own or cultivated healthy relationships in their own personal lives? I don’t know. What I do know is that anyone who proclaims the “positive-only” approach or acts as a behaviorist and over-charges their clients because they used to work with dolphins is NOT keyed into the amazingly close and wonderfully easy and direct relationship available to us with our domesticated dogs and pups!
They say “Never force a dog to do anything.” This is horribly bad advice! I force dogs to do things all the time (and I do it incredibly gently and smoothly) and they end up thanking me for it! And the owners are also able to soon witness their once terribly behaved aggressive or fearful dogs actually make good decisions. They see it happen before their very eyes!
One example: I force the nervous dog into social situations and then ask it (in dogspeak) to behave itself (not just do frivolous tricks). This is the only thing that will change the nervous dog into being social and normal and balanced.
I am a professional because I equip the owners and the dog and get them social extremely quickly all while expanding the dog’s capacity for more and more social situations and all without harsh corrections and without foolishly stuffing food treats down the dog’s throat non-stop and calling it science! Yes, positive reinforcement is science…it’s OLD science and based on the external motivation of the dog and none of it’s internal drives and motivations! I’m not even going to bring up the fact that bribing with food is also highly exciting and that over-excitement is the cause of every single behavioral issue any dog faces. Food treats is not the natural way of parenting. Bribing with food is how most trainers train WILD animals and that’s fine…but for our domesticated dogs…it’s crap!
Let’s all recognize that many humans are insane and let’s take measured steps to respect their beliefs and opinions, however crazy, but understand it is more than ok to adamantly disagree with their foolishness and to think for ourselves. Your dogs and pups will thank you!
Seek out the natural ways. You Can reward your dogs and pups but you Can also disagree with them too and sometimes “force” them into areas of their lives that their fears or aggression would never have taken them before your help! Stretching the capacity and enlarging the relaxation is the name of the game! Remember both rewards and corrections should not be the focus…A HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP IS THE FOCUS!!!
Questions? Call us! And keep an eye out for my coming book…it’s gonna’ be epic! And balanced with natural techniques and they will, of course, get you the best results you could imagine! Forget positive or negative reinforcement and focus on being a dog parent.