Scientific Dog Behavior Modification or Archaic Dogmatism Touted by the Masses???

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Do you have dog behavioral issues you are dealing with?  Many do and that stems in part from a large failure on the part of the dog training world as a whole.  Let me explain.

I spend almost every day of my life behaviorally rehabilitating dogs with real issues such as aggression, fear, hyperactivity, and severe anxiety and that’s just to name a few.  I do this with fantastic success.  I do not do this with the methods most of the trainers and behaviorist tout as the best or newest “scientific” method for animal training or behavioral modification!

Science is ever changing.  Science is also sometimes wrong and yet often accepted as the best way or the right way until the newer or better invention or discovery comes along and makes the old one look archaic and obsolete.  Did you know most people living prior to the 1600s believed that the sun rotated around the earth and not the other way round?  We now know thanks to guys like Copernicus and Galileo that our solar system is heliocentric and not geocentric.  The fact remains that for hundreds, possibly thousands of years mankind believed the earth was the center of the universe!  Turns out they were dead wrong.

Real science should be about seeking the truth, testing the method with trials and experiments.  The results should speak for themselves!   The truth needs no defense!

When considering dogs, their training, and their rich history partnering with us- isn’t it unfair to classify them with other animals?  Shouldn’t we consider domestication and the effects it would have on behavior?  Shouldn’t we look deeper into the social bonds between man and dog?  No other animal in the world lives as closely to man as our dogs do.

Delve a little deeper. Be specific about the animal you are working with. Don’t ever train your dog like you would your dolphin!

In today’s “modern” dog training many behaviorists have taken the scientific work of Burrhus F. Skinner and blown it way out of proportion.  This is the major problem with almost all training companies.  They think there are only two ways to work with a dog!  Typical trainers cite Skinner’s work as the, “end all-be all” of animal training.  Believe me, they get extremely dogmatic and close-minded about any other methods which is exactly the opposite of real science!  I’m not saying animals don’t prefer “positive reinforcement” to “negative reinforcement.”  I’ll readily admit you can train many different animals using both positive or negative reinforcement.  And, obviously, any being would prefer treats to electric shock.

Burrhus Frederick Skinner himself is quoted as saying, “The way positive reinforcement is carried out is more important than the amount.”  This means stop excessive bribery and constant high pitched praise for any and all decent behaviors from your dogs…it’s too much!  The trainers and behaviorists have gone way too far!  They have combined what Burrhus discovered with the idea that they can make a lot of money selling treats to consumers to the point that most trainers are now so far gone they spend a majority of their time stuffing treats down the poor dogs throat instead of using calmness, firmness and play to work with your dog like mother nature teaches!

Are you bribing instead of building a strong relationship with your dog or pup?  Are you exciting instead of calming them down like mother nature teaches her young?  Is the trainer or behaviorist you are using getting you excellent results or are they just another cookie-cutter zombie who have no answers when the treats and excitement do not work?

Here’s a rat in a “Skinner box”…I’ll take real life over a box any day of the week and I’ll rehab your dog’s behavior faster than B.F. Skinner could have dreamed! And I’ll do it all with calmness and building a healthy relationship based on mother nature’s ways!

 

What I’m attempting to share with you is that there is something Better than positive or negative reinforcement! There is something much better!  This something can only be discovered when we really seek to understand and learn.  Dogs have been domesticated for 10,000 – 20,000 years and we should be seeking a much deeper relationship than what some scientist cooked up in his lab.  Most dog professionals have missed the whole point!  Our society needs to have an awakening and discover that dogs are more than lab rats.  

Real life is more than just science.  It was recently Valentine’s day.  Did any of you give your sweethearts a card filled with the science of how your brain releases more oxytocin into your body when they are around?  Did you mention how your cortisol levels are on the rise?  Did you mention how your testosterone is lowered if you’re a man and raised if you’re a female?  Did you get all technical and then proceed to make said “science” the main point of your relationship and hammer that home over and over to prove you are in love?  NO – you didn’t.

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A wise lover doesn’t get too technical when wooing. Let the senses and instinct take over in your training and get all the “science” out of your head. This will be hard for you to do because it has been hammered home so much by the status quo.

 

Please don’t make the same mistake if you’re a trainer or behaviorist!  If you’re not a trainer or behaviorist please don’t hire a trainer/behaviorist who consistently makes the same mistakes in their training methods year after year after year!  Search out something better.

Focus and develop a real relationship (not based on “positive” bribery or “negative” punishment). Emulate the model of parent dogs with pups.  Please don’t diminish the excellent relationship available to you and your dog (the real communication, the use of energy control, the amazing domestic partnership) just because science told you there is only two ways to work with your dog or pup.  There is a whole new world of possibility open to us when we take a real look at real life with our dogs!

Stop focusing on “science” and the status quo and start focusing on your dog.  Forget training.  Instead look at how dogs move, how dogs are experiencing the world. Take note of when the behavioral issue is occurring and attempt to do something before the unsocial or rude behaviors happen.  If you do I promise you’ll start to see how and when to interrupt or intercept unsocial energy.  You’ll prevent problems just like the mother or father dog can.  You’ll learn how to adjust the dog’s body posture into more peaceful, social language.  You’ll discover they are not just rats in a Skinner box waiting to be bribed with treats or punished and shocked!  You may just find a real relationship with complex communication and… you may just find your best friend!

Need Help?   call Garrett Stevens at 253-653-4890

 

I was attacked

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I was attacked!  It came from out of nowhere as attacks tend to.  I suppose the attacker has to rely on the intensity and surprise of the attack in an attempt to get the upper hand in the situation.

I was attacked by a person who has never met me before and has little to no knowledge of who I am or what I do (my work with dogs) yet they went on an extreme, vitriol-filled rant (from behind the safety of a computer screen) to the point of attacking my business, my credentials, my professionalism, and then posting fake reviews of my services and getting their two or three friends to post fake reviews too!  Apparently they think libel and defamation are OK.

And get this….the attacks came from alleged “Positive” people that use or believe so rigidly and so vehemently in their “positive only” approaches to dog training – basically “positive only” means the feeding of treats, praise, petting and the usual pumping up of the dog’s excitement in a large majority of circumstances any time the dog behaves appropriately – they believe so strongly (or blindly) that they pre-judged me and my natural CALMING and Socializing methods (which I have learned from observing how older, calm and social dogs deal with things.)  They went to every known website I have and gave horrible reviews of my services although I don’t know them from Adam and have never even worked with their dogs.  In fact they live clear across the country and in other nations!

How much of a waste of energy for them and how telling of their personality and character (or lack thereof) and how hypocritical!  Allegedly acting positive towards dogs while personally attacking humans?

I take it as a compliment.  Revolutionaries are seldom welcomed into social circles in society with open arms.  And my aim is to revolutionize the “dog training world” with better, calmer, more social methods using less bribery, and or, less harshness. This person threw around the word “Science” and “Scientifically proven” and proceeded to give links to how dolphins, hyenas, etc can be trained using treats – like anyone doesn’t already know that!?  The point is…dogs live closer to us than any other creature on earth, they are domesticated and why would I want to treat them like some dolphin that is now in captivity?  Dog deserve more credit than that.  We should be able to calmly disagree with them just like we can our own children – for their benefit!  Remember, the best scientific minds of centuries past all believed the earth was flat and they would practically burn heretics at the stake for suggesting otherwise!

True science is about actual exploration, boldness, and discovery, and the main rule is to attempt to study the subject without our human biases and understanding. No anthropomorphising!  Instead we should be reaching for new levels of understanding through the experiences and true observation.  The opposite of real science is Googling something on the internet and suddenly your an expert on the right way to dog train or just going with what is the large popular opinion.  There is nothing so free in this world as people’s opinions.

My testimonials speak much louder to my credentials, services, and character than I ever could…for more info go to http://www.gstevensdogtrainer.com

Ask yourself why would so many, many other pet professionals (dog daycare owners, kennels, vets, groomers) highly recommend me and my services if I was not the absolute best?  If you search for trainers you can find them under every rock… but why do pet professionals who work with hundreds/thousands of dogs and people almost every day…why do they recommend me again and again?  Because of the amazing results that calmness and social behavior can bring to the table.  It is far beyond bribing with treats or (on the opposite end) old-school harsh corrections.

Listen up – Dog trainers, dog behaviorists, dog whisperers, vets, groomers, daycare owners, etc……………………………….There is a huge gap in the “dog training world” today and simple internet searches will testify to this fact.  On one side there are the “Positive” method only group – who seem to really flip out with aggression and anger to anyone who does not agree with them!  I’m talking about many Entire websites set up just to Bash other forms of dog training!  On the other side I think there is a bit more common sense approaches to training but there are still many who use a leash pop correction for anything and everything – this is obviously too far gone as well.  Why not a balance folks?

IF you are going to be extreme and dogmatic over anything concerning dogs than be extremely observant.  Be extremely patient.  Be extremely honest.  Be extremely free of other people’s opinions.  Be extremely willing to learn with each and every dog.  Be extremely ready to change your routine to a better one if needed.  Be extremely relaxed.  Be extremely social.  And be extremely balanced in your methods!

 

top photo credit: trendhunter.com