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Progressive Dog Training Demystifies the Dominance Saga

Not too many years ago, it was believed that dog obedience training was best accomplished through the use of aggressive dominance practices. Ask any top dog trainer, and you'll likely learn that this is no longer an acceptable approach for training a dog.

The modern day dog ​​owner is searching for a respectful dog human relationship, not the teetering, explosive link that's established with dominance dog training. This is due, in part, to the fairly recent findings of animal biologists and other professionals.

When a dog growls, barks, runs ahead of her owner, jumps on guests, or pulls on her leash, she's not necessarily vying for dominance. Most often, bad dog behavior is just that: bad dog behavior.

"Animal training, behavior prevention strategies, and behavior modification programs should follow the scientifically based guidelines of positive reinforcement, operant conditioning, classical conditioning, desensitization, and counter conditioning." This quote, from the AVSAB, or The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior, was made in response to a dominance based training regime that they saw developing among dog obedience training programs. The AVSAB contends that many bad dog behaviors are not products of dominance attempts, but are products of erroneous human reinforcement.

For instance, if a dog is barking, his owner might play ball with him, yell at him, release him from his crate, or kick him. All of these responses are forms of attention, whether positive or negative, and will cement the barking behavior as acceptable in the mind of the dog.

In reality, humans initiate most dominance struggles. When a dog owner growls at a dog or uses an alpha roll with the dog, they start an aggressive reaction chain, which can ultimately result in a dog's aggressive behavior toward the owner and other humans.

Alpha rolls are good examples of how dominance dog training has gone awry. Watch a video of wolves interacting with one another. You'll notice that submissive members of the pack will often roll on their backs to show allegiance to the leader. The alpha members of the pack do not force those submissive dogs onto their backs, as humans do in the alpha roll technique. This dog training technique not only goes against dogs' natural instincts, but it initiates a pattern of aggressive behavior through bullying.

If you've observed, or been part of, a loving, respectful, human family, you'll understand that leadership is more effective than dominance. Wildlife biologists are changing their views of wolf pack dynamics; they now believe that packs are not unlike respectful human families. A functional human family has one or two leaders at its head, and the others respect the leader or leaders. This respect isn't stolen with abuse; it's earned through effective, positive leadership. Using this example, it's easy to understand why the AVSAB says that dominance and leadership are two different concepts, and that leadership is the more effective and humane approach when training a dog.

Establishing yourself as a leader, and getting respect from your dog, means using positive dog obedience training techniques, like crate training and clicker training. It's natural for your dog to want to jump, bark, bite, chew, and dig. But if you use positivity to reward good behavior, and replace bad behaviors with good ones, you can get your dog to walk on a leash, stop digging and chewing behaviors, and stop your dog from barking and jumping.

Clicker training rewards good behavior in the most immediate way possible, and adheres to all of the things that contemporary top dog trainers, progressive veterinarians, wolf biologists, and the AVSAB recommend. When you carry out dog obedience training with patience, kindness, and respect, you will not only achieve the positive results that you desire, but you will do your part to demystify the dominance saga.

Source: Internet

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