photo of a search and rescue dog

Dog Guidance

  Dog Parasites
  Disease and 1st aid
  Small Dogs
  Dog Grooming
  Greyhounds
  Puppies
  Dog Training
  Showing Your Dog
  Dog Supplies
  Big Dogs
  Dog Blog
  Dog Related Links
  Dog Guidance Home
  Contact Us
  Privacy
  Site Map

 

PETsMART

Dog Behavior Problems and Training

Choosing Dog Training Methods

 

Before choosing a particular training method, carefully examine the technique to ensure that it will communicate proper associations. Certain methods may not communicate what you intend. A dog-aggressive Akita was enrolled in a training program that his owner thought was reputable. The trainer convinced the owner that the only way to break the Akita of aggression toward other dogs was to let a more dominant dog put him in his place. The trainer's dog displayed dominance toward other dogs, so she placed him in a room with the Akita and left the two dogs to work things out. When the trainer heard a window crashing, she opened the door to find that her dog was injured, and the Akita had been richly rewarded for his aggressive behavior with a nice victory under his collar.

If this method does not make sense to you, it probably won't make sense to the dog, either. One trainer sent around a flyer giving free advice to the general public on how to stop dogs from digging. The trainer suggested filling the newly dug hole with water and taking the dog over to the hole by the scruff of the neck to dunk his head in the water filled-hole. The next sentence on this flyer cautioned the owner that the dunking probably would not stop the dog from digging; instead, forcing the dog down to the water by the scruff of the neck was a demonstration of dominance, a root cure-all for problem behavior. The trainer thought through the method far enough to figure out that the water would have no effect on future digging. Unfortunately, he did not explain that the dog would learn to mistrust his owner for trying to drown him. Shortly after this flyer was distributed, another trainer was indicted for animal abuse for employing this very correction technique.

Occasionally, even thinking through a method does not result in a clear understanding of how it works. One day a fellow drove up to class in a pickup with his dog in the back. The dog trainer explained to him that it was very dangerous to have the dog in the back of an open pickup. He went through the normal lecture on how the dog's nose and eyes could be damaged from debris in the air, the danger of the dog being thrown out of the truck in an accident, etc. The fellow proudly said, "I fixed the dog from jumping out of the truck. He was jumping out and I would throw him back in. We did this for five or six times when I finally got really mad and threw him in the truck for the seventh time and stuffed a piece of horse manure in his mouth for good measure. After that the dog never jumped out again, and the next time he does something bad, I am going to use that manure trick again."

It was really hard to determine if the dog stopped jumping out of the truck because he got tired of being thrown back in, or if he was grateful for the gourmet horse manure treat. If you are not sure about exactly how or why a method works, it is probably best to avoid the technique altogether. Even the most popular methods use techniques that may not be suited for every breed or temperament of dog. A trainer who evaluates each method based on the efficacy of the associations and motivators will be better equipped to match the appropriate obedience method with the dog's individual temperament.

Back to the Dog Behavior Problems and Training page

Click here to find a review of dog training books and learn why you can save heaps of money by getting hold of one of these books rather than paying for a professional dog trainer.

 

Related News About Dogs

Dog Guidance Blog
Facts, tips and information about dogs

Outsmart Your Stubborn Dog With These Smart Training Tips
Aggressive behaviors, excessive barking and general disobedience are annoying to a dog owner. The...
It Is Important To Begin To Train A Dog As Soon As You Get It
There is nothing wrong with being unsure of how to properly train your dog. Few people other than...
Improve Your Dog?s Temperament With These Training Tips
Most dogs think a lot alike, no matter their size or breed. If you get this mindset, it shouldn’t...
Useful Training Techniques For A Well-Behaved Dog
Training your dog is among the most important aspects of your pet’s life. Dogs, like human childr...
Easy To Follow Dog Training Guide.
A better name for the art of dog training would be “human training”. This is because a dog cannot...

 

Copyright © 2006-2007 dogguidance.com