Dog Training

Is your dog in need of some dog training? Does she need to learn some basic manners? Is he the Cujo of the neighborhood?

Don’t worry, I’m here to help you. Dog training should start the day you bring your dog home and never stop.

There are different types of dog training. There is the dominant method, positive reinforcement, and operant conditioning.

Here at Natural Dog Guide, we are passionately opposed to the dominant method of dog training. The dominant method of dog training is based on force, fear, and being the “alpha dog”. They are based solely on punishment, fear and physical force. The dominant dog training method was beginning to be phased out in the 80’s and the positive reinforcement method was taking over as the way to train dogs. However, this method is coming back thanks in part to Cesar Milan, as known as the dog whisperer.

Although the dominant dog training method is often described as “non-violent” or taught from the dogs’ point of view. Let me tell you, that statement cannot be farther from the truth. I have my own personal experience with a local trainer that teaches this supposed “non-violent” method. After the second class I left in tears and dropped out. It took me weeks to get over what I just put my poor dog, George, through with this “trainer”. I still nightmares and flashbacks. That is how horrible it was!

Think about dominant dog training, not all dominant dog trainers will use the techniques described, but these are some of the things that are used to get the dog to do what you want and be submissive to you. Some of the aversion techniques used are:

  • Alpha rolls
  • Scruff shaking
  • Leash/neck jerk
  • Prong/choke collars
  • Hanging
  • Drowning

Could you image using hanging or drowning just to get your dog to listen to you? I thought I knew what to expect going into this dominant dog training class and I (and my friends) said to myself, “hey, some dogs need that kind of training.” Well I was wrong and my dog suffered for it. Luckily we did drop out after two classes before there was any permanent damage. Honestly, very shortly after our last class George did start to have some medical problems and I thought for sure it was from this class. His doctors tell me no, but I still wonder.

The dominant method of training may:

  • Injure your dog
  • May teach him to be fearful of you or people
  • May elicit escalating aggression

This is definitely no way to get your dog to listen. Positive dog training is the way to go, hands down. You have fun, the dog has fun, you both bond, what more could you ask for. Dog training should be fun, based on respect and understanding, not fear.

All of the methods here on Natural Dog Guide will be based on positive dog training, mostly reward based. The reward can be a treat, positive praise, or a toy, or anything else that your dog loves and motivates him. You reward him when he does something right. By doing this you are reinforcing the desired behavior, instead of punishing for the undesired behavior.

Think about it. If you were learning something new at work: would you rather your boss threw something at you, yelled at you in front of everyone, or hit you or would you want your boss to praise you or give you a yummy cookie when you do the job right. I know I would choose the second option.