Dog Training methods vs Dog’s behavior

As you already know, our dog “Palette” has been clicker trained all of her life. She knows she did right when she hears the click sound and she gets super excited. 

 During the training time, her body does not get tense up, does not look anxious, and her response to the each click is tail wagging with huge Corgi smile,and I can feel that she is eager to learn the new thing and she enjoys that.

balancing squeaky egg

Palette balancing the squeaky egg toy..

 One thing I noticed during the clicker training is that, since clicker’s click sound can capture the exact moment you like, it seems that communication between us got better and that lead to the faster learning for each behavior.

 For example, ringing the bell for the potty seemed to be complicated at first but fear not. Palette learned what the bell means, what she needs to do to go to potty in less than half a day! I was surprised to see she understands what I would like her to do.

 However, depending on what to teach, sometimes, it takes time to get it complete. Training is not an over night fix,and rather continuous work throughout their life and, we need to be patient,be calm, and be consistent to make it work.

People has their own method to teach things to their canine family members. Some use electric collars,some uses water spray, some uses the philosophy ” you are the leader of the pack and let the dog be submissive to you”, and some uses more gentle effective approach-clicker training.

Have you ever wondered what impact would each method make in terms of dog’s behavior/dog’s mind?

Just recently, I came across interesting articles on the training method and dog’s behavior after the specific training method and I thought I would share with you here.

How your dog training technique influences your dog’s behavior…

According to science daily article written by University of Bristol in UK, using misplaced ideas about dog behavior and dog training is likely to cause the unwanted behavior rather than phasing it out.

The new study shows that despite the popular belief told by the popular TV dog trainer, the aggressive dog is not trying to be assertive over the canine furriends or human packs,according to the research published by University of Bristol Department of Clinical veterinary science in the Journal of veterinary behavior .

The researchers spent 6 months studying dogs and reanalyzing the data from the feral dogs and concluded that the individual relationships between the dogs are learnt through the experience, rather than not maintaining the place in their pecking order in their pack.

They think that training targeted at “dominance reduction” are far from helpful and rather, it can be dangerous and worsen the behavior.

The training technique; pinning the dog on the floor, grabbing the muzzle, blasting noise maker (idea was coming from the theory that we must become the assertive leader of the pack as it would have been in the wolf pack) , would make dogs anxious about the owner, and escalate the level of the aggression  of the dog in the question.

In the article, Dr Rachael Casey says that dogs often learn to show aggression when such technique is used to avoid the punishment. Some dogs are fearful and show aggression towards people.

The article says that many technique used to train dogs his owner is the leader of the pack will either end up with a dog so fearful that it surpass all the natural dog behaviors or the one so aggressive that it is dangerous to be around.

You can read the full article at science daily website here.

Another interesting fact how the technique;being assertive over the dog, influences dog’s behavior is that, another researchers in UK claims that each series of the technique put back the dog’s behavior by 10 years.

From the study done in University of Bristol, experts there says that it was far more effective to train the dogs with reward rather than punishment.

You can read the full article at telegraph news paper article here.

Dr Sophia yin DVM has a great article on what does “dominance” mean, what behavior response you would see in dogs when punishment/force based training techniques are used as well as how you can teach your dogs what to do under certain situation without relying on the old training technique.

You can read her full article at her website here. I find it very informative and I think you would too.

I think whichever training method you would use for your dogs, you would need to set up the rules and need to teach them what they should do on the certain situation. Question rises when how you teach the rules to them.

I find that teaching your dog  “what to do” ,rather than “what not to do” is much easier and, using force free training technique is more effective and dogs enjoys them because they think it is the game and fun.

Next time you train your dogs, you can review yourself, and see how your approach is making an impact on your dog’s behavior.

The training should not have to be the doggie boot camp.



May 19, 2014 | Comments are off | Dog Training

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