Monday, May 12, 2008

Research for a "great" Trainer and/or Behaviorist

Make sure you are hiring a professional Dog Trainer and/or Behaviorist, that knows what they are doing and talking about. Reading a book or watching a video does not give 1/3 of what should be known. If it did, I could have been one at the age of 10... :)

Dog Breeds

I want to talk about breeds for a second.

ALL breeds need to be here for every different kind of person and reason. It is so wonderful that we have all the choices that we do.

I would like to talk about the ones that people assume things that they shouldn’t, like the Pit bulls and other supposedly "dangerous" breeds. I myself, am an owner and lover of the German Shepherds and Pit bulls.
The wrong people get a hold of these breeds way too often. It's not necessarily always that they are fighting them or trying to make them aggressive. A lot of times it is negligence in learning about the breed, finding help, or the biggest one is breeding them with no knowledge at all, of doing it right.

Lets take responsibility in what we do wrong, and educate ourself a little bit on things we might not know about, instead of what we "heard" or think we might know.

Electronic Collars

These collars can be a wonderful addition to your training but there can be a fine line between doing it right and wrong, just like anythig else.

You DO NOT just put these collars on and start using it on your dog, for SO many reasons. The dog has no clue what you are asking of them and you can ruin your dog. Making your dog scared to even train with you. You have to train them that it is a correction. This confussion can cause redirected aggression towards you, other paople or other dogs.

NO, your dog should not scream when using these collars... People have actually asked me that because "that's how my neighbor does it".

To reply on a comment about some dogs yelping from being startled when using the collar: There are so many variables and different circumstances in doing all training and you need to accustom yourself with each individual dog, BUT, If you train a dog 100% right on the E- collar to show them it is a correction, then NO they dont scream.
I work with so many German Shepherd's which are one of the most vocal dogs and still no screaming, it has to be done right. Yes they can yelp by being startled, its not necessarily pain, so again, that is why you train them on the collar and use it right.
Mostly what I meant was the people that use it every time making their dog yelp. An untrained person could use that as an excuse as to why it is ok.

Treat Training

I am definitely not trying to talk bad about any trainers, there is different opinions and techniques for everyone.

I personally do not do treat training. Simply for the reason that you get a dog that is "TREAT DEPENDENT" so he/she will only pay attention/listen to you if you have treats. If you don’t have treats you don’t have your dog. I cannot tell you how many people have called me with this complaint.
Don’t get me wrong there is a time and place for treats in some behavior modifications and puppy training, not for everything.

Lets not replace our physical love thats builds such a bond between you and your dog, with treats and other objects.

Growling IS aggression

I have heard that it is ok for your dog to growl at people, including you and/or your kids because they have no other way of "communicating".
So let me ask a question, is growling a sign of aggression? So is it ok for your dog to show aggression to ANYONE in your family?

You also do not want to pick a corner for the dog to go lay in that is "her" corner where no one else can go and she can growl at anyone that does. What you are teaching your dog is he/she can pick a spot in YOUR house and be teritorrial over it.

If your dog is uncomfortable with something someone in your family is doing he/she needs to walk away from the situation.

We also need to put great responsibility in ourselves to teach our kids how to treat and respect all animals.

You and your family should be able to do ANYTHING you want with/to your dog that is humane of course, without EVER having any aggression shown back to you.

Dogs are pack animals they are not “allowed” in the pack, to show any disrespect and aggression to the “dominant” dog in its life (which is YOU).