Positive Reinforcement and Domination Training – Understand the Differences in Dog Trainers


“The Pack Leader” Philosophy (Domination Theory)

The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB) has issued a very important Position Statement about Domination Theory. To abbreviate their position, dominance training assumes that animals act out because they need elevated status or a better position within the pack. This often leads trainers to consider that force have to be used to bring the dog back in line and eliminate their status-seeking behaviors.

Individuals who utilize Dominance Theory to coach their pets may routinely threaten them with aggressive displays or physical force corresponding to an Alpha Roll (rolling the dog on his back and holding him down.) Pets who’re subjected to repeated threats or force may not offer the specified, submissive behaviors. Often, they react as an alternative with aggression. This just isn’t because they try to dominant the human but since the human who’s threatening them makes them fearful and afraid.

How do you already know in the event you’re coping with a dog trainer who uses domination theory? Typically, trainers who use Domination Theory use catch phrases corresponding to: “Be the Pack Leader”, “Show the Dog Who’s Boss” and “Dominate the Dog for Respect”. “Because using punishment can exacerbate problem behaviors by increasing an animal’s fear and anxiety, the AVSAB recommends that veterinar­ians not refer clients to trainers or behavior consultants who coach and advocate domi­nance theory.” To acquire more information on Domination Theory or to read the formal Position Statement on Dominance theory, visit their website. The address is listed at the top of this text.

Positive Reinforcement:

Positive Reinforcement theory is a reward-based training theory. The AVSAB endorses this theory since it motivates the dog to perform or change behaviors versus techniques which concentrate on fear, pain or punishment. Simply put, the dog offers desirable behaviors because something good happens to him (your praise or attention, treats, etc.) once they do. Dogs naturally repeat behaviors that they find rewarding and typically self-extinguish behaviors that usually are not rewarding.

Are you continue to the dog’s leader? Yes! But a real leader doesn’t dominate to realize respect; she is followed BECAUSE she’s respected and admired. Every dog needs guidance and bounds. As his leader, you provide clear direction for the dog, in language HE understands. Once your dog understands what’s expected of him, he’ll offer the specified behaviors because he desires to please you…not because he’s afraid of you.

Choosing a Dog Trainer

Selecting a dog trainer might be probably the most essential decisions you will ever make to your pet. The techniques that a trainer uses can strongly affect the way you interact together with your dog and the next relationship for years to return. Training ought to be a fun and rewarding experience for each you and your dog.

Many trainers claim they’re Positive Reinforcement trainers when in actual fact they usually are not. Some trainers use a mix of Dominance (Pack Leader) Theory and Positive Reinforcement Theory. They might seek advice from themselves as “Balanced” trainers. It is vital to notice that this just isn’t a recognized training theory.

When interviewing a possible trainer, ask probing questions which require an in depth response. For instance, in the event you tell a trainer that your dog is dragging you down the road or growling at you when he’s in your bed, ask them what methods they’d use to correct the issue and listen rigorously to their response. Ask questions in the event you don’t understand the trainer’s response. The AVSAB warns you to “Avoid any trainer who advocates methods of physical force and punishment.”

Additional questions it’s possible you’ll need to ask include: How will you motivate my dog to show him something recent? How will you motivate my dog to alter an issue behavior? What tools do you recommend and use to stop dogs from jumping or pulling on-leash? What tools do you utilize and recommend to treat aggressive behaviors corresponding to growling or biting? How will you correct or punish my dog if he needs it?

Education and Certification

Most individuals do not realize that there isn’t a regulatory requirement or licensing for dog trainers. Anyone can hang a shingle that they’re a dog trainer. Buyer beware! Significant damage might be done to your pet in the event that they are misdiagnosed or trained improperly.

While there are many “certifications” available for dog trainers, these only “certify” that a person attended a program. They don’t “certify” or validate capability, skill, experience or education.

There is simply one, nationally accredited body that certifies education, skill and experience, The Certification Council for Skilled Dog Trainers (CPDT). To attain this certification, trainers must have already got the required education, skill and 300 hours of documented training experience. Moreover, a veterinarian must sponsor them. Applicants must pass an independent, CPDT issued, knowledge-based, written exam and a hands-on training exam.

Locate a Certified CPDT Trainer

Individuals are certified, not corporations. To locate a licensed, CPDT Trainer, get your trainers first and last name and the town they reside in. Then go to: http://www.ccpdt.org and see in the event that they are on the list.

Don’t take possibilities together with your pet’s education, hire a CPDT trainer!

Resources for added information


© Paws in Training, 2010


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