Hey, Old School Dominance Theory: School’s Out!

Again, it’s not a matter of effectiveness; hitting, poking, and pinning your dog will stop a behaviour momentarily but it doesn’t stop the reason why it happened in the first place.

All methods take time to perfect, the patience to be consistent, and the practice to be efficient. If a non-aversive, scientifically tested (and constantly researched!) method can be used with animals of all sizes and species, why opt for the aggressive, outdated and disproven methodology?

The biggest fallout I’ve experienced with Knox using reward-based communication? An excited dog that offers too many good behaviours when I don’t communicate. This is coming from a dog that used to communicate frustration by nipping hands, arms, feet, and your head, or destroying anything close.

It’s true that there’s no one-size-fits-all method with training, which is why understanding the science behind behaviour, learning and modification is so important. It uses a simple model that can adapt to all animals. Pinning, choking, and rolling assumes one thing: respect comes from dominance and you have to fight to get it.

Wilde About Dogs

Nic Phantom posingA pediatrician is attempting to examine an infant. He holds the stethescope to the tiny chest but the baby won’t stop squirming. It’s difficult to get an accurate listen. The doctor informs the mother that the baby can’t be allowed to run the show; he needs to show her who’s boss. He slams the baby on her back, places a hand around her neck, and nearly chokes her until she lies still. Does this sound absolutely crazy? Of course it does, because it is. Now replace the words pediatrician with veterinarian and baby with dog. Although the species is different, the dynamic is the same. The difference is that treating dogs this way is all too common.

The story that was partially responsible for inspiring this blog involved a nine-week-old puppy who had been nearly choked by the family vet. Unfortunately, there seens to be an endless supply of similar…

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