Posts Tagged ‘dominance’

dog and hunter

 

Back in the late seventies I was, as my Uncle Eldon would say,. still wet behind the ears.

I decided that I no longer wanted to train dogs in the fashion that was prescribed by my Uncle, who was the dog trainer in the family.

 

I had become disillusioned with the practice of dominance based dog training, and began to form my own way of thinking about dogs and as it turned out my philosophy was the polar opposite of what Eldon believed.

Eldon was of the old school mind-set that said if the dog did not obey, or showed aggression to family members, he needed to be taken in a notch.

Which didn’t mean Eldon injured the dogs in any way,  no, he was very careful about how he dispensed what he considered discipline,.because they were highly valued assets that required care and protection.

In his words, “ A well-trained dog that can hunt is worth his weight in gold.“

His go-to punishment for bad behavior was,  if he thought the dog was being disrespectful, or willfully disobedient, he would give it a swift kick in the ass, and give the dog the veiled threat,

“If I have to talk to you again, I am going to let the ax handle do the talking.“

I had come to realize that what Eldon saw as respect in the dogs was really fear. The dogs always obeyed but they would come to him low to the ground, ears back, tail tucked in.

I could see the stress the dogs were under, and it made me feel bad for the dogs, and frankly pissed off at Eldon.

I did not voice my concerns, because to do so would have been an exercise in futility, and to my Uncles way of seeing things, disrespectful, therefore worthy of a swift kick in the ass.

At this point I had already trained a couple of my neighbors dogs to herd cattle, and I had brought home an eight week old , female Australian Shepherd pup, who I named Tiny, and had trained her to herd the cattle, my way.

Now back in 1978 my way of training a dog was not a method that could be named, and for the next 35 years remained un-named, and I was not even thinking about dog training philosophy, methodology, or even why dogs did what they did,. I was not that deep of a thinker,.. I just let the dog be true to his temperament, and I shaped behaviors, like come, sit, down, and stay.. as they presented themselves during daily life,.. and I based all this on those times when I saw that the dogs were their happiest and most dog like.

When they were hunting or herding.

The idea struck me one evening as we readied our weapons and moved from building to building, gathering traps and the supplies we would need to spend the night in the camp we had built at the end of the trap line, some eight miles up the stream.

I suddenly noticed the dogs were much more vocal than usual, with was not unusual,  I just had never noticed it before, and then…

The thought hit me like a ton of bricks.

When my Uncle`s dogs were not working with either hunting or herding they would just lay around and never showed any what I would call enthusiasm for what was going on,.unless someone came in the driveway, or a deer would come out into the field., then they would light up like a Christmas tree.

I realized that the dogs seemed to know what we were going to do, that preparation for the hunt was happening, and they seemed to perk up in spirit, they had an anxious anticipation about them… their normally fearful nature seemed to disappear,..and they became more vocal in their attempts to communicate with us.. and it wasn’t until much later that I further realized that the dogs knew what we were going to do, even before we did.

Then the thought I had earlier suddenly solidified, and I understood.

The spirit, or heart of the dog resides in the hunt.

The next morning the dogs would be electric with energy and enthusiasm to get started.., they required a little coaxing to settle down enough to eat, and sometimes we just fed them by hand along the way.

They acted like puppies again, full of life and energy.

They would walk behind and then charge ahead searching for things to run up a tree or corner,.

They would respond to our whistles and calls, circling back, moving through the brush, and with every bound through the snow you could see the layers of stored stress melt away as they used it to organize themselves in concert with our movements,..reading us like a book.

I observed the dogs after the hunt and regardless of if it was successful or not, they seemed to be re-born, and the fear and stress that had burdened them was suddenly gone…at least for a short time.

I began to train my pups with the hunt in mind, I would take them to the woods and walk around, play with them, and  let them be dogs, games like hide and seek, find the stinky cheese, tug of war, and I always let them win, because it made them so happy to run off with that old sock tied to a rubber hose.. I never considered that I should teach them that I am the boss.

I was not their boss, I didn’t want to be.

I was the one they depended on to provide outlets for their stress, by teaching them how to hunt, and to shape their behavior with the words I used to communicate my intentions.

All this I accomplished simply by playing with my dogs in a way that spoke to their true nature as hunters.

In return they give me respect and life long trust.

I knew dogs lived in the moment, but I was missing some information that if I had know about it back then would have changed my perception about not only dogs,.. but myself.

I now know that what I was seeing in my Uncles dogs was stored emotional energy that manifests itself as stress in the dog’s body and mind, and that energy is jam-packed with information that is vital to the dog’s ability to learn, and they are only truly able to release it and connect with us when they are free to express their true nature as hunters, and work with us as team mates.

All the best,

Harley

 

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dynamic dog

 

You’ve heard it more than once.

The key to getting your dog to pay attention, come when called, and to not be a raving crazy canine is to show them who’s the boss.

Toss em’ on their side.

Hold em’ down.

Create a atmosphere of dominance that rocks your dogs’ world and he’ll live happily ever after.

It’s almost a dog training mantra, but I might just spray the next person who says it right in the mug with citronella.

Because while everybody tells you how great your dog training program must be, almost nobody tells you how to do it.

Which makes any advice they gave you next to useless.

The “how” of dynamic dog training has a secret known only to a few celebrity dog trainers. And they’re keeping it to themselves.

That’s about to change…

Why Epic Dog Training Is Like A Trained Olympic Athlete

We’ve all watched them, along with millions of spectators from around the world. And marveled at the physical skill and sheer talent of these athletes.

What’s even more impressive than the physical feats of these athletes is the even more impressive mental strength that through endless practice has developed to block out stress, and the distraction of 10’s of thousands of screaming fans.They are indeed at the top of their mental game.

What separates these athletes from others is in the fact that when you see them perform you know they are the real deal.

High caliber dog training programs are the same if the person who is teaching you really knows his or her stuff , you will know it when you see it, because your dog will begin to transform right before your very eyes.

The Rewards That Await Followers of Dynamic Dog Training

When you follow a proven dog training program, you can expect both you and your dog to be handsomely rewarded.

A Dynamically Trained Dog Gets Attention

 

Almost everyone you know will compliment you on your dogs behavior. More opportunities will arise for you to include your dog in you daily life. People will ask your advice on how to train their own dogs.

Those are some of the results my training program has achieved.

When you get your mind right and train your dog properly, people take notice.

Dyamic Dog Training Breeds Loyalty

 

When you train your dog properly, he or she will become bonded to you. And they feel compelled obey you.

Then instead of just hearing sound of crickets (or its close cousin “the stare”) when you say come, you’ll have a dog that is eager to come to you.

Responses like those are clues you’re now a dynamic dog trainer.

Want some more tips on how to be a dynamic dog trainer then go here NEXT!

5 Tips To Improve Your Dogs Behavior Starting TODAY!

Talk soon,

Harley

dog park

 

 

 

I get emails every week from people who are trying to figure out how to raise their puppies and dogs to be good canine citizens, but are concerned with some particular behavior that is causing them problems.

I want to share with you one of these emails that I got from a lady who takes her 10 month old Belgian Malinois to the dog park on a regular basis.

The email reads like this:

“Hi,my name is Mary and I have a problem.” “I have this 10 month old Belgian Malinois and I take him to the dog park to play and socialize as often as I can, usually 4-5 times a week.” “Lately he has been showing a nasty bit of behavior towards other dogs at the park.” “He will put his head on them and push them down, if they lay down, he stands over them like a statue growling even louder.”

“I am worried that he is going to attack one of these dogs.” “I try to correct him but he pays no attention to me,..I am worried about him and I don’t want to do something that will scar him for life..please help.”

P.S. “I was wondering if going to a different park would help?”

This was my reply:

“Hi Mary thanks for the great questions.” “What I am about to tell you is straight up dead serious.”

“I don’t fool around when it comes to problems like yours.”

“I’m probably being politically incorrect, but I really don’t give a damn.” “Dog aggression is dangerous, serious, business, and I don’t take it lightly.”

“Neither should you.”

“People get bitten every day by their own dogs, because they tried to break  up a fight at the dog park.”

“I need you to listen to me when I tell you this.”

“You can NEVER take your Malinois to ANY dog park as long as he is showing aggression.” “To ignore this advice is dangerous not only to you and other people, but to any dog that is around your dog.”

You need to learn how drive plays a big part in your dog’s personality.

When an educated dog that is in control of his drive, they will not be aggressive.

I suggest you visit my website and read the article I wrote on how to establish leadership with your puppy.

Thanks for writing, I hope I have been of some help. I completely understand your frustration.

Aggressive and dominant dogs are a pain in the keester

All the best

Harley

This email got me thinking about dog parks so I decided to tell you why I think taking your puppy or dog to a dog park to run wild with 15 or so strange dogs off leash is a very risky idea.

Dog parks were born out of necessity. People who live in town and city apartments needed somewhere to take their dogs to exercise and play.

While the concept was no doubt conceived in good intention, all I see when I visit one of these parks is a lot of dogs off leash with no human leadership to speak of, and just about every one of them is out of control.

A high number of these dog owners don’t know about how powerful the instincts are in their family pet, and how these drives effect a dogs behavior.

When a dog is introduced into the dog park his drive and instinct is running on max power.

If you stand back and observe dogs interacting in the park you will see that the dogs are grouping together in packs. If there are more than 3 dogs in a group then this is a pack. Within that grouping the dogs will vie for rank, the dog with the best leadership skills will set the rules for play.

I see this play out often when the same dogs go to the same park all the time. They will see this area as their territory and if an outside dog comes into the park, he is not going to be welcomed like a long-lost buddy, and this is where the problems start.

The dogs who are familiar to the park will become territorial,dominant,and some will be fearful.All of these behaviors can result in aggression which can very quickly, in the blink of your eye quick, turn into a full on dog fight.

Where a lot of people make a mistake is by thinking that because those dogs are playing with other dogs they will play with yours.

This is dangerous thinking.

Those dogs who are playing have already established the pecking order, and the game is being played by their rules. If your dog has a different idea about how to play the game, he may well be attacked by the leader of that grouping of dogs, and the other dogs in that group might very well attack your dog as well.

Mixing puppies and adult dogs together in this kind of situation is just plain wrong. Some older dogs don’t really tolerate a puppy’s behavior and have no qualms about putting that puppy in his rank. When a older dog corrects a puppy for any certain behavior, the punishment can range from a tooth bump, which might draw a little blood and certainly make the puppy yelp, and run for the hills, to a full on aggressive attack that can result in sever injury to the pup or even death.

If your pup is approached by one of these dominant aggressive older dogs you have got to get your pup behind you and protect him at all cost. If you fail at this and your pup gets attacked you will most likely raise a dog aggressive dog.

And just because you got a Rottweiler or a German Shepard, that really don’t  make any difference, a puppy, regardless of breed, is not ready to defend it’s self against any dog that is not in his age group.

To let your puppy work things out for himself with an older dog is the same as putting your 7 year old pee-wee hockey player into a game with kids 10-13  years old, in most cases the 7 year old is not ready, physically,mentally or in any other way to play with those boys, and is at some point end up hurt.

I take my dogs and puppies to the dog park, but I stay outside the fence and work on having fun and keeping my dog focused on me, not the dogs or people in the park.

The only good thing about a dog park at least for me and my dogs and pups, is that it can serve as a great distraction learning environment, as long as I keep outside the fence.

Harley