Using “dominance” to explain dog behaviour is old hat

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by Promethean, May 22, 2009.

  1. Promethean

    Promethean New Member

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    Using “dominance†to explain dog behaviour is old hat

    Bristol University | News from the University | Dog behaviour and training

    Using “dominance†to explain dog behaviour is old hat

    Press release issued 21 May 2009

    Paper in the Journal of Veterinary Behaviour: Clinical Applications and Research

    A new study shows how the behaviour of dogs has been misunderstood for generations: in fact using misplaced ideas about dog behaviour and training is likely to cause rather than cure unwanted behaviour. The findings challenge many of the dominance related interpretations of behaviour and training techniques suggested by some TV dog trainers.

    Contrary to popular belief, aggressive dogs are NOT trying to assert their dominance over their canine or human “packâ€, according to research published by academics at the University of Bristol’s Department of Clinical Veterinary Sciences in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research.

    The researchers spent six months studying dogs freely interacting at a Dogs Trust rehoming centre, and reanalysing data from studies of feral dogs, before concluding that individual relationships between dogs are learnt through experience rather than motivated by a desire to assert “dominanceâ€.

    The paper “Dominance in domestic dogs – useful construct or bad habit?†reveals that dogs are not motivated by maintaining their place in the pecking order of their pack, as many well-known dog trainers preach.

    Far from being helpful, the academics say, training approaches aimed at “dominance reduction†vary from being worthless in treatment to being actually dangerous and likely to make behaviours worse.

    Instructing owners to eat before their dog or go through doors first will not influence the dog’s overall perception of the relationship – merely teach them what to expect in these specific situations. Much worse, techniques such as pinning the dog to the floor, grabbing jowls, or blasting hooters at dogs will make dogs anxious, often about their owner, and potentially lead to an escalation of aggression.

    Dr Rachel Casey, Senior Lecturer in Companion Animal Behaviour and Welfare at Bristol University, said: “The blanket assumption that every dog is motivated by some innate desire to control people and other dogs is frankly ridiculous. It hugely underestimates the complex communicative and learning abilities of dogs. It also leads to the use of coercive training techniques, which compromise welfare, and actually cause problem behaviours.

    “In our referral clinic we very often see dogs which have learnt to show aggression to avoid anticipated punishment. Owners are often horrified when we explain that their dog is terrified of them, and is showing aggression because of the techniques they have used – but its not their fault when they have been advised to do so, for example by unqualified ‘behaviourists’ recommending such techniques.â€

    At Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, rehoming centre staff see the results of misguided dog training all the time. Veterinary Director Chris Laurence MBE, added: “We can tell when a dog comes in to us which has been subjected to the ‘dominance reduction technique’ so beloved of TV dog trainers. They can be very fearful, which can lead to aggression towards people.

    “Sadly, many techniques used to teach a dog that his owner is leader of the pack is counter-productive; you won’t get a better behaved dog, but you will either end up with a dog so fearful it has suppressed all its natural behaviours and wll just do nothing, or one so aggressive it’s dangerous to be around.â€
     
  2. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    Thanks for posting. This is something most of us have been saying for a long, long time. But for those who just don't get it, it's nice to see more articles posted like this one. Good article!
     
  3. Nestnuuka

    Nestnuuka New Member

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    Really good article! :)
     
  4. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    It is nice to see more people speaking out about this.
     
  5. SisMorphine

    SisMorphine Your Mom

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    Wait a second here . . . so I can't alpha roll my dogs OR flash my boobies at them? How the heck am I suppose to teach them right from wrong?!
     
  6. Fran101

    Fran101 Resident fainting goat

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    beats me! lol
     
  7. skKi

    skKi woop

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    Bahahahahah! From now on I'll have to say "blasting hooters" when talking about flashing someone.

    On a non off topic note, fantastic article.
     
  8. Cheetah

    Cheetah Fluffy Corgi Addict

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    LMFAO. And that's why I love Chaz.
     
  9. Promethean

    Promethean New Member

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    Unless your dogs are over 18y then you should not be flashing them.:lol-sign:
     
  10. Saraq

    Saraq New Member

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    Good article! Thank you for sharing it :)
     
  11. adojrts

    adojrts New Member

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    Anyone have CM or BP email?? They could use some enlightening :rofl1:

    Excellent article.
     
  12. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    Trouble is....they still won't get it. They're so dead set on sticking to their story and not losing face, that even if they did catch a spark of understanding, it wouldn't matter. Their pride matters more than what is good, logical and workable for dogs as well as for dog/human relationships. They don't listen to anyone who trains dogs, has wonderfully behaved and happy dogs, full of spark if they train without compulsion, dominance, pack theory and all the rest of that crap. They just keep denying what is right in front of them if they'd get their heads out of their ______s. (sand) LOL.
     
  13. puppydog

    puppydog Tru evil has no pantyline

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  14. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    Heh, heh...you're brave. Have they come after you with alpha rolls or choke chains yet?
     
  15. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    Nope...they don't get it....those people. I had some pictures of Cesar telling a dog to go lie down on his dog bed in his usual domineering demeanor and that dog is flat out cowering. Now I don't know what link that was in. These people don't seem to recognize stress signals or most body language in dogs. Don't you just love how they poo poo any and all experts with advanced degrees in behavior? Oh yeah, these scientists know nothing. Good God!

    Dog Whisperer, Dog Psychology and Cesar Millan


    Here's something else you can post if you want:

    http://www.4pawsu.com/avsabpuinshment.pdf (by the American veterinary society of animal behavior) (They probably don't know anything either,:rolleyes: but you can post it if you like)
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2009
  16. puppydog

    puppydog Tru evil has no pantyline

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    I am trying hard to not aruge and just present facts. It is not easy though.
    I could do with some help please! :eek:
     
  17. Fran101

    Fran101 Resident fainting goat

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    I respect other people and their training methods. would i ever use cesar milans philosophies on kenya? hell no.

    but i respect other peoples rights to use it on their dogs. Yes, i do tell them my point of view but no im not going to say their way is "wrong" and my way is "right".
    my way is "right" for MY DOG but might not be for everyones.

    This is of course with the exception of methods that really do cause brutal physical harm (beating dogs, abuse). Ive never seen ceasar beat a dog or abuse one and I do watch the show fairly often. my tivo often records it because it knows I like dog shows.

    As long as YOUR dog is healthy, happy its w/e works for you.

    Posting the article on the cesar forum i think was a bit much. if someone came over here and did that about nilif there would be uproar.their responses have been polite and civil, which is surprising to see on a forum. maybe it did educate a select few, but for most on that forum, cesars way has worked for them and their dogs already.. so why would they change? definetly over an article posted rather impolitely on their forum with the title "Read this and learn, abuse is not needed!!!!". that is making a blanket statement. most of those people probably dont abuse their dogs, its a dog forum full of dog lovers, just like this one.

    this is just my 2 cents of course. im just not a "my way or the highway" kind of person.
     
  18. puppydog

    puppydog Tru evil has no pantyline

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    That is exactly what I meant. I am hoping that these people will realise that the method cesar teaches is in fact, abuse. It is nothing but nasty fear mongering. All I am hoping for is to change just ONE persons mind. As my mind was changed.
     
  19. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    I just edited my last post....added another good linik.
     
  20. release the hounds

    release the hounds Active Member

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    i'm a big fan of blasting hooters, problem is I don't have the accessories to do that technique correctly and nobody else around me is willing to do it. I try to convince them of the well trained dogs they will have, as evident by the "oohhh's" and "ahhhh's" they'll get while on the training field. But so far i'm having trouble convincing others to try that method. Maybe I'll write a book and get a tv show, i wonder who will pick that up?
     

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