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Violence Begets Violence in Pet Dogs Too – Yippee For Dog Behavior Studies!

July 30, 2009

“Do unto others” I say – especially when it comes to teaching my dog training classes and private dog training clients. The last thing I would ever want when learning a knew skill or being taught how to “behave” is to be yelled at or smacked! So why is this acceptable with our pets? In the dog training classes and other dog training services I offer, it’s not! That’s one reason people come to me in the first place.

It seems that there are some provocative dog training methods out there that have become quite popular due to the media and television. Unlike the Food Network and all of the cooking shows, some of the dog training methods being shown don’t seem to be as “user friendly” – for both dogs and the humans…unless of course you’re the star of the show. 
Yes, there is more than one way to train a dog, just like there is more than one way to make a meatloaf. But using physical force, coercive methods, and a “it’s my way or the highway” attitude often doesn’t get you as far as teaching an animal what you want in a way they understand. By taking a “I hold myself accountable” friendly, understanding and “have patience” approach, you can not only teach your dog the behavior you want, but you teach it in such a way they end up thinking for themselves, wanting to make the better choice because it:
  1. Works for them 
  2. They develop positive associations with whatever is happening at the time 
  3. They’re not afraid of being hurt or getting in trouble! 
I came across this great study on how Aggression Begets Aggression in our pet dogs from the Applied Animal Behavior Science completed by Herron, Shofer and Reisner. They talk about the use of these popularized dog training methods and how they often lead to an increase of the behavioral issue. Same as humans being raised in a hostile violent environment often end up behaving the same way ~ violence begets violence. 
Thank goodness for those who take the time to study and publish this wonderful doggy data! THERE’S a television show I’d watch! Hmm, how about it Science Channel??? 

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