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Who's Boss

5502 Views 24 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Welshtyke
We have had our bassets 4mnths from rescue, and have had issues with in appropriate behaviour. Have been through some of the threads on this website there has been some interesting, especially the links below originally posted by MikeyT.

To me the interesting fact is the whole "alpha male" issues, which appears to be a myth that needs dispelling.

Is the case that the idea of dominance no longer plays a key role rather by association and positive reinforcement of a consistent theme we expect our dogs to accept a set of rules. As you would expect your children to behave rather than being dominant over them, hence cutting them a bit of slack and allowing them to be their own dog

ClickerSolutions Training Articles -- The History and Misconceptions of Dominance Theory

ClickerSolutions Training Articles -- The Macho Myth
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FWIW the alpha model in wolves is dieing much quicker than it is in dogs especial among those who study them.

What Ever Happened to the Term Alpha Wolf
Europe and North America never mentioned the term alpha in a long article on breeding pairs of wolves. The Loss on Wolves,” was published in a 2008 issue of the Journal of Wildlife Management. In the 448-page, 2003 book Wolves: Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation, edited by Luigi Boitani and myself and written by 23 authors, alpha is mentioned in only six places and then only to explain why the term is outdated. What gives?

This change in terminology reflects an important shift in our thinking about wolf social behavior. Rather than viewing a wolf pack as a group of animals organized with a “top dog” that fought its way to the top, or a male-female pair of such aggressive wolves, science has come to understand that most wolf packs are merely family groups formed exactly the same way as human families are formed. That is, maturing male and
female wolves from different packs disperse, travel around until they find each other and an area vacant of other wolves but with adequate prey, court, mate, and produce their own litter of pups.
Alpha Status, Dominance and Division of Labor in Wolf Packs

The prevailing view of a wolf (Canis lupus) pack is that of a group of
individuals ever vying for dominance but held in check by the "alpha" pair, the alpha
male and the alpha female. Most research on the social dynamics of wolf packs, however,
has been conducted on non-natural assortments of captive wolves. Here I describe the
wolf-pack social order as it occurs in nature, discuss the alpha concept and social
dominance and submission, and present data on the precise relationships among members
in free-living packs based on a literature review and 13 summers of observations of
wolves on Ellesmere Island, Northwest Territories, Canada. I conclude that the typical
wolf pack is a family, with the adult parents guiding the activities of the group in a
division-of-labor system in which the female predominates primarily in such activities as
pup care and defense and the male primarily during foraging and food-provisioning and
the travels associated with them
A tough read but those interested if dog do not arrange themself in a hierarchal pack structure then how do the prevent squabbles and dissagreement in a social setting see
The Social Organization of the Domestic Dog
A Longitudinal Study of Domestic Canine Behavior and the Ontogeny of Canine Social Systems

The theory that a hierarchy based on dominance relationships is the organizing principle in social groups of the sort canis lupus is a human projection that needs replacing. Furthermore, the model has unjustifiably been transferred from its original
place in the discussion of the behavior of wolves to the discussion of the behavior of domestic dogs (canis familiaris). This paper presents a new, more adequate model of how familiaris organizes itself when in groups. This paper is based on a longitudinal study of a permanent group of five randomly acquired dogs living in their natural habitat, as they interact with each other within the group, with newcomers of various species who joined the group, and with fleetingly met individuals of various species in their outside environment. This study shows that the existence of the phenomenon "dominance" is questionable, but that in any case "dominance" does not operate as a principle in the social organization of domestic dogs. Dominance hierarchies do not exist and are in fact impossible to construct without entering the realm of human projection and fantasy. The hypotheses were tested by repeatedly starting systems at chaos and observing whether the model
predicted the evolution of each new system. The study shows that domestic canine social groups must be viewed as complex autopoietic systems, whose primary systemic behavior is to gravitate as quickly as possible to a stable division of the fitness landscape so that each animal present is sitting on a fitness hill unchallenged by other group members.
for using the dominance model in training

Postion Statement On the Use of Dominance Theory in Behavior Modification of Animals
by American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior
The AVSAB recommends that veterinarians not refer clients to trainers or behavior consultants who coach and advocate dominance hierarchy theory and the subsequent confrontational training that follows from it.
• Instead, the AVSAB emphasizes that animal training, behavior prevention strategies, and behavior modification programs should follow the scientifically based guidelines of positive reinforcement, operant conditioning, classical conditioning, desensitization, and counter conditioning
[ Experts Say Dominance-Based Dog Training Techniques Made Popular by Television Shows Can Contribute to Dog Bites

“Pack Leader” Myths
Daniel Estep, Ph.D. and Suzanne Hetts, Ph.D.
Animal Behavior Associates, Inc. - Pet Behavior Wellness Experts

Why Won't Dominance Die?
Association of Pet Behavior Counsellors
To be at the top of the pack with total dominance would make you the “alpha”, with all the esteem that entails, therefore dogs will strive for dominance unless you beat them to it. It’s a neat explanation.

Except that none of it actually bears scientific scrutiny. Prof Richard Dawkins described self replicating ideas as “memes”(1) that live in our minds and pass from one to another through no reason other than their popularity, or catchiness. Some are harmless, like that annoying song you keep humming long after you’ve decided you hate it, but others can be positively harmful, like the idea that combined MMR jabs cause autism, which continues to prevent many children benefiting from the protection they provide.

The “pack” and “dominance” theory of domestic dogs is a harmful meme. It prevents many owners understanding their dogs, causes untold misery for both and is perpetuated by well-meaning but uninformed dog trainers around the world. It is proving extremely resistant to extinction.
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What about this scenario. Your hound is on a peice of furniture it is allowed on, however you want the hound off for some valid reason, but the dog will not budge.

As far as I can see you have three options:-

1) physically remove the hound from the seat by maybe dragging it off

2) drive the dog off by say using a water pistol

3) or use a bribe such as treat, but they have to sit before receiving the treat.

Assuming the Alpha Male Theory is flawed option 3 is not not compromised since we are still in an authoratative position because we still control the food source, and the rest of facilities that makes the hounds home.
I cannot say that this is true for all bassets, but so far, all my basset owner friends seem to laugh and agree with my assessment (So, take it with a grain of salt please :p).

With a basset (especially mine), only option 3 is valid hahahaha
I tried spraying with water.. absolutely no effect. he just come to you and start licking the bottle. I tried hiding the bottle behind my back and act as if the water squirt from the environment. He just ran to my back and found out i am hiding the bottle behind my back; and, it quickly becomes a game of "find where he hide his spray bottle." I tried putting a bit of vinegar in the water (recommended by the trainer) to produce some unpleasant smell and spray him (not directly to his nose and eyes obviously). Still no effect.. he looked at me weird almost as if saying "what is that in the bottle? oooh is it something that I can eat?"

Now.. if I have a treat on my hand, he becomes easily the most obedient dog in the world. Learn to exploit a Basset weakness.. and most likely, it's food. Keep the NILF (Nothing In Life is Free) program and you will be fine. Ask him to do something before you show some attention and give him some treat.

I am glad that I have a friend who gets the dominance theory out of my head from watching too many Cesar Millan's video. She refers me to check victoria stillwell clips and actually, from all the research of positive reinforcement leads me to this forum ;). Now, i don't even use the term alpha, beta, omega, or whatever..
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I am glad that I have a friend who gets the dominance theory out of my head from watching too many Cesar Millan's video. She refers me to check victoria stillwell clips and actually, from all the research of positive reinforcement leads me to this forum ;). Now, i don't even use the term alpha, beta, omega, or whatever..
This is a good forum. It will be interesting to see MikeyT response. I am pleased to see the dominance theory being debunked. I want to live as one with my dogs with set of rules for us all to adhere to
First off the basic premise is a bit off you do not need "a valid" reason to remove the dog from the furniture. And most importantly you need to train the dog before hand to avoid the situtation which you describe so the dog will willing leave. Keeping the Family Dog Off the Furniture

#3 is actual not as benign as you seem to think, It can actual overtime undermine training. Useing food as a bribe, is the problem most "non food" trainer have with food. I.e food must be present for the dog to work etc.

see Rewards, Lures & Bribes
How to Fade Your Lure
The Power of Positive Training
One of the biggest complaints you'll hear about positive training is ask. This is only true if you don't make an effort to fade your lures -- That is to get your dog to respond to your cues when their is no food in sight. If you don't fade lures fairly early in your training program, you and your dog both can become dependant on the presence of food to get the behavior to happen.
#3 fallS into the much broader catagory of an incompatable alternate behavior that is more rewarding desirable. There are other options as well such as making the furniture less inviting to stay on.

It must be noted the problems with number one is simply that it encourages the dog to reacted negatively. Think if you were to attend a meeting and were sitting at a chair for that meeting. You Boss comes up to grabs you by the collar and tries to drag you from the chair because you are in the wrong chair. How would you react. Slap his hand away? yell at him? is the dog really being aggressive when they react the same way or are they acting apporpriately to rude behavior, in this case your rude behavior?. Also think what useing force teaches the dog. That is the use of force is appropriate, not something we want to encourage in dogs.
Keeping a Dog OFF the Furniture
For larger dogs who won't be harmed by getting down on their own, it is safer and more effective to lure and/or cue the dog to get off the furniture, and reward the dog for being back on the floor. People often arouse aggression in dogs by angrily ejecting them from furniture, which can both trigger defense drives in dogs and cause pain if the dog has an orthopedic problem. Orthopedic problems, both inherited and injury related, are so common in dogs that this is a frequent cause of a dog reacting aggressively when forced to get up from a comfortable position and jump down to the floor.
#2 is the other side of the behavioral training coin vs #3 that is punishment vs Reinforcement.
Of course this assumes the dog was first "cued" to get off the furniture. Simply using "punishment" to get the dog off the furniture with no other prompting is not effective unless it is consitently employed as in dog never on the furniture. When the dog is allowed sometime, it is never going to be able to figure out all the difference situation when it is or is not appropriate for it to be on the furniture, and you come off as arbitary and not to be trusted.

Using punishment can be effective but it comes with a lot more risks
Punishment- How not to do it
While these examples of punishment are relatively straightforward, there is a caution that accompanies any use of aversive control. The behavior you punish may not be the only one affected. You may wipe out a number of desirable behaviors unintentionally or create more problems than you started with. For instance, chasing small children is a typical, but objectionable canine behavior. If you are expecting a number of small bipeds at your home you may use balloons to punish chasing behavior. First, inflate some balloons and pop them in your dog's face. Once Fifi is totally appalled by the sight of balloons, simply pin one on each of the children. Fifi is not going to approach any "wee ones" as long as they wear the dreaded balloons.

If you think this sounds like a foolproof solution, think again. Your first concern may be that your dog may become afraid of all loud noises. Second, she may become afraid of children, and third, she may become terrified of balloon-like objects such as watermelons and cantaloupe.

Another difficulty with this type of training is that intentionally terrifying an animal is a stumbling block for many owners. Even though they regularly punish and terrify the pet in anger, to do something in such a coldly calculating fashion is emotionally difficult. Ironically, it is the precisely executed punishment that is more effective and more humane. When used correctly, punishment can be reduced to a rarely used, highly effective tool for creating inhibitions.

leadership is not dominance
Relationship based Approach to Training

Leadership Basics

How Much Does Your Dog's Cooperation Weigh?
Physical struggles aren't the point in relationship based training.


Leadership Qualities Dogs Respect

Dominance Versus Leadership in Dog Training

Dominance or Leadership with Dogs. Do We or Don’t We
And have you noticed, nobody talks about dominating cats?
Author and speaker Orrin Woodward also was quoted as saying, "When you resort to force, you have reached your leadership limit." Force and intimidation can result in obedience, but it doesn't bring respect. Respect is earned, not forced, and a key component of strong leadership.
Leadership versus Dominance
When a human or another dog reacts, rather than initiates, that individual is following. Interestingly, this "reaction" is the very hallmark of application of "dominance" techniques-- wait for the dog to screw up, then intervene. Who is leading who?

Waiting for the car to run off the road before steering is obviously a bad idea. But somehow "because dogs aren't like us", this approach is often attempted.

Sadly, I've seen a well-intentioned "positive" approach used in the same way. The dog jumps up, THEN the person asks for a SIT. This is ineffective for so many reasons, now "positive" training has been misidentified as the cause of ineffectiveness.

The key to leadership for your canine pals is developing the ability to read the current situation, anticipate what behaviors come next, identify "crossroad" moments when steering is needed, and a toolbox full of ways to elicit the behavior you want BEFORE an undesirable behavior emerges.
and while not from an article on leadership it reinforces the premise of being proactive not reactive
Insights Into Puppy Mouthing
90% of the time if I clearly define something for owners and ask what their dog will likely do, they have a wonderfully detailed knowledge of what their dog will probably do. But most people don't look at the perimeters objectively or with clarity and worse they fall into a pattern of waiting until the dog has done the thing they don't want that they knew was probably going to happen. They then respond to what the dog did even though they could have predicted the Undesired response a week ahead of time.
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Thanks Mikey for some excellent replies, some as you say a tough read. There is a lot out there and a bit bewildering, but what a facinating subject.

We have tried some of the tips in the following link you suggested, "touch wood" seems to work.
Leadership Qualities Dogs Respect | Positive Petzine

Have order some books you have previously suggested, I will just take my time now to absorb as much as I can.
I am!

Haha but seriously, I don't believe the whole "alpha theory" myself. I don't need to scare my dog into behaving and obeying by acting like his mother. I'm not his mother, I am his owner. I'm not a dog, I'm a human. I control his food, water, shelter, fun and everything.

As far as the bribing goes, no I don't do it. A treat isn't even offered until I get the behavior I want. And yes, corrections are used by me. So he knows if he behaves he gets rewarded, if not he's punished.

I'll probably come back to clarify things in another post. :)
With all this talk, how do you give proper correction to a dog that does not respond to water, vinegar, sound, and clicking sound?
I swear I cannot correct my dog with all those tricks. The only thing I can do is by luring him with food.
I had a litter of puppies a long time ago , one paticular male had dominate aggressive tendencies. I would hold him on his back in my arms, he would growl,snarl and carry on. I knew if the wrong person tried to bring up this puppy he/she would be in for a fight,possibly bad enough to be bitten. These traits are not grown out of, but grown into. I kept this puppy and worked with him,I didn't need to scare him,but I needed to let him know in ways he could understand that this behavior was not allowed. He turned out to be the nicest dog but I hate to think what could have happened to him had I placed him at 8 or 10 weeks of age. One time we had an English Mastiff,sweetest thing ever,I invited a person to bring their Mastiff over to my house so they could see mine. I had a dominate bitch who was the greatest mom basset ever,(I loved to watch her disipline her kids)she was there when the people with their Mastiff came in,she went to check out the other dog, stopped in front of this dog and in one split second she went ,"RUFF", and put this 90lb Mastiff to the ground with her short stubby leg resting on the Mastiff's shoulder and did not let her move till she was ready to let her move. Another time some folks had an Australian Shepherd pup 6 weeks old that was nasty. He bit them every time they picked him up or tried to touch him in any way. Brought him to my house my girl laid on the floor and when he got snippy with her she put him right to the ground ,the more he fought her the longer she held him there,the longer she held him there the more he came back after her when she let him up. After about 20 min of this he gave in to her and was so tired he didn't bother trying to bite when they picked him up. My instructions to them was to do what my bitch did when he got too much of an attitude. If you do not correct behavior in a way that a dog will understand what is the point. My dogs see me as Alpha therefore they understand what it is I require of them. No scare tactics. No hurting them in any way. I have no problem with Victoria's way but I practice more of Ceasar's way(no pun) because it works for me. I don't have any problems in any area with my dogs because I raise them to think I am God.;)
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With all this talk, how do you give proper correction to a dog
Why are you correcting the dog? The point a correction is not necessary. Rather than concentrating on what the dog does wrong and correcting instead on focus on teach the dog the proper behavior and rewarding it for doing so

[URL=""]Stopping Negative Behavior Positively,[/url]
have no problem with Victoria's way but I practice more of Ceasar's way(no pun) because it works for me. I don't have any problems in any area with my dogs because I raise them to think I am God.;)
I have no problem with Much of Ceasar training , that is when he is actually training, what I do have a problem with is his explaination of why things work and some of his behavioral modification techniques that can make things worse much worse.

First of in the behavioral model there is nothing that say using +P positive (adding punishment) is any more nor any less effective than +R adding reward by definition they both work. There are other methods that are the flip side of adding something -R which is removing something that is rewarding. That is the very definition of the ear pinch used in teach a dog a forced retrieve in obedience. The ear is pinch until the dog takes the dumbbell in the mouth and is rewarded by the removal of the ear pinch. -p such as removing attention for a problem behavior like jumping up is known to cause the behavior to become extinct. They all work Some are better at using certain techniques than other and gravitate to that methodogy. Personally I find it easier to teach heeling via punishment chock chain etc than by Positive reinforcement and negative punishment. However when not left Strickly to the reletively benign training relm, +Punishment comes with more baggage and the abilty to do more harm than +Reinforcement.

There are much more consistent model that exist for dog behavior in a social environment than a linear social hierarchy, The problem is there are so many exceptions that need to make hierarchy fit that is become actually a useless model. Why is it that it is The old dog with the creaking arthritic bones that end up with the softest bed most often. It is the young dog that loves to play that controls the toys. And yet another that find food most important and a four that is the one found lying next to humans. In the alpha model it should be one and only one dog the donates and controls all these resources, In actuality that only occurs in very few cases. So those that believe in hierarchy make a whole host of exceptions. Ie The truely alpha dog is empathetic and will allow other acess to thing it does not care about. This is just the oposiste of the model that humans are suppose to employ in that they must control all resource, eat first, walk through door way first. etc. Females have a less linear heirarchy than males. ect. When two people can obbserve a group of dogs in a number of various interaction they rarely come up with the same Alpha.

one split second she went ,"RUFF", and put this 90lb Mastiff to the ground with her short stubby leg resting on the Mastiff's shoulder and did not let her move till she was ready to let her move.
Highely doubtfull that the basset physicallyoverpowered the mastif. What occured is communcation The female say I will let you in the house if you promise to abide by my rules and the mastif saying yes mama. There is no suport for any heirarchy is a single incounter. for a Heirarchy to exist is must exist in multiple encounter and multiple contects. So when the basset went to the Mastifs home and walked over to the bowl of food while he was eating did he back away?

Another time some folks had an Australian Shepherd pup 6 weeks old that was nasty. He bit them every time they picked him up or tried to touch him in any way. Brought him to my house my girl laid on the floor and when he got snippy with her she put him right to the ground ,the more he fought her the longer she held him there,the longer she held him there the more he came back after her when she let him up. After about 20 min of this he gave in to her and was so tired he didn't bother trying to bite when they picked him up.
and this is some demonstration of alpha dominance. Well not quite It is a well known phenoninom known as learned helplessness. Fist documentment when rats were shocked in cages but were not allowed to escape. They first exihibted fight tendency trying to get away, but when that did not work they simple eventual lay down on the floor which is where the shock came from. Not because the shock hurt less , they got use to it , no because the had no way to stop it. While you might think it is an effective technique it comes with a whole host of problems and undesirable consequences.

Learned helplessness
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I know the basset was not trying to over power the mastiff but she was telling her as you suggested this was her home and the rules were made by her. As for learned helplessness,maybe ,but it rectified the problem therefore it worked,and used consistantly it taught the pup it did not need to resort to biting to get what it wanted or did not want. All dogs are individuals what works for some may not work for others it can be trial and error. But in no way have I ever experienced in 20 something years of owning ,breeding , and showing my dogs, anything negitive from the dogs themselves because of the methods I use to train or disipline (not punish) them. Once I saw Ceasar's show I realized I did what he does my whole life with dogs but never got my own TV show.:rolleyes: My dogs are balanced and that makes the whole household calm. I couldn't do what he does with "red zone"dogs but I've never had to with my own dogs,cause I would nip that behavior in the bud before they got to be adults.
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All dogs are individuals what works for some may not work for others it can be trial and error
While there is the rare dog that benefit from a specific style of training IMHO it is the human for which style is most important. Some are much better at using adversives and others reward. IMHO most dog owners are not very good with the adversive. The are used in anger and when to use then appropriately in a cold and calculating manner they can't son the benefit from a style that is more dependant on rewarding good behavior.

Notice I can eplain why adversive and reward work without resorting to social hierarchy. The behavioral model is a much more useful construct. Not to mention the fact the hierarchy scientific basis has crumbled. It leads others to make their own constructs that are completely void of any scientific evidence of fact.
Myths About Dominance
A client told us she had recently read that she needed to spit in her dog’s food to show him who was boss. The theory was that if a dog eats food with another’s saliva on it, he is acknowledging his subordinate role in the relationship.

...The myths get worse. We talked to a family who was told by their trainer that they and their 12 year old son had to “hump” their dog in order to establish their dominance over him. So they spent half an hour with the trainer chasing the dog around the backyard trying to mount him. Now the dog won’t come when called and doesn’t want to have much to do with them. Is anyone surprised? And why would anyone agree to do this?

All of these explanations for dog behavior are from the MSU school. This is not Michigan or Mississippi State University, but from people who Make Stuff Up. We have no clue where these ideas came from - they certainly didn’t come from the scientific literature!
That is the real danger of the social hierarchy and pack order myths.

I would nip that behavior in the bud before they got to be adults.
Which is the mark of a good/owner trainer. It is much easier to correct a problem behavior before it ever occurs but if it does working on correcting it as soon as possible. Dogs benefit from strict unwaivering consistent set of rules. If the rules are not consistent they will seek to understand when and under what circumstance they do or do not apply. If you do not want the dog on the furniture when quest are over but allowe it normally at home it is going to confuse the dogs. Some may figure out the rules other may never, But the will never understand rules that are nut consitently applied and will constantly test the boundries. When the boundry are firm and consistent there is no reason to test and the household general runs a lot smoother. This is while I do not practice it, I will often Recommend NILIF program for people that are have troble with pushy and obnoxious dogs. Form them they need a more ridged program to keep from Inadvertantly rewarding the behavior they don't want and are of negligent in rewarding the ones the do. Siting politely etc.

It is important to note there are much miss conceptions about "posititive Training" The biggest is the dogs get to do what they want "positive" does not equal Permissive"

1. Work=play=work. All play is fun and so all work should be as well. If your dog makes a decision during play (example he grabs his toy without being invited to do so) you are reinforcing his right to make decisions during working with you as well (ahh, maybe I will chase the cat rather then practice A Frames right now!).

2. POSITIVE does not equal PERMISSIVE. This is the guiding principle of Say Yes Dog Training. You must be consistent. If a behaviour is acceptable at home (example the dog choosing not to lie down when told) it is also acceptable during work. Approach training and home life with a patient disposition and a strict application of what is and isn’t acceptable. Training happens 24 hours a day 7 days a week; your dog is always learning regardless if you are actively training or not!​
The Myth of "Purely Positive"
First, the term implies that clicker trainers use no aversives. Extinction and negative punishment are both used by clicker trainers, and BOTH are aversive. Extinction is every bit as aversive as punishment, sometimes even more so. So even trainers who try to avoid negative punishment still have an aversive element to their training if they're using extinction. All aversives are not created equal. Some are mild and some are severe. Whether the aversive is due to something being added, something being removed, or something just not paying off does not determine the severity of the consequence.
In the class Pax took in Nov/Dec, the instructor wanted to teach dogs to recall instantly, even if another person was playing with/distracting the dog. She taught this traditionally through collar corrections. She set the dogs up, and if they didn't respond to the recall cue, the owner was to give the dogs a sharp correction. I taught it differently. I instructed people to pet my dog, and then one second after the recall cue... no matter what Pax did... to stand and turn away. We could even practice that without the dog!! There was no decision making there; they heard the cue, counted to one, and then turned away. If Pax chose to stay with the person when I called, he found that all the fun attention went away. No point in that! My solution was just as punishment-based as the instructor's was, but there was no fear, pain or intimidation. Instead, the reinforcer the dog wanted (attention) was tied to his behavior.
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The quote below as been around for quite a long time

Jesus replied, " 'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, 19honor your father and mother,'and 'love your neighbor as yourself.'"

A bit deep I know, but I think this dominance therory over your dogs wrecks your relationship with it, for my mind you have to respect your dog, with a helping of affection. Some say you should not greet you dog immediately you come home, but wait to greet it on you own terms.

I don't ask my dogs to do something because I can. I ask them to something because I need them to do it. 06:30 in a morning is toilet time and I let them into the garden, sometimes the bitch is comfortable in bed and you can sense she is saying no chance. So I get the grumble and growl, which if you put yourself in that position you can understand. If I get no joy after pointing gesticulating to get her out she would get squirt from the water pistol. Which to date always works. This is the only adverse treatment I use the rest is positive reinforcement.

So after reading much of what is on here I am going for the link Leadership Qualities Dogs Respect | Positive Petzine and making a fuss of the dogs.
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It doesn't matter how long I've had dogs or how I raise them or what I say about them ,or what I do with them, because there is an article out there that questions my way of doing something,which ,I'm not sure how that can be when I say something works for me. To me these articles are just another way of looking at something but by no means do I take them as being gospel. I respect my dogs and(get this) they respect me.I didn't need to pull rank on them to get the respect. My relationship with Esa and Vinny have not been wrecked we have a much closer relationship because of the way I've raised them,not in spite of it. I'm not sure why I continue to give my opinion on anything except that I want to be helpful but I always come away feeling I've done something wrong when in reality I have not. So, I do not feel guilty for being Apha dog in my home.It works for me and them.
cool bubbad:cool::cool:. I think on this forum we are in many respects preaching to the converted where everyone feels passionate about their dogs.

I tried some of the aspects where you are supposed to be dominant rather a leader in the maybe the alpha sense and I felt I was becoming detached from my dogs and I did not like, but in the end its got to come down to what works for the both you and the dogs where the dogs are respected:):)
I have found the discussions interesting and agree with bubbad in regard to respecting your dog and treating them as such. We have just completed our first two weeks with a shelter/rescue dog. Basil is a 1.4 year old basset and is quite a hand full. He barks and growls and does typical dog things and he also has some serious behavior problems as a result of the abuse he went through before we adopted him. We ignore his inappropriate barking and this seems to be working. We are recognizing the types of barking he does and when it is appropriate, he is praised and rewarded. He jumps up but this is lessening because we do not get upset with him, we just gently put his feet back down on the ground and go on from there. We have tried speaking firmly to him and the adverse behavior starts. He cannot be yelled at, spoken firmly to, or any type of harsh speaking of any kind. Leashes, straps, clickers, hound gloves, flashlights are items that send him into the beserk behavior. We found out that Basil was a military family dog and when they were transfered to So. California, they either lost the dog or it got out and they chose not to claim him. We have Basil on a good diet and lots of love and affection and a stress free environment seem to be doing the best for him at this time. We did have two shelter/rescue dogs and they did wonderfully on the affection training. Caesar, a greatly abused cocker spaniel, lived with us for over 11 years and was 14 1/2 when we lost him; Salem, a soft-coated wheaten terrier, was another abused dog and was 16 1/2 when he suffered a stroke and we had him put down. Both dogs turned into wonderful companions.
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See links below to a UK website

Dogs Trust - Factsheets and Downloads

Dog training seems to be quite a hot topic which seems to fall into two camps 1) the now disputed alpha male theory, 2) training based on empathy with the dog in a leadership role. Unfortunately there a now many self styled dog trainers all having there own spin on the theme and we poor owners are scrabbling around looking to do whats for the best.
Concerning Victoria Stillwell (it's me or the dog) Read an article which stated that she was an actress who was looking for a break into television. She had never even owned a dog up until that time, and as for calling herself an animal can take that with a pinch of salt!!!!
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