Common Misconceptions regarding dog training.by Michelle St Germain on 08/08/12
Common Misconceptions regarding dog training.
After 12 years of meeting people and their dogs I have realized that there are a slew of old wives tales and misconceptions in regards to dogs and to training them. I am going to talk about a few of them in this blog.
1. Behavior Problems will go away: I have heard a hundred times from people, "he'll just grow out of it", "I'm not worried about his chewing, he's just teething", "she's afraid of people, it will just get better." The list goes on... I can assure you that problems do not just go away if they are not dealt with at the very first sign of trouble. They get worse rapidly and the dog grows bigger and stronger. Making problems harder to manage or even prevent from occurring . The longer the dog is allowed to practiced the behavior, the harder it is to repair. Dogs grow out of nothing except their collars!!!
2. A dog's mouth is cleaner than humans: they lick their bums...case closed!
3. Humans need to Dominate dogs to train them effectively: Thus is totally something from the dinosaur ages. Old school methods of training have been replaced with positive , kind training. I ask one question to you: How on earth is a child supposed to dominate a nippy 7 month old German Shepard Dog??? It can't happen, which in my opinion makes this more ineffective than effective. With the kinder, gentler methods of training even a child can do it. More times than not you are setting your self up for disaster. One of two will result from human domination: the first being owning a obedient dog who is intimidated by you or worse fears you. Secondly, you may also end up with a dog who gets fed up with being ALFA rolled by you and it eventually bites you or someone else when they go to touch it. I got my dog to be a companion to me and my family, why on earth would I want to scare it into obeying me. This is certainly not to say that dogs do not need rules...they most certainly do and lots of them. But training with love,understanding and kindness is a far better route to take then adversary training!
4. Caesar can fix the dogs so fast: This is truly the one that hurts trainers the most. An hour long TV show cannot possibly depict the timely process of retaining, desensitization and management. TV shows make it look so easy and best of all fast. This is simply not at all reality. Behaviour problems cannot be fixed in minutes or hours. You can learn new techniques to manage or prevent your problem in minutes or hours but the end results will take time (sometimes several months)and patience and sometimes even restructuring if it is not having the desired effect. All in all the more you work on fixing the problem the less time it takes to fix it. Practice makes perfect!
5. He's just playing, he won't ever bite: So now we are reading the minds of dogs. How can anyone 100% guarantee that their dog would never bite someone or something?? Dogs are animals and animals bite. Whether it is for protection, fear, excitement, injury, the list goes on. Dogs can bite and often they do. Often, owners are surprised when they do because they never saw the precursor signs that led up to the bite in the first place. Lean to read your dogs body cues both physically and vocally. When they bark or growl at a person or other dog take it as a sign that a bite can be the next step. This was always a favorite of mine when I worked at the vet's office.
There are so many more training bloopers. If you have
heard of please feel free to share them with me. =