You were told to do WHAT?

Posted by Sheena Neil on Thursday, July 17, 2014
A recent discussion on Facebook among fellow dog trainers has resulted in a long list of various techniques owners have been told in order to get compliance from their dogs.
These myths range from silly, abusive, to downright disturbing. 

New puppy owners tend to get bombarded with 'advice' from anyone and everyone. There are TV celebrities, friends, family members, fellow dog owners, even complete strangers on the street.
Before implementing any type of advice first ask yourself "Would I feel comfortable and safe having them done TO ME?".

In no particular order, here they are.

  • When the dog comes inside, sniff his/her butt to establish dominance
  • Pinch the dogs ear until it screams to break it of a bad habit
  • Push the dog away, pin him down, let your child feed him/her. When he/she growls slap him/her on the nose to show who is Alpha
  • Stop play biting by squeezing the dogs lips into their sharp teeth
  • [insert breed here] live longer if they are not neutered
  • Sitting on the floor reading a book while holding your dog in an Alpha push for 30 minutes will teach your dog who the Pack Leader is
  • [insert breed here] are too smart for that clicker training. You have to show them who the boss is
  • Put a cookie in your dogs bowl, eat it while your dog is watching, then put the bowl on the floor to who him who's boss
  • If a puppy bites, bite him/her back
  • Have your child sit on the dog to elevate the child above the dog in status
  • Hold your dog down and pee on him/her to establish dominance
  • If your dog is pulling on the leash pick him/her up and carry them to avoid teaching them to pull
  • Change directions and stop suddenly when your dog is not looking to teach loose leash walking and prevent pulling
  • [insert breed here] can not be taught loose leash walking because it is in their blood to pull
  • Hunting dogs work better if they live outside, living indoors will spoil them
  • Slam your dog into door jams and walls if they attempt to walk ahead of you through doorways or hallways
  • Lay in their bed so they do not guard their bed
  • When your puppy mouths you stick your hand down their throat or force their mouth closed
  • Let babies harass puppies so the dog will grow up to like kids
  • Never look away first from your dog, stare them down so they know you are Alpha
  • Growl at your puppy if they bite or put their teeth on you
  • Hold your puppy down on his back for at least 30 minutes a day so your puppy will be well behaved
  • Pinch a dog's ear to force him to retrieve
  • Prong collars remind dogs of their mother's teeth. Put them high on the neck to maximize this effect
  • Back clip harnesses make dogs pull
  • Do not let your dog be higher than you on a couch or bed or they will think they are dominant
  • Shake a can of pennies at a dog to get them to stop doing whatever you don't like
  • Shove your dog's face in holes full of water to make them stop digging holes in the yard
  • The problem with leash corrections if that people don't do them hard enough, yank the dog to lift it's front feet *NOTE: the problem with leash corrections is... leash corrections
  • Rubbing your dog's nose in house accidents will teach them not to potty inside
  • Do not give your dog attention when they are scared/reactive/aggressive/fearful because you will reinforce the fear/reaction
Oh boy!!!

This list makes me sad.
Reading through them it becomes obvious why so many dog bites occur, and why most bites happen to children.

Paying and rewarding behaviours you DO want is a far more effective way to ensure good behaviours stick and unwanted behaviours diminish.
Teaching incompatible behaviours is the best way to remove unwanted ones.
Your dog can not jump while sitting and can not pull while walking on a loose leash.

This list also makes clear that Alpha/dominance theory (theory- not proven by science) is unfortunately still strong, and dogs are paying the price.

Tags: myths  alpha  dominance  theories  positive reinforcement  force free training 

About Me

Sheena Neil Owner/Trainer Keystone Training