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Blog — dogs

Is My Dog Fear Compliant?

Is My Dog Fear Compliant?

In my last blog post, Dominance Debunked, I explained how physical force and emotional intimidation can make a dog fearful and even aggressive. The thing is, with a lot of these methods, including alpha-style "pack leadership" and even e-collar training, you can produce a dog who appears obedient and calm. But the underlying state of many of these dogs is actually a freeze-response. These dogs are fear-compliant. They obey out of a sense of self-preservation because their nervous systems are overwhelmed with fight/flight/freeze signals. This is why a dog may "snap" out of nowhere, because they are moving from the...


Dominance Debunked: Stop Pinning Your Dog

Dominance Debunked: Stop Pinning Your Dog

It may go without saying, but dominance in dog training has been debunked. The science just doesn't support it. Whenever you use pain or fear to train or intimidate your dog, the results will be bad. Your dog may end up showing you some obedience behaviors, but deep down they will be hiding a boatload of insecurities which can later manifest into problem behaviors.  These problem behaviors may include, but are not limited to: submissive peeing, shyness, generalized anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, hyperactivity, hyper-friendliness, appeasement behaviors, and then there's just flat-out aggression. Using dominance techniques with your dog doesn't show them...


Stop Correcting Natural Behaviors

Stop Correcting Natural Behaviors

Many natural behaviors that get "corrected" turn into real problem behaviors. When the truth is, if you just give your dog some space to be a dog, they can act naturally and be well balanced members of society. For example: I gave my dog a raw bone to chew in his kennel. I also let a client dog run up to his kennel while I moved dogs in and out of the house. My dog acted protective and even downright nasty over his bone when this dog ran up to his kennel, obviously interested in said bone. This is NATURAL...


Leave Your Dog ALONE While He's Eating

Leave Your Dog ALONE While He's Eating

If you came upon a wolf eating a fresh kill in the woods, do you think it would be a good idea to leave him alone while he eats? Maybe give him some extra space and make sure he doesn't feel your presence?  The same rules should apply to your dog and his bowl of kibble, but in mainstream training this doesn't seem to be the case. So why do people feel the need to take their dog's food away while he's eating? Have they been taught to "desensitize" the dog around food? Have they learned that showing dominance over...


Why I Don't Teach Eye Contact: How to Handle Leash-Reactivity

Why I Don't Teach Eye Contact: How to Handle Leash-Reactivity

This might be another one of my unpopular opinions, however, this is what I see happening when a dog is leash-reactive:  They see something that arouses their sympathetic nervous system. So that means they either want to chase a squirrel, they want to meet and play with another dog, OR they are actually feeling extremely nervous about potentially meeting another dog or a strange human. So your dog either wants to HUNT, chase, or play, and all of these things cause barrier frustration due to be restrained on the leash; or they are put into a state of fight/flight by...