Should You Require Submission?
How many times have you heard trainers talk about how a dog must "submit" or "be submissive" and then show you a dog that appears to be calm? Some use yelling and/or body language to intimidate the dog, maybe with alpha rolls or they use tools such as prong collars and "dog training device" otherwise known as an electric shock collar or harsh leash corrections, often combined with a prong collar. Sometimes they'll even step on the leash to hold the dogs head close to the ground.
You won't see that at 29K9 Dog Training. Why? Because those dogs are not submissive, they are often terrified and shutting down. They are so afraid of what is happening that they disappear into themselves until it is over. So what happens to the dog? Sometimes nothing. But. Science shows us, in study after study after study, some dating back over 50 years, that dogs who aggress on humans are usually trained using these fear based methods. Because sometimes that dog becomes a ticking bomb. And it isn't against the person who uses those techniques on them but someone else. A child, a friend, a spouse. Or it may be another animal.
Yes, a prong collar may give immediate results. I have seen it happen. I even used them in my early training days. Eventually, tho, my own dog, like many, became increasingly more reactive. My own frustration and my dogs caused me to return to a different collar, a head halter, that allowed me to turn my dog away quickly, without correction, and redirect her to focus on me and reward it. The difference was amazing. Add in some counter conditioning and she started to associate the other dogs as a good thing for her. This method works very well.
Why? Because we can't tell a dog "you are being corrected because you barked at that dog". What often happens is that dog feels the correction and connects it not to their own behavior but to their handler and the other dog. So soon the dog sees another dog and barks louder to tell the dog "go away or I am going to get punished!" *YANK* and next time she starts barking and growling and lunging and *YANK* and next time responds sooner to a dog in her environment and more aggressively. What worked initially becomes a nightmare for the dog. And as humans we seem to be programmed to think "ok, lets increase the punishment to get the behavior we want" . The dog, however, does not understand this.
Eighty percent of all aggression is fear based. So teaching a dog by using fear is setting up a dog for failure. How they handle their fear may be a ticking time bomb.
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