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Stop dog-on-dog aggression at home

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Old 01-02-2018, 10:17 AM
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What a way to welcome us mods back after New Years!

Truly I am not sure where to begin so will just list some thoughts and give some links.

-First forum rules

Going forward, if participating in this thread as well as others please be aware of forum rules and adhere to them.

Cats and dogs are different species and quite different behaviorally.
Here's one of the few sites and true experts on domestic felines I am aware of for anyone wishing to begin learning more about cat behavior and training (they CAN be and ARE being trained successfully via modern +R and behavior modification techniques such as desensitization and counter conditioning)
Also if anyone really wishes to further discuss, then please take it on over to the cat subforum as cat behavior is pretty ot (see rules) considering the op of this thread.

First Dominance is a human construct and as such carries issues we should be aware of when attempting to apply.

Second, it appears that we're not all on the same page as to what dominance even means!
"Dominance" has a specific definition (priority access to a limited, preferred resource) in ethology (study of animal behavior). It's not a personality trait. While dogs are social animals, they do not form a fixed social hierarchy, rather dominance is fluid in dogs in the majority of cases. A little more on this.
The Concept Formerly Described as “Dominance”

This is a reward based forum. As per our rules, we allow discussion of Millan, but members cannot recommend any of the aversive methods he utilizes. That include neck jabs/pokes and tsst'ing , kicking, hanging, prong collars, flooding, etc. Such methods are risky for the safety of the handler as well as the physical, mental, and emotional well being of the dog. End of the day there is a reason for all of those ''do not try...'' disclaimers seen after every commercial break.

Some additional food for thought (do some dogs need a heavy hand or does the trainer need additional skills/knowledge?) regarding aversives and whether or not some dogs need them.
From Nicole Wilde (certified trainer and behavior consultant who has years of experience with cases similar to or worse than those seen on CM's shows,also a true wolf expert)
Her blog/website for anyone wishing to follow her
About | Nicole Wilde Books and DVDs for Dog Trainers and Dog Lovers

-Here's an article that kinda covers most of the debate in this thread including some history.

-Regarding the questions about members' experience and the idea that ''textbook knowledge'' doesn't compare to experience...
Personally I think BOTH matter.

As a trainer (I dislike getting into qualifications here but since others have already been asked in this thread... I am a CPDT-KA, CGC evaluator, CTDI, volunteer and board member at my shelter, active in my sports - treibball and rally free, teach an average of 4 group classes a week plus privates, have been teaching group classes for over 5 years now, etc.) an understanding of the science (ethology, learning theory, etc.) is crucial for me in order to successfully observe and interpret what is going on. It gives me the tools to choose methods, create a training program/plan, as well as to trouble shoot. Without it, I would just be guessing at what was going on and likely misdiagnosing and/or giving inaccurate information.
That said, I also need experience in working with my own dogs and pthers, observing and working on my mechanics/handling, and application of knowledge and skills in order to successfully teach my students (both human and canine).

Trainers (as well as dog owners imho) should be always be striving to further both their knowledge and practical skills. Only seeking one is very limiting. Those who seek mostly knowledge tend to be weak in application skills, mechanics, and teaching skills needed to work with and teach the students before them. Those who rely mostly on experience tend to have a very limited skills set as well as they can do only what they have done and perfected in the past. They often don't have a variety of methods to teach the same skill under their belts and aren't the best with creative solutions or dogs that don't fit their norm.
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Last edited by kmes; 01-02-2018 at 05:11 PM.
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Old 01-02-2018, 03:56 PM
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Talking Don't ask Qs that U don't want answered.



Originally posted by Bob the Dog:

I am familiar with his original DPC and here's an excerpt of those days.

"Back then, my rate to work with a dog was $10 a day per dog.
I couldn't afford rent, so the arrangement worked out perfectly for both of us. I am sure to many the area looked like a dump, but to me, it was a palace!
I had so much time with my pack back then. I used to walk more, be in the mountains more, and challenge the pack more.
We used to take trips to the store together. One of our favorite destinations was this small Mexican meat market a few blocks away. I would walk the pack there and buy them huge hunks of raw meat. Then, for the entire twenty minute walk back, they had to hold those pieces in their mouth – without eating them! When they got back to the warehouse, they'd find a place to cool down and enjoy their treat. It was a great challenge, but what a scene we must have made – a pack of Rottweilers off-leash running with meat hanging out of their mouths following that Mexican guy. It was amazing, just beautiful!"


that's an anecdote, written by Mr Millan - & note that all the dogs involved are Rotts ["a pack of Rottweilers off-leash... following that Mexican guy"].

A, I already told U that the dogs he warehoused had bite histories -
is he likely to have run them off-leash thru the neighborhood, to a row of stores?

B, they weren't "all Rotts" -
there were a large number of bully-breeds & mixes among them, pitbulls / APBTs / AmStaffs, AmBulls, etc, but it was a random grouping of good-sized dogs with BITE HISTORIES in common, not breed.

C, he charged over $30-us per dog per day - not "$10".
I got that factoid from an article in an L.A. newspaper; they'd interviewed a BoD member of one of the non-profits who'd been leasing cage-space from Mr Millan. He was furious over how it had been announced, the short time-frame, & the timing.
Thanksgiving to Xmas is one helluva hard time to find volunteer hours to locate new boarding facilities for dogs who are potentially dangerous, then transport them all to the new site.

If i find the original article, i'll be happy to post a link.

As for my qualifications, @Bob The Dog :
- I grew up on a family farm.
We had: chickens, geese, ducks, meat rabbits, sheep, ponies, horses, calves raised for slaughter, Siamese cats [indoors], free-roaming moggies [outdoors], & loads of wildlife.
Animal behavior was a daily feature.

- got my 1st pony at 8-YO.
Cotton was a hellion; he'd step on U, mash U against the stall wall, run under clotheslines, tree branches, etc, or run along a fence trying to smash yer knees.
I survived him, & learned to stick in self-defense.

- began doing wildlife rehab at 12, with the help of our DVM.
I raised & released injured, ill, & orphaned wildlings, including a grey-phase Screech Owl, several lead-poisoned raptors, fledgling birds, young mammals, a box turtle run over by a car, etc. // More animal behavior, plus safe handling & low-stress restraint.

- 3 years with a local GSD breeder & trainer in Bucks Co, PA:
Mrs Frank Arnold, who imported all her foundation stock direct from Germany by flying there & picking them on the ground.
She had 2-YO bitches with Utility Dog titles - titling Fs then was virtually unheard-of, as breeders couldn't control estrus [no suppressing Rx then] & only got titles on potential sires; the bitches were just puppy-makers. // She also had the 1st red-&-blacks i'd ever seen, & all of her dogs were not only beautiful, but had wonderful temps.

- trained my own 1st pup under her direction.
He got a red ribbon in CompObed the 1st fall, & a blue the next; the error that 1st year was all mine, he was sniffing during the long down, & i tried to get him to stop... I said his name. He looked confused, got up & came to me; my fault. // The blue was what he deserved. 198 points of 200.

- was shepherd of our sheep flock from age 12 to 19.
Breeding records, feed, budget, shearing, lambing & midwifery, bottle-feeding those who couldn't nurse their dams, treating ill or injured, yadda-yadda.
At 19, my sire sold the flock - I was in college, & he couldn't be arsed to care for them.

- bought my Arab-cross mare at 15; she was 3-YO, & unbroken.
I trained her myself.

- over 10-years teaching group classes & working with owners 1 to 1.

- 5 years in college as a pre-vet undergraduate; 134 credits, 3.2 GPA
Main campus of Penn State; dual major, Ag Ed / An Sci.
Ed Psych, Psych of Behavior, livestock production of multiple species, labs, lectures, etc.

- read, went to seminars, watched videos, attended conferences.
Raising Canine [Susan Smith], TawzerDog, ASPCA, Maddie's Fund, etc.

- decided to specialize in B-Mod in 1985, vs "train" [teach cued behaviors].

- joined US-apdt in 1997; member #1827 of fewer than 2K.
- joined IAPDT in Canada; let it lapse when it became apparent it was a one-person show.
- joined APDT-Aus, sponsored by Pat Miller;
let it lapse when i couldn't afford the fee, after a medical catastrophe in July 2009, & a full year out of work.

- I'm a subscriber to BEN / Behavior Educ Network [Hetts & Estep] & Udemy.

Currently, a $500 order is en route from J&J Dog Supplies, & i haven't even ordered leashes yet. Plus $300 in pet gear coming from Overstock, all bought on clearance.
ATM, I don't own a dog - yet I have a 55-gallon barrel of dog toys, 3 [60-ml] pump-spray bottles of DAP, about 20# of various dog-treats [duck, salmon, tripe, lamb-lung, liver...], the full size-range of Anxiety Wraps, & 4 Ace bandages never worn by a human - only by dogs & horses [two 4-inch, two 6-inch].
I own 4 shipping crates - 2 [2 x 2 x 3], 1 for a 40# dog, 1 for an ~100# dog.

I have multiple copies of McClellan's booklets for lending to clients, plus DVDs on aggro, puppy raising, etc, from Tawzer & DogWise. I have educational posters & handouts from DreamDogs.
About 100 clickers remain from my 300-piece order.
I have all 3 volumes of the Handbook. And i've read them - cover to cover.
I have over 60 volumes of dog books, not counting fiction. Many of the books i recommend on this forum are those i already own. Pryor, Dunbar, Burch, Donaldson, ...

Anything else U'd like to know?
And i don't have a website.

- terry

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Old 01-02-2018, 04:01 PM
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Talking Oops.


forgot -
I also have a 6-ft wide set of agility obstacles, everything but the dogwalk & teeter.
I've never competed, but my clients have. // Plus a set of Rally-O signs.

AND i left out all those years of volunteering at shelters & pro-bono B-Mod for dogs in foster who weren't ready for adoption... in 3 states.

- terry


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Old 01-03-2018, 03:02 AM
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Exclamation I'm merely one of a crowd of fellow trainers. // Those i've quoted are my betters!

Originally Posted by Bob The Dog View Post

You call others "average viewer" and quite honestly that is as disparaging as calling Millan the names you have already chosen.

I appreciate your passion for dog training but what in your mind makes you so much better than the rest of us ??

No, @Bob The Dog - i called AVERAGE VIEWERS, 'average viewers'.
As in, average - not rare, not remarkable; neither extremely informed nor abysmally ignorant re dogs, training, learning theory, & other applicable pools of knowledge that would relate to topics & events as seen & heard on any of Mr Millan's TV-shows.
Also as in viewers - someone watching the program.

How in heaven's name referring to any of the millions of ppl who watch ANY tv-show "average viewers" can be termed insulting, i can't fathom. // The ratings system is based entirely on measuring the reactions of that great formless mass of audience. Are THEY dissing viewers when they collect data on their watching habits?

As for ME being "better than the rest of us", where & when did i ever claim to be "better"?!
& better than WHOM? -

I said - & i here repeat it, as clearly & fully as i can express it - that hundreds of well-reputed U-S professional persons, as well as dozens of US-based professional organizations, plus other pros & organizations outside the U-S, have wholly repudiated Mr Millan's drumbeat of "dominance in dogs" as the underlying issue in everything from housetraining problems to resource-guarding, fears, pulling on leash, aggro, reactivity, & virtually every other imaginable complaint that could possibly be made about a pet dog living with humans.
These professional individuals, here & abroad, have excellent reputations & sterling qualifications - they include Board-certified veterinary behaviorists, CAABs, well-known & highly-qualified trainers in every k9 discipline & sport, & leading figures in animal welfare.
These professional organizations, here & abroad, also enjoy excellent reputations & are more than qualified to evaluate Mr Millan's skills, weigh his underlying rationale, & determine if his techniques or beliefs are effective, science-based, & humane, or ineffective, detrimental, & inhumane.
They've concluded the latter, & they've published it.

All i said was, I agree with them.

Exactly how U manipulate that into my stating that "i'm better" than the other members of this forum - many of whom agree that Millan's theories & practices are bad for dogs, & damage their relationships with their families - i don't know.
I never said i was "better" - i said that i'm one of many who think Mr Millan's solutions are detrimental to dogs, that his handling is inhumane & uses excessive force, & that his theories are either outdated [dogs as wolves; Alpha; etc] or complete fiction with no data to support them [e-g, lifting a dog's tail "makes them more confident"].

I hope that is now crystal-clear to U, & anyone else who reads it - because i don't know how i could make it more plain. I'm not "better" - I'm pointing to a large & highly-regarded group of professional individuals & organizations who have loudly & clearly condemned Mr Millan's methods, & pointed out the fallacies in his statements.

If U would like the names of more well-known & undeniably qualified individuals, or U'd like me to list more organizations from the US or overseas, who've warned pet-owners not to use these tactics, I'll be happy to supply them - i've not even listed a tenth.

Two European countries banned his TV-programs before they were ever aired; they can't be broadcast there, b/c the authorities concluded that showing them was detrimental to dogs' welfare.

Germany tested him B4 an appearance there, with a standard national written test, & when he failed, required trainers who'd passed that test to be on deck at every appearance, & they were to do all the work with the dogs - he wasn't allowed to pick up a leash or touch a dog, other than his own, while he was inside German borders.

If anyone truly sees nothing wrong with Mr Millan's techniques, please choose any episode & watch it muted.
Without the emotive music, the distracting voice-over, or the dialogue, watch THE DOGS.
Note their body language, facial expressions, & overall emotional states - where are their ears? What's the tail doing? Are they shrinking away, leaning forward, standing square?
Do they hackle? Crouch? Do U see whale-eye, rapid breathing, drooling, sweaty paw-prints on the tile? Are their bodies loose & fluid, while they wag & grin?
Do they look away, drop their heads, lower their ears, tails, & bodies?
What do U see?

- terry

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Old 01-03-2018, 03:11 PM
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Okay so not to sure on the person. The pack thing I totally see it in mine. It could just be because huskies are pack animals so obviously they need a leader and every husky has their own position.
I have also tried placing my self out of it not thinking like was a pack but there is nothing I can do. They are pack animals or something around that because they all came from different circumstances that got them to me. Only two have the same bloodline and they have it all figured out with each other and me.
I do think every dog needs a leader rather we are calling ourselves that or not we aren't equals with them. We tell them what to do not the other way around. So that makes us a leader or mother/ father boss of some sort.

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