dog doesn't just happen. Training is an important part of owning a dog.
The earlier, the better. Puppies are easier to train and retain alot more
information than an adult. The downside is that a puppy has about half of
the attention span as an adult.
If every dog was born perfectly behaved or came trained, then there wouldn't be so many books, videos, trainers and behaviorists for dogs.
It's not a matter of choice. Since dogs are pack animals, you and your family are now the pack. As far as your dog is concerned, no pack can exist without a leader, and It's either you or him. That's the way it has to be. You may think that you really just want to be friends. partners, or peers with your dog. You can be all of those, but for the well-being of your dog you must be the one in charge. In today's complicated world you cannot rely on your pet to make the decisions.
Few dogs actively seek leadership and most are perfectly content for you to assume that role, so long as you do. But you must do so. or even the meekest of dogs will try to take over. Remember, it's not a matter of choice. For every one's safety, you have to be the one in charge. Cranboume Dog Training School of London. England. has given us permission to share the following material with you.
Pack Leader's Bill of Rights
I. To eat first, gorge themselves, and own any pickings left over.
2. To stand, sit, or lie down wherever they want.
3. To have access to the 'prime' spots in the house-hold.
4. To control entry to, or from any room in the house.
5. To proceed through all narrow openings first.
6. To initiate the hunt and dictate where to hunt.
7. To make the 'kill' at the end of the hunt.
8. To demand attention from subordinate pack members.
9. To ignore or actively discourage unwanted attention.
10. To restrict the movements of lesser ranking pack members.
11. To win all games.
By studying this Bill of Rights you can tell who is the pack leader in your house. If you think it's your dog you can become pack leader by adhering to the following do's and don'ts.
How to Become a Pack Leader
- Eat before your dog
- Restrict access to your bedrooms and furniture
- Take the shortest route to your destination and make your dog move out of your way
- Proceed first through narrow passages
- Run In the opposite direction If your dog 'takes off' on a walk
- Take your dog's 'kills' (stole. articles or food) away from him
- Call your dog so you to give him affection
- Ignore or discourage pawing, nudging. whining
- Ignore your dog first thing I. the morning, when you get home, or when you come In
- Restrict his movements with the 'Long Down' exercise
- Initiate games with your dog, make sure you win them and end up with possession of the toy
- Reward your dog for completing an exercise well
- Feed your dog first
- Let your dog sleep in or on your bed
- Let your dog restrict your access to anything in the house or take up residence in doorway
- Let your dog bound out ahead of you
- Chase your dog yelling 'COME!'
- Allow your dog to keep or play with the 'kills'
- Go over to your dog to give him affection
- Give attention when your dog demands It
- Make a large fuss over your dog whenever he demands that you do so
- Give more than one command or give up
- Play games, especially tug of war, if you can't win, or give the toy to your dog after the game is over
- Give more than one command, or any command if you are not prepared to reinforce it
From Jack and Wendy Volhard's Motivational Method-1094 via Washington State Obedience Training Club,
Introductory Novice Class.
The annual estimate of dog bites is from one to three million, in children under the age of four years, most bites were received in early May. 63% of the bites were on the head, face and neck. 90% were bitten in their own home. 47% were bitten by their own dog and 85% at those dogs had no history of biting.
The Pinckney & Kennedy Study of Traumatic Deaths From Dog Attacks in the US in 1982 revealed that most of the dogs were family pets known to the victim. There were no fatal attacks by strays. Fifty one deaths occurred In the designated five year study. Twenty three of the fifty one deaths were In infants less than one year of age. The presence of an adult appeared to be a deterrent as none of the events leading to the attacks were witnessed. Most bites Occurred in the dog's yard or streets/alleys adjacent to the dog's home territory. Victims were usually newcomers that received considerable attention from the dog's owners. Most victims were in three major groups:
· Infants less than 1 year of age
· Young children ages one through eight years of age
· Elderly women
All three groups are fragile and physically unable to defend themselves. Those of us who love dogs, cannot deny these statistics.
Trainers must learn to deal with aggressive dogs and work with their clients in a manner that will minimize Injuries to owner, trainer and animal. We are remiss, we are ACCOMPLICES If we don't deal sensibly, efficently, honestly, with animals that are exhibiting aggressive behaviors.
The factors eliciting aggressive behaviors have been well established by Scott & Fuller, Campbell, Murie, Stewart, etc. They are:
1. Aggressions are learned through rough play, and unconscious reinforcing. Learned aggression overlaps into other areas.
2. Over-stimulation of the senses. My experience has shown that vision and tactile are the two senses that, when over-stimulated, will elicit a quick bite. If the olfactory or hearing Is over stimulated, most dogs will turn away or try to escape.
3. Territorial defense: The proximity may be as small as the dog's sleeping area or food pan or as large as all property near the dog's home/car/yard. There is often a running pursuit
4. Dogs are cursorial animals. They chase things that run. This is a natural behavior. In the wild, if they don't chase, they starve. This bite is usually a grab and hold.
5. Dogs are predators. Some dogs will snap if approached when eating.
6. A dog will bite reflexively when injured and in pain. If the pain is sudden, the bite is quickly released. This is a forgivable bite.
7. It's not unusual for males to fight other males or females to challenge other females. With some dogs, one must keep them separated or maintain constant vigilance.
8. Matrons are often extremely protective of their young. One should use caution when approaching puppies or the nest. Common sense.
9. I personally feel that the dog that bites out of fear Is the most dangerous. They ore untrustworthy and unpredictable and can Inflict a prodigious hurt.
10. Bizarre aggressions can occur If the thyroid, liver or any other port of the neuro-endocrine system is dysfunctional Your first criteria is to ascertain if you are dealing with a healthy animal
The majority of owners of pet dogs are unable to read the body English of the dog. They don't understand his eloquent "conversation." They attribute human attitudes to the dog's mental life and are unaware of the differences in the perceptions of their pet. They often "set up" a situation for failure and contribute to the crisis by provoking even more aggressions.
When making the initial evaluation of an alleged aggressive dog, it is imperative that the evaluator have no pre-conceived opinions regarding the temperament of the dog in question. Emotional involvement cancels out objectivity. Personal preferences and/or aversions for a specific dog or breed of dog, must not be a factor.
There is no one gene that contributes
aggressive tendencies. Genes are involved, as are hormones, size and strength of the animal, etc. Aggressive behavior is multi-factored. Behavioral changes must begin with awareness through observation.
Aggressions follow the rules of learning. There is always (1) a stimulus present followed by (2) a response and (3) a reinforcer to the response.
Seek the underlying issue that stimulates the dog to aggress. Change it, avoid it, or remove it. The response is obvious. Next, you must change, avoid, or remove the reinforcer or consequence to the undesirable response.
Begin with a baseline or frequency count of how often the dog displays aggressive behavior arid when the response begins to diminish. One can now focus on the acceptable behaviors by teaching the dog to passively inhibit the aggressive response, using positive rewards. Does practice make perfect???? Only if the practice is perfect. Practice makes permanent!!!
Article by Gert Sullivan,. MT. Reprinted from Dal Doodles a newsletter of the Delaware Valley Dalmatian Club, May, 1994.
A Behavior Consultation - Success!
Dog Behavioral Problems - Links to sites addressing a variety if problems
Don't Worry They Won't bite - Tips to avoid nips
Guide to Selecting a Behavior Consultant
He Just Wants To Say Hi
How and Why to Train
Q & A Archives - Miscellaneous
Rehabilitation - The missing link to successful behaviour modification
Shock Collars - The shocking truth
TTouch helps end submissive urination - Maggie doesn't piddle in fear any more
The Life and Death of an Untrained Dog
This dog is driving me crazy! - Great expectations run amok
What makes a pack leader?
When will I be able to let my dog off-leash?
Barking Mad - Good article about why dogs bark.
Dominance & Aggression
Alpha Roll Or Jelly Roll;Establishing Pack Leadership
Attitude Adjustment Program
Behavior - Mounting and Humping
Dealing with Aggressive Dogs
Dealing with the Dominant Dog
Canine Dominance Revisited
Dominant Dogs & Aggressive Dogs
Fear and Aggressive Behavior In Dogs and Cats
Nothing in Life is Free - Behavior modification technique prescribed by a veterinary behaviorist
Q & A Archives - Dog Aggression
Establishing & Maintaining Your Role as Leader
Handling On Leash Aggression
Precautions For Owners of Aggressive Dogs
Preventing Dog Aggression
Solution To Aggression - Is not drugs, euthanasia or banning
Taming the Dominant Dog
The Alpha Factor - Who's the boss around here, anyway?
The Beta Dog Syndrome in Dominance Aggression
Understanding Aggressive Behaviour In Dogs
Who's In Charge Here?- A lesson in becoming Alpha
Who's the Boss?
Why Dogs Bite... And How To Keep From Being Bitten
Coprophagia (eating feces) and other Feces Problems
Coprophagia (eating feces)
Poop Eating Pets
Breaking up Dog Fights
Introducing A Second Animal To The Home: Dog-Cat, Dog-Dog, Cat-Cat
Introducing Two Dogs
Three or More Dogs
Separation Anxiety & other behaviors
Coming When Called
Canine Compulsive Behavior - An Overview and Phenotypic Description of Tail Chasing in Bull Terriers
Escaping & Roaming
Fear of Loud Noises
Fear of Thunder
Help! We're Both Pulling Our Hair Out!
Housetraining Your Adult Dog
Overcoming Shyness in Dogs
Treating Dogs' Separation Anxiety
Subscribe to Separation Anxiety list
Click For Success
Click Train FAQ
Gary Wilkes' Click and Treat(R) Training
Karen Pryor's Clicker Training
Keepers Pages - Clicker & other info.
Seminars, Associations, etc.
Pet Behavior & Training: Seminars & Conferences
Puppyworks - Sponsors educational events for dog trainers and behaviorists.
The Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) - A professional organization of individual trainers
Baddog.com - Stories of bad dogs
Behavior, Socialization, and Training
Behavior: Understanding and Modifying
Canines of America® -The Animal Behavior Center of New York
Crate Training - It's not prison!
Dog Problems.com - The information on Dog Problems.com is designed to help you fix any of the dog training problems you might be experiencing with your dog.
Dog Training - Fast and Simple
Doggie Door to Canine Behavior
Gentle Leader Headcollar - Quickly Controls Jumping, Pulling, Barking, Chewing and Begging.
Help! My Dog Has An Attitude
How Dogs Think - A Non-Verbal Link To Canine Communication
Leerburg Video & Kennels - Dog Training & Dog Training Videos
Meisterfeld Psychological Dog Training
Obedience and Training Links
Paws Across America - A national campaign to promote responsible pet ownership
Pet Behavior Resources
Shy Dogs Links Page
Survey: Dog Trainers Consider Their Dogs a Part of the Family
Take A Bow...Wow!
Teaching Your Dog to do Tricks
Why Train Your Dog?
For additional information
Check out, Gina Spadafori, an award-winning author of "Dogs for Dummies" and "Cats for Dummies," and the editorial director of the Veterinary Information Network Inc., an international online service for veterinary professionals. Check out her letters on The Pet Connection at The Pet Channel. Send e-mails to Write2Gina@aol.com.