Corrections are not Punishment
One of the things that make me such an effective trainer is that I understnad what consequencial training is and I practice it on a daily basis. Now the media and most dog trainers will villify you if they even see you reading this.
Keep in mind that the folks that write the books, the articles and teach in classrooms around the country, don't actually train dogs in the Real World and possibly don't even train any dogs, some Animal Behaviorists actually never work with dogs they just spew out information that they learned in college.
There is no education other than actually taking the leash and working the dog through the issue that the client actually presented to you. Most Behaviorists actually never get that far with the client since they don't get out of the classroom or their office.
Our society has told us that if it can't be fixed with a treat than it cannot be fixed. I suggest you go to the thousands of websites that just rehash all from the same textbooks that say you should always reward with either food or a toy and if that does not work you can remove the dog from the area, remove the area from the dog or ignore the issue. I am not quite sure how this is training or behavior modification if anything this just reinforces the bad behavior in the dog.
I love the folks that like to tell me how mean it is using a prong collar or an electric collar. Ironically using a flat collar, can choke a dog and kill it, a head harness has been proven to cause significant damage to the neck and spine and dogs have actually broken their necks and died from a head halter. Yep something called a Gentle Leader actually killed a dog.
Considering the 72% of our countries dogs are overweight, we may want to re-think the treat thing as well. Dog are getting diabeties at an alaming rate in this country and that has been unheard of 10 years ago.
So, a properly timed correction is a highly effective way to eliminate bad behavior and to keep a dog alive and if you don't think this is an important point, lets think about the 5 million dogs a year that are killed every year, lets think about the dogs in shelters that are killed daily for something as simple as food guarding. I get at least one email a day about a dog that someone wants to me to take since it will be killed in 24 hours.
The above photo is a dog on the right that his highly dog reactive, given the choice this dog will just rush a dog and attack and casue considerable harm. This is something that a dog treat or a "good boy" or a squeeky toy are not going to even begin to get this dogs attention.
this dog would be kicked out every single dog training class, would be told to be killed if any postive trainer grabbed the leash or behaviorist even saw this type of behavior. Behaviorists have 2 tools, Gentle Leaders and drugs, this is because the drug companies have a foot inside of universities like Tufts and Cornell and drug companies spend millions of dollars a year making sure that training systems that don't involve drugs won't work.
Let me explain what happens with a dog such as this.
I bring the dog out to my van and put her in a sit while my dogs are 10 feet a way in a down, she tries to lunge at them and she gets a leash pop, yes I use prong collars, which don't make dogs aggressive or nervous, this is just folklore, urban legend and an outright lie. If this was done with a flat collar or body harness it would just agitate the dog and not communicate with the dog what they did was wrong. If you use a flat collar on the dog then you will just cause massive neck and spine inguries and possibly break the dogs neck causing instant death or paralysis. If you read the literature that comes with the head halter they even will tell you not to use the collar with a reactive dog. It is not a punishment to use a properly timed correction, puishment is not taking the dog out for a walk.
I used Uma to help balance out this dog and walked them with one on the left of me and one on the right of me. As you know when we walk dogs in a proper heel they are expeted to automatically sit down and not move, so by teaching a dog a default command as this it will be easier to get the dog to hold a command instead of going after Uma, if the dog does go after Uma they get a hard correction. yes I said a hard correction, this dog is trying to cause bodily harm to another dog that could cost thousands of dollars to fix or even kill the dog and cause bodily harm to the person breaking up the fight (me) so yes the dog gets a hard correction.
Next we work on downstays together, again, we train dogs that when we say Down we don't have to say Stay, since it is the default behavior, this dog knows how to do a down very well, so the dog gets to choose what to do, do I listen to my handler and do a down or do I not and go after the other dog, again if this dog goes after Uma this dog will get a hard correction, realizing that this dog can cause some serious damage to my dog.
REALITY CHECK, for all you positive trainers who do agility and other sports with there dogs, I am not talking about a dog not going through the weave poles or through a tunnel, we are talking about a dog that you would never even work with or give the time of day to other than to tell the owner to kill the dog, you would never allow this dog in your class and you would be too afraid to even work with this dog. I am not talking about a dog that barks and lunges I am talking about a dog that will bite and bite and bite.
next step once the dog understands consequences of its behavior and is fully capable of making the correct decisions I walk the dog next to Uma, again with the dog understanding that the proper heel is to walk at my pace in my direction and not pay attention to anything but the structured walk.
notice how the dogs are avoiding eye contact, I cannot tell you how many dog trainers would say that dogs avoiding eye contact is a bad thing, in fact in Sue Sternberg's Temperment Test that is given to dogs in shelters would recommend killing the dog.
All of the above was done within 2 sessions each session being 30 minutes long
On the 3rd session when I brought this particular dog out to my van to get my other dogs to also take on a walk. I put this dog in a sit, I opened the back door to my van brought 3 of my dogs out and this particular dog went after my dogs, so......Uma immediately turned the table on this dog and grabbed the dogs head in her mouth and stopped the dog from attacking any of the dogs. Once I got into a position to pull this dog away from my dogs I screamed at Uma to OUT which means, whatever is in your mouth release it, so if it a tennis ball, toilet paper, a bone, a person or another dog, she releases pressure and I pulled the dog away from her, at the same time I scream PLATZ which puts my 3 dogs into a down/stay and then I put the black dog into a downstay right next to my pack. Yes it is very important to make sure you do not take the dog away from the situation but put that dog into a calming situation in the same area. IE, my dogs are in a downstay and you will also go into a downstay and deal with my dogs.
Then once there was a calm energy after about 1 minute. We go on a pack walk. 4 dogs all in heel position. We did a nice 35 minute walk like this without any further problems.
So yes I have no problem giving a dog a well timed correction in order for it to understand what the expected behavior is. So we went from a dog trying to cause some major harm to another dog to the same dog walking with 3 other dogs, all within 2 hours of training.
Does this mean that this same dog can just be around other dogs off leash and all will be fine? NOPE but I could care less if this dogs likes other dogs at this stage, all i care about is that this dog EXISTS around other dogs. I am in the business of saving dogs lives and not making friends, either human or dogs for that matter.
I always expect to get a fair amount of criticism when I post something like this, from all of the feel good positive trainers that shovel treats and praise on dogs, all of the behaviorists with fancy letters after their names that try to convince you there is no such thing as dominance in the dog world and that a dog will not trust you if you use these methods, well out of all due respect.
GO FUCK YOURSELF! You send dogs like this to death every single day, you refuse to even help these folks or you just tell them that they have to be the pack leader, or the dog has to earn everything that it does, make it wait at doors and wait for food...I am so tired of places like Petco and Petsmart and trainers that make dogs sit for cookies and down for cookies..you have no idea what real dog training is.
You all try to convince the dog owning public that methods like mine are abusive and make dogs aggressive and untrusting, you have no idea what you are talking about. You have never worked with dogs like myself and other like minded trainers have worked with. You stand behind your fancy letters after your name, guess what, dogs don't care about your fancy letters or your fancy titles, I don't respect your degrees and neither do the dogs.