Dominance theory vs. PR (interesting article) - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-22-2012, 12:07 AM Thread Starter
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Dominance theory vs. PR (interesting article)

I recently found this article by dr. Sophia Yin, it can be found here:

The Dominance Controversy | Philosophy | Dr. Sophia Yin, DVM, MS

I thougt it would be interesting to gain opinionsfrom people here on this forum about this topic, and see wich method they use, and if it works for them. I thought it would be great insight into dfferent theorys.

For me, persnally, I use purely positive methods though I did use dominance thoery at one time and have seen better resaults with PR, but thats just me. I have done so much research on this topic too, but never find out wich method works better for certain people in certain situations.

EDIT:

I forgot to include positive punishment in the title XD sorry!

Celia Belle Mickel
Born:6/1/11
Gender:Female
Breed:GSD

Last edited by maureen_mickel; 07-22-2012 at 12:09 AM.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-22-2012, 10:06 AM
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Hopefully more people will read this...

Quote:
The Dominance Controversy

Virtually everyone who started as a dog trainer over 15-20 years ago started out using traditional dog training techniques: similar to those used by Cesar Millan (National Geographic's The Dog Whisperer). This is how most dogs were trained back then. As a result we have first hand experience as to why and when such punishment-based techniques might work, the pitfalls, and why and when other techniques work better.

Traditional training techniques are based on the idea that we must become the dominant leader and rule our pets the way a wolf would rule a pack. That is, they assume most misbehavior in dogs is due to the dog trying to be dominant and then they employ techniques that they think a wolf (since dogs are seen as having a social structure similar to wolves) would perform in a wolf pack. In order to evaluate whether this reasoning is valid, we must first understand what dominance is.
Some neat videos are on the site so you can watch and see if you are good at reading dogs/pups after all!




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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-22-2012, 10:13 AM
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From the article:
1. Leadership is still important but one can lead with finesse, not force.
2. Positive Does Not Mean Permissive
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-23-2012, 12:32 PM
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My own view on dominance is that I don't agree that everything is about dominance (i.e. dog staring at you is challenging you and so on), and I don't agree that dominance doesn't exist in dogs (dogs can act controlling/demanding over resources and others and it's not always about insecurity and so on).

What I also think is that just coz the theory used to define dominance was wrong (the wolves one), it does not automatically mean that dominance does not exist in dogs at all.
Not agreeing with dominance based methods is not the same as not agreeing that dogs can act dominant.

I use mixed methods - when positive ones doesn't work with our situation, I use corrections.

For example, it would be nice if I could use time out or ignoring my dog for bad behavior, but he would bark really non-stop when he knows he's being isolated and we're home, and if we turn our backs and ignore or go away when he demands attention and jumps, he would be even more demanding and mouth grab us.
Also, when going out with him, sometimes you just can't simply take him out of the scenario when he starts to misbehave, and the only way to stop such behavior is with correction.

Again, if I don't have a more positive way to deal with a situation then I will use corrections. Dogs and humans and animals are biologically capable of learning from aversive of what they shouldn't do, and it doesn't necessarily traumatize them.
Also, if you're a loving owner that is only correcting your dog when he misbehaves, he does know the difference and won't grow afraid of you or traumatized (unless the dog is often getting punished and can't learn why).

But well, and then it depends on the dog's temperament to determine if corrections are really needed anyways.

Lastly, before searching about dog stuffs on the internet, I never knew that it was really that rare to train dogs with treats. Many owners I knew does that, along with corrections only for bad behavior. I was also not familiar with all the dominance controversy and theories, just knew about how we should be strict so that dog knows we meant business and not to dominate and be the alpha lol.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-23-2012, 11:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteshepherds View Post
From the article:
1. Leadership is still important but one can lead with finesse, not force.
2. Positive Does Not Mean Permissive

AND:

Dominance does NOT mean Punishment or Pain

Dominance does mean leadership

Positive Only is a joke to a few dogs!
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-23-2012, 11:45 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheep View Post
My own view on dominance is that I don't agree that everything is about dominance (i.e. dog staring at you is challenging you and so on), and I don't agree that dominance doesn't exist in dogs (dogs can act controlling/demanding over resources and others and it's not always about insecurity and so on).

What I also think is that just coz the theory used to define dominance was wrong (the wolves one), it does not automatically mean that dominance does not exist in dogs at all.
Not agreeing with dominance based methods is not the same as not agreeing that dogs can act dominant.

I use mixed methods - when positive ones doesn't work with our situation, I use corrections.

For example, it would be nice if I could use time out or ignoring my dog for bad behavior, but he would bark really non-stop when he knows he's being isolated and we're home, and if we turn our backs and ignore or go away when he demands attention and jumps, he would be even more demanding and mouth grab us.
Also, when going out with him, sometimes you just can't simply take him out of the scenario when he starts to misbehave, and the only way to stop such behavior is with correction.

Again, if I don't have a more positive way to deal with a situation then I will use corrections. Dogs and humans and animals are biologically capable of learning from aversive of what they shouldn't do, and it doesn't necessarily traumatize them.
Also, if you're a loving owner that is only correcting your dog when he misbehaves, he does know the difference and won't grow afraid of you or traumatized (unless the dog is often getting punished and can't learn why).

But well, and then it depends on the dog's temperament to determine if corrections are really needed anyways.

Lastly, before searching about dog stuffs on the internet, I never knew that it was really that rare to train dogs with treats. Many owners I knew does that, along with corrections only for bad behavior. I was also not familiar with all the dominance controversy and theories, just knew about how we should be strict so that dog knows we meant business and not to dominate and be the alpha lol.
I agree with what you say, and of coarse there is SOME form of dominance in dogs, just not the way we perseve it. Such as, one dog may be"dominant" over the other when it comes food, while the dog who isnt "dominant" over the food may be "dominant" over choosing resting places.

I deff understand why some use corrections of coarse, but their not for me. They just make me more stressed so I have to stay with positive methods and for me, they work, thats why I use them. But for many people arnt patient enough, or just simply doesnt work for them for whatever reason so i believe that corrections should be used for those dogs who dont respond to positive methods. Every dog is different, and corrections should be used only when nesessary and when positive methods had already been used; and had failed. Though many people over use them, and the dog either doesnt respond to them anymore or become aggressive. That is just what I believe.

Codmaster:

According to the article,and many other resurces dominance is deined as:

"relationship between individuals that is established through force, aggression and submission in order to establish priority access to all desired resources (food, the opposite sex, preferred resting spots, etc)."

and leadership:

the position or function of a leader, a person who guides or directs a group

So i a way, they two are very different, though understand what you are saying. But we are already "Dominant" over our dogs: no matter what for we control the resources.

Celia Belle Mickel
Born:6/1/11
Gender:Female
Breed:GSD
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-24-2012, 01:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maureen_mickel View Post
I...............
I deff understand why some use corrections of coarse, but their not for me. They just make me more stressed so I have to stay with positive methods and for me, they work, thats why I use them. But for many people arnt patient enough, or just simply doesnt work for them for whatever reason so i believe that corrections should be used for those dogs who dont respond to positive methods. Every dog is different, and corrections should be used only when nesessary and when positive methods had already been used; and had failed. Though many people over use them, and the dog either doesnt respond to them anymore or become aggressive. That is just what I believe.

Codmaster:

According to the article,and many other resurces dominance is deined as:

"relationship between individuals that is established through force, aggression and submission in order to establish priority access to all desired resources (food, the opposite sex, preferred resting spots, etc)."

and leadership:

the position or function of a leader, a person who guides or directs a group
Sounds like their definition is phrased and defined in HUMAN terms - I suspect that things could be a little different for dogs, don't you think? Just a small question about the article maybe? But for me it would place any conclusions from the author in some question, what about you?


So i a way, they two are very different, though understand what you are saying. But we are already "Dominant" over our dogs: no matter what for we control the resources.

How do you think a "Leader" gets to be leader? And "keeps" the position?

And what does it mean in an animal pack? (or human group for that matter?)
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-24-2012, 02:16 AM
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Leaders control resources. Plain and simple.

Mind Games (version 1.0) by M. Shirley Chong

I love these techniques.
All a leader does - is control resources.
Space, food, rewards, foods, toys, all resources, all items you can control.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-24-2012, 02:31 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by codmaster View Post
How do you think a "Leader" gets to be leader? And "keeps" the position?

And what does it mean in an animal pack? (or human group for that matter?)
I am talking about human-animal relationships. We control the resources, so there for we are "dominent". Somebody can control resources (such as feeding their dog) but not show leadrship skills. So a dog can assume leaership over their owner, but can not by the definition be "dominant". People become leaders to their dogs and other humans through guidence, fear, or other ways and can keep that position by inheriting it, ruling through fear, or just by keeping harmony.

"unds like their definition is phrased and defined in HUMAN terms - I suspect that things could be a little different for dogs, don't you think? Just a small question about the article maybe? But for me it would place any conclusions from the author in some question, what about you?"

Hmmm good question....of coarse we are both different species so it can be different in dogs. Though a few recent scientific studies that i read point to that dogs dont form packs like wolves, and the isnt a "alpha" or "leader" its just kind of scattered and they just break off into pairs. Ive seen this in quite a few articles and books, im trying to look into that more though. Though i find the auther of this article rather credible. She has years of research and experience, but of coarse there are many different views on animal behavior and we should consider each theory and do thorough research.

"I love these techniques.
All a leader does - is control resources.
Space, food, rewards, foods, toys, all resources, all items you can control. "

Not by the definition of leadership, thats the definition of dominance. But of coarse, sombody who is dominant is most likely a leader. The definitions are both different, arnt they?

Celia Belle Mickel
Born:6/1/11
Gender:Female
Breed:GSD

Last edited by maureen_mickel; 07-24-2012 at 02:34 AM.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-24-2012, 02:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by codmaster View Post
AND:


Positive Only is a joke to a few dogs!

I tried positive only, treat-based methods for months...and my dog and I were still extremely frustrated with each other. Now I use positive as the first option and corrections if positive isn't getting us what we need. Ever since introducing corrections (something I was very apprehensive about) both me AND my dog are exponentially happier.

I don't thing it's necessarily about the traditional definition of "dominance" but being able to set clear boundaries that at least in my situation I wasn't able to do with positive only.

I do think positive only can work with the right dog and a fantastic handler, but I would rather less-than-perfect trainers employ corrections than decide to re-home their pups because they're frustrated.
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