German Shepherds Forum banner

41 - 60 of 60 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,921 Posts
Simple question for anyone/everyone: Would you rather your dog complies because you are capable of physically forcing him to submit, and your dog knows this (a la Cesar), or willingly complies due to a relationship of trust and respect developed by fair and consistent leadership coupled with motivational training (see videos by Ivan Balabanov [Jason just posted an excellent one in the thread about ball drive], and Michael Ellis)? Of course, this assumes that you ARE strong enough to physically force your dog to submit, which many people are not. I submit that MOST people do have that choice, or at least they did at one time.
You seem to be forgetting the point of training your dog in the first place! I train my dog (somehow!) to obey my command (voice and/or signal) precisely so I do not have to use physical force to make him/her obey. I understand that as a young puppy for example I can chase him and get him if he refuses to come when called. However very clearly once the dog is a few months old there is no way in the world that I can chase my GSD and physically catch him if he won't come. BUT, if i train him to obey, then he will continue to obey me even if physically I cannot MAKE him come.

I really don't care WHY my dog obeys me - (i.e. what is going on in his brain), just that he does when I tell him to.

I do not want my dog deciding himself if he is going to obey or not depending on his motivation at that moment.

Think about it - are you really serious that it is the relationship of "trust and respect developed by fair and consistent leadership coupled with motivational training" that is going to convince the dog to obey a "come", "sit", "down", etc. command that you give?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
656 Posts
Simple question for anyone/everyone: Would you rather your dog complies because you are capable of physically forcing him to submit, and your dog knows this (a la Cesar), or willingly complies due to a relationship of trust and respect developed by fair and consistent leadership coupled with motivational training (see videos by Ivan Balabanov [Jason just posted an excellent one in the thread about ball drive], and Michael Ellis)? Of course, this assumes that you ARE strong enough to physically force your dog to submit, which many people are not.

I submit that MOST people do have that choice, or at least they did at one time.
First off, Cesar doesn't get dogs to obey because he is capable physically forcing them to submit. Physical force is used when a dog is aggressive and out of control, and only as much as is needed to control the dog. Cesar prefers other methods.

If my dog actively tried to bite me, I might well use physical force at that time as well. If my dog was attempting to bite, say a child, I definately would use physical force.

Short of that kind of extreme situation, I don't use physical force on my dogs at all, and from what I can see neither does Millan.

If I were to rescue a dog, and it decided it wanted to drag me to another dog and kill it on our first walk, and climbed the leash at me when I pulled him back or touched him.. You would likely see the same thing you see in Millan video clips, me holding the leash out, keeping it taught, and waiting the dog out. Not much else one can do in that situation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,423 Posts
codmaster; Think about it - are you really serious that it is the relationship of "trust and respect developed by fair and consistent leadership coupled with motivational training" that is going to convince the dog to obey a "come" said:
Yes, absolutely, I do believe this and am seeing it. I have been working on recall with Benny. Yesterday we were in a fenced school yard and he was playing with another dog aabout 50 yards away. I called him and stopped playing, came right to me. I gave him a treat, a lot of praise and sent hom off to play. With consistent training, reward based motivation he is obeying me because the relationship we are building, which is still very much a work in progress.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,495 Posts
Compulsion is a tool as is a clicker, prey item, treat...
the best tool is praise.
Why do you say praise is the best tool? Certainly not a higher degree of effectiveness. :thinking:



Sort of proves the point that a professional cynologist will not have
a degree, since there is no degree offered anywhere on the subject,
in fact you'll have to use wiki to find that word, you are left to draw your
own definition of professional when it comes to dog training.
There are a number of degrees and certifications which are offered in the field of animal behavior. These are not just classroom degrees but require many hours of working with animals as well. I do not see why someone who has seen dogs on a farm growing up or whatever is a better choice for dealing with animals' behavior than someone who has done years of study and field work on the subject?

But the scientists are too right that he takes more risks and using his techniques is more dangerous. Most of the red zone head cases he has effectively rehabilitated would have been euthanized by the scientists.

So which method is more humane? As the bell curve of aggression reaches the right bottom of the bell where dog will kill sheep, climb the leash and hammer the handler, the professors defer to the needle because they don't understand compulsion, dominance and aggression quite as much as the diploma on the wall might lead one to think, or don't have the patience and courage necessary to fight the battle, and save the animal from it's wild side.
I think that is both unfair and untrue. I know of multiple behaviorists who work with dogs with all sorts of aggression issues including what Cesar calls "red zone" without using any "dominance" or physical corrections etc... Just because some veterinarians might recommend euthanasia for aggression does not mean aggression issues can only be dealt with by Cesar or similar methods.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,371 Posts
They should try to read a great book titled "Bringing Light to Shadow"

This thread has evolved into the compulsion camp vs the balanced camp.

I would not say I never use compulsion as after a fashion all training is a form of compulsion becasuu we are attemting to asert our will over the dog. I guess the line is drawn by the degree of force used when compelling an aminmal to behave in a certain manner. I would prefer to compel the dog to make the right choice without relying on pain and domineering tactics. I call that balance in training.

And TX Rider you never did answer my question about your credentials.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,204 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,483 Posts
I think that is both unfair and untrue. I know of multiple behaviorists who work with dogs with all sorts of aggression issues including what Cesar calls "red zone" without using any "dominance" or physical corrections etc... Just because some veterinarians might recommend euthanasia for aggression does not mean aggression issues can only be dealt with by Cesar or similar methods.
Agree!

I have two issues with Milan and his methods:
1. A lot of aggression, I would even say MOST aggression, is IMO rooted in fear not dominance.
2. No matter what he says about "don't try this at home" he has a show and many books and people DO look at his products as a kind of "how to" manual.

I say these things because I deal with a lot of aggressive dogs and I deal with a lot of people - both as a trainer trying to help people keep their dogs and as a rescuer dealing with dogs that are given up. I see dogs over and over again diagnosed by their owners as "dominant" that are actually afraid and I see owners attempting their interpretation of Milan's techniques - A LOT. It's not a good combo.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
656 Posts
Yes, absolutely, I do believe this and am seeing it. I have been working on recall with Benny. Yesterday we were in a fenced school yard and he was playing with another dog aabout 50 yards away. I called him and stopped playing, came right to me. I gave him a treat, a lot of praise and sent hom off to play. With consistent training, reward based motivation he is obeying me because the relationship we are building, which is still very much a work in progress.

Yes it's not rocket science. It even works on us humans.

Simple example. We are conditioned to answer a ringing phone. The more positive the experience is the more we hop to answer the ringing phone, we will stop doing whatever we are focused on to go answer it without thinking about it. Conditioning through positive reinforcement.

But if when we answer, it is repeatedly a negative experience, bill collectors, telemarketers, etc. and never a positive experience, we will stop answering the ringing phone and cringe when it rings and avoid it. Conditioning through positive punishment.

Similar to a dog if coming to you when called becomes a negative thing, like calling the dog to you to punish it. Making recall always a positive experience works, and with enough repetition the dog will become conditioned to just do it without thinking about it.

The issue about forcing a dog to perform a behavior out of fear, is not something I see Millan do. That would be negative reinforcement. He uses the other three of the four quadrants of operant conditioning.



Compelling a dog to perform out of fear would me more like hitting my dog or pinching it's ear until it sat when I told it to to keep from getting hit, or taking something unpleasant away when the dog performs a behavior. This is negative reinforcement.

As opposed to say, hitting a dog when I catch it with it's head in the trash can, to keep it from getting the trash, which is adding something unpleasant as a consequence to a behavior, to lessen the frequency of it being performed. This is positive punishment.


Seems to me what Cesar does is simply provide negative punishment by not allowing the aggressive behavior to succeed, or more clearly he is removing the positive reinforcement of aggression by calmly waiting out the dogs aggression and not backing off. This is negative punishment.

Then he provides positive punishment by putting the dog in a submissive posture and imposing an unpleasant consequence to the aggressive behavior in a way that doesn't physically harm the dog, but the dog still experiences it as an unpleasant consequence for it's aggression. This is positive punishment.

He then provides positive reinforcement when the correct behavior is displayed with praise, scent, food and various other means.

I do not see him use negative reinforcement, but it seems to be often claimed to be his primary method.

But I do agree, better for those at home to avoid provoking the aggression and work around it with methods that are harder to screw up using.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,921 Posts
Agree!

I have two issues with Milan and his methods:
1. A lot of aggression, I would even say MOST aggression, is IMO rooted in fear not dominance.
2. No matter what he says about "don't try this at home" he has a show and many books and people DO look at his products as a kind of "how to" manual.

I say these things because I deal with a lot of aggressive dogs and I deal with a lot of people - both as a trainer trying to help people keep their dogs and as a rescuer dealing with dogs that are given up. I see dogs over and over again diagnosed by their owners as "dominant" that are actually afraid and I see owners attempting their interpretation of Milan's techniques - A LOT. It's not a good combo.
Do you think that is why the dog is behaving that way in the first place? if not, why would a dog exhibit that behavior in the first place? i.e. were they born fearful?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,699 Posts
AH... there is the catch though. It is their interpretation of Cesar's techniques.
The biggest problem is that they don't have Cesar's energy. He is always calm and collected. He never shows anger, aggression, or fear. (Also why people are so drawn to him.)
Average pet owner can almost never do that. If they have the mind set that the dog is dominant, then they will go into any training with a confrontational attitude. A fearful dog will get even more fearful. An aggressive dog even more aggressive. It really wouldn't matter WHAT techniques they used, just the fact that they were trying it on their own.

With a trainer, there is a 3rd party there to not only tell them what to do, but to channel their emotions. THAT is the important difference, not what techniques they are using.

ETA: also, when a professional is there, the owner is also in a calmer state. There is someone else IN CHARGE, so the pressure is off of them. Any trainer knows that the person willing to learn is a good student. The owner who comes in believing that they know more than the teacher is going to be impossible to handle in class. You can tell by their energy and body language! All of that relates to how the dogs respond to the training. Person 1 is most likely going to have a dog that catches on quickly. Person 2 is going to have the opposite in most cases. Then they will turn around and blame the trainer, when in fact, it is their own negative energy that is causing the problem.

In my opinion, Cesar's methods will work on a fearful dog as well. He constantly states that the "Calm Assertive Energy" is the key. The majority of fearful dogs instantly become more relaxed in the presence of that. Why? Because they instantly know "Hey! Here is someone who I can trust to take care of things"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
691 Posts
I've never watched Caesar's show, only seen bits and pieces and the segment he did on Oprah a few years ago. I've read a lot of negative reviews on his methods though, and yesterday, my brother in law gave me a prime example. The DH was bragging on our pup saying how his brother better watch out when she gets big. His brother then stated that he knew how to handle an aggressive dog because he's watched the Dog Whisperer and saw an episode that showed where if a dog lunged at you, you just grabbed them by the throat and moved forward being assertive and just keep repeating and showing you weren't goin to back down until the dog stopped trying to attack you. I told him good luck trying to get his hand back or face for that matter, in normal condition. I don't know if this is what he actually saw on the show or what type of dog Caesar may have been practicing this technique on, but I thought it was absolutely NUTS!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,483 Posts
Do you think that is why the dog is behaving that way in the first place? if not, why would a dog exhibit that behavior in the first place? i.e. were they born fearful?
I think it depends on the dog. Sometimes it's a weak nerved dog, sometimes it's a dog that was undersocialized but not abused, sometimes it's a dog that was not out and out abused but was very poorly handled, and sometimes it's a dog that has been severely abused. How a dog reacts to its treatment depends a lot on genetics and individual temperament. Fear comes from a lot of different sources.

My biggest issue isn't so much with Milan himself but with his effect. Whether or not he says people shouldn't try his techniques at home and even if he talks about his calm energy, the bottom line is that his show and books have led to a lot of people incorrectly diagnosing their dogs as dominant, and attempting to implement his techniques at home to very negative effect. And to be clear - I'm not blaming all alpha-rollers on Milan, I'm talking specifically about people who proudly tell me they watch his show/read his books and have done x,y, and z with their dogs, and then I've got to figure out how to deal with a dog who is now seriously freaked out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
656 Posts
My biggest issue isn't so much with Milan himself but with his effect. Whether or not he says people shouldn't try his techniques at home and even if he talks about his calm energy, the bottom line is that his show and books have led to a lot of people incorrectly diagnosing their dogs as dominant, and attempting to implement his techniques at home to very negative effect. And to be clear - I'm not blaming all alpha-rollers on Milan, I'm talking specifically about people who proudly tell me they watch his show/read his books and have done x,y, and z with their dogs, and then I've got to figure out how to deal with a dog who is now seriously freaked out.
I agree. And if I get called a "calm assertive pack leader" by one more person at petsmart or out walking the dogs I think I'll puke.

Part of the problem is his use of the english language isn't so good, and he describes things in a way that can easily be taken in the wrong context.

His show doesn't help me at all really, as my dogs don't have any behavior issues that the dogs that are normally on show exhibit even if I wanted to try his methods.

The only exception would be Hope launching at dogs when she gets close to them, but it's not aggressive, she just wants to lick face submissively, and launching at a squirrel if it gets too close. Part of me would actually like to see what he would do with her when she gets over the top excited. Her reaction is not fear, not aggression, she just gets so excited she can't control herself regardless of how I act and I have no way to calm her.

I could get loud and aggressive, and that would probably scare her into calming down, but that's way to handle it IMO.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,495 Posts
My biggest issue isn't so much with Milan himself but with his effect. Whether or not he says people shouldn't try his techniques at home and even if he talks about his calm energy, the bottom line is that his show and books have led to a lot of people incorrectly diagnosing their dogs as dominant, and attempting to implement his techniques at home to very negative effect. And to be clear - I'm not blaming all alpha-rollers on Milan, I'm talking specifically about people who proudly tell me they watch his show/read his books and have done x,y, and z with their dogs, and then I've got to figure out how to deal with a dog who is now seriously freaked out.
That is true.

I am also bothered by his explanations of the dogs "moods" after he has been working with them or when he has been holding the dog on its side.
He says a dog is "calm and submissive" but I see something totally different in their body language; things like avoidance, stress, calming signals: yawning, shifting eyes, lip licking, repeated blinking, squinting, ears back, whale eye, turning head away, corners of the mouth pulled back in a "grin", tense body, etc...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
850 Posts
My biggest issue isn't so much with Milan himself but with his effect. Whether or not he says people shouldn't try his techniques at home and even if he talks about his calm energy, the bottom line is that his show and books have led to a lot of people incorrectly diagnosing their dogs as dominant, and attempting to implement his techniques at home to very negative effect. And to be clear - I'm not blaming all alpha-rollers on Milan, I'm talking specifically about people who proudly tell me they watch his show/read his books and have done x,y, and z with their dogs, and then I've got to figure out how to deal with a dog who is now seriously freaked out.
I agree, and I think that is really what this discussion, that has happened countless times here and otherwise, comes down to. Some may like what they see, or be impressed with his accomplishments with dogs on TV and feel that he is saving dogs.
He may be, but he also is no quiet professional, and exploits both the dogs and impressionable owners into buying his books, and training products. (such as his illusion collar) How is that not encouraging people to emulate his training methods? He absolutely is, and therefore many think he should be more responsible about the information that he puts out/displays on TV.

One thing I would be interested in finding out, is does Cesar pursue any further education regarding animal behavior/conditioning/training? Does he have any working/learning relationships with other trainers? Or does he consider his philosophy to be above others? (feel free to answer with any references if you know if he has discussed this somewhere!)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
656 Posts
One thing I would be interested in finding out, is does Cesar pursue any further education regarding animal behavior/conditioning/training? Does he have any working/learning relationships with other trainers? Or does he consider his philosophy to be above others? (feel free to answer with any references if you know if he has discussed this somewhere!)
A quick Google provides an interview...

There's an old joke that the only thing two dog trainers can agree on is that the third one is wrong. Do you believe there are other training methods besides yours that are just as effective?

Absolutely, there are other methods. I'm not the only person who can help people. There are 68 million dogs in America—I can't get to all of them.
So we need all the professionals to help and accomplish the same goal, which is a balanced dog. How you accomplish that is up to you, as long as you use a humane approach


I'm open for possibilities. I'm open for choices. I always welcome new ideas. I'm always eager to learn. I'm never going to close my mind from learning.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,077 Posts
that victoria chick is the stupiest person I have ever seen and her show should be YANKED! She had the AUDACITY to tell this family that their dog wa almost untrainable at ELEVEN MONTHS OLD!! I wanted to jump thru the screen! She had these poor people crying because their dog jumped on people and she said it would be PTS! The dog wasn't even aggressive! Look it up, people, I had to change the channel.She would NEVER NEVER EVER in a MILLION YEARS be able to handle a dog like Paige. Surely Paige should have been PTS a long time ago!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Paige would have scared that idiot right onto my counter top.She is the WORST EXCUSE FOR A DOG TRAINER I HAVE EVER SEEN!!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,077 Posts
PS Ivan Dunbar is hot as all get out!
 
41 - 60 of 60 Posts
Top