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Discussion Starter #1
It has come to my attention from reading various reviews that the Monks of New Skete have caught a bit of flack over thier idea that you don't strike your dog from above. Various "professional" trainers have said that correcting the dog under the chin is no better or worse than correcting the dog on the nose or the top of the head...while some say you shouldn't physically correct a dog at all.

I've always (and rarely) corrected a dog under the chin but only for severe or dangerous behavior. When I feel it necessary to physically correct the dog I've found, through personal experience, that if you strike a dog on the head or on the nose that he/she will cower and cringe the next four or five times that I reach out to pet the dog...and since training is about trust, striking a dog from above is counter productive.

Has anyone else read the book? Any thoughts you'd like to share?

The only thing I DON'T want to happen is for this to turn into a "striking a dog in anyway is barbaric" thread. If someone would like to start that discussion in another thread, I will be happy to participate.
 

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I would never "strike" a dog. That isn't their language in the wild. Wolves don't hit each other. I very rarely give any physical correction (other then a slight tug on a leash), but when I do it's a firm but small grip to the neck. Not like a choking grip, but on the top or side of the neck. This is hard to explain.

Example, if we have visitors over and Mali is getting a bit overexcited and doesn't respond to vocal commands, I will take my hand and slightly grip her neck fur. Your fingers represent teeth in the wild, an alpha wolf would be biting the dog. She gets the hint, and it's so subtle it's barely noticed by other people, plus it's never caused her to cringe or do anything fearful. It's just me saying "Hey, I'm here, I'm your alpha, respect me", and she'll stop whatever she's doing and pay full attention to me.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I've never had any trouble out of a trained dog that would require any sort of physical correction other than a check on the leash or having to move the dog a bit for the heel position or front position. But from time to time I've had an aggressive resuce dog that responded well to an under the chin correction and then a roll over.

I've found this was a much faster way to correct a dangerous behavior. Sorta like using a pinch collar for the first couple of days as opposed to a weeks worth of pulling on a standard collar. I haven't had to rehab an aggressive dog in a while, but I was curious on everyones thought anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Also, I don't use a physical correction as a means of hurting the dog. On the occasions that I have used a pop under the chin it has been used as a way to break an aggressive dogs attention from whomever or whatever he is focused on when a leash check is not effective.
 

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Originally Posted By: blackbirdzach But from time to time I've had an aggressive resuce dog that responded well to an under the chin correction and then a roll over.

I've found this was a much faster way to correct a dangerous behavior. Sorta like using a pinch collar for the first couple of days as opposed to a weeks worth of pulling on a standard collar. I haven't had to rehab an aggressive dog in a while, but I was curious on everyones thought anyway.
O.K.,

DO NOT alpha roll a dog. This is a great way to see the ER when done on the wrong dog. Which dogs are "the wrong dogs"? If you have to ask then you are not qualified to read the dog properly and can get seriously hurt doing this.

The only difference between hitting from underneath and hitting from above is that coming from underneath will not make the dog hand shy. Either one will at the very least not send a clear message of what you are trying to get across to the dog and at most damage your relationship with the dog if done consistantly. There are much better methods of correction than this.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Only had one problem rolling a dog, a 100 lbs Rottie and I'm 6'5 240lbs. I've never been seriously injured (yet :D), but I haven't found a better/quicker way to curb aggression. I do a lot of reading, but haven't found any other techniques that yield faster results.

Maybe this thread would have been more at home in the aggression section, since that's the only time I've ever used these techniques.
 

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Maybe it's just me, but I think building a relationship with the dog and working on the causes of the aggression is better than a 'quick fix.' Sure, it may "yield faster results" but I'm not very Machiavellian when it comes to dog training.

Plus not all cases of aggression are the result of a dog who thinks he's alpha or is just out of control. What about a fearful dog who goes ballistic out of sheer terror!? I highly doubt an alpha roll or any other type of physical reprimand would be ideal in this type of situation. You're bound to either prove the dog right that it should be terrified or completely destroy your relationship with the dog.

Not saying you have or ever would use force with a fear aggressive dog. I don't know you well enough to make such claims. I'm just saying.
 

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Originally Posted By: Caitlin Wolves don't hit each other.
Can you imagine though if they did? Seeing dogs boxing each other....

I think if dogs could use their paws as their main weapon, they would hit each other but their mouth is their main weapon. Our fists our are main weapons.

Anyways, I agree with everyone. I would never strike a dog. I'm just talking nonsense.
 

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Originally Posted By: Murphy-ElperroguapoMaybe it's just me, but I think building a relationship with the dog and working on the causes of the aggression is better than a 'quick fix.'
Agree.

I have no problem issuing a firm correction to a dog if it's warranted, but I feel in the case of most behavior issues, including most cases of aggression, it's usually not warranted. Corrections may stop the dog's outward display of behavior, for a time, but it doesn't deal with the root cause of the behavior.

To use an aggression based example; correct a dog for growling and it doesn't change the dog's feelings about the situation or what caused the growling in the first place, it only eliminates growling. Which may lead to the dog biting "without warning" at some point, because he's learned that giving a warning sign before escalating to a bite is unacceptable.

Much better to identify and deal with that cause than to cover it up. Cover ups don't hold up long term.. at some point down the road the problem will rear it's head again. And when it does, it will often be 10 times worse than it ever was before, and it may come without warning. Whereas dealing with the root cause will lead to a happier, more stable dog with much less chance of regression.

As for hitting a dog, or alpha rolling a dog.. I really can't think of much in the way of situations where I would feel this is appropriate. Though if one is determined to hit a dog, than I suppose yes, coming from underneath is better than overhand. But there are much better ways of dealing with issues than hitting.
 

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I`ve dealt with a lot of different dogs and thinking back I`ve never hit a dog for a correction that I can remember. Although that goes back if you include my parents dogs over a half century. I have alpha rolled dogs although not too many times recently.
Actually now that I think of it I did kick and punch a pit that was charging my dog.
I guess you would have to define hit. Like with kids when does an attention getting spanking become abuse?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Originally Posted By: Murphy-ElperroguapoMaybe it's just me, but I think building a relationship with the dog and working on the causes of the aggression is better than a 'quick fix.' Sure, it may "yield faster results" but I'm not very Machiavellian when it comes to dog training.

Plus not all cases of aggression are the result of a dog who thinks he's alpha or is just out of control. What about a fearful dog who goes ballistic out of sheer terror!? I highly doubt an alpha roll or any other type of physical reprimand would be ideal in this type of situation. You're bound to either prove the dog right that it should be terrified or completely destroy your relationship with the dog.

Not saying you have or ever would use force with a fear aggressive dog. I don't know you well enough to make such claims. I'm just saying.
I would not strike a fear aggressive dog and I avoid striking ANY dog if at all possible. But I still believe that in certain cases there is not a better method than to "shock" the dog and put it on the ground.

The long term goal is always building a relationship, teaching basic obedience and making sure the dog is well mannered before I attempt to find it a home. A lot of times I wind up with the dogs that other people don't want as a "project" dog. Sometimes they're super submissive dogs (usually previously abused) and somtimes they're super aggressive dogs (usually the chained up in the backyard type)...but seems like no one wants to work with either type of dog anymore. I do what I think is necessary to rehab the dog to a point where it will be adoptable.

Fear biting in submissive type dogs is usually combated with positive reinforcement from "strangers" and slow socialization. Truely aggressive behavior is initially combated by physical correction and once the dog has calmed down a little I work it simular to a fear biting dog.

Exercise is always first though! It's amazing what a two or three mile run and then a healthy dinner will do for ANY rescue dog.
 

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I'd love to see you try and roll my dog. You'd definitely have some teeth marks in you. It's just not a good practice. Quick fixes are just that, workarounds, they are not real solutions.
 

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Although I believe that the Monks of New Skete meant well, I think that their methods are outdated and should be taken with a grain of salt. Alpha rolling a dog serves no real purpose that can not be accomplished by other less confrontational methods. Especially with rescue type dogs.
 

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Quote: I would never "strike" a dog. That isn't their language in the wild. Wolves don't hit each other. I very rarely give any physical correction (other then a slight tug on a leash), but when I do it's a firm but small grip to the neck. Not like a choking grip, but on the top or side of the neck. This is hard to explain.
I agree. There are a lot of people that disagree with some of Ceasar Milan's methods but I like his "mothers bite" tactic. He makes sort of a "jaw" out of his hand and gives a quick bite (much like the mother with her pups) to the neck area.
No hitting! It pays negative dividends in the long term.
 

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Originally Posted By: EJQ
I agree. There are a lot of people that disagree with some of Ceasar Milan's methods but I like his "mothers bite" tactic. He makes sort of a "jaw" out of his hand and gives a quick bite (much like the mother with her pups) to the neck area.
Agree. In the rare cases where this sort of correction may be appropriate for a handler to give a dog, doing so in a manner that the dog instinctively understands is much preferrable. The problem with hitting a dog is that they don't understand it. They have no frame of reference for it or way to rationalize it. Thus, the dog is most likely to see it as an unwarranted attack, rather than a correction of any type and relating it as a result of their own actions. If one must use force with a dog, at least do it in a way that is crystal clear to the dog.
 

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Quote:
Quote:Originally Posted By: EJQ
I agree. There are a lot of people that disagree with some of Ceasar Milan's methods but I like his "mothers bite" tactic. He makes sort of a "jaw" out of his hand and gives a quick bite (much like the mother with her pups) to the neck area.

Agree. In the rare cases where this sort of correction may be appropriate for a handler to give a dog, doing so in a manner that the dog instinctively understands is much preferrable. The problem with hitting a dog is that they don't understand it. They have no frame of reference for it or way to rationalize it. Thus, the dog is most likely to see it as an unwarranted attack, rather than a correction of any type and relating it as a result of their own actions. If one must use force with a dog, at least do it in a way that is crystal clear to the dog.


Exactly what I was trying to explain but you guys did it much more eloquently.
 

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I've owned dogs since I was a kid, and have never felt the need or inclination to hit one. In fact, it's an issue of pride with me that no animal I've owned except for a severely abused rescue, has ever filched if I've raised my hand above their heads or made a quick gesture around their faces. There are so many more appropriate ways to issue a correction, I believe hitting should be avoided at all costs.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks for all the input guys, looks like a change of tactic is in order. I'll keep you posted on my progress with my future rescues. Until then, it's back to the books! Just got my copy of Training The German Shepherd Dog yesterday!
 

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Originally Posted By: Branca's MomAlthough I believe that the Monks of New Skete meant well, I think that their methods are outdated and should be taken with a grain of salt. Alpha rolling a dog serves no real purpose that can not be accomplished by other less confrontational methods. Especially with rescue type dogs.
I don't know how true it is, but I am reading The Other End of the Leash (I read this chapter last night as a matter of fact). The author talks about the alpha roll (she does not recommend it) and said
"Even the Monks of New Skete, whose book How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend inspired me and at least a million other people, advised owners to act lie wolves and do "alpha rollovers"...The book's main author, Job Michael Evans, later said he deeply regretted this advice. "
 

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From my personal experience I would never strike or even tap a dog from above. However, the wolf theory about grabbing a dog on top of the neck for correction is no better in my experience. So for me, a tap, not a hard hit, and a firm no has worked well with my GSD.

The last time I did that, was about a year ago when he decided to try and herd me and was biting.
 
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