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What do y'all think about pinning/alpha roll

8842 Views 120 Replies 31 Participants Last post by  codmaster
I have heard some people hate it and some people love it, or at least think it's a natural training method. I have never done this physically to my dogs but my pup Riley will submissivly roll on his back when I give him the "You're in trouble look." I used to get on the floor and play with him and that's when he started doing it. It would be when I would love on him and put my face around his neck. That's when he would automatically do it. Now he just does it if I give him a certain look, or when I give him a good ole belly rub! What is your opinion of people who purposfully incorporate "Pinning" or the "Alpha roll" for training?
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You might consider toning your reproaches to your pup down a bit. If the dog is giving you the "I submit, please don't kill me" language, it could be you have a very soft/submissive dog.

I find that soft dogs need very little corrections, and stiff corrections can move you backwards instead of forwards.

Just thinking out loud here.

Soft dogs can be the most excellent pets because generally they want to please you and when they know what they should not do, they NEVER do it. But they require someone willing to encourage and build their confidence moreso than discourage behaviors.
I love these threads. They always make me go home and hug my dogs. Alpha hugs are better than alpha rolls any day.

I find it interesting that if people do not agree with training collars, or Cesar Millan, or alpha rolling, they must be for postive only and offer no corrections. It is also interesting that most people who ARE for compulsion methods, training collars, CM, or alpha rolling are OFTEN in aggreement with more than one of these, maybe they need more than one of these to manage their dogs. Maybe that says something about postive training techniques, that people who train their dogs without such (compulsive) methods and with success, are actually having less issues than those who feel it necessary to dominate, jerk, shock, and roll their dogs over for submission.

Gotta go home, flip my dog over and blow rasberries in her belly now.
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Well, to compare, we'd first need to establish whether, on average, dogs trained using only positive methods were better-behaved than dogs trained using both positive methods and corrections. You'd also have to take into account which took longer, and which dogs were better-adjusted to general situations. Also, some dogs are simply better at interpreting what we want, or more sensitive to the withdrawal of reinforcers.

Also, we have to establish that people use pure +R methods because they work better, and not because they have an ideological opposition to anything they consider to be punishment, which is what I think the real difference comes from in quite a lot of cases. Those who acknowledge that correction has a place in training will use multiple methods because they know that some things are better suited to correcting certain dogs and certain behaviors by them than others. Whereas anti-punishment ideologues, by their nature, have only +R to work with.

It should be noted that, in terms of the amount of extinction of a behavior that it can produce, a 60-second time out, for a normal, social dog, is roughly equivalent to a brief shock. (1-2mA @ 30ms.) It can be inferred that it causes roughly the same amount of distress to the dog. Is a time out then as 'bad' as shocking your dog?

Similarly, are bitches abusing their pups when they mouth or pin 'em or even nip back for nipping on 'em too hard? I wouldn't think so, because the pup understands the correction at an instinctual or near-instinctual level, and the corrections are always applied in a consistent, fair manner contingent on the actions of the pup.

Is booby-trapping objects you don't want your pups to investigate with a can with some pennies in it abusive? (The goal is to have it fall and startle the pup, not fall -on- the pup. ;)) I wouldn't say so, but a single encounter like that can keep the animal off and wary of something like a firepit grill or a laundry chute for life, and most physical corrections that you could administer without causing actual damage probably don't provide such a long-lasting aversive impression. (At least not of the object you're trying to provide the motivation to not bother. Of you, on the other hand...dogs understand 'correction' but they don't understand abuse.)

Anyway. For a long time, dog training methods were mired in abuse -- similar to horse training methods. You broke a hunting dog or a horse, you didn't train it. Even now, so many people utterly suck at applying punishment to a dog, tending towards abuse instead, so people who actually care about animals have swung in the opposite direction, to the opposite extreme. I'm apalled now at the way that we treated the first dog my family had, and even now most people wouldn't see any problem with the way that we raised it. So there's even a good motivation to tell inexperienced owners to swing to the other extreme: because it's a lot harder to really screw up a dog with poor +R technique than it is with poor correction technique. But I've put a lot of study into behavioral science and dogs since then, and I now use very +R methods. However, I'm also aware of the power of properly applied punishments, and believe that they are, in general, good for the dog if properly, consistently, and fairly applied.

Where to start? First of all, who said that people who train with positive methods use NO corrections? I correct my dogs. Normally that is a simple tone of voice change, that is usually all that is required.

I have never boobie trapped ANYTHING. I do not find that fair. Unless you consider the solar powered electric fence wire near the base of my solid/wire fence. It is no longer there, but it was more of a safety thing, than a correction, and because they were aware of it, could see it and avoid it, I do not feel it was a boobie trap at all.

I have left bitches with pups long after ten weeks. I have NEVER seen one roll one of the pups over, and I have NEVER seen one nip a puppy. I have been able to let six month old pups run with their dam without any issues. After that, I really do not see a need for it. Usually dam and pups are separated when I am not there to observe just prior to four months. No alpha rolls, no snapping.

And this is something many of the newbies with sheps do not understand. They have this eight week old puppy and are asking when they can fit it with a prong collar, and when they should start working with an e-fence. What kind of corrections they should give the puppy. When a bitch with puppies will pretty much let a youngster climb all over her, chew on her, and eat out of her food dish until that pup is a good four to five months old. Even after that, they put up an awful lot from pups.

It is we humans that expect puppies to come out of puppy classes with a wonderful set of manners, and a great understanding and compliance with commands. We seem to think they are much older than they are. Yes, young puppies can learn to heel and to get it in and sit straight and to down on command and stay. But at what cost, if the methods used are compusive?
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Good post Ruth.
Seriously?you've never seen a bitch mouth her pup and give it a warning growl when a particular pup starts biting her ear too hard or refuses to stop nursing even after she gets up and starts walking away?I've seen the nip and growl and the pup who rolls and pees it's self.She then calmly licks and cleans the mess and then ignores the pup.I will see the same pup try it again and she will swing her head and give him the look and then that settles it.the pup trots off and does the same to another litter mate instead.
I've also seen where they use their front feet to wrap around the other dogs neck to get them down.Wether in play or earnest combat.I'll post a small clip of acero trying to dominate oso while playing today.
This is how my mammas are, no nipping, no alpha rolling:

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Who corrects a puppy with a treat???

I generally give my bitches a way away from their brood, so they do not have to get nasty with them, they just leap over the side of the whelping box or over the x-pen when they need to get out of there for a spell.
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