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|11-20-2008, 12:07 PM||#1|
YT 1000 Club Member
Join Date: Aug 2008
From the Dog's Point of View
<> DIAMONDS in the RUFF - From the Dog's Point of View <>
I'm a six-month-old puppy in an adult dog suit.
I'm a typical teenager, bored and looking for fun.
My owner is trying to be an educated dog owner. She bought some dog training books and is trying out a whole bunch of new training techniques. Unfortunately, she's driving me nuts. There's this thing she read about called the "scruff-shake take-down" - the "alpha roll." Now she uses it for every little thing - in fact, she practices it just for the sake of practicing. It's awful. Last night was the worst.
This is what happened:
I wanted her to play, but I couldn't get her attention. So I picked up something of hers and invited her to chase me, which she did. She shrieked in that high pitched squeaky-toy voice and I knew the chase was on! I am so smart and so fast. I ducked and dodged behind the table and up the stairs. It was great fun. But here's where the game went sour. She started to yell. She told me to "COME!" but I couldn't - you wouldn't have either! She had on the ugliest face. I knew that if she did get hold of me, it wouldn't be pleasant. I wanted to go to her - I would have if I'd thought it was safe. But I didn't dare.
When she finally caught me, she made a really big growling noise. In one fell swoop, she took me by the sides of my face, lifted me up, gave me a shake and took me over on my back, where she pinned me to the floor and continued to yell at me - it seemed like for hours. Her face was all red. It really scared me. All I wanted to do was get away, but I couldn't. The harder I tried to squirm free, the harder she pinched the sides of my face. She even hit me. I panicked. I screamed and bit her. It surprised her long enough for me to get away. I would never have thought of hurting her, I really do love and respect her. I don't understand why she treats me this way. Unfortunately for her, biting worked. It made her stop. Now she acts like she's afraid of me. I don't know who's in charge anymore. I don't think I can trust her.
My mother would never have treated me this way. When she corrected me, it was always fair. Corrections were quick and to the point. They were over as quickly as they started, and I always knew exactly why. The punishment always fit the crime. I was never afraid of her. And she never held a grudge. She never chastised me with with "I'm still mad at you" for hours. I always knew it was my behavior that was bad, not me. The instant I stopped what I was doing wrong, I was back in her good graces. I wish dog owners would avoid confrontational take-downs, especially for the sole purpose of practicing.
If I could talk, I would tell dog owners the following:
Please be fair. Teach me commands; tell me what the rules are. I want and need a leader, I need to know where I stand. I like rules, if you explain them clearly and are consistent like my mom was. But I can't respect you if I can't trust you. I should never be forced into a position of needing to defend myself. I should never fear you.
I am a very intelligent dog who loves the thrill of competition. DON'T COMPETE WITH ME FOR LEADERSHIP. There is a big difference between being a leader and pushing at dominance. A leader doesn't have anything to "prove."
Please don't compete, don't provoke, don't challenge, don't push me into an altercation. These are all actions of a lower pack member vying for higher pack status. Give direction not dares. Avoid any action that might be mistaken for teasing, taunting, or challenging. Your job is to calmly take control, not escalate. Lead and I will follow - push and I will push back.
If you want to help me learn my place in your pack, you must be a confident and fair leader and teach me to trust you. Calm, friendly belly rubs will teach me to let you gently roll me onto my back. I won't ever be comfortable exposing my belly to you if I think you might hurt me. Violent take-downs aren't constructive training tools. I'm not learning anything by these unfair outbursts, except how to defend myself. Did you intend to teach me how to use my teeth?
Give me something fun to do. If my chew toy is more interesting than your shoe, I will choose it instead. Stuff a rubber Kong or hollow bone with treats and maybe a little peanut butter. Make them hard to get out and I will spend hours trying.
I need interesting activities. Play with me every day. I'd rather play with you than your shoe, but sometimes stealing it is the only way I can get you to play with me. Sometimes bad attention is better than no attention.
Help me make the right choices. I won't know your silly human rules unless you explain them clearly. I can't learn them if you don't supervise me constantly and confine me safely when you can't watch me. Try to look at the world through my eyes. Help me look up to you.
See Intelligent Diversions and Creative Play for more ideas to keep his body and mind busy.
This handout may be reprinted in its entirety for distribution free of charge and with full credit given:
© CAROL A. BYRNES "DIAMONDS IN THE RUFF" Training for Dogs & Their People -
ditr_training @ hotmail.com - <> <> <> DIAMONDS in the RUFF - Training for Dogs & Their People<> <> <>
"Forcing the dog onto its back is the equivalent of an
abusive parent beating a child to force it to say, 'I love you.'
Although he or she may have forced the words out of the child's mouth,
they cannot force the statement to be true....
Forcing a dog into a submissive position is the Doggish equivalent of this scenario.
Even worse, this technique may actually anger the dog enough to provoke it to attack.
Forcing a dog into an alpha roll, or shaking the dog, both constitute physical aggression.
Physical aggression is not communication. If there is good communication,
then such confrontations need not occur." - Stanley Coren, "How to Speak Dog"
See "Follow the Leader" for better ways to establish yourself as the leader!
Reconsidering the Dominance Model in Dog Training
The Macho Myth
Alpha Roll Training Can Cause Serious Problems
Dominance and All That Jazz
Alpha Roll or Alpha Role?
"The truth about an animal is far more beautiful than all the myths woven about it." Konrad Loranz
Last edited by YorkieMother; 11-20-2008 at 12:08 PM.