YorkieTalk.com Forums - Yorkshire Terrier Community


Welcome to the YorkieTalk.com Forums Community - the community for Yorkshire Terriers.

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. You will be able to chat with over 35,000 YorkieTalk members, read over 2,000,000 posted discussions, and view more than 15,000 Yorkie photos in the YorkieTalk Photo Gallery after you register. We would love to have you as a member!

Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please click here to contact us.

Go Back   YorkieTalk.com Forums - Yorkshire Terrier Community > YorkieTalk > General Training Questions
Register Blogs FAQ Calendar JavaChat Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 08-21-2009, 09:11 PM   #1
YT 1000 Club Member
 
YorkieMother's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: North
Posts: 1,324
Default Pen Current Research

Questions about ‘aversive’ training By Tim Hyland


Cesar Millan is one of the superstars of the canine world.

As the host of the National Geographic Channel show, “Dog Whisperer,” Millan has rocketed to fame based on his ability to reform and save misbehaving, over-aggressive dogs. It’s something he accomplishes through “firm” discipline—a “firm correction, a firm grab on the neck, which is what dogs do to each other,” as he says on his web site.

Millan’s show attests to his success, and he’s earned millions of loyal followers.

But according to a new study from Penn’s School of Veterinary Science, Millan’s approach may not be quite so effective as he makes it out to be. In fact, the study suggests “firm” discipline—and so-called “aversive” discipline techniques, in which dogs are corrected using aggressive measures—may actually backfire, making dogs more likely to lash out at other dogs, people and even their owners.
According to the study, published in the journal Applied Animal Behavior Science, 25 percent of dogs trained with “aversive” techniques react to their training with an aggressive response of their own. Dogs trained in a more positive, encouraging manner, by contrast, showed almost no aggressive behavior.
“It’s really the first study of its kind—it’s a kind of pilot study,” says Meghan Herron, a Penn Vet resident and the lead author of the study. “But it’s just the start of the science that needs to happen.”

Herron says the idea for the study came from her experience at Penn Vet, where aggressive behavior is far and away the No. 1 reason why people seek the help of behavioral veterinarians.

To attempt to understand the roots of this aggression, Herron and her colleagues—Frances S. Shofer and Ilana R. Reisner, both from the Department of Clinical Studies—wrote up a 30-question survey for dog owners who visited the hospital. The survey asked the owners what kind of techniques they used to control their dogs’ aggression and what kind of results they had seen. The owners were also asked where they had learned about the training techniques they used.

In total, 140 surveys were collected. The researchers found that the most commonly used methods of training included such aggressive techniques as hitting the dog (43 percent), growling at the dog (41 percent) and physically forcing the dog onto its back (31 percent). This, despite the fact that these techniques showed the tendency to produce the direct opposite response owners sought. A quarter of the dogs trained with aversive techniques showed aggressive behavior in response.
Herron says these techniques can fail because, rather than helping owners exert “dominance” over their pets, they instead make dogs fearful. That fear, then, manifests itself in aggression.

Even still, the aversive methods persist, simply because they’ve been around so long. The popularity of “Dog Whisperer” doesn’t help matters.
“It’s a very popular [school of thought],” she says. “If you look in the old textbooks, they basically say if your dog is aggressive you need to assert your dominance. This idea has been around for a long time.”

That’s why Herron says it will likely take years of work to begin to convince owners of the potential flaws in aversive training. That work will most likely take the form of studies like hers, as others in her field work to produce evidence supporting an idea that she and her colleagues already believe in: That positive training is more effective than negative training.
“In the behavioral field, they’re cheering [about this paper],” she says. “But we’ve been on this page for years. It’s the public … and the vets that we want to reach.”
Originally published on March 5, 2009

Penn Current: Research: Questions about ‘aversive’ training
__________________
"The truth about an animal is far more beautiful than all the myths woven about it." Konrad Loranz
YorkieMother is offline   Reply With Quote
Welcome Guest!
Not Registered?

Join today and remove this ad!

Old 08-22-2009, 09:25 AM   #2
YT 1000 Club Member
 
YorkieMother's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: North
Posts: 1,324
Default Dominance reduction’ training approaches may worsen dogs’ behaviours

Dominance reduction’ training approaches may worsen dogs’ behaviours
May 22nd, 2009 - 1:24 pm ICT by ANI -
Washington, May 22 (ANI): A Bristol University expert has debunked the age-old belief that aggressive dogs have the desire to assert their “dominance” over people and other dogs.

Dr Rachel Casey, a senior lecturer in Companion Animal Behaviour and Welfare, spent six months studying dogs freely interacting at a Dogs Trust rehoming centre, and reanalysing data from studies of feral dogs.

The researcher observed that individual relationships between dogs are learnt through experience rather than motivated by a desire to assert “dominance”.

In the study paper, Casey’s team say that dogs are not motivated by maintaining their place in the pecking order of their pack, as many well-known dog trainers preach.

The academics also say that training approaches aimed at “dominance reduction” vary from being worthless in treatment to being actually dangerous and likely to make behaviours worse.

According to them, instructing owners to eat before their dog or go through doors first will not influence the dog’s overall perception of the relationship - merely teach them what to expect in these specific situations.

They warn that techniques like pinning the dog to the floor, grabbing jowls, or blasting hooters at dogs will make dogs anxious, often about their owner, and potentially lead to an escalation of aggression.

Dr. Casey said: “The blanket assumption that every dog is motivated by some innate desire to control people and other dogs is frankly ridiculous. It hugely underestimates the complex communicative and learning abilities of dogs. It also leads to the use of coercive training techniques, which compromise welfare, and actually cause problem behaviours.”
The researcher added: “In our referral clinic we very often see dogs which have learnt to show aggression to avoid anticipated punishment. Owners are often horrified when we explain that their dog is terrified of them, and is showing aggression because of the techniques they have used - but its not their fault when they have been advised to do so, or watched unqualified ‘behaviourists’ recommending such techniques on TV.”

Veterinary Director Chris Laurence MBE, said: “We can tell when a dog comes in to us which has been subjected to the ‘dominance reduction technique’ so beloved of TV dog trainers. They can be very fearful, which can lead to aggression towards people.”

Laurence added: “Sadly, many techniques used to teach a dog that his owner is leader of the pack is counter-productive; you won’t get a better behaved dog, but you will either end up with a dog so fearful it has suppressed all its natural behaviours and will just do nothing, or one so aggressive it’s dangerous to be around.”
The study has been published in the Journal of Veterinary Behaviour: Clinical Applications and Research. (ANI)

Sphere: Related Content
‘Dominance reduction’ training approaches may worsen dogs’ behaviours
__________________
"The truth about an animal is far more beautiful than all the myths woven about it." Konrad Loranz
YorkieMother is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-22-2009, 09:32 AM   #3
YT 1000 Club Member
 
YorkieMother's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: North
Posts: 1,324
Default

VIN News Behaviorists Question Dominance Theory in Dogs Send us feedback about this article

February 5, 2009
By: Timothy Kirn
For The VIN News Service


Cesar Millan, television’s ‘Dog Whisperer,’ has legions of fans, including some dog trainers. But a group of veterinary behaviorists is not among them.

The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB) issued a new position paper aimed at countering some of the pervasive influence of his show, which airs on the National Geographic Channel, and of Millan's training approach, which is based on what the position statement calls outdated dominance theory.

“The AVSAB recommends that veterinarians not refer clients to trainers or behavior consultants who coach and advocate dominance hierarchy theory and the subsequent confrontational training that follows from it,” the position statement says.

That statement was initiated with Millan in mind, says Dr. Laurie Bergman, of Norristown, Pa., a member of AVSAB's executive board.

“We had been moving away from dominance theory and punitive training techniques for a while, but, unfortunately, Cesar Millan has brought it back,” she says.

Millan’s program began airing in September 2004. It has a large following and has twice been nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Reality Program.

On his show, Millan is invited into homes to work with incorrigible pooches, many that have failed with previous trainers. Usually, he identifies the problem and begins immediate remediation.

He says he is really retraining the owners, not the dogs, and generally notes that his sessions are just a beginning. But he does read the dogs and responds to them with insight and intuition. He often is shown calming and subduing an animal in a short time with minimal effort, communicating with the animal mostly by gaze and posture. Sometimes, the results appear nothing short of miraculous.

Dogs are pack animals and packs are ruled by a dominant alpha male, and that is the problem in the majority of unruly situations he addresses on the show, Milan says. The owners are either milquetoasts or inconsistent, and the dog is lost.

“What I am doing is training the human to meet the needs of the dog,” he has stated. “So, by doing that, we are going to eliminate fear, anxiety and aggression.”

Millan asserts himself with the dogs and uses a number of negative-reinforcement, or correction, techniques such as alpha rolls (the dog is rolled onto its back, a submissive position) and flooding (the dog is exposed to something that causes it anxiety and is not allowed to escape, to desensitize it).

He also has been shown choking a dog on the end of a leash until it fell onto its side, gasping for air.

That is the exactly the trouble with him, say the veterinarian behaviorists. His techniques are likely to have only a temporary effect and may be harmful in some instances.

The American Humane Association sent a letter to National Geographic in 2006, complaining that Millan's techniques were “cruel and dangerous.” The association asked that the program be removed from the airwaves.

The AVSAB position statement says that the ideas that dogs act like pack animals and that packs have a strict, dominant alpha-dog hierarchy are erroneous.

Dogs have lived with humans for 15,000 years, and they evolved as scavengers, not hunters. So it is not legitimate to compare dogs with wolves and wolf packs, which do hunt, according to the statement. The evolutionary pressure on dogs was that the least shy animals were the most successful in ransacking human refuse. Today's free-roaming dogs live in small, less cohesive groups rather than packs and are often alone.
Moreover, the notion that every pack has an aggressive alpha male that rules over all the others originated from observations of captive wolves. But, research on wild wolves suggests that wolf packs are not rigidly controlled by a single domineering male, according to L. David Mech, a senior scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey who has studied wild wolves in Michigan and Northern Minnesota for more than 40 years.

Mech says a pack usually has an alpha pair and that most of the rest of the pack is that pair’s offspring. That means the lead male never fought for dominance but merely reproduced. The lead male does not always lead during hunts or in anything else for that matter.

In fact, Mech says he generally objects to the term “alpha” male — a term he once used — because what it implies is not accurate.

Dominance theory leads to an antagonistic relationship between human and pet and to negative and coercive training methods, the AVSAB statement says. A punishment approach can backfire.
It won’t change the underlying state of fear, so the fear will come out when the stimulus is no longer there,” says Dr. Sophia Yin, of the University of California-Davis and an AVSAB Executive Board member.

Though Millan has been criticized by a number of different groups and individuals, he has supporters.

A New Yorker profile published in 2006, compared Millan's movements and posture to that of a dancer’s and described his ability to communicate with dogs as masterful. Because of the precision of those movements and the messages they convey, he was equated to a therapist who works with autistic children.

“I have never seen Mr. Millan be abusive,” says Martin Deeley, executive director of the International Association of Canine Professionals.

Millan does not use coercive techniques exclusively, but also uses positive reinforcement, says Deeley, who has worked with Millan and knows him well.

That combination is what most trainers use today, Deeley says. For a while, the pendulum in training approach was swinging toward the exclusive use of positive reward, but now it is swinging back.

“I think what people have found is that positive reinforcement and reward is not working with every dog,” he says. “I don’t think any dog can be trained using only positive reinforcement.”

On the show, Millan says: “I always say my way is not the only way. It is just one way. The people that follow me feel that it works.”

Deeley considers Millan’s instinctual rapport and ability to communicate with dogs astounding and says it is clear that he cares about dogs.

Millan heads a foundation that supports shelters and rescue organizations across the country. Long before he was famous, Millan opened a center for abused and rescued dogs in a rough part of South Central Los Angeles. On his program, he's shown taking walks with his pack of rescued dogs down the streets of South Central and in the mountains surrounding the city.

“I have found his respect for the dogs and his love for the dogs is very great,” Deeley says.

Heather Houlahan is another trainer who backs Millan's techniques.

“Demand for private dog training definitely increased in the two years after his show debuted, and many owners contacting me specifically cited Cesar Millan as inspiring them to do something about their dogs’ behavior,” says Houlahan, of Harmony, Pa., who trains search-and-rescue dogs and works with seized dogs.

Millan speaks in language that the average pet owner can understand, and what is particularly important, he shows the public that even a difficult dog can be taught, she says. The public, therefore, gets the message that training, done properly, will produce results.

“Within the bounds of the medium — which is stupid — he shows results and he communicates well,” she says. “He uses plain English, which I believe is very important, and he has very good chops with the dogs. I think the show has basically done good.”

The AVSAB statement annoys Houlahan. She questions the science behind it and says dogs do exhibit dominance behavior and when they do, need to be corrected.

“They are picking on Cesar Millan, but they are also picking on the entire community of results-based trainers,” she says.


Yin and the AVSAB, however, believe Millan’s influence has led to a greater use of punitive training and to a misunderstanding of canine intent. Yin thinks his teachings lead the general public to view all canine misbehavior as dominance aggression, when that is not the case.

The dog who fails to come when called is not exhibiting an intention to establish dominance over the caller. Rather, dominance behavior is “when animals use aggression for scarce resources,” Yin says. She is particularly troubled by Millan’s use of flooding. The technique is brutal, and it is not the way psychologists practice desensitization, she says. Real desensitization involves exposing the subject to the anxiety-producing stimulus in a gradual, controlled manner and is combined with positive reinforcement, she adds.

“Since he has been using those techniques, they have become more popular with the general public,” she says.

Yin wants veterinarians to warn dog owners to avoid any trainer who uses punitive techniques too heavily and advises practitioners to tell their clients to look for three signs that a trainer is too negative:

1. The trainer continually tells owners that they have to be the “alpha.”

2. The trainer warns owners not to use rewards too much. It is not rewards that are the problem but how they sometimes are not used correctly.

3. In a class, more than 10 percent of the dogs are on pinch collars or shock collars. Shock collars should never be used as an initial training device, according to Yin.
__________________
"The truth about an animal is far more beautiful than all the myths woven about it." Konrad Loranz
YorkieMother is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks



Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off




Google
 

SHOP NOW: Amazon :: eBay :: Buy.com :: Newegg :: PetStore :: Petco :: PetSmart


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:24 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2003 - 2018 YorkieTalk.com
Privacy Policy - Terms of Use

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 170 171 172 173 174 175 176 177 178 179 180 181 182 183 184 185 186 187 188 189 190 191 192 193 194 195 196 197 198 199 200 201 202 203 204 205 206 207 208 209 210 211 212 213 214 215 216 217 218 219 220 221 222 223 224 225 226 227 228 229 230 231 232 233 234 235 236 237 238 239 240 241 242 243 244 245 246 247 248 249 250 251 252 253 254 255 256 257 258 259 260 261 262 263 264 265 266 267 268 269 270 271 272 273 274 275 276 277 278 279 280 281 282 283 284 285 286 287 288 289 290 291 292 293 294 295 296 297 298 299 300 301 302 303 304 305 306 307 308 309 310 311 312 313 314 315 316 317 318 319 320 321 322 323 324 325 326 327 328 329 330 331 332 333 334 335 336 337 338 339 340 341 342 343 344 345 346 347 348 349 350 351 352 353 354 355 356 357 358 359 360 361 362 363 364 365 366 367 368 369 370 371 372 373 374 375 376 377 378 379 380 381 382 383 384 385 386 387 388 389 390 391 392 393 394 395 396 397 398 399 400 401 402 403 404 405 406 407 408 409 410 411 412 413 414 415 416 417 418 419 420 421 422 423 424 425 426 427 428 429 430 431 432 433 434 435 436 437 438 439 440 441 442 443 444 445 446 447 448 449 450 451 452 453 454 455 456 457 458 459 460 461 462 463 464 465 466 467 468 469 470 471 472 473 474 475 476 477 478 479 480 481 482 483 484 485 486 487 488 489 490 491 492 493 494 495 496 497 498 499 500 501 502 503 504 505 506 507 508 509 510 511 512 513 514 515 516 517 518 519 520 521 522 523 524 525 526 527 528 529 530 531 532 533 534 535 536 537 538 539 540 541 542 543 544 545 546 547 548 549 550 551 552 553 554 555 556 557 558 559 560 561 562 563 564 565 566 567 568 569 570 571 572 573 574 575 576 577 578 579 580 581 582 583 584 585 586 587 588 589 590 591 592 593 594 595 596 597 598 599 600 601 602 603 604 605 606 607 608 609 610 611 612 613 614 615 616 617 618 619 620 621 622 623 624 625 626 627 628 629 630 631 632 633 634 635 636 637 638 639 640 641 642 643 644 645 646 647 648 649 650 651 652 653 654 655 656 657 658 659 660 661 662 663 664 665 666 667 668 669 670 671 672 673 674 675 676 677 678 679 680 681 682 683 684 685 686 687 688 689 690 691 692 693 694 695 696 697 698 699 700 701 702 703 704 705 706 707 708 709 710 711 712 713 714 715 716 717 718 719 720 721 722 723 724 725 726 727 728 729 730 731 732 733 734 735 736 737 738 739 740 741 742 743 744 745 746 747 748 749 750 751 752 753 754 755 756 757 758 759 760 761 762 763 764 765 766 767 768 769 770 771 772 773 774 775 776 777 778 779 780 781 782 783 784 785 786 787 788 789 790 791 792 793 794 795 796 797 798 799 800 801 802 803 804 805 806 807 808 809 810 811 812 813 814 815 816 817 818 819 820 821 822 823 824 825 826 827 828 829 830 831 832 833 834 835 836 837 838 839 840 841 842 843 844 845 846 847 848 849 850 851 852 853 854 855 856 857 858 859 860 861 862 863 864 865 866 867 868 869 870 871 872 873 874 875 876 877 878 879 880 881 882 883 884 885 886 887 888 889 890 891 892 893 894 895 896 897 898 899 900 901 902 903 904 905 906 907 908 909 910 911 912 913 914 915 916 917 918 919 920 921 922 923 924 925 926 927 928 929 930 931 932 933 934 935 936 937 938 939 940 941 942 943 944 945 946 947 948 949 950 951 952 953 954 955 956 957 958 959 960 961 962 963 964 965 966 967 968 969 970 971 972 973 974 975 976 977 978 979 980 981 982 983 984 985 986 987 988 989 990 991 992 993 994 995 996 997 998 999 1000 1001 1002 1003 1004 1005 1006 1007 1008 1009 1010 1011 1012 1013 1014 1015 1016 1017 1018 1019 1020 1021 1022 1023 1024 1025 1026 1027 1028 1029 1030 1031 1032 1033 1034 1035 1036 1037 1038 1039 1040 1041 1042 1043 1044 1045 1046 1047 1048 1049 1050 1051 1052 1053 1054 1055 1056 1057 1058 1059 1060 1061 1062 1063 1064 1065 1066 1067 1068 1069 1070 1071 1072 1073 1074 1075 1076 1077 1078 1079 1080 1081 1082 1083 1084 1085 1086 1087 1088 1089 1090 1091 1092 1093 1094 1095 1096 1097 1098 1099 1100 1101 1102 1103 1104 1105 1106 1107 1108 1109 1110 1111 1112 1113 1114 1115 1116 1117 1118 1119 1120 1121 1122 1123 1124 1125 1126 1127 1128 1129 1130 1131 1132 1133 1134 1135 1136 1137 1138 1139 1140 1141 1142 1143 1144 1145 1146 1147 1148 1149 1150 1151 1152 1153 1154 1155 1156 1157 1158 1159 1160 1161 1162 1163 1164 1165