3.02.2009

Aggressive Owners = Aggressive Dogs

A good friend sent me this article this morning. It's a piece relating to aggression, people and dogs.

It discusses in great detail, that those handlers / owners that use more aversive techniques, have a higher percentage of aggressive dogs than positive/neutral based training.

This is, perhaps, the most shocking part of the article:
Of the 140 surveys completed, the most frequently listed recommendation sources were "self" and "trainers." Several confrontational methods such as "hit or kick dog for undesirable behavior" (43 percent), "growl at dog" (41 percent), "physically force the release of an item from a dog's mouth" (39 percent), "alpha roll"physically -- rolling the dog onto its back and holding it (31 percent), "stare at or stare down" (30 percent), "dominance down" -- physically forcing the dog down onto its side (29 percent) and "grab dog by jowls and shake" (26 percent) elicited an aggressive response from at least 25 percent of the dogs on which they were attempted. In addition, dogs brought to the hospital for aggressive behavior towards familiar people were more likely to respond aggressively to some confrontational techniques than dogs brought in for other behavioral reasons.


It's absolutely frightening how many people still stare dogs down. In dog-speak, that means "fight". When two dogs stare at each other with the intensity that harsh training methods usually indicate, those two dogs are gearing for a fight. When we humans do the same, why on earth would a dog respond to us any differently?

NEVER should a dog be kicked, shaken, hit, or grabbed in an violent or threatening way. It makes me so incredibly angry to see that this is still out there. There are 1,000 ways to train a dog that don't require physical force, aggressive techniques or fear. We are their protection, and are here to help dogs reach their full potential, and no creature will ever come close to that, if it's being kicked or shaken.

Dogs learn what we teach them - I'm hoping that one day, humans will learn from our dogs.