Common Dog Training Myths to Ignore

Celebrity dog trainer Zak George reveals some surprising truths about how to train your dog.

Myth: Domination is the only way to get a dog to listen

Truth: Real teaching is about communication, not domination. Our goal when teaching a dog should be not to make a dog do something by forcing her into submission, but to make a dog want to do something. Trying to dominate your dog by yelling at her, flipping her on her back in an “alpha roll,” or using certain collars designed to create discomfort or pain will only greatly hinder both your relationship with your pet and the training process. Such training focuses on teaching what a dog shouldn’t do rather than what she should do. These tactics could even undermine your dog’s trust. Furthermore, your dog will not behave consistently when you take those special collars off or don’t use forceful methods.

On the other hand, positive training works with virtually any dog. In fact, if you have a dog with aggression issues, studies have shown that using forceful methods will likely make the behaviors worse. One study in the Journal of Applied Animal Behavior found that confrontational methods such as striking dogs, intimidating them, alpha rolls, and staring them down often led to an aggressive response. “When you use confrontational methods, you are just making yourself more threatening and increasing your dog’s motivation to use aggression against you,” explains Meghan Herron, DVM, lead author of the study and director of the Behavioral Medicine Clinic at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine. “It’s like fighting fire with fire.”

Read the rest at: Common Dog Training Myths to Ignore | Reader’s Digest

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