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 Cesar Millan is still my hero!!!!

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Reef
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PostSubject: Cesar Millan is still my hero!!!!   Sat Oct 01, 2011 2:50 am

I was casually surfing the web the other day and ran into someone saying, "Cesar Millan has singlehandedly put the dog training community back 20 years" and "he routinely used abusive, cruel, and inhumane tactics to push his overinflated ego." I was like, WHAT!?...haha, what jerks. I guess you can't please everyone. But the damnation was coming from people with a lot of credentials so I gave the idea it's own search...."Why is Cesar Millan a bad dog trainer?" I've been glued to my computer ever since.
I had no idea there were two distinct schools of thought on this. I have since discovered that modern thought no longer believes in the "alpha dog" and a new branch surrounding Skinner and Pavlov's observations are the future. Their followers support a CC/OC (Classical Conditioning, Operant Conditioning) and R+/P- approach to encouraging certain behaviors by dealing more directly with the animals motivation. What an exciting time to be a dog enthusiast. I want to get fully into this and see it through the eyes of a child but I have been practicing mostly discipline (a Cesar shift of the word domination) for so long I have a hard time disbelieving EVERYTHING. It is beyond reasonable that we've over embellished the whole dog on dog domination but, to me...it's still somewhat true. I agree that Cesar says it's always domination (jumping on lap, pulling on leash, barking) and that's just too simple... but I believe growling while standing over food or a toy, or peeing on you Jacket seems like they really are claiming something. Claiming something is dominating behavior in my book, and it doesn't always have to be attached to "resources".....(here's the stuff I'm referring to)

…the behavior is not caused by dominance.

There are many behaviors that our dogs do that are all too quickly connected to dominance. Jumping on people, pulling on the lead, urinating in the house, barking, growling, and even coprophagia to name a few. Let us remember what the definition of dominance is: relationship between two animals established by force/aggression and submission to determine who has access to resources. How is leash pulling determining who has access to resources? Fact is that it isn’t, therefore this couldn’t be a form of dominance. ...
(.....btw, this is my part but if he's pulling on the leash wouldn't he get to the resource first and therefor have control..and yes, he is pulling with force!! although the pulling I've experience could also just be excitement)
Right off the bat I want to say the answer lies somewhere in the middle with the egde going to the new school for sure, but there should be great focus put on the common ground. I would say Cesar is the head honcho of the dominance camp, and would like to point out that there couldn't be a better guy on the other side of the coin. He has stressed the importance of calmness, minimal force, and fulfilling the dogs needs (daily walks and dog parks) and really does love his pups. Beside all that my mission here was to ask a couple training questions from the R+/P- campers that I'm sure DOMINATE this forum... they are,

What would be the correct procedure for controlling the behavior of:
1) Barking at joggers or friendly neighbors
2) Peeing on my friends Jacket
3) Growling on top of their bowl of food

I appreciate any help on these matters as I have had issues with all three. Thank you K9 Academy and well done Steven L!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Cesar Millan is still my hero!!!!   Sat Oct 01, 2011 2:06 pm

Reef wrote:
Beside all that my mission here was to ask a couple training questions from the R+/P- campers that I'm sure DOMINATE this forum... they are,

What would be the correct procedure for controlling the behavior of:
1) Barking at joggers or friendly neighbors
2) Peeing on my friends Jacket
3) Growling on top of their bowl of food

I appreciate any help on these matters as I have had issues with all three. Thank you K9 Academy and well done Steven L!!!

Let me begin by saying Welcome to K9A.

Next, I need to say that i am NOT a professional trainer, but i haved worked with dogs for almost 40 years, and have owned my own dogs for 25 of those years. I grew up witht the "old school" methods that CM still uses. My first experance training, was at the age of 11 when I was visiting my grandma for 3 weeks one summer. She lived in a duplex shared by a lady with a 3 yo Dalmatian. She was teaching it to do tricks, and said that her dog would only respond to positive reinforcment. If you told it NO, or "bad dog" it would run away and hide. But if offered praise, it learned very quickly. That day, we taught it to fetch a toy in under 10 minutes.

Your dog's issues may be rooted in several things. Without observing your dog for a day, it's hard to say exactly why its is doing these things. It may be b/c it lacks selfconfidence. I have fould this to be the case with many dogs who have been exposed to negitive punishment and "ceser's way". Espically when they have been exposed to being pined to the ground. (Im not saying that you do this, Im just saying it as a point of reference) A lot of times you can reduce these issued by building the dog's self confidence thru positive reinforcement.

As for the barking issue:
Almost all dogs bark at moving objects. It is their way to say, "This is my area, I'm not comfortable with your approch, or, keep out" They have several different barks, and they go with different body language cues. Which one of these do you think it is?

Peeing on the jacket:
This can also be for several reasons. Some dogs just dont like some ppl. Its not unlike the way you may not like everyone you meet. It is also possible that there may be a smell on the jacket that the dog is trying to overwrite. Like a cat, dog or other critter that has come in contact with that jacket. The quick fix for this may be as simple as having your friend hang up the jacket where your dog cant reach it. If the dog were say, peeing on your friends shoe, you may have to tell it "NO," or teach it the "leave it" command.

Guard the Food Bowl:
Resource guarding is rather easy to fix as long as your dog has respect and trust for you. Make sure this is the case before you try the following or you WILL get bit. When feeding time comes, start by hand feed your dog a few meals. Make him take food from your open hand, ONLY on your command. Reward him for taking it nicely. This reward should be "offering him more food"

When feeding from the bowl, make the dog sit quietly in front of you. Slowly lower the bowl STRAIGHT DOWN in front of him until it is even with his eyes. Then tip the bowl slightly to allow him to take a small bite of food from the bowl. Then slowly remove the bowl STRAIGHT UP. Make sure the dog remains seated. When he stays seated, reward him with a soft "Good Dog" and offer more food. Repeat until the bowl is empty. Then place the bowl on the floor and walk away. DO NOT DOMINATE the bowl like CM shows in some of his older shows ... it only makes you dog's gaurding reflex stronger because it thinks you want it's food.

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Full of Life ... and Herself - Visit Patchs' Website
My Best Friend & Faithful Companion - Visit Neka's Memorial Website
My Little Buddy for 15+ Years - Visit Chip's Memorial Website

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PostSubject: Re: Cesar Millan is still my hero!!!!   Sat Oct 01, 2011 3:16 pm

Awesome post Michael...Thanks for your input. I guess the barking is more of an alert, which was one of the beneficial aspects of the show. She's a Rotty and they seem to naturally have that strong bark, but it's more of a long series like bark,bark,bark,bark,bark,bark,bark...pause then bark,bark,bark,bark,bark,bark,bark. Cesar says a charge is not an act off agression but it could've fooled me. She seems to be saying keep with the charge to the fence line but it would be nice to review some material that deals specifically with understanding the different barks and body language of a dog. That is supremely interesting to me!
Great tips on the other two points. What I'm getting is there needs to be at least some level of clicker training to begin with inorder to comunicate exactly what you want. Communicating away or other commands is better than just claiming the fence. Oh and the growling in the bowl has more to do with our other pup, not when we approach. I'll try having her sit infront of the bowl and calling the other over, rewarding calmness and ignoring any growls. Although when she growls I feel like a "No" is in order. I understand that "No" is a P+ and should be avoided but it still feels quite appropriate and mild. Disagreeing with a behavior seems natural too... just definitely no "alpha roll" action!
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PostSubject: Re: Cesar Millan is still my hero!!!!   Sat Oct 01, 2011 5:27 pm

Reef wrote:
Awesome post Michael...Thanks for your input. I guess the barking is more of an alert, which was one of the beneficial aspects of the show. She's a Rotty and they seem to naturally have that strong bark, but it's more of a long series like bark,bark,bark,bark,bark,bark,bark...pause then bark,bark,bark,bark,bark,bark,bark. Cesar says a charge is not an act off agression but it could've fooled me. She seems to be saying keep with the charge to the fence line but it would be nice to review some material that deals specifically with understanding the different barks and body language of a dog. That is supremely interesting to me!
Great tips on the other two points. What I'm getting is there needs to be at least some level of clicker training to begin with inorder to comunicate exactly what you want. Communicating away or other commands is better than just claiming the fence. Oh and the growling in the bowl has more to do with our other pup, not when we approach. I'll try having her sit infront of the bowl and calling the other over, rewarding calmness and ignoring any growls. Although when she growls I feel like a "No" is in order. I understand that "No" is a P+ and should be avoided but it still feels quite appropriate and mild. Disagreeing with a behavior seems natural too... just definitely no "alpha roll" action!

Dont take ANY chances putting the dogs together around food if there is ANY growling. It is better to let them keep their distance. Setting them up for sucess is more important. If they dont growl at say, 20 ft ... for say 2 weeks, the behavior starts to become extinct. It took me 3 months with Patchs and Neka. After that i could feed them side by side. Its all about them learning to trust each other.

I posted an article on "reading your dogs body language" here: http://www.abetterdog4u.com/articles/learning_to_speak_dog.htm but it's JUST the basics ...Steven has one somewhere around here too. I'll try to find it for you.

I use "NO" as a command and have no problem using it as long as the dog is not shy or fearful. But I do perfer the "Leave It" command over it.

Watch for some posting from Ann ... she has had a bunch or Rotties over the years. Im sure she will have some great insites too.

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Full of Life ... and Herself - Visit Patchs' Website
My Best Friend & Faithful Companion - Visit Neka's Memorial Website
My Little Buddy for 15+ Years - Visit Chip's Memorial Website

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PostSubject: Re: Cesar Millan is still my hero!!!!   Sat Oct 01, 2011 6:57 pm

IMHO, most dog actions that we humans label as "behaviors" are simply acts of boredom on the dogs part.

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