Go Back   Pet forum for dogs cats and humans - Pets.ca > Discussion Groups - mainly cats and dogs > Dog training - dog behavior

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old December 15th, 2009, 06:38 PM
Beauceron Beauceron is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 26
Welfare in Dog Training

Several organizations have collectively taken out a position statement againts dominance and aversive based training methods. Thanks to Lindsay for posting it in another site.

Part of it reads


Aversive training techniques, which have been seen to be used by Cesar Millan, are based on the principle of applying an unpleasant stimulus to inhibit behaviour. This kind of training technique can include the use of prong collars, electric shock collars, restricting dogs′ air supply using nooses/leads or pinning them to the ground, which can cause pain and distress. The use of such techniques may compromise the welfare of dogs and may worsen the behavioural problems they aim to address, potentially placing owners at considerable risk. A number of scientific studies have found an association between the use of aversive training techniques and the occurrence of undesired behaviours in dogs.

The organisations believe that the use of such training techniques is not only unacceptable from a welfare perspective, but that this type of approach is not necessary for the modification of dog behaviour. Dog trainers all over the UK use reward-based methods to train dogs very effectively. Where dogs have behaviours which owners find unacceptable, such as aggression or destruction, qualified behaviourists achieve long term changes in behaviour through the use of established and validated techniques of behaviour modification without subjecting dogs to training techniques which may cause pain or distress.

Reply With Quote
Old December 15th, 2009, 09:49 PM
luckypenny's Avatar
luckypenny luckypenny is offline
Doggie Wench
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: St. Philippe-de-Laprairie, Qc
Posts: 11,812
Excellent and informative website! Thank you for sharing, Beauceron. The first page explains what it's all about. For any one who wants to learn more, this is a great place to start! I strongly recommend reading through all their pages.

From the 'home' page:

The aim of this web-site is to provide the media and members of the public with more information about the behaviour of dogs, the possible consequences of using aversive training techniques, and where to go for appropriate advice on training and behaviour issues.

Some theories about the way in which dogs behave, and the kinds of techniques needed to alter behaviour, are almost ‘cultural’ in Western societies, and it can be difficult for people to change the way they think about dogs. However the scientific understanding of dog behaviour has moved forward a great deal in the past 20 years.

Many of the theories on which training and behaviour modification approaches were based in the past have been superseded by more modern approaches. Information on this web-site explains why using training techniques that rely on inducing pain and fear in dogs, based on the belief that dogs try to assert ‘dominance’ or achieve ‘status’, is a concept that is no longer regarded as a useful way of understanding dogs, but which is also potentially harmful.

We also explain the current approach to understanding social behaviour in dogs, and introduce how undesired behaviour such as aggression can develop. The reasons why the use of training based on punishment can potentially create behaviour problems and affect the welfare of dogs is presented. On this website, you will also find advice about how to identify a suitable trainer or behaviourist.
"Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance." -Will Durant
Reply With Quote
Old December 15th, 2009, 09:58 PM
sugarcatmom's Avatar
sugarcatmom sugarcatmom is offline
Senior Contributor
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Calgary, AB
Posts: 5,357
Awesome link, thanks!
"To close your eyes will not ease another's pain." ~ Chinese Proverb

“We must not refuse to see with our eyes what they must endure with their bodies.” ~ Gretchen Wyler
Reply With Quote
Old December 29th, 2009, 11:57 PM
lappleton404 lappleton404 is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Canada
Posts: 13
Thanks for the post... It is indeed helpful... and by the way guys, have you seen this video on youtube.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6JJExqNF3o It's so cute... A father training his daughter to train a dog.. LOL, and I find out that the dogs will follow you easier when you speak softly rather than yelling at them..
Reply With Quote
Old December 30th, 2009, 06:56 AM
echoica echoica is offline
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 59
well, since it was brought up...

i am not saying i agree with cesar's approach 100% - because i DON'T - but he does make a lot of valid points on his show. regarding the importance of relaxation and exercise for the dog - calm and assertiveness of the owner. and he does NOT advocate the use of prong collars et al...just works with the collars the owners already use - this was clearly stated on his show several times. although the majority of his work is based on dominance theory, he rarely does the alpha roll over as well but that seems to be the only thing people associate with him at this point for the few times he has done it - and the dogs he did it to where completely whacked and could not relax. it should also be noted the dogs he works with much of the time are the worst cases where nothing else has worked - and he is not a dog trainer either. he does rehabilitation. there is a difference.

i thought i would speak up on this and give cesar some appreciation for what he does because there has been a real hate on for cesar lately on the internet and clearly the people criticizing him have not watched many of his shows or if they have had not really critically thought about it. i have watched all of them to date. AGAIN, not everything on his show is awesome though but i think he has done a lot of good too.

personally, i advocate for the use of operant conditioning via positive reinforcement and negative punishment before anyone yells at me calling me a cesar-dominance-lover lol
Reply With Quote
Old December 30th, 2009, 08:45 AM
DoubleRR's Avatar
DoubleRR DoubleRR is offline
Investigative researcher
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Alberta
Posts: 347
Must say I agree, echoica. Cesar is not a dog trainer. He states this every show. He spends more time getting through the thick skulls of humans than anything. I do not agree with everything he does either--we all have our own opinions on what works based on our own experiences with our own pets and the pets of others we have worked with. Those willing to try methods they have never heard about as they become mainstream thought thanks to engines such as the internet are the people I like to discuss my interests with. Those who jump to join an attack on anyone I find less interesting. I have found Cesar to be learning just as the rest of us, and in the last 10 yrs he has changed much of what he does with dogs and the media both.
I seldom connect with any large organizational platform--by their very nature they will include too much fluff that clouds the real issues. By the way, I did read the entire website--and I agree with giving the public yet another place to go to see how negative punishment based training does not work.
We don't see things as they are. We see things as we are. Anais Nin
Reply With Quote
Old December 31st, 2009, 04:52 PM
Etown_Chick Etown_Chick is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Edmonton
Posts: 597
I agree with echoica. I have learned a lot from Cesar but I wouldn't do a lot of the things he does. What scares me isn't him, but people who watch a couple shows then try the things that he does. Even though he repeatedly tells people NOT to do them at home, to consult a qualified trainer, they still try. Things like alpha rolls, breaking up fights, things that could get people hurt.
Reply With Quote

alpha, aversive, dominance, millan

Thread Tools
Display Modes

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 On
HTML code is Off

Forum Terms of Use

  • All Bulletin Board Posts are for personal/non-commercial use only.
  • Self-promotion and/or promotion in general is prohibited.
  • Debate is healthy but profane and deliberately rude posts will be deleted.
  • Posters not following the rules will be banned at the Admins' discretion.
  • Read the Full Forum Rules

Forum Details

  • Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
    Copyright ©2000 - 2023, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
    vBulletin Optimisation by vB Optimise (Reduced on this page: MySQL 0%).
  • All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:10 AM.