The 4 worst education methods

to use with your dog!

In terms of house training dog, most of the advice revolves around the things to do, think about and practice with your dog. But what about things to avoid at all costs? What absolutely must not be done if you want to have a balanced and happy dog?

Here are some ideas for paths to avoid if you want to avoid problems later (a dog that wants to eat your neighbor's child or the neighborhood dogs… not very pleasant!).

Here is my top 4 methods and ways to avoid with a puppy / dog ...

You have certainly already heard your uncle's "precious" recommendations on dog training, between two glasses of wine, at your aunt's party: "To educate a dog well , you have to show him who is the leader!" If you show you're the alpha and slap him on the muzzle when he does something stupid, he'll figure out who's boss and he'll submit! "

Packed, it's weighed: you are now a master in the art of ... scare. That's all. Tempting, right?

Let it be honestly said: punishing a dog does not teach him anything. He no longer knows what to do as a behavior. If the pediatric field has evolved over the past 30 years, one wonders why the dog field is still struggling to get out of these erroneous concepts of domination and punishment.

If we have assimilated that hitting your child is not correct, why is it still "ok" to hit your dog , while in addition it is impossible for us to explain our gesture to him afterwards, as we could? do it with a child?

Once and for all, avoid:

  • Slap on the muzzle or anywhere on the body (imagine your boss sticking one on you because you forgot to return a report on time… Funny?)

  • Lay your dog on his back to better "dominate" or quibble him

  • Immerse your dog's muzzle in his urine or poo (imagine a mother who does this with her 2 year old ... very inefficient, disgusting, scary and very unethical!)

  • Pinch, close the muzzle

  • Take it by the skin of the neck and shake it. You are not, and will NEVER be his mother, forget this misconception! Your dog knows very well that you are not the same species as him.

  • Put our fingers or our fist in his throat. (How can this exist anyway ??)

  • Use coercive tools such as choke collar, spike collar, bark collar, citronella, ultrasonic , electric fence , etc. (money spent for nothing!)

Do you have any memory that you learned something better through pain or fear? Do you think that a boss who exerts all the pressures and threats possible to make you work, including cutting your salary and harassing you morally will make you work better? Teach you something? Show you the right thing to do?

Not, of course! You're just going to walk away from that person and find yourself a new job and / or fall into depression / burnout.

Here are some behavioral problems that these “training” methods could create:

  1. Your dog might start protecting resources

  2. Your dog might bite you

  3. Your dog could become aggressive in different situations

  4. Your dog might become reactive

  5. Your dog might be suffering from anxiety or fears

  6. Your puppy biting

Are you at an end with your dog? Do you think you are going to give up and commit the irreparable? It happens to all to be at end! Take a deep breath, do an express yoga or meditation session and: contact a dog trainer who uses positive, ethical training methods up to date with scientific research.

That too has always been more or less fashionable: do not give too much affection or privileges to your dog in order to avoid "rotting" him and having behavioral problems later.

But yes, you've already heard your aunt. Advise you not to get your dog up on the bed or on the couch otherwise he will become dominant.

We agree that if your reason here is purely hygienic to avoid hairs or dirt on your furniture, then yes, that's a good reason. But if you are worried about spoiling your dog too much who would then dominate you, then you are wrong.

How does your dog know he is "spoiled"? He does not know the value of money or what "privilege" means. Neither does he know that it is a “privilege” to be in bed or on the couch. All he knows is that it's nice and comfortable to sleep there.

The same goes for moments of affection and consolation: who ever was even more afraid of a spider when dad was trying to reassure him? Where does this idea come from that reassuring is counterproductive?

See your dog terrified by a thunderstorm and be heartbroken because you are preventing yourself from going to see him? All this so as not to "comfort him in his fear"? What a funny idea we invented there ...

Of course not: you wo n't make your dog even more fearful if you comfort him during a painful moment. At worst, it won't be that effective and your dog will still be scared, but at least you will have tried. At best, your dog will feel safe around you.

So do not deprive yourself of a good motherly moment, your dog will be all the more grateful to you.

Dominance is a mistaken and completely outdated notion. Dominance as we understand it exists only in the heads of humans. Dogs have other concerns like eating, playing with a doggie, sleeping on the sofa, etc. Yet, we continue to give voice to so-called advice on the importance of human dominance over dogs, such as:

  • Make your dog eat after us (otherwise he will understand that he is the chef)

  • Make him go through the door after us (same old story)

  • Stare him in the eye or growl at him when he does something stupid (most of all he might find you strange and maybe even be afraid of you! Getting stared is intimidating! I dare you to try it with your friends! )

These methods, in addition to being meaningless in the eyes of the dog (he understands absolutely none of these things!) Even deprive you of using good intervention tools. Example: give him his meal in a stimulating game during your supper so that he stops jumping on the table.

Let's stop seeing our dog as a guinea pig having to obey all of our desires and instead try to collaborate with him and just be smarter. We won't need to use force or fear if we choose to use our intelligence instead.

Often we imagine that by immersing our dog in a situation in which he is uncomfortable, it will help him in the long term and that he will eventually get used to it. Ask yourself this question: Do you think that if you were locked in a room full of snakes (or spiders, choose your species), you would eventually get used to it?

So yes maybe after 3 days in a row you will stop struggling and trying to run away because it doesn't work.

But does that mean you're less afraid? Do you like snakes more? Or the spiders? What is the price and at what psychological pain before a possible success?

This is called learned distress (or learned helplessness). To endure your fate without moving, because you no longer have a choice, and end up falling into depression, that's what awaits pitou if you choose this "method of education".

Note that we are talking about emotions here. When pitou is afraid of something, it's an emotion. This is linked to the limbic system, unlike the stimulation, concentration and thinking which are linked to the cerebral cortex.

Emotions are primary and most often take control of ourselves. Why would it be any different for dogs? They too have discomfort, fears or phobias. Why choose to force them to do something when they are not comfortable doing it?

Typical examples where our dogs are forced to do something they don't want:

  • Bring them to the dog park when they are afraid of dogs or just don't enjoy it.

  • Bring them to a party when they are afraid of strangers or crowds.

  • Flatter them when they don't like it. (We have a nice article that explains how to tell if your dog wants to be petted !)

Forcing things is not the solution. Transforming the association that the dog makes of a situation is the avenue to explore!

Help your dog overcome his fear by respecting his rhythm and making the experience VERY positive, you will then slowly see your dog making good progress!