Dog Training Today with Will Bangura for Pet Parents, Kids & Family, Pets and Animals, and Dog Training Professionals. This is a Education & How To Dog Training Podcast.

#152 What is Behavior Modification: Modern Dog Training VS. Training Stuck in the Past: Dog Training Today will Will Bangura, CAB-ICB, CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA, FFCP

March 31, 2024 Will Bangura, M.S., CAB-ICB, CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA, FFCP is a World Renowned Dog Behaviorist, Certified Dog Behavior Consultant, Certified Professional Dog Trainer, and a Fear Free Certified Professional with over 36 years of experience with the most difficult Season 5 Episode 152
#152 What is Behavior Modification: Modern Dog Training VS. Training Stuck in the Past: Dog Training Today will Will Bangura, CAB-ICB, CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA, FFCP
Dog Training Today with Will Bangura for Pet Parents, Kids & Family, Pets and Animals, and Dog Training Professionals. This is a Education & How To Dog Training Podcast.
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Dog Training Today with Will Bangura for Pet Parents, Kids & Family, Pets and Animals, and Dog Training Professionals. This is a Education & How To Dog Training Podcast.
#152 What is Behavior Modification: Modern Dog Training VS. Training Stuck in the Past: Dog Training Today will Will Bangura, CAB-ICB, CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA, FFCP
Mar 31, 2024 Season 5 Episode 152
Will Bangura, M.S., CAB-ICB, CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA, FFCP is a World Renowned Dog Behaviorist, Certified Dog Behavior Consultant, Certified Professional Dog Trainer, and a Fear Free Certified Professional with over 36 years of experience with the most difficult

Send us a Text Message.

Embark on a transformative journey with us as we shed light on the humane evolution of dog training. Say goodbye to the intimidation of shock collars and the myth of dominance, and welcome the era of positive reinforcement. This episode unveils the science-backed techniques that build trust and foster a stronger bond between you and your furry friend. My personal pivot from punitive to compassionate training illustrates an industry-wide reckoning with outdated methods, and I wholeheartedly apologize for any confusion caused by these archaic practices.

We tackle the perplexity of behavioral issues like excessive barking, not with punishment, but by understanding and addressing the root causes. Discover how to create a serene environment for both you and your dog by employing strategies that reward silence and promote mental stimulation. This approach not only respects your dog's emotional well-being but also establishes a foundation for lasting behavioral change. The art of dog training is redefined here, prioritizing the happiness and welfare of our canine companions over mere obedience.

As we wrap up, I extend an invitation to continue the conversation and learning through Dog Training Today. Your support through sharing, liking, and subscribing helps us reach more dog lovers keen on nurturing a trusting relationship with their pets. This episode is more than just a guide; it's a call to action for all dog owners to embrace the gentle power of positive reinforcement in their daily interactions with their beloved pets. Join me, Will Bangura, on this enlightening path, and experience the joy of coming home to a dog who is not just well-behaved but truly ecstatic to see you. Dog Training Today will Will Bangura, CAB-ICB, CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA, FFCP

Support the Show.

If you need professional help please visit my Dog Behaviorist website.
Go here for Free Dog Training Articles

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

Embark on a transformative journey with us as we shed light on the humane evolution of dog training. Say goodbye to the intimidation of shock collars and the myth of dominance, and welcome the era of positive reinforcement. This episode unveils the science-backed techniques that build trust and foster a stronger bond between you and your furry friend. My personal pivot from punitive to compassionate training illustrates an industry-wide reckoning with outdated methods, and I wholeheartedly apologize for any confusion caused by these archaic practices.

We tackle the perplexity of behavioral issues like excessive barking, not with punishment, but by understanding and addressing the root causes. Discover how to create a serene environment for both you and your dog by employing strategies that reward silence and promote mental stimulation. This approach not only respects your dog's emotional well-being but also establishes a foundation for lasting behavioral change. The art of dog training is redefined here, prioritizing the happiness and welfare of our canine companions over mere obedience.

As we wrap up, I extend an invitation to continue the conversation and learning through Dog Training Today. Your support through sharing, liking, and subscribing helps us reach more dog lovers keen on nurturing a trusting relationship with their pets. This episode is more than just a guide; it's a call to action for all dog owners to embrace the gentle power of positive reinforcement in their daily interactions with their beloved pets. Join me, Will Bangura, on this enlightening path, and experience the joy of coming home to a dog who is not just well-behaved but truly ecstatic to see you. Dog Training Today will Will Bangura, CAB-ICB, CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA, FFCP

Support the Show.

If you need professional help please visit my Dog Behaviorist website.
Go here for Free Dog Training Articles

Speaker 1:

So, just for fun, the other day I did a Google search for my local area for dog trainers. Basically, what I wanted to know is, if I put in Google behavior modification training for dogs in and then I put the name of my city, I wanted to see what would come up and there were several that came up local dog trainers that said that they offer behavior modification and they use those words, behavior modification. So I got on their website and started to decipher what exactly they offered with behavior modification. They offered with behavior modification. Most of them. All they were doing was punishing dogs. Now, is that behavior modification? Well, not in modern dog training. Not if you're following evidence-based and science-based training practices. All that and more we're going to unpack. Don't go anywhere.

Speaker 2:

Raised by wolves with canine DNA in his blood. Having trained more than 24,000 pets, helping you and your fur babies thrive, live in studio with Will Bangura Answering your pet behavior and training questions. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome your host and favorite pet behavior expert, will Mangura. I like to lick everybody when they come to my door. I'll eat anything if it falls on the floor. Now I've heard the rumors. I think I better ask you. I heard I might be a dog. Won't somebody please tell me it ain't true?

Speaker 1:

Well, I'll tell you what. There's a lot worse things that could happen than becoming a dog. I'll tell you some of the times I'm looking at you know what I'm doing for my dog and I'm like, hey, if there's reincarnation I definitely want to come back as a dog, but you hope you got a good owner right. And what about our furry friends? And what about the behaviors that we're trying to change in our dogs? I want to talk about the difference between modern dog training today and old, outdated methods when it comes to behavior modification and also, hey, what is behavior modification? Because a lot of folks are confused about what the real process should be in terms of modifying behavior. Now a lot is changing in the dog training world. Now a lot is changing in the dog training world.

Speaker 1:

The big emphasis is on animal welfare. Your dog's emotional, your dog using even low levels of shock with an electronic collar. I know the proponents of the shock collars are saying, hey, it's just a tickle. It's just a tingle, it's just to get their attention, it's just a mild annoyance. Well, maybe, but if you look at the dogs the vast majority of dogs when they're experiencing that sensation of the shock collar, they're showing stress signals they're experiencing pain. They're experiencing a certain level of stress, anxiety and fear. Now can that shock collar shut down the dog's behavior? Yeah, it can it can.

Speaker 1:

But what's the cost? What is the cost to the relationship that you are trying to establish or maintain with your dog If your dog begins to fear you? Because, trust me, they know the shock comes from you? Or let's say you're using a prong collar and doing the old yank and crank method with a leash. Or maybe you're yelling at the dog, telling the dog no, a leash. Or maybe you're yelling at the dog, telling the dog no. Or maybe you hired some crazy franchise from Down Under and they're telling you to yell bah, bah to your dog. Yeah, that's bark busters. I'll call them out by name.

Speaker 1:

Maybe somebody told you to roll up a towel and bonk the dog over the head when they do something wrong. Well, what if I told you none of that is necessary and all training that involves punishment, all training that involves creating any kind of unpleasant stimulus for the dog. Whether you're yelling no, whether you're giving a leash correction, whether you're giving a correction with an electronic collar, whether you're throwing a can, a shaker can, a noise can using compressed air, All of those techniques are positive punishment. Now, when I say positive, I don't mean good, I mean adding something unpleasant. So when we talk about punishment, there's positive punishment, there's negative punishment. Negative punishment you take away something the dog likes. Positive punishment is like shocking the dog when they get in the trash, or yelling at the dog, or kneeing the dog in the chest when they jump on you, none of which I advocate Now, trust me, I've been doing this for over 35 years. I have used all of those methods.

Speaker 1:

When I started training, everything was compulsion-based. There was no positive reinforcement, but that was based on a model that is outdated. It's based on studies and research that was done decades and decades ago that today we know with current research, science and studies was wrong, and the animal behaviorists that came up with this whole dominance model with dogs have themselves said they were wrong. Dr Meck that talked about hierarchy and pack structure and talked about dominance said I was wrong. But the problem is is that those studies that were done decades ago influenced how we train dogs?

Speaker 1:

If your belief system is that there is a hierarchy and a strict pack structure and that the dogs are trying to be dominant and one up each other and dogs in general are dominant towards other dogs and towards people and that behavior problems is really a dominance issue, that you do need to show the dog. Who's boss? You need to dominate the dog. You need to be alpha. You need to be number one in the hierarchy. You need to be number one in the pack structure. You need to be the pack leader. Now, how many times have you heard that you need to be alpha? Now, how many times have you heard that you need to be alpha? All of that's wrong. All of it's based on mistakes, misinformation.

Speaker 1:

Now, I'm not here to say that punishment can't stop behaviors. You create enough fear, pain and intimidation. You can shut down just about any dog and get them to stop behaving that way, but a lot of behaviors, especially the more severe behaviors, are like aggression and leash reactivity that can be rooted in anxiety and fear, because, you know, no animal goes into fight or flight unless they perceive a threat. Now, there doesn't have to be a real threat, but if they perceive a threat, that means that they're experiencing fear and anxiety. So when you use punishment, shock the dog you know you're out for a walk, the dog's being reactive on the leash and maybe you hired a trainer that is a shock collar, e-collar trainer, remote collar trainer, whatever they want to call it and they put a collar on your dog gave you a remote for your hand and they said hey, when you're walking and your dog starts to focus on the other dogs, just tap that button on the collar, Get the dog's attention. Well, really what you're doing is you're shocking the dog, creating pain, fear, intimidation to stop that behavior and maybe maybe that behavior stops, but it's usually just for a short while, because the real problem is not the dog's reactivity and aggression, it's the underlying emotional state, the fear and the anxiety that drives that behavior. And when you use punishment, when you're shocking the dog or when you're crank, yanking and cranking on the leash with a prong collar, you're causing fear, pain and intimidation. You're causing stress.

Speaker 1:

Well, if the underlying root cause of that behavior is stress and anxiety, how do we feel adding more anxiety and stress by using punishment is going to help that in the long run? First of all, like I said, you begin to erode and destroy the relationship and bond that you have with your dog. Number one. You also create more anxiety, more fear, more stress and it's like a pressure cooker. The dog starts out anxious and nervous on the walk Maybe it's afraid of people, Maybe it's got issues with other dogs and it becomes reactive on the leash and here you punish the dog and the dog stops that outward behavior. But inside, underneath the dog and its emotions, we've created more stress, more anxiety, more fear. But now the dog's also too afraid to act out and display those behaviors. And maybe you think, hey, this is great, Now I can finally take my dog for a walk. And every time we see another dog or person, my dog's not going ballistic.

Speaker 1:

Well, let me tell you, you keep walking your dog, you keep presenting these triggers strange people, strange dogs, whatever it might be that your dog might have, leash reactivity or aggression towards. It's like the dog's a pressure cooker now because they're afraid to display that behavior. They don't want to get corrected. But you've done nothing to change your dog's underlying emotional state. You've done nothing to help the dog not be afraid. You've done nothing to help the dog relax. You've done nothing to help with that anxiety or stress. You're just pushing through it and, like I said, it's like a pressure cooker through it. And, like I said, it's like a pressure cooker. That anxiety and stress doesn't go away when you correct the outward behavior. But we've got trainers out there the vast majority of trainers that are out there saying, hey, I do behavior modification and there are people with serious behavior problems, like aggression and leash reactivity, looking for somebody that is experienced and good with behavior modification because they need to modify this behavior.

Speaker 1:

And I hear it all the time. I'm so confused this is what I hear from pet parents. I'm so confused. There's so many differing opinions you get online. You read so many different things. You talk to so many different trainers. You don't know what to do. You don't know what's right.

Speaker 1:

I want to take a quick second to talk to you about Calm Dogs. Calm Dogs is a natural calming aid that I spent five years researching and developing. That's right. Calm Dogs is my creation. I developed Calm Dogs for dogs with anxiety, fears, phobias, reactivity and even aggression. I created Calm Dogs to help dogs that have noise sensitivities, like a fear of thunderstorms or fireworks. Calm Dogs also works great for dogs with separation anxiety, a fear of car rides and travel. Calm Dogs even helps those dogs with a fear of vet visits or grooming. In fact, I'm so confident that Calm Dogs will help your dog that I make it absolutely risk-free. Calm Dogs comes with a 100% money-back guarantee. My promise to you is very simple Calm Dogs works for your dog, or it's free, Take the 45-day Calm Dog Challenge. Go to calmdogscom or doganxietycom to learn more about Calm Dogs and how it can help your dog today, Risk-free, at calmdogscom or doganxietycom.

Speaker 1:

There's so much confusion out there out there. Well, let me say this there's only craziness and confusion in the dog training industry and I'm sorry I'll apologize for my industry that it's bleeding over to you. Because, guess what? There's absolutely no confusion when it comes to the science. There's absolutely no confusion or varying opinions and different types of doing things when it comes to science and research. And if you talk to trainers that use science-based, evidence-based methods that are certified and listen, when you're looking for a trainer, you need to make sure they're certified. But you can't just take their word and say, oh yeah, I've got a certification. Well, what kind of certification and who certified you and what did that all involve? What was that certification process about?

Speaker 1:

Look, there are very few organizations that are out there that do any kind of certifying of dog trainers that are really legitimate. There's a few. You've got the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers and they are the only independent certifying body for dog trainers and behavior consultants in this country, as a matter of fact, maybe even in the world, because they certify trainers and behavior consultants all throughout the world. But the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers is not like a fraternity. It's not like an association for dog trainers. It's not like an association for dog trainers. There's the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants and they certify behavior consultants and trainers, but the problem is there's a big financial stake for them. There's a big financial stake for them. You pay to become a member and they're also selling you, constantly selling you training and education for dog trainers.

Speaker 1:

Now there's nothing wrong and a good trainer, a good behavior consultant, a good behaviorist, is always going to continue their education. Behavior consultant, a good behaviorist, is always going to continue their education and good certifications require continuing education. That's part of it. But are you married to them financially or are they married to you wanting constant money from you? Once you're certified with the Certification Council for Professional Doctrine, yeah, you've got to pay to sit for the exam for the certification, but after that you don't pay them more money. You don't get your education and training as a dog trainer through that organization. They're the only certifying body that is accredited and independently accredited by the same accreditation boards that accredit the certification bodies for doctors, that accredit the certification bodies for doctors, nurses, veterinarians Again, the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. They're the only independent certifying body.

Speaker 1:

Now there are some great behavior consultants that are members of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, but they are not a truly independent certifying body, just like everybody else that's out there and a lot of these trainers that are saying, hey, I'm certified, they've got a certificate, they took a course, They've got a certificate. That doesn't mean they're certified. There's no regulation in this industry. There's no requirements for education, no requirement for certification, no requirement for continuing education. We're trying to change that but unfortunately my profession we can't come together and agree on standards of training. Why? Because you've got a lot of trainers out there that want to continue to use outdated methods that science has shown are not as effective, are not as efficient and there can be psychological fallout and damage from using aversive type methods, aversive tools like shock collars and prong collars and anything really that causes anxiety, fear or stress for the dog. But the thing is is that if you don't really dig in to understanding the process and what's going on, you may think it's just fine to do that.

Speaker 1:

I did for years, for decades, I used prong collars, I used shock collars, I used punishment. I was a balanced trainer. I also used rewards. I mean, I started off back in the 70s. It was pure compulsion. Everything was forcing the dog to do it, no positive reinforcement. Then my progression was to become a balanced trainer. Oh, I'm using rewards. I'm using food rewards, I'm using a marker training system. I might be using a clicker, but I'm also using punishment and I use shot collars, prong collars, as I continued to evolve, as I continued my education because I never stopped, I always continued my education from day one.

Speaker 1:

When you do that and you start to realize, when there's research study after research study after research study showing the dangers of punishment and how it's, here's the bottom line. I want you to hear this. I want you to hear this, Please hear this Punishment, the use of aversives, is unnecessary. Now, having done both, having used just positive reinforcement and trust me, with positive reinforcement you can change any behavior, you can stop any behavior and it will improve the relationship and trust that your pet has with you and your dog will be happy and it won't have the anxiety and the stress and be just doing it out of compulsion. But trainers that use punishment become very lazy.

Speaker 1:

It's easy to push a button on a remote that shocks a dog. It's easy to just crank hard on a leash with a prong collar to stop behavior. The problem is it's usually temporary and it causes anxiety for the dog and most of these behaviors are rooted in anxiety. And punishment will never work for leash reactivity. It'll never work for aggression, not long-term. It only suppresses the outward behavior. It will add more anxiety and stress to the dog and it's a pressure cooker and eventually the dog snaps.

Speaker 1:

I come behind trainers using these methods of punishment negative reinforcement where the dogs were great for a couple months but then it all fell apart, and that's always the case. Oh, I'm sure there's a dog or two out there that it's not the case. Is the case? Oh, I'm sure there's a dog or two out there that it's not the case. There's never a extreme on one end or the other. Can some dogs handle punishment and be just fine? Yeah, but if it's unnecessary to hurt the dog, to cause discomfort, why are you doing it? I know why the trainers are doing it they don't want to give up their tools because they think that they're being successful and that they're getting the job done very quickly and easily because, again, it takes nothing to punish a dog. You could kick the dog, hit the dog, shock the dog, crank on a leash. What type of skill set does it take to do that? Modifying real behavior modification?

Speaker 1:

Modern dog training is rooted in science, focusing on the psychology and the learning patterns of dogs. It's all about understanding how dogs think, how they feel, how they learn. At the core of that approach, positive reinforcement, which involves rewarding desired behaviors to encourage their repetition, is what we focus on. This method not only strengthens the bond between pet parents and their dogs, but also fosters a safe and an enriching learning environment. Unlike outdated methods that often lead to fear and stress. Outdated methods that often lead to fear and stress, modern training champions the mental and emotional well-being of dogs. In contrast outdated training methods, they are all about what I was saying earlier. They're all about being steeped in the dominance theory, relying heavily on negative reinforcement, and positive punishment occurs or adding something unpleasant in response to an undesired behavior. And the problem is these methods punishment, negative reinforcement can create a lot of different problems including, like I said, increased fear for your dog aggression. Said increased fear for your dog, aggression, damaging the bond between you and your dog. I think it's absolutely crucial to recognize the risks that those antiquated and outdated tactics, techniques, methods, training styles can cause methods training styles can cause.

Speaker 1:

Now let's talk about some common behavior problems that you would like to modify that behavior, For example, barking. Well, first of all, and trust me, barking is the number one complaint, the number one reported behavior problem in dogs. But barking, it's a natural dog behavior. But all of us know, hey, when it becomes excessive it's a problem. But it's often misunderstood and it's mishandled.

Speaker 1:

Modern training addresses the root cause of barking such or punishment, which can really exacerbate underlying issues. So one of the things that we would do is we would take a look at what's the root cause of the barking. You know a lot of barking is boredom. What's the root cause of the barking? You know a lot of barking is boredom. Well, if we've got a dog that's bored, we need to increase mental and physical stimulation. We need to employ some enrichment. Deal with that boredom rather than shocking the dog, rather than punishing the dog. Boredom is a huge reason for barking, Frustration, barking.

Speaker 1:

Maybe you put the dog outside because you haven't taken the time to teach it good manners in the house. The dog's out there bored and they want to come in. They see you in the house through the door. They can't get the door open themselves. They're frustrated and they're barking. How about deal with the original problem. Deal with the frustration. What if the dog's territorial? What if the dog believes that strangers walking by the house are scary or dangerous and it needs to bark to get them to go away? Well, rather than shocking the dog, rather than punishing the dog, yelling at the dog, rolling up a towel, hitting the dog, bonking, they call it over the head, rather than creating a shaker can with pennies or rocks in it and throwing that at the dog or shaking it, rather than using a spray bottle to threaten the dog, rather than you fill in the blank when it comes to punishment, we deal with the underlying root cause.

Speaker 1:

If it's boredom, we we create enrichment, create mental and physical stimulation. If it's frustration, why? Why is a dog? Is it barrier? Frustration, that's a big deal. Fear and anxiety. So if we've got a dog that's territorial, I'm going to deal with that fear and anxiety. Why does the dog feel it's got to protect everything? Why does the dog think that everybody walking by is a threat, that everybody walking by is a threat.

Speaker 1:

Using modern training techniques, using positive reinforcement, we can teach alternative behaviors. Through positive reinforcement we can use counter-conditioning and desensitization to change the dog's underlying emotional state. So if the dog is territorial and it thinks that people walking by are a threat, we can have controlled stage setups where we have helpers walking by the house but we keep the dog far enough, or that helper walking by the house far enough away from the dog, where the dog's underlying emotional state is neutral and it sees the trigger and we can start pairing positive reinforcement with the present presenting the trigger. You know, like giving the dog its favorite toy or a high value food reward or beginning to do play every time a stranger appears. Now, if you've tried it and you say, hey, it doesn't work, Will, or if a trainer told you, hey, it doesn't work, it does work. I do it every day with people across the globe and I'm not even with them. I'm doing it virtually online, like a Zoom meeting, and I'm coaching and teaching people how to modify these big problem behaviors like aggression and leash reactivity, without having to punish the dog Because, again, I get calls every single day, I get emails every single day from people that have dogs with these problems. They've tried that and it was only a temporary fix. Now they're looking for something else that's going to work, and this is what's going to work long term.

Speaker 1:

So you know the barking, how about teaching the dog and positively reinforcing quiet behavior? You know, I could get the dog to bark with a stimulus that is not too provocative. Let's say, for example, rather than having somebody come banging on the door, bang, bang, bang, bang, knock, knock, knock, real loud, I have somebody give a very quiet knock, or two Knock knock, and the dog gives a little woof, Maybe another woof, little woof, Maybe another woof woof, but not going crazy as if somebody's knock, knock, knock, knock, knock, knock on the door right. So present that trigger, but present it where it's not so intense. Bring down that intensity. So the dog gives a little bark. Now you wait, you get quiet. The dog doesn't keep barking.

Speaker 1:

When the dog's quiet, I'm going to label that behavior of being quiet. I'm going to say quiet and I'm going to click and reward and then I'm going to try to elicit that barking again by giving that light little knock and the dog gives a little bark. I wait for the dog to stop barking. Then, when there is quiet, I go quiet and I click and reward, and I do that over and over and then I begin to increase the intensity of the stimulus that's causing the barking. And I do the same thing when I get quiet. I label quiet and I click and reward and I make sure that my rewards are the highest value rewards they possibly can be. That's motivating the dog.

Speaker 1:

Do we need to use food forever? No, we don't. If you know what you're doing, you can fade that out. But we've got to motivate the dog to want to do the behavior. Being quiet needs to be a lot more valuable to your dog than barking. And when that happens and when you're consistent with it and I think it's important to be proactive, proactive training sessions to teach what quiet is, to positively reinforce quiet Because, let's face it, dogs are going to bark. That'd be like telling you hey, never talk again for the rest of your life. They're going to bark, they're going to communicate. We don't want the excessive barking. We would love to be able, when our dogs bark, to say quiet and they shut up. And it's done every single day through positive reinforcement, without having to use punishment. It might take a few extra steps, but it's going to be something that has permanence and reliability. It's going to be something where we're not causing fear, stress and anxiety for the dog and we're not eroding your relationship with the dog where the dog starts to distrust you because you're inflicting fear, pain and intimidation.

Speaker 1:

Like I said, barking number one reported complaint by pet parents. Very, very easy to modify that behavior using positive reinforcement and rewarding alternative behaviors like quiet, teaching quiet and eventually, you know, putting that quiet behavior on cue or command so that you can then use it All right. Let's talk about another behavior that pet parents get frustrated with. They want to modify it. Nobody likes it. And that's when dogs are jumping and listen.

Speaker 1:

Dogs are not jumping on people to be dominant. That is a myth. Jumping on people to be dominant that is a myth. Dogs aren't dominant. They might be unruly. You know, just being a dog. They don't know what your rules are. You haven't taken the time to teach them and you've probably been positively reinforcing the jumping by touching the dog, giving the dog attention when they jump. That's what they want.

Speaker 1:

But what are some of the old school methods? Yeah, shock them with the shock collar, correct them with the prong collar, use compressed air to scare them, bonk them over the head with a rolled up towel, yell at them no, how about this one? This is taught all the time. Knee the dog in the chest. All of it is about causing fear, pain and intimidation. None of it is about addressing the root cause of the problem. The dog's usually jumping because they're excited, because they want to be affectionate, because they want your attention, because they want your love, praise and affection and boredom. Your dog wants your attention. How about, rather than kneeing your dog, rather than punishing your dog, you begin to teach your dog that when they come running towards you or when you walk in the door, when a stranger comes over, they sit and as long as they're sitting, they can get love, praise, affection, treats, toys, play.

Speaker 1:

Using positive reinforcement to teach a sit, which is called differential reinforcement, teaching a different behavior that, if the dog is committed to, that behavior would be incompatible with the behavior you don't want. Your dog cannot be committed to sitting and be jumping at the same time. It has to give up one behavior for the other. So I've talked about this quite a bit. I've used this example quite a bit in previous podcasts about teaching the sit being very proactive and, little by little, having your dog maintain that sit while people come in the house and over time, gradually, systematically, have those people become more animated.

Speaker 1:

Right, Because the more excited things are, the more the dog's going to jump. The calmer things are, the less likely they're going to jump. So, hey, when I'm first teaching this to a dog, if I've got a dog that jumps, I'm encouraging people. Hey, when you walk in, walk in and freeze like a tree because the dog's overexcited and that's positive reinforcement. Happy thoughts, happy feelings, wiggly butts when you get home, right, and then what do you do? You punish them and before long they start getting nervous about you. Long they start getting nervous about you. So it's easy to deal with jumping by teaching an alternative behavior. They can't lay down, be lying down and jumping at the same time.

Speaker 1:

So proactively, I begin working on sitting. Proactively, I work on walking in the door, having them sit and rewarding. Walk in the door, sit, reward. Walk in the door, sit, reward. Walk in the door a little more animated. Have the dog sit and reward. Repeat that over and over and over again. Increase the excitability and animation, and only as quickly and as fast as your dog can learn and handle it. Listen, if your dog can't maintain the sit, that just means you've gone into too high a level. Too intense distractions too soon Dial back the intensity of the excitability and the distractions. But you need to train the dog to sit when things are crazy and you do that gradually and slowly as your dog can handle it. As your dog becomes successful at one level of intensity of distraction, then turn it up a little. Work this in different locations so that you can teach your dog to focus and filter out distractions.

Speaker 1:

Now I talked earlier about leash reactivity and aggression and the most common thing for trainers to do is punish that behavior and, like I said, all it does is suppress the outward behavior. It actually increases more fear, anxiety and stress in the dog. Modern training real behavior modification today, 2024, does not involve the use of punishing dogs with shock collars and prong collars. Does not involve yelling no at the dog. Does not involve any other tools or techniques that are causing any level of discomfort, fear, pain or intimidation with the dog. It's all unnecessary.

Speaker 1:

It is confusing when you get out there and I feel that I have to keep talking about this because I keep running into people that have dogs that have some serious problems and they're dying for a solution. Their dogs are suffering. They're struggling with their dogs. You know, imagine you've got a dog that's aggressive towards strangers and you can never have anybody over to the house. Imagine you can't take the dog for a walk without the dog going crazy. You become a hostage and you try these other methods and you think that you're having success because the dog stops that behavior for a while, only to have it come back a few months later and now it's worse and you're dying for a solution. I get these calls every single day and we are having incredible success. If you've got a dog that has problems like this and you can't find somebody to help teach you how to modify these behaviors using positive reinforcement, go to my website, dogbehavioristcom. Fill out my contact form, Contact me. I'm happy to work with you and teach you exactly how to modify any behavior using positive reinforcement. It can be done.

Speaker 1:

Well, ladies and gentlemen, that music means we are just about out of time. I'm Will Bangura. You've been listening to Dog Training today. Do me a favor, please. If you love what we do, give us a five-star review. Hit that like button. Please share this with your friends and families and also please subscribe. Hit that subscribe button so that you never miss an episode of dog training today. Hey, and visit my website at dogbehavioristcom. If you've got a problem with your dog and you're looking for help, you can get all the help you need at dogbehavioristcom. I'm Will Bangora. Have a great week. Everybody, I'm out of here when I come home, won't you just go crazy?

Speaker 2:

He never looks at me like he might hate me.

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