Tonight America’s most famous dog trainer, Cesar Millan, hits the stage at the Auditorium Theater in downtown Rochester. And his appearance has local dog trainers abuzz with discussions about dominance-based dog training and what many of them call his inhumane training methods.
In fact, a group of local trainers will be outside, handing out an informational sheet that explains why shock collars and other force-based training methods are inhumane, along with a list of local positive-based trainers.
In the interests of full disclosure, I have never seen “The Dog Whisperer” on TV, have not read Millan’s books (although I did pick up a copy of one at the used bookstore recently but haven’t read it yet) and I know almost nothing about Cesar Millan or his dog training methods, other than a brief profile on CBS Sunday Morning last year. (I found him to be very interesting as a person and was impressed that he had about a bazillion dogs living together when I have three dogs and a cat at war.)
But I’ve also seen some of his training clips and thought, “Uh, I wouldn’t want anyone to do that to my dog.” I saw dogs clearly in distress, exhibiting extreme anxiety, and being pulled, shoved, and even … let’s call it nudged with the heel of a boot … into obedience.
But since I’m neither an expert on Cesar Millan or on dog training, what I’m about to say is based only on my own reading about dogs, dog behavior, dog evolution, and animal communication. We’re talking several years and dozens and dozens of books. – and some personal experiences with aggressive dog training methods that in hindsight make me sick to my stomach to know that I put my dogs through what must have been terrible experiences.
What I’ve learned: boo on dominance-based training. Continue reading
Posted in Ada Simms, Books, Dog behavior, Dog history, Dog training, Dogs in entertainment, Rochester NY
Tagged Auditorium Theater, books, canine evolution, Cesar Millan, dog training, Dog Whisperer, Ian Dunbar, John Bradshaw, NY, Raymond Coppinger, Rochester
I’ve been reading about Dr. Ian Dunbar for a long time, and have his books on my “to read” list. But I recently stumbled upon this 2007 video of Dr. Dunbar talking about dog training from a dog’s perspective.
It’s a super great video presentation of how to work with a dog in a way that builds trust and a positive relationship with your dog – and why punishment and dominance-based training is the wrong way to train your dog. It’s great advice for all of the relationships in our lives.
by Joanne Brokaw
If Scout could talk, I wonder what he'd say? Maybe he is talking and I'm just not listening.
I’ve often wondered what’s going on inside of my dogs’ minds and what they’d say if they could talk. As it turns out, dogs can communicate with us. We just aren’t listening. But if you pay attention, here are a few things your dog might be saying to you.
1) “I’m bored.” As I sit here writing, I can hear Bandit in the other room, yipping. Yip! Yarp! Yip! Yarp! Those single, high pitched barks that can pierce your eardrums mean only one thing: “Really, Mommy? Are you going to sit in front of that talking box again when we could be playing? Mommy! Mommy!!” He uses a few different techniques to get my attention – raiding the Tupperware cabinet and strewing lids around the house, hauling my shoes into the living room, and nudging me while I type. All of these are his way of saying that he needs some attention. Play time, potty time, or just some face time with Mommy. Either way, for Bandit, “Yip!” means “I’m bored!” Continue reading
Posted in Books, Dog behavior, Dog training, Joanne Brokaw
Tagged books, dog training, dogs, Dogtown, How To Speak Dog, Patricia McConnell, Pets, Stanley Coren, Suzanne Clothier, Turid Rugaas
Like many Americans, you may be taking time to eat healthier and consider where your food comes from – but what about your pet? Have you ever wondered if you’re feeding Fido or Fluffy the best possible diet?
On Sunday, August 14th, Sherri Romig, Rochester dog trainer and expert in holistic animal care, will answer your questions about pet food and health at the Pet Food and Nutrition Seminar at Tails of Success Training Center, 999 East Ridge Road in Irondequoit. Continue reading
Posted in Dog care, Dog food, Dog health, Dog training, Rochester NY
Tagged cats, dog food, dogs, health, Nutrition, NY, organic, Pet Food, Pets, Raw foodism, Rochester
The US Postal Service released statistics naming the cities where most dog bites of postal workers occured. Topping the list is Houston, TX, with “62 letter carriers attacked in 2010.” (They use the words “bitten” and “attacked” interchangeably; I think there is a difference between a bite and an attack. But I digress.)
In a press release, the Postal Service says that medical expenses from dog attacks cost the Postal Service nearly $1.2 million last year. According to the Insurance Information Institute, dog attacks accounted for more than one-third of all homeowners’ insurance liability claims paid out in 2010, costing nearly $413 million.
The top 10 cities for postal worker dog bites are:
- Top cities where postal workers were bitten by dogs.
In recognition of National Dog Bite Prevention Week (May 15-21), the American Veterinary Medical Association (AMVA) offers the following tips on how to avoid being bitten by a dog:
How to Avoid Being Bitten
- Don’t run past a dog. The dog’s natural instinct is to chase and catch you.
- If a dog threatens you, don’t scream. Avoid eye contact. Try to remain motionless until the dog leaves, then back away slowly until the dog is out of sight.
- Don’t approach a strange dog, especially one that’s tethered or confined.
- People choosing to pet dogs should obtain permission from the owner first and always let a dog see and sniff them before petting the animal.
- If you believe a dog is about to attack you, try to place something between yourself and the dog, such as a backpack or a bicycle.
How to Be a Responsible Dog Owner
- Obedience training can teach dogs proper behavior and help owners control their dogs.
- When a carrier comes to your home, keep your dog inside, away from the door in another room.
- Dogs can be protective of their territory and may interpret the actions of letter carriers as a threat. Please take precautions when accepting mail in the presence of your pet.
- Spay or neuter your dog. Neutered dogs are less likely to roam and bite.
- Dogs that receive little attention or handling, or are left tied up for long periods of time, frequently turn into biters.
You can read the entire press release here.