In general, dog training adheres to one of three schools of thought. To be honest, as a dog owner, I’ve been exposed to all three. My experiences varied with different dogs, but I’ve come to a clear conclusion. Below are my personal thoughts on each.
The Dominant Pack Leader theory of Alpha Dog based training believes that you must show your dog you are pack leader. You are the alpha leaving your dog as the perpetual submissive in the home. In effect, it traps dogs at the puppy stage, never allowing them to reach their full potential as mature members of your family. Trainer 1s use methods that include harsh words, leash jerking, rolling and pinning the dog on his back, or even shock collars! At its core, these methods are inhumane and painful for our dogs.
Additionally, it is based on debunked science. It came from a well-meaning but tragically misguided study done by a single researcher in the 1940s. The study observed an unnatural pack of wolves forced to live together in captivity. They were not related and did not choose to live together. This led to some behaviors that simply aren’t seen in a natural wolf pack living in the wild. Fighting broke out in this pack leading the researcher to observe the “winners” which he then assigned as the alpha male and alpha female. His theory held that the alpha pair would dominate the pack for the rest of their lives or until age and weakness allowed another to take their place.
Natural wolf packs are family units composed of parent and child. The offspring are naturally subordinate to the parents and younger siblings to the older. They work together to survive as a pack as a tightly bonded unit. Many early subscribers to this theory have reversed their opinions on Alpha Dog theory after further research revealed the truth.
Additionally, wolves are a separate species. Our dogs may have descended from them, but they are not wolves. Tens of thousands of years have domestication and tamed the wild. Still, this theory persists. I find it abhorrent and refuse to even consider it in my work.
Thankfully, new science and theories emerged in the 1980s. Researchers working with dogs at this time began to observe that they learned more easily with positive rewards. By leaving the painful or frightening warnings of Alpha Dog training in the past, dogs began to enjoy learning and great advances were made. Positive reinforcement is helpful and works in general terms yet it doesn’t cover life outside the training class or home training session. It leaves our dogs uncertain what to do in the off time. In the end, this approach often leads to failure in real world situations because it relies on frequent input from the owner.
Dogs learn to sit, down, stay, and come. Some went on to learn rudimentary calmness with this method, but this theory fails to provide a dog friendly handbook on our human expectations. Left to make decisions without guidance, and they make thousands of decisions every day, some dogs strayed into troubling behaviors only to preform admirably in each and every training session. It simply didn’t go far enough.
The Concept Trainer
It’s a new era and new research has come to light. Concept Dog Training builds on the leaps forward of the encouragers and discards the advice of the punishers. Concept Dog Training is cutting edge and thousands of dogs around the globe are living their best life through this revolutionary method.
Concept Dog Trainers blend thoroughly vetted observations of human psychology with new research that focuses on the emotional state of dogs in various situations. It found that dogs are truly individuals. While older methods may have worked for some, many dogs were left behind to uncertain fates. We leave no dog behind.
Concept Dog Training also took from research that showed dogs have many commonalities with small children, and like children, dogs love to play. And play can be used to shape the brains of dogs, giving them powerful life lessons. The race was on to bring this exciting approach to the public and Games Based Training was born. Yet it it took a clever and skilled team to pull it all together into a carefully honed theory with cleverly designed games which were then vetted by thousands of eager dog owners around the world. With a foot firmly planted in current science and another in endless creativity, Certified Concept Dog Trainers use their super powers of observation to choose the games that most benefit your dog.
Obviously, I’m biased, but that’s because I’ve tried them all. The methods of the punisher repel me. The methods of the encourager helped me establish basic behaviors in dogs that were already quite adept at fitting in yet it left at least 2 of my dogs behind. Concept Dog Training skyrocketed forward to make training simple, fun, and solutions oriented. My Tasha has not been left behind. If it worked for her troubled mind, it will work for your dog, too.
Time to Choose
What do you want for your dog? Can you look yourself in the mirror after sending a jolt of electricity directly into the neck of your 7 pound Pomeranian because she barked? Do you wish to constantly be giving cues which request behaviors yet offer no lasting guidance to your dog, or would you rather your dog simply know what to do?
If you feel as I do, the choice is clear. You brought your dog into your home for a reason. Most people would say they longed for a companion who would fit seamlessly into the home. Concept Dog Training can bring that dream into reality through games. Imagine a dog that suddenly understands your world, and you understand him! You can easily access our games online, and I encourage you to play a few to see how they might help your dog, but only a Certified Concept Dog Trainer who has undergone the rigorous training under the hands on guidance of Absolute Dogs can put it all together to give your dog the coping skills they most need to live their best life.
Want to learn more? Hop on over to the Contact page and drop me a line. Tell me about your dog, whether he currently has behavioral issues or not because trust me; There’s A Game for That!
Rebecca Porter has been fascinated by dogs for decades, but it took a frantic mixed breed to send her on a journey into innovative and real life solutions in dog training.