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FAQ - Aggression begets Aggression


Aggression Training only begets Aggression

Stay clear of trainers using the following methods unless you want your dog to become more aggressive and your fearful/timid dog a fear biter. Think of this in human terms, if someone were screaming in your face and poking you in the chest you'd either get really tired of it fast and retaliate with aggression back or if you were too timid you'd become more fearful until cornered and then you'd react out of fear (react aggressively, but fear would be driving it). 

If every Redhead you met gave you M&M's and every Blond you met slapped your face, you'd quickly learn not to like blonds, you wouldn't give a new blond a chance to do something different, you'd just avoid them....conditioned happens in every living thing.  It especially happens with dogs.

Alpha Wolf Leader of the Pack - The foundation of the Alpha - Wolf Pack theory of dog training, is based on the strong overpowering and ruling the weak. Domesticated dogs are not wolves, and when trained by dominant forceful methods, can react with dangerous behaviors, such as attacking weaker beings. Within the human family unit, children, being smaller and weaker, are often the victims of "Wolf Pack" conditioning of the family dog. 

Alpha Roll - This training technique was derived from the behavior of wolves and, is an incorrect interpretation of the method of the pack leader in maintaining the ranking order. The enhanced "human" version consists of throwing your dog on its back to the ground, holding him down by the throat, and staring into his eyes. 

This method completely overlooks the fact that every wolf pack member knows his position within the wolf group. A weaker animal usually assumes submissive posture voluntarily and the dominant one does not need to throw him on his back.! 


This method is bound to fail because the days of the wolf pack leader are numbered from the beginning .An Alpha remains in his leader position only as long as he is physically strong and mentally alert enough to cope with challenging subordinates. When a dog owner throws his dog on his back, forcing him into a submissive position, fear, rebellion and viciousness can be created in the animal, forcing the dog to react on survival instinct.  He also learns that his owner is CRAZY, this is not the action of a sane leader.

The Scruff shake - This method was "created" by observing the other wolf lifting up her immature pups with her mouth and slightly shaking them when they misbehaved. Obviously, it has not been considered that she does this only to the helpless, very young pups. When they are older, she keeps them in line just with an oral reprimand. The instructions are to grasp your dog with both hands on his neck scruff and stare into his eyes. Then violently shake them from side to side while scolding him in a low, loud tone with "No!" Even more effective is lifting your dog up in the air while staring, shouting and shaking him, then abruptly dropping him to the ground. The powerful instinct of survival will prevail, as a natural expression of self-preservation. 


Each time you create a threatening situation for your dog, you condition and strengthen the survival instinct - translated into its flight or flight mechanism which is influenced by mental and physical strength. 

Fear Conditioning - Yelling at a dog, screaming and startling him with unexpected grabs (by the collar or otherwise) are examples of shock and fear conditioning. Loud, unexpected noises are associated with negative events, such as danger and pain. Children who witness this harsh training are taught it's OK to be abusive and cruel to get their way and establish their own importance in a relationship, be it with animals or human beings. 

Respect cannot be punished into any living being, not even a dog. 

You have to set a pattern of rewards for behaviors you want to encourage and a lack of rewards for behaviors you want to extinguish.  If the dog is jumping on you for attention, first teach him to SIT on command -- that's a mutually exclusive behavior.  Second, don't give the dog the attention for jumping, give him the attention for sitting.  Make sure he gets the attention -- but only as a reward for doing something you want him to do again.

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Contact Wayeh    *    423-365-6039    *    Spring City, (East) Tennessee
Wayeh Alaskan Malamutes last updated 08/29/2010

Member Oak Ridge Kennel Club since 1996, member TN Working Dog Association since 2008

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