Am i that barbaric because i make a dog sit?

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  1. allbreeds profile image56
    allbreedsposted 13 years ago

    It seems i may be an inhumane barbaric person because when i teach dogs i MAKE them sit or drop.I don't hold tit bits in the air above his head so it sits .I pull on his lead and push its bum down .Simple.
    So am i inhumane. Were all the people training like this 10 years ago inhumane and barbaric?
    A shifting paradigm and we are loathed

    1. Nolapete profile image72
      Nolapeteposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Some dogs respond to different types of training.  Treat-based training actually instills bad behaviour; the dog will look for a treat every time it does the action.  The way you train teaches the dog the action, but ends there.  The dog learns the action, performs it as commanded, and doesn't expect anything in return.  What you're experiencing is no different than what parents today experience with disciplining children.  There's a huge difference between instruction/discipline and abuse/cruelty.  There's nothing inhumane or barbaric about training without rewards.

    2. Shinkicker profile image53
      Shinkickerposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      It's not barbaric per se but it is if you make it sit on the cat :-)

      1. bluedog5 profile image39
        bluedog5posted 13 years agoin reply to this


        1. ezzy1512 profile image60
          ezzy1512posted 13 years agoin reply to this


    3. bluedog5 profile image39
      bluedog5posted 13 years agoin reply to this

      of course not! plenty of people train their dogs like that. it just lets the dog know who is dominant. did you know that when ever you let your dog out you should walk out before him/her because that also shows the dog who is dominant. have fun with your dog!smile

      1. profile image50
        DogTrainerUKposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        The dominance theory is long outdated and disproved.  It makes no difference to your dog whether you go through doorways/eat before him - not from a dominance point of view, anyway.  Google for  "Dominance Myth" and educate yourself before you try to educate anyone else  ;-)

        1. siberblogger profile image61
          siberbloggerposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          Your reply does not necessarily apply to all breeds. I have had years of experience with Siberian huskies and I can tell you first hand that there needs to be a pecking order. It is a pack oriented dog and if you do not take the alpha dog position they will gladly take that spot.

      2. ezzy1512 profile image60
        ezzy1512posted 13 years agoin reply to this


    4. doodlebugs profile image92
      doodlebugsposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      I really don't think that dog training using positive reinforcement is bad. As humans we have to learn to "sit"  and "stay", etc, to function in society. As those who domesticated dogs we owe it to them to teach them how to live politely in our society.

  2. profile image52
    yankeedoodledogsposted 13 years ago

    I think we need to do both.  I also train the old way but have found using some of the treat stuff works to smooth anxious clients ruffeled feathers.    I explain that dogs learn from positive and negative reinforcement.  Treats are fine to speed things along but at some point sit means sit whether a treat is available or not.  Consistency and results will change their mind.

  3. Disturbia profile image61
    Disturbiaposted 13 years ago

    Too many treats = one fat dog. There is nothing inhumane or barbaric about teaching a dog to sit by pulling on its lead and pushing down its bum. You are simply showing the dog what you want him to do. I taught all my dogs this way.

    1. profile image50
      DogTrainerUKposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      There are plenty of ways to give food rewards  (if that's what motivates the dog best)  without ending up with a wobbly dog.  The best way is to use the dog's daily ration as rewards for training.  There is no reason why food should only be given in a bowl.

      Yes, plenty of people use compulsion training.  Yes, it generally works.  However, once you've seen a dog which has been  PROPERLY reward trained working, you understand the difference, and why nowadays, top trainers in most doggy disciplines choose it over compulsion.  Competition handlers want to WIN, remember!

  4. allbreeds profile image56
    allbreedsposted 13 years ago

    wow i thought id get inundated with clicker training people but alas not to be.
    Responding to some comments ..we reward yes but not with food.Praise is always at hand.
    People say that food based training is quicker and more humane.I doubt very much it is quicker or more effective.To be safe i would say they are the same.Yet having said that we have had many dogs comming from these food based schools to be taught.Plus i think with "our" type of training ALL dogs can be trained whereas with "food based" "positive training" dogs that have issues or disrupt classes are asked to find another school or seek a behaviorist.

    1. profile image50
      DogTrainerUKposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Food based training is only quicker and more effective if food is what happens to be what the dog likes best.  Some dogs are not food orientated at all and prefer their reward to be a game of tug, or the opportunity to chase a ball, or permission to sniff, or praise...... whatever the dog finds most motivating.

      I'm shocked at the ignorance about positive training/reward training on here.

    2. uncorrectedvision profile image60
      uncorrectedvisionposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Dogs and men have been living together for over 15000 years.  They love to be with us and they seek our affection and guidance.  Dogs need us to learn to be good, productive members of the pack.  Being a good member of the human pack requires obedience and discipline.  It is best that the dog seek nothing but your praise as its reward.

  5. Maria Cecilia profile image83
    Maria Ceciliaposted 13 years ago

    as long as you don't hurt or threatened your dogs while teaching him to sit I guess that would me okay. dogs are different when it comes to learning a trick, my dog Peso is okay with praise, but my other dog really needs a treat to get motivated. but then I still believe in not forcing them to learn. Peso learned how to sit without insisting it on him...

  6. profile image0
    Toby Hansenposted 13 years ago

    My dog was taught with a mixture of the two methods, but, having been abused and abandoned by his last so-called "human", I did not want to be too physically forceful with him.

    1. allbreeds profile image56
      allbreedsposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Pushing his bum onto the ground, i dont believe is too physically forceful.It takes an understanding of dogs before one knows how big of a correction or force can be used to show the dog what needs to be done

      1. profile image0
        Toby Hansenposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        I agree.
        What I meant was that because Rusty had been abused, I did not want to do anything that may freak him out/remind him of his past.

        He gets a firm push on the butt to encourage him to sit if he is getting a little over enthusiastic, but usually he knows from the command.

      2. profile image50
        DogTrainerUKposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Anyone who truly understands dogs understands how they learn - by repetition, positive associations and muscle memory.  A dog who learns to sit by having its bum pushed down is not building up muscle memory, and therefore takes a lot longer to learn.

        1. allbreeds profile image56
          allbreedsposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          Dogs learn by association.Show a dog what to do.Let the dog associate the command with the action.Let the dog associate reward from compliance and let the dog associate correction from non appliance( when they know the command)

    2. bluedog5 profile image39
      bluedog5posted 13 years agoin reply to this


  7. kblover profile image84
    kbloverposted 13 years ago

    I do not believe treat training creates/instills bad behavior.

    Using treats is simply a way to communicate to the dog he got the behavior correct and I use them heavily during the teaching/shaping phases. Once the behavior is mastered, the rewards come far less (which short circuits the "want treat for every time", though I won't totally stop rewarding a behavior (which includes other rewards than food).

    Luring a behavior using food can have problems as the lure becomes part of the cue for the behavior (which has nothing to do with the food, per se, as any lure can end up being part of the cue if not faded). Giving food as a reward for a proper response has less chances for problems. The dog ends never knowing if he will get a treat - but since that behavior has a *chance* to provide a reward, he'll keep doing it, and when I occasionally give him that reward - the behavior becomes that much stronger.

    Is there anything wrong with not using food as a reward? Of course not. Anything the dog is motivated to want/have/like can be used as a reward. That doesn't mean food is a bad reward choice, that it should never be used, or create bad behavior.

    1. allbreeds profile image56
      allbreedsposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      "Luring a behavior using food can have problems as the lure becomes part of the cue for the behavior (which has nothing to do with the food, per se, as any lure can end up being part of the cue if not faded)"

      Good point that i never even thought of it that way but yes it makes sense eg putting the treat to the ground so the dog will drop.Can make the dog associate the hand on the ground as the drop signal

  8. profile image50
    DogTrainerUKposted 13 years ago

    <Treat-based training actually instills bad behaviour; the dog will look for a treat every time it does the action>

    A sadly common misconception.  No offence, but by spouting this sort of nonsense you effectively prove that you have no idea how animals learn.

    You are confusing  "bribery"  with  "reward".  A dog who is reward trained  (as opposed to treat-trained;  not all dogs see food as the ultimate reward!) will NOT get a treat EVERY time it performs a behaviour.  In fact, intermittent reward is MORE motivating than a reward every time.

    Every living thing - yes, EVERY living thing - lives life through the principle that  "I do this - that happens".  Cause/effect.  Action/reaction. Behaviour/consequence.

    A dog who learns to  "sit"  by having its bum pushed down is learning that if it sits when it's told, an unpleasant thing  (pressure on its behind)  goes away/doesn't happen. Of course it works; it's worked for decades. The dog is learning to sit when told to AVOID something unpleasant.

    A dog who is treat trained is working to  GET something pleasant.

    Personally, since I love my dogs, I prefer to teach them in as humane a way as possible.  That doesn't mean spoiling, or mollycoddling.  It means teaching them what I want and making the learning experience as positive as possible, so that my dogs WANT to work for me.  The vast percentage of handlers who train their dogs for disciplines such as Competitive Obedience etc use positive based methods to train their dogs.  Why?  Because they work.  They often work FAR faster than punitive methods.

    When using food as a lure, the lure should be faded as soon as possible - but that principle applies to using physical, compulsion methods too.  I'm sure that those who push their dogs bums to the floor don't expect to be still doing it forever.  In fact this throws up another reason that  "hands off"  training is more effective, and quicker;  a dog who learns to sit by having his bum pushed down is spending a lot of time NOT putting HIMSELF into the  "sit"  position - but being put into it by someone else.  A dog who is  "lured"  into position - or a dog whose owner catches him sitting naturally and puts a word to the action - is learning that THE ACTION OF SITTING HIMSELF DOWN is what   "sit"  means, and what earns a treat/game/insert motivator here.

    Frankly, someone who researches ALL methods of training and then comes to the conclusion that  "OK, positive methods work just as well/better than compulsion/aversive methods but I'd still rather use compulsion/aversion"  isn't someone I'd want to have anything to do with.

    1. fayehelen profile image56
      fayehelenposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      DogTrainerUK - I was going to write my own response to this but don't need to as you have said EVERYTHING I wanted too (and in a better way probably).

      I agree with all you have just written. Can't believe people who say they care and love their pets could train them is such a horrible way.

      1. profile image50
        DogTrainerUKposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Thank you Faye, and it's great to hear that someone else is familiar with a kinder way to train  :-)

        The thing is, I do think that 99% of people care deeply about their dogs - even those who still use the outdated methods.

        Years ago, there was a very famous UK   "trainer"  called Barbara Woodhouse whose method for making a dog walk to heel was to yank it back, as hard as she possibly could, using a choke chain.  This woman had a series on TV, and therefore generations of dog owners followed her methods.  Barbaric, yes - but she, and all her followers, mostly had their dogs' best interests at heart.

        Nowadays, sadly, we've got Cesar Millan - same principle.  Well meaning  (I think)  but sadly mistaken and ill-educated about why/how dogs actually learn.

        There ARE decent trainers on TV  (Victoria Stillwell for example used to believe in the dominance theory but actually had the guts to change her methods when said theory was debunked)  but sadly, watching someone using positive methods to train dogs, and take the time to counter-condition unwanted behaviours just isn't as exciting to watch.  Most people, unless they really take an interest in the way dogs' minds work, want a quick fix.  Watching Cesar Millan get bitten 27 times in the course of an episode is FAR more exciting.  It's the same principle that makes most of us watch the ice skating in the sneaky hope that someone will fall over.

        Unfortunately, understanding how dogs think - as opposed to how we do - takes a little more education than most people are willing to commit to.

  9. Hoodala profile image53
    Hoodalaposted 13 years ago

    It doesn't mean you are barbaric, it means you are ignorant to all of the better training methods that have come out in the past 15 years.  Marker training or reward training is based on Pavlov's research and it quite simply works.  You use the "act" of pushing the dogs butt to the ground but really what you are talking about is compulsion training.  Compulsion training works, but it creates problems with low drive and avoidance. 

    For all of the people that claim that reward trining creates problems you should do some research and some actual training before you make such claims.

    1. allbreeds profile image56
      allbreedsposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Ignorant? showing that a dog salivates when presented food in a cage.Having an animal do something in a cage in a sterile environment to get food..Having dolphins do tricks for food..yes all regarding pavlovs theory.Even a human would react the same way if thats the only way to obtain food.
      Compulsion YES it does work ?? low drive which drive does it lower? And avoidance??Trained correctly there is no avoidance.
      And reward training ? I hope everyone rewards a dog when it does something correctly BUT it doesnt have to be food

  10. habee profile image93
    habeeposted 13 years ago

    I think it depends on the individual dog. I've trained numerous dogs, using a variety of methods.

  11. jenniferg78 profile image60
    jenniferg78posted 13 years ago

    I had a beagle named Bagel (yes that was his name - I was young and thought it was cute), and he was as dumb as they come. He practically failed out of dog school. But he was able to learn to sit. We trained him with treats and repetition, and whenever he would get a treat, he would first have to sit. This was about the only thing he ever learned how to do, and I don't think it was cruel or unusual punishment for him to have to sit to get a treat.

  12. skyblugurll1 profile image60
    skyblugurll1posted 13 years ago

    I have had a lot of experience with dogs and I have found that when the dog respects you and sees you as the "pack" leader, you will have a much easier time in training him.  Whatever motivates a dog is the best way to teach him to obey.  My dog, a chow-chow mix, was very difficult to train at first.  He was hard headed, and lets face it, they are not very intelligent dogs.  I had to be assertive because my dog decided that my 12 y/o handicapped son, was another dog.  My son would crawl and play around on the floor alot, and one day I found "Berry" treating him like a chew toy! He did not do much more than scare my son, but I knew I had to act quickly and firmly to quell this kind of action.  I promptly put the dog into "alpha position" and started yelling "NO!" (Alpha is when you go over the top of the dog, grabbing the front and back leg closest to your own body, and flipping the dog down onto the ground, placing your forearms on the dogs neck and body while using your body weight to hold the dog down) After Alpaha, I put him in his dog kennel.  I did not beat him, I did not further scream at him.  He got it right the first time, and this is a one year old chow.  My dog, Berry was a very difficult dog to train at first, but when I had established that I was the Alpha "dog", he got the picture.  I trained him by physically putting myself between him and the borders of the house.. he is not allowed in bedrooms, the living room, or the front hall.  He is allowed in the kitchen and the bathroom.  I use praise and have only needed to use treats to teach how to give paw.  While walking he is on a relatively short leash, and is only allowed to smell trees and such when "I" let him.  Dogs need discipline, and they are not people.  They are dogs.  I have never had to "beat" my dog to get him to respect me, although I have had to kennel when he is not listening.  Through love and respect I have been able to train my dog not to jump up on people.  He knows his place, and is a wonderfully loving member of my family.

    1. profile image50
      DogTrainerUKposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      I take it you're a Millan fan lol.

      Alpha Rolls are NOT recommended.  Hence the  numerous  "Don't Try This At Home"  disclaimers that flash up regularly on Millan's show.

      Anyone trying the Alpha Roll is asking to get bitten, frankly.  It is incredibly dangerous.  The mantra among more knowledgeable and enlightened trainers is   "If an Alpha Roll works on the dog - it never needed it in the first place".

      I urge anyone who has a dog, or even an interest in dogs, to read the latest research into how dogs learn - as has already been said, the  "dominance/pack leader"  theory has been disproved time and again.  It is depressing that some people cling to it so lovingly, without even investigating the alternatives.  Sadly, IME, the people who are most resistant to learning kinder ways are generally a certain  "type" who, at the end of the day, just enjoy the feeling  confrontation and power that pinning a dog down gives them  sad

      1. skyblugurll1 profile image60
        skyblugurll1posted 13 years agoin reply to this

        I don't even know who this millan person is.. I was a vet tech for four years and all I know is that this works for me.  I think you are incredibly full of yourself and I was just posting as to what my experiences have been.. I was taught to take dogs down into alpha to show them who is boss.. and quite frankly I have one of the best trained dogs I know.  What works for some dogs does not work for others.  MY dog learned that he can not do what he wants, when he wants.  He is an extremely happy dog for that matter.  Should I have patted him kindly on his head when he went after my son?  I think not!   Have a great day and good luck on your book!

        1. profile image50
          DogTrainerUKposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          Being a vet tech isn't really relevant - in fact as a dog trainer, I spend quite a lot of time undoing the behavioural damage that trusting owners do to their dogs on the advice of vets/vet nurses. 

          I really wish vets would stick to what they are trained to do, rather than trying to give training/behavioural advice.

          All I am pointing out is that whoever taught you to Alpha Roll your dog was wrong.  Sure, some dogs will let you get away with it but I don't care HOW  "full of myself"  I sound when I say that it is without a doubt one of the best ways to get bitten and anyone who has any understanding of dog behaviour wouldn't dream of doing it.  If reading my post stops ONE person from trying such an outmoded and irresponsible action, then it's all good.

          Could you point me to where I suggested you pat your dog on the head when he went for your son?  Thanks!

  13. skyblugurll1 profile image60
    skyblugurll1posted 13 years ago

    So to answer your question, No, you are not barbaric..

    1. onegoodwoman profile image69
      onegoodwomanposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      I think unruly dog, or an unruly child.......neither are greeted with warmth.

  14. A.Wish profile image61
    A.Wishposted 13 years ago

    I honestly think that there is a better way to do it as the do will feel a lot more motivated when I works out what it is you want them to do.

    It it does however not need to be negative and I tought my dogs that way before I was shown the other way to do it.

    I personally do it the "old" way anymore and try to go with a more positive training


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