After posting an extensive blog which nobody saw, I'd like to move this (so far one-sided) conversation to the main page. Currently in the dog training world, there are two schools of thought: those that use dominance theory techniques and those that use positive reinforcement. It's possible
that the best case scenario lies somewhere in between, but I strongly believe that some of the techniques used in the dominance based theory are not only emotionally harmful to our dogs but also counter-productive. Lets take, specifically, the alpha roll. This technique is used, and over-used, by one of the most popular trainers of our day. Here is the back ground on this posting today (click here
). My comments are close to the end.
So, the reason I'm moving this conversation back to the front page: I'm finding more excellent writings to share in support of my beliefs. Here is the latest, taken from an issue of the APDT Newsletter (Assoc. of Pet Dog Trainers). The following quote is from Dr. Ray Coppinger, a biology professor and a co-founder of the Livestock Guarding Dog Project, who takes a clear position against alpha rolling:
"I cannot think of many learning situations where I want my learning dogs responding with fear and lack of motion. I never want my animals to be thinking social hierarchy. Once they do, they will be spending their time trying to figure out how to move up in the hierarchy."
I found this to be a very interesting observation that I hadn't yet considered.