Mark's Dog Blog

Start teaching your dog to say NO!

Start teaching your dog to say NO!
It's not OK for dog owners to say NO to their dog, but now its ok for a dog to say no to its owner! WTF?   The trainer in this article is advocating that we should allow dogs to make their own decisions by teaching the dog to say "No" to its owner   I agree, dogs should be conditioned to make the right choices, however to now say that the dog should be able to make its own choices on what it eats, when it goes outside, when to go for a walk, etc, etc, is taking things to far. Dogs, not unlike children, need to understand rules and boundaries, and many of these must be enforced whether they like it or not. Allowing your dog to dictate to you what it does or does not want to do is nothing more than an excuse for not carrying out...
Continue reading
  4448 Hits

My views on Victoria Stilwells latest blog

My views on Victoria Stilwells latest blog
I don't follow Victoria Stilwell, as in my opinion she has done a lot of harm to the dog training fraternity, with a lot of lies and publishing misleading information to push her ideology. A follower of mine (thanks, Sue Wright) sent me Victoria Stilwells latest blog, and I read it with interest. Some of what she says is true, in that there is no such thing as purely positive training. However, I'd like to point out a few facts in her article where I believe she is again misleading people, or not offering the full picture. Read her article here Why I
  6903 Hits

The most important value any dog trainer should hold on to is integrity.

The most important value any dog trainer should hold on to is integrity.
truth
As professional dog trainers and behaviour specialists, it is always important to be open, upfront, and honest with our clients, and of course the general public at large. Over the past 15 years or so, there has been a number of training methods that have sprung up, believing that the particular ideology or method is the saviour of our dogs, and is the only true humane way to train a dog. Many novice trainers then fall for this emotive based rhetoric by being painted an unrealistic and misleading picture that they don't fully understand and therefore end up focusing their entire profession on this one and only method. A case in point is the purely positive and force free methodology.  For many in these groups, these methods have taken on a religious status, which has become extremely worrying and even considered dangerous by many in the profession. Firstly we need to...
Continue reading
  10943 Hits

Dog Behaviour Specialist or Vet Behaviourist? You decide.

Dog Behaviour Specialist or Vet Behaviourist? You decide.
Many people ask me what the difference is between a dog behaviour specialist like me, and a Vet Behaviourist. Doesn't a Vet behaviourist have more qualifications than you, and therefore is our best option to help our dog? My reply is usually. A Dog trainer that also refers to herself/himself as a behaviour specialist, does so for very important reasons. They have spent many, many years working with dogs in the real world, have trained in a lot of cases, thousands of dogs, for many different purposes. They have a deep understanding of a dogs behaviour instincts and drives due to working so many dogs in the real world. They understand the natural instincts that motivate dogs and why they do what they do. They understand a dogs avoidance instincts, that have helped them survive over 100's of thousands of years. They have a deep understanding of these instincts because they...
Continue reading
  4118 Hits

Emotive rhetoric and its influences on the dog owning public

Emotive rhetoric and its influences on the dog owning public
punish1
Over the past 16 years or so, 2 words have had their meanings totally changed within the dog training world, by those that have an agenda to push, based on political correctness and pushed by emotive rhetoric, to enforce a new ideology that has no basis in reality. These 2 words are dominance and punishment. Both are now understood to mean abuse, in that the act of dominating or punishing a dog is now an abusive act. This belief is pushed by the positive-only and force-free extremist element, the fanatics. Abuse has its own meaning, and to now attach it to dominance and punishment is taking its meaning to the ridiculous. Dominance  noun rule; control; authority; ascendancy the condition of being dominant. Psychology. the disposition of an individual to assert control in dealing with others. Animal Behavior. high status in a social group, usually acquired as the result of aggression, that...
Continue reading
  2977 Hits

Is there a correlation between current training methodology & the increase in dog bites?

Is there a correlation between current training methodology & the increase in dog bites?
graph
operant quadrants1
I have been working with dogs full-time in a professional capacity for 36 years now.. So I feel this gives me a right to voice my opinion on the major changes I have seen in dog behaviour over this period. I tell you... I have seen it all! This graph is borrowed from the website 'Victoria's future in responsible canine guardianship' ( https://responsiblecanineguardianshipvictoria.wordpress.com ) The above graph shows the dramatic increase in dog bite hospitalisations over the period 1999 to 2014 in Victoria. So what has changed over this period to cause such a dramatic increase? 16 years ago, balanced and traditional training methods were the norm. Dog owners weren't fearful of correcting their dogs to set rules and boundaries and to establish structure based on predictable consequences. Training utilising the 4 quadrants of operant conditioning was the norm, totally accepted, and more importantly proven to be effective. Over the past...
Continue reading
  4226 Hits

The punishment dilemma

The punishment dilemma
Conditioning a dog to avoid a behaviour is not punishment, as we would punish a child for example. Punishment of an animal tends to come from a place of anger and/or frustration. When we punish a dog in anger or out of frustration, we are conditioning the dog to avoid the anger, frustration or person, and not the behaviour we actually want the dog to avoid. Remember, if we are angry at a person for doing something wrong, we can verbally communicate that anger to explain to the person why we are angry, even if its days after the fact. When a dog experiences a negative consequence, the dog is conditioned to instinctively avoid that immediate behaviour or situation in one of 3 ways, fight, flight or simply shut down. So if for example a dogs owner rushes towards a dog in anger and strikes out, the dog reacts in one...
Continue reading
  3171 Hits

The big dog con, of the past 16 years

The big dog con, of the past 16 years
Whilst the practice of positive only training is allowed to influence dog owners through deception, the reliance on practices such as administering psychotropic mind altering drugs to dogs to mask behaviors will become an epidemic, if it hasn't already. Its a known fact, that you cannot replace an unacceptable behaviour by ONLY introducing an alternative behaviour. By utilizing such methods, all we are doing is adding a new behaviour to a dogs already repertoire of current beha viours, and not removing any. To replace something with something else, we need to remove the 'something' we are wanting replaced. Unless we work on removing an unwanted behaviour, by conditioning the dog to avoid the unwanted behaviour, that unwanted behavior always remains a strong possibility of surfacing under circumstances whereby the dog feels it will create a positive outcome. The only way to ensure an unwanted behaviour is not expressed again is to...
Continue reading
  2835 Hits

Latest Posts

06 May 2019
A person that informs you that a particular tool is abusive, and yet hasn't even bothered to educate them self or learnt how to use it correctly, must be refusing to personally validate their own views with practical experience because the emotional ...
365 Hits
05 May 2019
Standard tools like halters, no-pull harnesses, slip collars, correction chains, prong collars, all use physical pressure/force to apply negative reinforcement and positive punishment. An ecollar on the other hand applies NO physical force on the dog...
649 Hits
03 May 2019
RSPCA are one the biggest killers of dogs with behavioural issues, not only in Australia, but every country they operate in. You only have to look up their statistics. A society that is supposed to be an advocate for animals and have sworn to protect...
739 Hits
01 May 2019
Many ask why are a majority of my posts about punishment? Well, isn't that the major issue we have now in regards to raising our dogs correctly, not understanding the appropriate application and the misrepresentation of "positive punishment" and "neg...
439 Hits
08 July 2018
I like to simplify things as much as possible when I am with clients to help them understand their dog better. One of the major hurdles most dog owners have when working through modifying behaviour is remaining consistent, and this means 'forever'.Wh...
2864 Hits
11 January 2018
It doesn't surprise me the emotive backlash I received from a 'few' dog owners in regards to my Facebook post, that a major part of the problem in regards to people humanising dogs and therefore the continuing rise in dog bites, dog attacks and aggre...
6280 Hits
01 January 2018
I don't mind people visiting to my Facebook page and disagreeing with my professional views, as everyone has a right to an opinion. What surprises me is how many become emotionally unhinged, just because a 'professional' has rocked their core beliefs...
3281 Hits
31 December 2017
"Your dog does not love you!"That is the number one comment I make that surprises many of my clients, and many even become upset that I would even suggest such a thing about their dog. When I am with clients where I can see that they are allowing emo...
4146 Hits