27 Comments on “The biggest problem in dog training. Agree or disagree?”

  1. When I train dogs I make sure the dog and I have eye contacts. One the dogs I’m training he’s really hard to train because he’s scared.

    1. And PLEASE, clean your house. Your dog deserves a clean, healthy, and safe home. Not one filled with nasty, dirty clothes and filth that can make them sick or ill. Seriously, Please.

    2. I’ve worked with some puppy mill rescues and we adopted one because she was considered “unadoptable” due to extreme fear. Be patient. It takes time for these dogs to learn to trust and make eye contact. It took me a few YEARS with the girl we took in (it was us or euthanasia, so she stayed with us–easy decision).

  2. Definitely agree, we need to see dogs more than just an animal that needs to behave. We need to consider their emotional well being and where their behavior comes from.

  3. I definitely agree. When I train I promote healthy brain games and activities and remind owners that the mental health and wellbeing of the dog will be far more valuable than a steady sit!

  4. This may be appropriate for the average pet dog owner. Nothing wrong with Keeping the expectations a little bit more relaxed. But this definitely cannot apply in the sport dog world or some owners that have higher obedience expectations. It is definitely never a one size fits all. Whether that be approached to training, or simply the behavioral expectations and goals that a dog owner may have for their own situation- I think allowing dogs to be a dog is fantastic whenever possible, of course. No matter anyone’s situation, it is always essential for a mentally happy and healthy dog, however they may choose to obtain their goals it should be able to be in their own way, suitable for their lifestyle and dogs’ unique genetics and temperament.

    1. @Warrior Scout The clip I am commenting on is a very short clip that does not mention anything about any specific tools. I am not sure what clip you are referring to… However, I was responding to your comment that you can’t apply showing concern for the dogs mental state in the dog sport world. At least, that is what it looks like you were saying, and that is what I was responding to…

    2. @Jill Shuey I will reluctantly give you the benefit of the doubt. The 2 short clips he posted today were based off of a 10 minute video yesterday. Zak uses terms and studies to demonize Balanced Dog Trainers. You should watch the video for yourself. I was instantly disappointed in Zak, unfortunately not everyone will recognized the deciet and manipulation.

    3. If physical position is so important (e.g., a “tight heel” or a “straight sit” is so important in obedience, I want no part of that sport. Those dogs may not be mentally happy and healthy. I’ll be happy with just my “pets” if putting them in obedience makes them unhappy and unhealthy mentally. I have done agility and that was all positive reinforcement and dogs are NOT punished for mistakes (they may accrue faults, but they are never punished).

    4. @Jan Hankins  have you ever worked a Malinois or Working line GSD in their zone?! They love their job and thrive off it! I know many happy and healthy ones 😂 the sport is not for every one, nor is it suitsble for every dog and temperament.

      Agility is a fantastic sport and outlet and is known for very little or no PP needed. Not every dog can thrive at agility either.

    5. @Warrior Scout Well that is an odd reply. Sounds quite condescending. As I already stated, my comment was in response to what @joyful dog services posted stating that is was acceptable to disregard the dogs mental wellness when doing dog sports. If you want to debate, find someone else to have your debate with. As someone who rehabilitates dogs who have been severely mentally damaged by people and trainers who use aversive methods and tools on them, I can tell you that it takes a great deal of time, effort, and money to undo all that damage. There is no reason to cause pain and mental suffering to an animal to train them. As for the excuse that participation in dog sports would be an exception to considering the dogs mental health, this sound like an oxymoron. The reason for a dog to participate in sports is for the DOG to have fun. If they are being mentally distressed, then they are not having fun. If the owner is putting the dog through this for the owners own personal enjoyment at the expense of the dogs mental health, then that person is selfish and does not deserve to have a dog. @warrior scout, I can’t prevent you or anyone else from disregarding a dogs mental health and/or putting a dog through pain and suffering, but what I can do is let people know that there is a better way to accomplish the same goal that does not harm the dog either physically or mentally. It is unfortunate that so many people are mislead into believing that physically and mentally aversive methods are the only way to train. It is because of this that people like me have to spend so much time, effort, and money undoing all of the damage done to these dogs after the owners discard them after they have severely damaged them using the aversive methods. Never do I use any aversives to rehabilitate or train, and I am working on undoing extreme aggression. I only use reward based methods, and the only tools I use are a harness and leash (and never do I leash pop), and once I can get the dog to trust me enough to put it on, a muzzle. It is because I don’t use aversives that I can get the dog to trust me after they have been taught that people can’t be trusted as the result of all the aversives used on them in the past. In the vast majority of cases, the people used the aversives because someone told them that was the only way to train. They didn’t intend to damage the dog, they just didn’t know any better. If only they had read the studies Zak is referencing, they would not have damaged their dog to the point that it became a fear aggressive level 4 or 5 biter that either got euthanized as a result, or ended up with someone like me who now has to spend tens of thousands of dollars and ridiculous amounts of time to rehabilitate the dog so it can live. You might consider reading those studies before you start trying to debate them, you just might learn something. I see no deceit or manipulation with these studies or with Zak informing folks about them, all I see is sound educational information. That is all I will say on the subject. If you want to debate, take your debate to someone else.

  5. How does every canine mother in the world deal with unruly puppies. She grabs them by the muzzle and forces them to the ground, “positive punishment”. Using your logic she’s an abusive mother, an aversive trainer. We’re the puppies hurt, we’re there mentally scarred for the rest of their lives, NO.

    1. @Tyler & Dobby A dog is going to think like a dog, It’s not going to change how they behave. You just did in what we call psychological terms, projection.

  6. You’re not wrong. This kind of conversation needs to happen. Because we understand more now so we can do better.

    A change in modality is hard. Ego has to step aside and addressing ego has its own kickback.

    This is right up there with politics and religion. I hope people will hear the content of what your speaking into existence and not focus on the person. Then turn it over in their mind awhile instead of the automatic reactionary that we all do so easily.

  7. Is there a way I can rehabilitate a dog that was trained on prong collar and seems to be obedient but afraid at the same time. My dog gets a lot of love from us and we never are mean to him. But I did use balanced training techniques because it seemed to be the most effective at the time. He is a sweet GSD and get lots of love from myself, my wife, and my two boys. But I do feel sometimes he doesn’t trust me and seems nervous around me sometimes. He does follow me around every where and is very attached to me. But seems nervous when I give him a command or recall him. I just want him to happy and confident. I’ll do anything for him. Pleas help.

    1. Is he scared of the pinch collar? Is it a 2.25 herm springer? GS are strong dogs if he needs something more than a Head Halti to guide him and he is OK w it why not use the tool?
      He is scared of recall turn it into a birthday party. My border even at 14 at home insisted I flag her with arms in air big production like finding a friend at the airport. Thats how she likes her recall and she is happy so why not make it a huge obnoxious show ?🙃🤠 Same for anything else tone was off. Can be just tone of voice ya know or body language

    2. @At Home Houston Border Collie Rescue thanks so much for the reply. He is it scared of the prong. He’s happy to put it on because he knows it means he’s getting walked. There just times where I reach out and and go to pet him on his head and he’ll back up. He doesn’t like to be in any vulnerable positions either. Like belly up or be hugged.

    3. ​@Jose Velazquez ok so thats not the tool thats the reaching. Invite him in to diff ways of reaching make it a silly game he chooses use a stupid food reward like a cheese open your palm wide so he sees the food first and as your walking towards him look for the way your arms, hands and feet are that all is in the reaching. Redirect research the touch and way you touch him make it a silly game.
      All of my fosters learn positive collar grab in silly games by the door and they learn touch and reaching by me roughing them up in a silly way and I am sitting like roughing up for a game day. And if they get weird from their past I make dofferrent sounds like OH NO Why I just wanted to pet the belly and OK not that way and make it it into a sing song game let the dog tell you what they are cool with body language w reaching, touching, your feet, bending all of that.

    4. Play a game have him show you what a hug means. He probably feels blocked in when other dogs see it as joy. All it depends on raising and handling. Also a flight fight breed. Create more games w touch and what it means to him you will wear him out

    5. Don’t use the prong collar. Use a harness, if you don’t have him trained yet not to pull, then use a harness with a front leash attachment so that if he does pull it will cause him to turn to face you (self correcting). The reason your dog seems afraid is because he is, you have stated that he is afraid of the prong and it is good that you have recognized this. There is no reason to use pain to train. Zak has a great deal of videos on training a dog that you can watch and learn every technique you will need to train your dog in a kind and fun way. You can rehabilitate the dog, but it will take time to undo the mental damage that the painful methods have caused. Take it slowly and always watch your dogs for signs that he is afraid. Read up on body language so you can recognize the signs of a stressed dog. If your dog seems stressed, you have to remove whatever is causing the stress and slowly desensitize him to the stressor. Rehab takes time and patience and you must only move at a pace your dog is comfortable with, always keeping him under threshold. You can also seek the help of a board certified veterinary behaviorist and they can help you do develop a rehab plan for your dog. You are doing the right thing by asking your question. Good luck. You can do this!

  8. Dogs are pac animals , Not People , they are happy when they don’t have to worry about protecting or getting food .
    That’s why it’s important to show them you are the alpha .
    Dogs aren’t people so treat them as a dog & they will be happier . Watch Cesar Millan , the Best .

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