Dog Training Education Month on February, 2023: my dogs behavior help?!!!?
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I am a professional dog trainer/behaviourist and I can help you.
A Gentler Approach IS More Effective
Positive training is more effective for training any species any behavior that they're physically capable of doing. You might say, "But how can not punishing my dog actually be more effective? I have to tell her what she did wrong." But see this;
Say that your teacher asks a question and you think you know the response. You raise your hand enthusiastically, blurt out your answer, and oops, you get it wrong. You get smacked for guessing incorrectly. The next time a question is asked you'll sit on your hands and avert your eyes to avoid the possibility of being called on.
Now for the flip side. The teacher walks in with a huge jar of candy and announces that anyone who attempts to answer a question will get a piece of candy. The students who give correct answers will get a whole handful of candy. More students will try harder, pay closer attention to the lesson, and do their homework more thoroughly and with more enjoyment. This system—positive reinforcement—encourages the students to think! It's more effective to teach dogs' minds rather than manipulate their bodies.
You should not EVER use physical punishment (wether it is animal abuse or a good spanking) on a dog for any reason at all. Hitting does NOT teach the dog anything other than to fear you, and it goes against every professional training method.
It is vitally important for owners to give their dogs the opportunities and the tools they need to live successfully in a human world. A dog that is given consistent guidance from an early age grows up to be a confident dog. Education brings security, security brings confidence, and a confident dog has no need to show anxiety-based behaviors.
Modern behavioral science has proven that forceful handling such as physical punishment, leash yanking, or making a dog submit by rolling it on its back is psychologically damaging for the dog and has potentially dangerous consequences for owners. Instead, the most successful modern training theories suggest that reinforcing good behavior with rewards while using constructive discipline is much more successful. Positive reinforcement (i.e., giving the dog a reward in the form of praise, play, food, toys, etc. when it responds and offers an action or a behavior that you like) has been shown to be the most effective way to train a dog because rewarding good behavior will increase the likelihood of that behavior being repeated. Similarly, the use of constructive discipline (marking bad behavior by using vocal sounds to interrupt the behavior and refocus the dog onto something more positive, ‘time-outs’ or simply ignoring the dog) ensures that the dog learns which behavior is linked to the negative consequences of the discipline and is therefore less likely to repeat the behavior.
Positive training results in a dog who follows an owner because it wants to rather than following out of fear, while traditional training uses punitive methods to force a dog to behave, often resulting in a ‘quick fix’ that never truly identifies the root cause of the misbehavior while promoting insecurity and negative behaviour.
Be Kind! Never hit, scream at or yank your dog. Don’t combat fear with more fear.
Dogs are not on a quest for world domination. They are not socialized wolves who are constantly striving to be ‘top dog’ over us, and they are not hard-wired to try and control every situation they are in. Contrary to what traditional training ideologies and much modern media would have you believe, most canine behavior problems stem from insecurity and/or a desire to seek and maintain safety and comfort – not from a desire to establish higher rank and be the ‘alpha’ over you Therefore, teaching dogs ‘who’s boss’ by forcing them into ‘calm submission’ is precisely the opposite of what they really need in order to learn effectively and overcome behavioral issues. Resisting the urge to ascribe our human insecurities onto how we believe our dogs think and feel is a prerequisite to being able to understand and build truly balanced and healthy relationships with our dogs.
Please watch these videos:
I hope you understand how important this is. What you are doing to your dog is about to ruin him. You need to save him while you can. Please understand this. Here's a list of good trainers that you should look up and watch some of their videos:
I HIGHLY recommend the book "Don't Shoot the Dog". It's the best book anyone could ever read about dog training.
There's also "The Culture Clash" which is another great book.
Dog training in Texas?
From what you say, this is a changed behaviour, he occasionally used to poop indoors, but now it has changed so that it happens daily and it has changed so that he both poop and pees. But a dog doesn't change behaviour like that, for no reason.
Since you're new to Austin, is it possible that the move and/or some other changes maybe have made him feel stressed?
If he is alone more now than before, when you're with him, how much do you activate him?
There could also be other reasons, but to use those as an example, if his changed behaviour comes from being stressed or needing more activation, to focus on housebreaking will not solve the problem, because to do that, you need to solve what causes the problem.
In general, if the brain is tired, the dog is usually more contented, so for example when you go for a walk, change direction a little now and then, do a sit and stay, let him work to find some treats that you've "accidentally" dropped and/or find places where you can allow him to play off leash with other dogs etc.
At home, when you give him a new gnaw bone, hide it under a rug or behind a furniture and let him work a little to find it, before he can gnaw on it. Or hide a toy, so that he has to find it, for you to be able to play with him and the toy...
If you have a Kong, fill it with something edible, put it in the freezer and give it to him frozen. Some Kong stuffing "recipes" :
Carrot purée or yoghurt (natural or perhaps Greek), sometimes maybe mixed with liver pâté, meat broth, pieces of meat. Put one or more dog biscuits in it and fill out the gaps with pieces of processed cheese (Cheddar, Edam or Swiss cheese) or peanut butter. If you get any leftover cooked potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots or eggs, mash them (possibly add some marmite to make it more sticky) and fill the Kong, with or without adding any flavour.
More Kong stuffing "recipes" can be found here and through internet searches.
Some dog trainers that I've found in Austin, Texas, that I would check up on, if I was looking for a trainer in your area :
I recommend that you don't only look at their price when you're choosing trainer, because paying less is certainly no guarantee for that they offer just as good services, but on the other hand, to pay more is no guarantee for that they offer better quality either. So don't forget to look at what they really offer, what education their trainers have etc.
If you want to find more dog trainers in your area, try searching for "Dog trainers in Austin, Texas", using Google maps .
Professional Dog Trainers/Handlers?
Define "professional". I am an instructor of training classes at Petco, and train problem dogs for the CT Humane Society. Does that make me a "professional", as "profession" suggests you get paid to do a specific job.
I started as a volunteer walking dogs for the CT Humane Society. Eventually I was asked to enter the shelter dog training program. We had a two hour demo class (after proving that we had extensive knowledge in the field of dog training already) led by a woman who people are referred to through the HS.
Other than that, I was never trained to train. I mentored with a Petco trainer for two days, but couldn't stand it becase I kept correcting the woman (who had been training for "years"). I am self-taught, through books and personal experience with shelter dogs. I've also taken a few classes with my own dog (who is currently enrolled in an obedience class), so I use a lot of that with my own students.
I've been with the HS for about ten months. I have only been with Petco for three.
I like being in a position where I can help people throw away the idea that dogs are disposable. In my mind, if I can help someone train their dog, I am preventing another dirty needle in a shelter.
EDIT: I'm not very popular =[