Dog Behavior and Famous Trainers

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

So, I like to read. That's and understatement. I love to read. And since I have a new pup who has a fear issue, I've been reading everything I can get my hands on about dog behavior and training concepts. I've ready several of Cesar Millan's books, such as "Be the Pack Leader" and "A Member of the Family" as well as his first, "Cesar's Way." I really like his ideas.

I also read Jan Fennell's "The Dog Listener." These two are very similar in their approach. They say that most dogs do not want to be the leader and will gladly give up leadership status to you if you show them leadership. Both agree that you should ignore your dogs for the first minutes when you walk in until they are calm. This has worked wonders for me with Ninja. He used to nearly knock me over every time I walked in the door. I thought this was just , "I'm happy to see you" behavior, but after reading about it, I discovered it's more a dominance thing.

With Penny it's not an issue. She'll come to greet me but she'd never jump on me. The first day I decided to do the No Touch, No Talk, No Eye Contact (as Cesar says) Ninja jumped on me once, looked bewildered when I gently pushed him down and went on my way, and eventually went and sat down to wait for me to acknowledge him. At that point I was happy to greet my calm, submissive pup. After a few days of this, Ninja and Penny are both waiting calmly for me when I come home and no more jumping and acting crazy.

I wanted to see what the criticisms of this method are (mainly because I'm such a bookworm and I always want to see both sides) and people complaining felt it as cruel to ignore your dog. I don't get this criticism. I ignore them if they are misbehaving, and it stops. When they are calm I greet them. How can that be cruel? That seems like positive reinforcement to me. They behave, they get attention. They don't, they don't. I wonder if people are thinking of taking this to an extreme. I just don't get it.

Another book I'm reading is called Culture Clash which looks at how dogs really are, as opposed to how we "Disneyfy" them. It seems like a book all dog owners should read.

There's more to Cesar and Jan's methods, and I'll talk about them in later entries. I just thought it was interesting to see how quickly this one technique worked.


Mini Aussie Ace! said...

OMG thank you! I am going to get that Pack leader book asap!! haha It's comforting to know that you went through a similar situation.
It is true, it's so hard to not treat him like a baby, he cries and I coddle him, but now, hes getting bigger and his teeth are sharper! lol
I will read the book and let you know what I think of it!
I too, am a big book worm and love a great book! Nothing like a book that actually helps you! haha
Thank you so much!!
I LOVE your backpack post! I am wondering if Ace would like somethinglike this. How old was ninja when you started using it with him??
Take care!!

Tiffany said...

Trust me, I've been through it all. This was my first dog ever and if you've read through my blog, you'll know I made a lot of hilarious assumptions and big mistakes that luckily didn't end up getting anyone hurt. :) Cesar's books really made a difference for me.

Cesar says if you provide affection to a dog that is misbehaving or showing a behaviour you don't want, you will encourage that behavior. I'm trying to help Penny with her fear issues but it's tough. I signed up for lessons on line with Cesar and I'm hoping I'll get some answers for my poor scared baby.

I think I first put a backpack on Ninja at about 6 months. When they are little you don't want to put much weight in them beyond some treats and doggie bags. Now Ninja carries his water too. I got my first one at Sometimes they have them at Petsmart and Petco, and I found Penny's at Marshalls, of all places! Aussies love feeling useful, so I'll bet Ace would enjoy carrying a pack. :)

Good luck! Let me know how you like the book.

Lauren said...

If you're interested in dog behavior, you can also check out books by Patricia McConnell- her book about leash aggression literally saved my life with my terrier! She's written tons of stuff about different behavioral issues and is really knowledgeable. I also read her book, The Other End of the Leash which I think all dog owners should read. I promise I don't know her or get any endorsement from her books - I just really love her ideas and writing style!!

Tiffany said...

Thanks, Lauren! I just downloaded The Other End of the Leash to my nook (ereader) and I will let you know what I think. I love Patricia McConnell's blog, so I think it's going to be a geat book. I appreciate the recommendation!

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