Some outdated educational methods are still used, although they often involve violence and are, according to current knowledge, long out of date. Read here what makes dealing with dogs so dangerous and what sensible alternatives modern dog training offers.
Some still believe that every dog wants to dominate its owner. As the owner, you have the task of constantly showing the dog that you are setting the tone. In order to emerge as an alleged “alpha animal”, some dog owners even use violence.
How to do it right: A modern dog owner knows that a dog does not have to be compulsively humiliated. Fortunately, in most cases today the dog is a true member of the family. That is why modern dog training tends to move away from command language and terms like “alpha”. The dog should not just blindly follow orders, but should create a harmonious coexistence.
The dog is often a member of the family. © stock.adobe.com/LIGHTFIELD STUDIOS
Spiked collars are believed to aid in dog training and are still commercially available. Spiked collars are prohibited in Austria and Switzerland. In Germany you are violating Section 3 of the German Animal Welfare Act if you use such collars.
In § 3 of the German Animal Welfare Act it says: It is forbidden […]
1b. on an animal in training […] Actions associated with significant pain, suffering, or harm […] apply.
2. To educate or train an animal if there is significant pain, suffering or harm associated with the animal[.]
This also includes spiked collars: if the dog pulls on the leash, the inward-pointing claws cause it pain. This is to ensure that the dog learns not to pull on the leash.
This is how it works: A modern dog owner knows, however, that targeted, consistent and soulful training makes much more sense to get the dog used to pulling on the leash. This saves the dog unnecessary pain.
A spiked collar has claws pointing inwards. © stock.adobe.com/fserega
The so-called “alpha roll” is just as out of date as its name. Today, terms like “alpha” are deliberately avoided in dog training. For a long time it was considered educationally sensible to turn the dog on its back in the event of misconduct – often by force.
This outdated training method is often justified by the fact that dogs would also turn their conspecifics on their backs if they did something wrong. However, this assumption is not really true. Turn your dog on its back, confuse it. You are probably even hurting him and significantly damaging the human-dog relationship.
How to do it right: Instead of using force to reprimand the dog, you should use break-off signals for your dog. For example, always use the same hissing sound to indicate that he has just done something wrong. On the other hand, reward him for doing something right. In this way you can also strengthen the bond with your dog.
Reward good behavior. © stock.adobe.com/lubero
Many believed that this was a quick and effective way of teaching the dog to be house trained. Pushing the dog’s snout into the dog’s excrement has at most one effect: some dogs associate this punishment with the fact that they are not allowed to make a pile at all.
As a result, the dog may just hide and do its business in the absence of the owner. With this outdated method, nothing useful is achieved and the human-dog relationship is enormously damaged.
This is how it works: Ideally, you should start getting your dog used to house training as early as a puppy. With a targeted and well-planned training, this can be achieved without any violence.
House training requires training. © stock.adobe.com/Pixel-Shot
In fact, the mother animal sometimes lifts the very young pups by the neck fur to carry them around. That is why it has long been common to grab the adult dog by the neck fur and even shake it so that it is punished for undesirable behavior.
The mother animal carries the puppies carefully – there is no shaking here. A dog just shakes its prey, which it wants to kill with it. Shaking the neck of dogs is not used at all for educational purposes. You will only hurt your dog unnecessarily with this method.
How to do it right: Dogs that are punished learn less effectively. If the punishment is painful, it is even forbidden. It makes more sense to reward desirable behavior, i.e. to work with positive reinforcement. To set boundaries for the dog, you can use a break-off signal, such as a sibilant, to show him that he has done something wrong.
Handle your dog with care. © stock.adobe.com/Sonja
Grabbing the dog by the snout in order to punish it has long been seen as a sensible training method. It was justified by the fact that the mother animal also reprimanded the puppy in this way. In a way, that’s actually true.
The bitch is incredibly fast and at the same time she does not hurt her puppy. We humans would be far too slow for that and often do not have the necessary sensitivity for it.
This is how it works: Show your dog specific limits without injuring him, causing him pain or irritating him. You can only create clear conditions for your dog with clear signals, such as an interruption signal such as a sibilant or a certain whistle. Always remember to reward desirable behavior.
Use clear signals instead of violence. © stock.adobe.com/sap
Some outdated parenting methods have a lot to do with violence. They not only harm the animal, but also the human-dog relationship. The basis for peaceful coexistence is only created if your dog can trust you.