My approach to dog training and behavior modification is based in the behavioral sciences. Here’s how this approach differs from the traditional dog training model:
- In the traditional model, the trainer typically offers an interpretation of what a dog is thinking, its motives and its status within the pack. If you are working with a traditional dog trainer, you might hear such comments as “The dog if feeling guilty because he peed on the carpet,” or “He is being dominant, alpha.”
- In contrast, the behavioral model emphasizes the dog’s actual behavior. For example, it reminds us that dogs are not moral beings: they don’t know the difference between right and wrong, so they don’t feel guilty. But dogs do learn very quickly the difference between what is safe and what is unsafe. A dog that does not feel safe might warn us (growl), fight (bite), or flee. These three possible reactions are actual behaviors that could be modified.