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Are you a pack leader?
  • SakuSaku
    Posts: 372
    Since we had Saku, I have been reading vast amount of dog training information and came across this new idea - be your dog's pack leader.

    I am sure if you watch Dog Whisperer, you'll hear pack leader, calm assertive energy, mental state etc. a lot.

    Does it really work with your Shiba inu? Do you really set youself up as a pack learder to your dog? and what's the outcome?

    Sometimes in the show, Cesar Millan will point out that a dog loves you and trusts you but it doesnt mean that the dog respects you. wow, that's a hard one to swallow..and the harder one is that Cesar says dogs don't "love" - love is the human thing only.

    What do you guys think?Saku & Mina's mom
    Post edited by Calia at 2011-09-21 01:28:49
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    I'm not really sure if dogs love or not I know saya loves string cheese, canned sardines, and she loves my mom she gets happy when she comes home.

    I don't follow pack leader type training I don't care if Saya walks out of the door in front of me, behind or besides me same on walks she can walk front, back, or besides me long as she doesn't pull me or try to trip me.

    She also eats at different times and sometimes she eats before me or after me.

    I'm more into positive training and Nothing in life is free is pretty nice.

    I think most shiba inu or spitze breed don't do as well with that type of training.
    Photobucket
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
    Post edited by Saya at 2011-06-28 12:44:43
  • inubakainubaka
    Posts: 174
    When it comes down to it, it's all which words you apply to your relationship with your dog.

    Personally I think of my dogs as family, and in my family no one calls themselves the leader, the alpha, the dominant one or the pack leader! We coexist and everyone has their own space, strengths and contributes in different ways.

    Obviously I have the thumbs and the mastery of people language so I have to take control of certain things like when they are fed, walked, secure in house/yard/etc. but I don't want to be a dictator to my dogs. I want them to think on their own and I want to learn from them.

    I've learned that putting words out there like alpha and pack leader only serve to complicate a very uncomplicated relationship. Dogs love unconditionally, and they respect who they trust.

    If Cesar focused more on finding innovative and non-harsh ways to help house dogs learn to cope with limited time and exercise they get from their busy people, then maybe more people & dogs could benefit from his training.
    volunteers4paws.wordpress.com
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8588
    The whole "pack and dominance" theory that Cesar Milan made famous has been debunked by science.

    My dogs see me as their protector, their lunch lady, their personal trainer, their masseuse, and sometimes, their boss. My dogs love me (YES, DOGS LOVE) and they respect me. HOWEVER... They respect me out of mutual trust and friendship than out of fear.

    I think that overall, my dogs and I have very good relationship. We all co-exist quite peacefully and no one is the "leader".
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • shibamistressshibamistress
    Posts: 5171
    Good post Casey.

    Millan is not a "dog whisperer" which was a term used by people who really understood animals and was able to work with them in a nonviolent way. Millan uses outdated, sometimes dangerous "training" methods. He has set dog training back YEARS, and while I would not wish his methods on any dogs, they are particularly bad with the Japanese breeds, including Shibas. Read the thread here about the dominance myth: http://www.shibainuforum.org/forum/comments.php?DiscussionID=6867&page=1#Comment_134152

    It's not like its always a struggle with dogs trying to be "dominant" and not "respect" us, and that's one of many dangerous myths Millan and people like him foster. My dogs do things for me because they see benefits to it. They get a treat! They get dinner! They get to go outside or for a walk. Dogs are smart enough to know when something benefits them and do it, which is why positive reinforcement works so well for dogs (and people and other animals too!)
  • Koni B.Koni B.
    Posts: 172
    I started out - before learning a lot about different training methods - doing mostly positive training with "alpha rolls", etc included (TWO breeders recommended that!) Alpha rolls - holding your pup on his back on the ground or in your arms - and other dominance based training techniques are absolutely made our shibas behavior WORSE, WORSE, WORSE. Even if he responded exactly as he was supposed to, by "giving up" and submitting, as soon as he was out of the situation he released his pent-up frustration by going crazy. It did nothing to stop undesirable behaviors.
    Thankfully from the start I was interested in various methods of training, and after trying this out for about a week I abandoned it, and Koni shows no ill effects now. As sunyata pointed out, the whole notion of dominance has been debunked by science. Your dog is a part of your family and he's not going to get "above his place" if you let up your guard.

    Humans may not experience love & respect the same way that humans do, but if they do... honestly would you respect a boss who gave you appropriate instructions & praised you for following them, or one who made you walk behind him & screamed in your face when you screwed up?
  • LosechLosech
    Posts: 2516
    Hmm, nope! I'm my dog's friend. Mom though, she's the top dog. Everyone does what she says. (She doesn't train any dogs but her word is law around here.)

    Anyways, I don't agree with CM's adverse methods. Choking a dog because they looked at something is terrible. I prefer to have my dogs go out the door first so the leashes don't get tangled in the doorknobs (I have weird door handles) I like my dogs beside or ranging to about three feet in front of me so I can see them and what they are doing on walks but I don't moderate them. If Conker wants to be pet, he gets pet. If he wants to play, he gets played with. If he wants food, he gets food. The only thing he actually has to work for are his treats.
    Alpha rolling Conker is actually a way of initiating play with him. And toyless play is intense and often painful, but I like to play rough with my dogs. He's very good about stopping when I tell him and when we aren't playing he will not mouth or nip. If I shoved him to the ground in a "dominance" thing he would either think I was playing or get really mad and savage my arm with his teeth.

    But CM's energy thing does kinda work. Conker used to be terrified of strangers, and every time I saw one coming I'd tense up since I knew Conker was gonna flip out. After a long time of getting nowhere with Conker's fear I tried staying calm and completely ignoring the stranger and while Conker's didn't flip out, he was still nervous but a lot better than before. So now I continue to do the "energy" thing with him and he's gotten to the point where off-leash, he'll let complete strangers pet him. On-leash he's still not completely thrilled so it's always a no when people ask.
  • mcsassymcsassy
    Posts: 339
    I'm a loving, caring, giving guardian and friend to Nova.

    I hope CM has his genitals bitten off by a dog.
    image
  • shibamistressshibamistress
    Posts: 5171
    "I'm a loving, caring, giving guardian and friend to Nova.

    I hope CM has his genitals bitten off by a dog."

    This made me laugh! Dog-initiated neuter? :lol:

    Thinking about what KoniB said, yeah, I did that years ago too...when that was pretty much how people trained. I had a friend, though, who was learning about positive reinforcement training, and I thought she was crazy. (This was probably 1995 or maybe a bit later?) I kept saying, but what do you do when your wild dogs are destroying things? When she said ignore it or divert attention, I just shook my head. Ha! She was right! (About a year ago, even though we'd fallen out of touch, I did write to her and thank her for what she tried to teach me about dogs, and how important it is to me now!)

    eta: oh, yeah, meant to say what my "pack" role is: As much as I hate the being called "dog mom" since I am not and never wanted to be a mother, I am kind of that. I feed them and make sure everyone has what they need. I give out treats. I make rules that are sometimes flouted, but more often followed, if grudgingly. I micromanage and keep everyone as safe as I can, and make sure every eats right and gets enough time with me. :)
    Post edited by shibamistress at 2011-06-28 17:47:41
  • BradA1878BradA1878
    Posts: 2242
    I actually really like Dr. Dunbar's take on the whole "leader" thing...



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    Post edited by BradA1878 at 2011-06-29 11:28:42
  • SabimaruSabimaru
    Posts: 93
    @sunyata My dogs see me as their protector, their lunch lady, their personal trainer, their masseuse, and sometimes, their boss. My dogs love me (YES, DOGS LOVE) and they respect me. HOWEVER... They respect me out of mutual trust and friendship than out of fear.

    I love this. This is wonderful. "Leader" is a misconstrued word, but dogs and shibas especially need to feel like they can trust you to provide for them and keep them in a happy, comfortable, and loving environment.
  • MegaenMegaen
    Posts: 265
    @brada thanks for posting that clip I really liked his take on the "leader" thing as well :)
  • emmyemmy
    Posts: 553
    I think we have seen this exact concept surface in threads that ask "how do I show my dog I'm in charge?" Obviously, since the humans have control of all resources in the household, the humans are in charge. Toby and I didn't have to discuss who would make the rules here...but we regularly communicate about what the rules are. :)
  • kittymskittyms
    Posts: 34
    I've got a question relating to this: How can we measure our dog's "respect" for us?

    My boyfriend recently told me that he thought my Shiba Inu puppy doesn't respect me enough, and I've been puzzling over what that might look like. Should she be instantly responding to all of my commands? Should she quickly back off if I give her a no-mark? I know I've made some training mistakes, but she is actually very well-behaved and I've never felt like she didn't respect me... she just gets super focused on distractions and likes to seek novel reinforcers (i.e. if someone else gets treats out, she would rather get treats from them than me, no matter what the treats are). Just curious what people think Shiba Inu "respect" should look like. And whether that's something I should be worried about getting from her.
  • LilikoiLilikoi
    Posts: 1272
    I think that sounds very typical shiba, @kittyms. :) I would ask him what he means by respect and to give some examples of what kind of qualities a respectful dog would have in his mind. I think plenty of people consider respect as unwavering obedience with no motive beyond "because I said so." To me, that just shows how responsive or motivated a dog is, but not really whether or not it respects the owner. Shibas are way more calculated and discerning than other breeds, in my experience, and that's one of the biggest reasons I fell in love with the breed. If I wanted a "yes dog," a shiba would not be the right match for me haha.

    I think my own shibas show respect by knowing and following the rules they have been taught, and trusting / looking to me for guidance in certain scenarios. If they are unsure of anything, they will both come to me. They know I will keep them safe. I also know they would both protect me if necessary, even though they're both the friendliest, sweetest dogs ever haha. They are happy to respond to me, especially because they know I will make it worth their while. That doesn't mean they just do whatever I say immediately when I say it, and I know their boundaries and know when they will be too distracted or excited to respond to me. They know what I like, and they know what I don't like. They don't often do the things they know I don't like, and I consider that respectful.
  • kittymskittyms
    Posts: 34
    Haha, thanks Lilikoi. Sometimes I worry too much that she isn't listening and will never be obedient enough for me to trust her unsupervised or off-leash, but it is comforting to be able to come here and hear, "Yep, that's a Shiba". Lol. I don't mind her independence as long as she is well-behaved enough to keep going on adventures with me (which, so far, she is, though we need to work on loose-leash walking and recall under distractions). Given my bf's past experiences with dogs, I would guess that he was thinking Kiko should respond more like his extremely needy and dependent miniature dachshund, who hangs on his every word and can't bear to be away from him for more than 30 seconds (not at all the kind of dog I wanted.. I don't like clingy dogs, hence my Shiba). Also, when Kiko is misbehaving or not listening, he tells me I should be more forceful with my discipline and "show my dominance" (typically I just use a no-marker, redirection, a leash tug, or, rarely, short time-outs), but I don't really follow "dominance theory" and I'm afraid consistent yelling or harsher corrections would alienate my Shiba or cause her to use even more avoidance behaviors when I give commands (sniffing, looking away, pulling, flinching, etc.).

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