The Best I Can Be

By David Shade

© David Shade

Unfortunately, I have seen firsthand what happens to a dog when a misinformed or unaware owner practices what one might politely call questionable training techniques, such as alpha rolling and positive punishment (a.k.a. aversives). As professional trainers and PPG members, we are aware that many dog owners have good intentions but simply do not realize that the application of outdated dominance theory can be incredibly damaging to a dog’s psyche. Indeed, when owners try to establish so-called dominance over a dog to prove themselves to be the “alpha,” the long-term effects can be disastrous. I know, because that’s the kind of dog owner I used to be…The world needs more force-free dog trainers who are not only men, but men who come from the military, police, and other “highly masculine” cultures. If I can be converted into someone who does not need to use force or dominance to train dogs effectively, anyone can – we just need to continue to work together to educate the world, one dog and one owner at a time. Read more.