Wednesday, 27 January 2010

'Red zone' dogs, compare Cesar Millan to poitive methods by a behaviourist

Many people often comment that Cesar Millans more extream methods are OK because they are saving the lives of real OTT red zone dogs that would otherwise be put to sleep.
Most people do not realise that most behaviourists will deal with these type of dogs on a regular basis. In the main these methods are not shown on TV as they do not seem as flashy, the dogs are kept calm - not as interesting for TV as a 'out of control' dog, a man v's dog struggle and then a 'calm, fixed' dog turning up as if by some kind of magic.
So I am puting up a couple of similar examples for you to see the difference

This first clip shows a positive way to do things.
At the start the dog is very stressed and giving out mixed signals to the dog. Sure its tail is wagging but look in its eyes, look at its face. This is a common problem with people with fearful dogs. This dog is stress panting, it does not know how to behaive with the other dog being there and has learnt the best way to cope is to bark and be scary because that makes the other dog go away (either the other dog is taken away or it is dragged away - either way it dosent have to interact with the other dog)
At this point the trainers are not training the dog, they are assesing the situation. The dog is not in a position to learn anything much, it is just reacting.
Like all flashy TV shows this is now cut as the dog is taught some better ways to behaive.
Training a dog at a great enough distance from the trigger (the other dog in this case) so the dog can be calm. It learns that nice things happen when the other dog is about and that the handler is not going to force it to interact with the other dog.
At the end of the clip you can see from the dogs body language that it is relaxed and happy, it is able to focus on the handler and is enjoying working with them. It is aware of the other dog being there but now the other dog being there is just a signal that nice things - like work and treats - are gonna happen, the other dog is no threat.
That dog is calm, happy and safe.

Now lets see how Cesar deals with a dog like that. (for some strange reason Nat Geo takes these clips down often - strange that - so it is working now but if it is gone when you try to watch then let me know and I will try and find one that is up)
At the start the dog is walking fairly close to the collie although it dosent look v happy it is not showing agression and there are plenty of chances for CM to reward the dog. But of course CM does not reward a dog for good behaviour he prefers to force it do the wrong thing so he can punish it and show it who is the boss.
So he keeps bringing the dogs closer together until the dog looks at the collie
Note there is STILL no agression here yet
But that is enough for CM. He kicks the dog and at the same time tightens the lead

Now people argue about the force of the kick, whether this is a 'foot tap' or a 'kick'
Have you ever been focused on something and not realised a friend is behind you until they tap you on the shoulder? Sometimes you whip round heart racing, you really jump
When you see it is a friend you calm down say 'what a fright you gave me' and have a laugh
But in Shadows case it isnt a friend behind him, its CM, who at the same time is tighting the lead up and cutting off the dogs air

Of course the dog will fight back, and it shows what a really good dog that is that it dosent do some real harm to CM. It could have if it had wanted to.

Now there is a battle, it ends when the dog gives up - whether it has run out of air or if it just gives up I do not know.
But what has it learnt here??
Strange dog is about, it is still scary, but this man is even more scary

The slideshow shows where CM goes from here
He muzzles the dog and surrounds it with strange dogs
If you look at the dog you can see it is NOT happy, it is NOT calm and submissive it is stressed and scared.
Now what do you think will happen when it sees another dog when CM is not holding the lead?? Do you think that the owners are going to be able to fight him like that to show that they are more scary than the other dogs??

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