Month: August 2017

Unprovoked or Provoked. Which do you believe?:

Many states have “dangerous” dog laws today that suggest a dog does the deed “unprovoked.” The fact is, any behavior a dog initiates on its own are genetic and always “provoked,” being triggered by one or all of its senses (sight, sound, smell, taste, or touch) to act out its genetic response behavior in that moment. These are the behaviors we typically categorize today as “aggressive, “unwanted”, or “dangerous.” The Laws of Pack allows the user to accurately identify, predict, manage, and modify their high risk dog behaviors and conditions before they occur. .

By obeying one or all of the Laws of Pack in our homes, businesses, communities, and public spaces we can begin to significantly reduce the number of dog bite claims and the risks and costs associated with them. Dogs will always bite, but the Laws of Pack and its supporting evidence will directly challenge the “dangerous” dog laws and can be used as evidence in criminal and civil courts in order to mitigate and significantly reduce the risks and costs associated with dog bite claims before or after they occur.

Not a human, just a pack member:

Another Law of Pack states that the rank order of a natural pack of dogs are “patriarchal,” meaning a male will always be the #1 or alpha in the pack. This has tremendous impact on a domestic pack made up of all women and an adopted male pit bull. You do not hear the pet industry teaching this, however, it is absolutely true and always an active ingredient from the dog’s perspective in our domestic homes and communities.

Dogs are pack animals and their behaviors should only be analyzed in this context.
The more we keep treating dogs as our family members socially and in dog laws, the more we violate the Laws of Pack whether we know it or not. Unknowingly violating one or all of the Laws of Pack always increases for all dog owners and all communities the risks and costs associated with dog bite claims today.

Humanizing the dog and really believing it to be true is an increasingly popular trend in our current dog culture and is only setting the dog up for MASSIVE failure in our domestic homes and communities. Not to mention the frustration and stress to dog owners this causes, the costs of dog ownership are continuing to increase. Home insurance companies paid out over $600 million in 2016 for dog bite claims.

Using the Laws of Pack and its supporting evidence to challenge the current dog laws today and prove provocation in criminal and civil courts to mitigate and reduce the costs associated with dog ownership and dog bite claims:

About half the states have dog bite statutes. The statutes vary from state to state, but they all essentially make it easier for a plaintiff to win a dog bite case. However, the provocation defense is not simply eliminated in states with dog bite statutes.
In many states, the courts have made it clear that even though the dog bite statute appears to make a defendant liable so long as his dog bit the plaintiff, the plaintiff can have her damages reduced or lose the case entirely if she “contributed” to the bite by provoking the dog.

Some dog bite statutes specifically include the provocation defense. For example, the first sentence of the Illinois dog bite statute reads: “If a dog or other animal, without provocation, attacks, attempts to attack, or injures any person . . . .”
Some dog bite statutes have specific provisions addressing the kind of provocation. For example, in Florida the plaintiff must have been acting “mischievously” or “carelessly” for the provocation defense to apply.
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Another Law of Pack important to understand:

An important Law of Pack for dog owners to obey as much as possible states that the routine a pack of dogs will always act out naturally at every waking moment will be to revisit the same path that leads to the areas of their territory where they had experienced their most recent and/or highest levels of stimulation through one or all of their senses.

This Law of Pack is always being obeyed by our dog/s in our domestic packs whether we know it or not, and should be obeyed by all owners on walks with their dogs everyday. The key to obeying this Law of Pack is to first identify the areas of highest stimulation for your dog on your walk and then taking your dog/s there as often as possible. The more this is practiced, the more stable and well behaved the dog/s will be in our homes and communities.

Practicing natural behavior modification training methods enable each member of the domestic pack to not only obey this important Law of Pack but also to ultimately be able to obey all of the Laws of Pack. Practicing natural behavior modification training methods to respond to their dog/s enable every human member of the pack to achieve natural command & control of their dog/s genetic response behaviors when they are triggered.

Dog Training for Aggression

Obedience Training vs. Behavior Modification

Dog owners are always thrilled by the attention and obedience their dogs show them when offering treats (i.e. food) as a lure in order to achieve a desired behavior. In fact, this has become the technique most used by dog trainers offering obedience and/or behavior modification training today.

Obedience training and behavior modification training are two separate disciplines requiring different training techniques and this is commonly misunderstood by both professional trainers, as well as dog owners. Obedience training is for all of the behaviors you want your dog to do, whereas behavior modification is for all of the behaviors you do not want your dog to do. With that in mind, it is easy to see how food-based techniques can work as a lure for behaviors you want your dog to do, yet hold no useful place in modification of unwanted behaviors.

The behaviors you do NOT want your dog to do are in actuality genetic response behaviors that have been inherited from the dog’s parents–not emotional malfunctions. These genetic response behaviors are repeatedly triggered by one or all of a dog’s senses when it is exposed to certain stimulus including food. These genetic response behaviors are always repeatedly triggered and acted out on its territory in order to detect, pursue, and ultimately make physical contact with a stimulus. These behaviors are typically categorized as prey drive and/or “aggressive” when they are unwanted and ‘obedience” when they are wanted.

Treat-based techniques have no place in behavior modification training and are at best a distraction, especially when simultaneously exposing a dog to competing stimulus that is known to trigger an unwanted behavior. Additionally, the distraction provided by food treats will have a diminishing effect and eventually NO effect as the competing stimulus gets closer and closer in proximity to the dog.

Food treats are just another lure or trigger for a dog’s senses that makes it act out behavior the food provider wants it to act out in any moment. Food-based training techniques can only be used, at best as a temporary distraction or management tool for unwanted behaviors or as a lure for obedience training in very controlled environments. I see very little application for food-based techniques in the real (random and stimuli-filled) world we live in.

How it has become the recommended and preferred method for all dog training has really become a disservice to dog owners dealing with dog-on-dog and/or dog-to-human aggression or any unwanted behavior for that matter? Beware of any trainer telling you they do behavior modification using a food-based technique. Instead of obedience training, which is commonly recommended as the fix for unwanted dog behaviors, it is actually behavior modification that the dog owner needs.


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