Natural Animal Training
What Is Natural Animal Training:
Natural animal training is not dominant dog training but does stem from it. Natural animal training is based on how animals naturally learn, interact, and communicate with each other. In the past two decades, I've trained many APBT's and other breeds with lasting results.
Natural animal training uses different components of training methods, such as Operant Conditioning, Classical Conditioning, and Positive Reinforcement, and some of my past trial and errors of my training career. It has helped me develop a system that trains dogs naturally and respectfully and, in return, the dog respects the human... Unfortunately, there are many easy ways of training a social creature like a dog with food because food is connected to its survival instincts. The poor combination of training methods and humanizing them has impaired their well-being as animals. One of the biggest behavioral issues in dogs is Separation anxiety largely due to how people treat dogs like humans. Using positive reinforcement 100% of the time is one of those training methods. It's at the forefront of dog training because it uses the proposal that all dogs should be treated with respect. Yes, all animals should be treated with respect but the method is being used at the expense of our dog's mental well-being.
Separation anxiety is common in dogs and at times a more difficult behavior to correct than aggression. Separation anxiety is not a natural part of a dog's mental state and should be nonexistent but there seems to be a lot of how to fix it but never how to prevent it... The use of 100% positive reinforcement training can cause separation anxiety or make it worse in some dogs. Positive reinforcement has only been a practice since the 90s, and doesn't work with all dogs, and can be short-term learning for some. When using positive reinforcement it may appear to work when a dog is offered a treat but unfortunately, that novelty fades away when a stronger stimulus presents itself in a real-world scenario because we're just being bribed the dog. Praise should be used as positive reinforcement, not food...
I'm also guilty of using positive reinforcement 100% of the time in past years with poor training results, especially when dealing with aggression. Positive reinforcement is also the cause of overweight problems in dogs, that are not active and food aggression in others depending on the dynamics in the home. Dogs have been independent for thousands of years without our help and now we've developed issues that are abnormal to their natural course of nature. Unfortunately, Positive reinforcement is popularized on TV and the internet by pseudo-intellectuals, trainers that have never trained a dog without the use of food. They don't like to go out of the food comfort zone to use other training methods because it's easier to give a dog hand-over-fist treats and talk to them like it's a human because it comes a cross as being more humane. All food training does is show immediate, short-lived results...
In The wild:
In nature, the wolf's, meals are few and far in between thus giving it a purpose in life to stay alive and rely on the way its pack mentality works. (Its natural animal structure) Training is a process, that takes time and especially for a small-minded creature like the dog that can easily be bribed with food because again it's connected to its survival instinct... Thus making it hard for dog trainers and behaviorists like myself to convince people that dogs are not human and should only be trained with its own natural animal learning system. Genetically all dogs are the same but all have distinctive personalities and are different learners with age and health being factors. The brain of a dog is the equivalent of a toddler and is a visual and physical learner that can easily be overstimulated with food and over praised for everything resulting in poor training.
Nonsensical Words Used In The Industry:
The dog training industry widely uses words like "Rehabilitation" and "Psychology" when training a dog, as if a dog is an addict or an alcoholic. The dog is only doing what nature has dictated it to do. Dogs need to be trained or retrained, it makes no sense that an animal would need to be rehabilitated when it's never been properly trained in the first place. Psychology for dogs? A dog doesn't have the brain capacity to rationalize like humans do. Psychology is the scientific study of how humans behave, think, and feel. Dogs are a whole different species that us humans will never be able to fully understand its process. One can only study its behaviors and know that dogs use a hierarchy system "Mythology" if you will. In my opinion, the industry only uses those words to connect the dog to human rationality. "Misunderstood" is another word that is widely used by people when speaking about a dog that looks like a Pit Bull... It's the go-to word because they don't know or understand what a real Pit Bull is. It's a regurgitated word that they've heard the general public say over and over. If indeed it's so misunderstood then it should be easily explained to why its so misunderstood. For those who know the true nature of the real Pit Bull breed there is no misunderstanding it whatsoever!...
Are Dogs Wolves?
Although the domestic dog does contain grey wolf, it is not a direct descendant of the grey wolf but both do have the same ancestor the Megafauna that existed about 27,000 years ago. A great book on the subject is How The Dog Became The Dog From Wolves To Our Best Friends By Mark Derr. The domestic dog is now a sub-species of the Canis lupus (Wolf) "Canis lupus familiaris" but its hierarchy system remains in its genetics, a natural system of learning how to behave around other (Wolf's) dogs.
A dog's hierarchy structure system makes it feel safe and confident and should always be used when training it. In 1947 a wolf study by Rudolph Schenkel found that there was no such thing as the 'Alphas" in packs of wolfs but what he called "Breeding pair or parents. In 1970 Dave Mech published a book The Wolf his finding was the same but now states that the tram "Alpha" is correct when describing a pack of the wolves from different assemblages what canines have now become.
Dogs can't process information as humans do, it needs to be trained as a dog (nature) would train it. Dogs need their information broken down the way it naturally communicates through body language, eye contact, hollow threats, and assertive correction. Dogs don't give dogs food or praise as a reward for good behavior. Its mindset is to hunt for resources (food & water) together and that means survival for the pack...
By using food all the time It breaks down a dog's natural interaction in the way it instinctually behaves. From day one, dogs learn from being corrected, not rewarded. Should dogs be rewarded? It should absolutely! be rewarded with praise, affection, and the occasional treat. Thus making and keeping them a balanced animal...