Behavior Training was developed by Tim Carter of MYGERMANSHEPHERD.ORG to overcome all the flaws of Obedience Training, and to better address the needs of the modern dog owner: that the dog behaves well regardless whether the owner is around or not.
For us, Behavior Training means that we behave in a way that motivates the dog to behave the way we want.
This is diametrically opposed to Obedience Training where you lure or command the dog to do what you want - and if (s)he does not obey, you obviously then have to punish the dog for disobedience, whether by withholding the treat you lured with, or physically, or whatever.
All Obedience Training by its very name comprises an element of lure or force or fear to get the dog "obedient", and further some form of punishment if you consider the dog not being "obedient".
Conversely, our proprietary Behavior Training is void of the idea of "obedience" and "disobedience". There is no reward and no punishment for behavior.
We merely change our own behavior when we are unhappy with the dog's behavior: Because dogs learn everything from what we do, and next to nothing from what we say. When you think "he learned my command", he really learned from your body language.
While we can, and should, start Behavior Training already at puppy age, the adult dog obviously is much more receptive for Behavior Training: Behavior Training requires a somewhat mature dog, and a mature dog owner.
Indeed, Behavior Training requires a good degree of consciousness and self-reflection from us as dog owner, handler, or trainer. And this is why Behavior Training hasn't caught on yet with the average dog trainer: Obedience Training doesn't require any of that, just a commander-type of mind - which is something every average human being has from as early as the terrible twos.
More recently you hear average dog trainers increasingly replacing the worn-out term Obedience Training with Positive Reinforcement Training. That is giving the bride a new name but it's still the same bride:
- They still expect the dog to be obedient to the command
- not realizing that obedience is a human concept that canines do not inherently understand
- not realizing that they are still the commander-type of person, with that same unhealthy mindset and the same poor training outcome
- not realizing that they still use lure or reward to get the dog to do what they want
- not realizing that they still require some form of enforcement whenever the dog does not do what they want
- not realizing that the dog gets still trained to behave different subject to whether the owner, trainer, or handler is around or not!
There is nothing inherently "positive" in "reinforcing" a human mindset and human concept in canines that have a different mindset. And there is nothing inherently "positive" about needing some form of lure and reward and enforcement as extrinsic motivation for the dog to comply - and only when you are nearby.
Dogs too work much better with intrinsic motivation, and only then you achieve reliable dog behavior regardless whether you are nearby.
It is precisely this reliable dog behavior that allows My German Shepherd to be left alone anywhere:
- always safe for the dog himself as well as for others including the smallest children!
- behaving well in the house while alone and with full run of the house!
- and behaving well in shops(!), offices(!), cafes and anywhere else!
This is a dog like a good citizen - of which there aren't many it often seems... - Whether this refers to the canine or the human citizens you may judge for yourself.
Responsible dog ownership, that's what we have in our mission statement. If more dog trainers and dog owners adopted our still unique dog training approach then there would be
- ZERO maulings of children, postmen, etc
- ZERO destroyed homes
- Incredibly low dog liability insurance rates
- And MANY MORE DOGS being taken everywhere, instead of left behind chained or kenneled, bored to death...
YOU can start today making a difference: Choose your training approach, choose it wisely.
Note that every key point raised above you can find more comprehensively explained in other places on this website. The menu is your friend. Here, links have been omitted only to keep this decision tree straightforward.
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