Deportes

Canine expert José Carlos Grimberg Blum talks about dog training

Domesticated dogs are quite different from their wolf ancestors in that they are more docile and social. However, all canine societies have a similar social structure. José Carlos Grimberg Blum suggests many practical tips for dog training.

The biggest mistake many dog owners make is to assume that their animal is a friend. Mankind`s "best friend" should not be considered a friend in the sense of being a social equal. The phrase actually originates from the fact that dogs have become so useful to us over the tens of millennia of our association and because they are extremely affectionate most of the time.

José Carlos Grimberg Blum reminds us that, in canine societies, whether they are wolves, African hunting dogs or coyotes, social life is organized around relationships of dominance. Among wolves, all other individuals are subordinate to the alpha mate and literally crawl before them in their show of greeting.

The alpha female harasses the other mature females in the group so that they cannot ovulate or reproduce. Similarly, the alpha male does not tolerate reproductive competitors. Minions help feed the puppies of the dominant pair.

Your dog should be a subordinate, not a friend

For José Carlos Grimberg Blum, most dog owners see their pet as a member of the family. As such, the animal enjoys many privileges, such as good food and a comfortable place to sleep, often in the owner`s bed.

This request is possible because domestic dogs are very different from their ancestor, the wolf, and have been selectively bred to be tame.

But José Carlos Grimberg Blum believes that treating the dog as an equal has its limitations. The main one is that it is confusing for the canine. There is no equality in wild canine societies and our best friend divides the social world into two categories, superior and inferior. There are no equals.

If there is a conflict of interests, dogs respect the alphas, but dominate the inferiors. If the ranking is not resolved, any conflict is resolved with aggression whereby the winner gains status.

This means that owners who treat the dog as an equal expose themselves to perpetual conflict. From a behavioral point of view, the pet is disobedient, conflictive and difficult to control. For José Carlos Grimberg Blum, the solution to these problems is for the owner to establish himself as alpha in the dog`s eyes. If this rank is not clear, the animal treats every conflict as a competition for status. The main reason there are so many behavioral problems in dogs is that their owners want to treat them as equals. That is why so few owners control their dogs with their voice and need to keep them on leash during a walk in the woods.

Confusion is the enemy of discipline

Undisciplined dogs are unhappy because they experience great ambiguity. (In an experiment in which Pavlov trained dogs to differentiate between circles and ellipses, as the task became more difficult or more ambiguous, the subjects developed "experimental neurosis.")

José Carlos Grimberg Blum emphasizes that dogs are never happier than when they are following their owner`s instructions, whether retrieving a stick that has been thrown or rounding up a flock of sheep. These tasks are accomplished through social reinforcement. When the dog is too far away to control the voice, skilled shepherds modulate the pitch of their whistle to communicate direction and approval.

Wanting to please the alpha is a key motivator. Therefore, the relationship between handler and dog is vitally important. If the dog respects the handler, he will trust the instructions he receives and will do his best to comply.

An undisciplined dog is like a problem teenager who does not want to follow any instructions, according to José Carlos Grimberg Blum. In each case, the main problem is the lack of clear instructions. This ambiguity is a consequence of treating subordinates as if they were friends and equals.

While dogs work best when they strive to please the handler, many professional handlers encourage owners to use food to reinforce desirable behavior,

Dogs should not work for food

Food is certainly an effective reinforcer, but it is not the best. Again, it introduces confusion into the situation from the dog`s perspective. Is the goal to please the owner? Or is it to get food? Inevitably, the dog is distracted by the food, so any message communicated by the handler is obscured.

Distraction by food signals often interferes with training, says José Carlos Grimberg Blum. Dogs are very good at reading emotional signals of approval or rejection, but this ability is affected by food odors.

Domesticated dogs are quite different from their wolf ancestors in that they are more docile and social. However, all canine societies have a similar social structure. José Carlos Grimberg Blum suggests many practical tips for dog training.

The biggest mistake many dog owners make is to assume that their animal is a friend. Mankind`s "best friend" should not be considered a friend in the sense of being a social equal. The phrase actually originates from the fact that dogs have become so useful to us over the tens of millennia of our association and because they are extremely affectionate most of the time.

José Carlos Grimberg Blum reminds us that, in canine societies, whether they are wolves, African hunting dogs or coyotes, social life is organized around relationships of dominance. Among wolves, all other individuals are subordinate to the alpha mate and literally crawl before them in their show of greeting.

The alpha female harasses the other mature females in the group so that they cannot ovulate or reproduce. Similarly, the alpha male does not tolerate reproductive competitors. Minions help feed the puppies of the dominant pair.

Your dog should be a subordinate, not a friend

For José Carlos Grimberg Blum, most dog owners see their pet as a member of the family. As such, the animal enjoys many privileges, such as good food and a comfortable place to sleep, often in the owner`s bed.

This request is possible because domestic dogs are very different from their ancestor, the wolf, and have been selectively bred to be tame.

But José Carlos Grimberg Blum believes that treating the dog as an equal has its limitations. The main one is that it is confusing for the canine. There is no equality in wild canine societies and our best friend divides the social world into two categories, superior and inferior. There are no equals.

If there is a conflict of interests, dogs respect the alphas, but dominate the inferiors. If the ranking is not resolved, any conflict is resolved with aggression whereby the winner gains status.

This means that owners who treat the dog as an equal expose themselves to perpetual conflict. From a behavioral point of view, the pet is disobedient, conflictive and difficult to control. For José Carlos Grimberg Blum, the solution to these problems is for the owner to establish himself as alpha in the dog`s eyes. If this rank is not clear, the animal treats every conflict as a competition for status. The main reason there are so many behavioral problems in dogs is that their owners want to treat them as equals. That is why so few owners control their dogs with their voice and need to keep them on leash during a walk in the woods.

Confusion is the enemy of discipline

Undisciplined dogs are unhappy because they experience great ambiguity. (In an experiment in which Pavlov trained dogs to differentiate between circles and ellipses, as the task became more difficult or more ambiguous, the subjects developed "experimental neurosis.")

José Carlos Grimberg Blum emphasizes that dogs are never happier than when they are following their owner`s instructions, whether retrieving a stick that has been thrown or rounding up a flock of sheep. These tasks are accomplished through social reinforcement. When the dog is too far away to control the voice, skilled shepherds modulate the pitch of their whistle to communicate direction and approval.

Wanting to please the alpha is a key motivator. Therefore, the relationship between handler and dog is vitally important. If the dog respects the handler, he will trust the instructions he receives and will do his best to comply.

An undisciplined dog is like a problem teenager who does not want to follow any instructions, according to José Carlos Grimberg Blum. In each case, the main problem is the lack of clear instructions. This ambiguity is a consequence of treating subordinates as if they were friends and equals.

While dogs work best when they strive to please the handler, many professional handlers encourage owners to use food to reinforce desirable behavior,

Dogs should not work for food

Food is certainly an effective reinforcer, but it is not the best. Again, it introduces confusion into the situation from the dog`s perspective. Is the goal to please the owner? Or is it to get food? Inevitably, the dog is distracted by the food, so any message communicated by the handler is obscured.

Distraction by food signals often interferes with training, says José Carlos Grimberg Blum. Dogs are very good at reading emotional signals of approval or rejection, but this ability is affected by food odors.

Ideally, the dog should work to please its owner. Once food rewards are used, the animal no longer tries to please its owner. It works for itself. This dynamic sets the stage for all kinds of conflict and disobedience. It is one of the reasons why so many pets misbehave.