Teaching an Alpha Dog New Tricks – part 2. Positive Dog Training Resources.

In a previous post, I promised some resources for people interested in moving beyond dominance based training. What follows is just a small sampling but I think you’ll find plenty to whet your appetite.

  • Dogstar Daily may be the most comprehensive website for positive dog training. Founded by Dr. Ian Dunbar and his wife, Kelly, the site is a wealth of resources. Content comes up at random on the main page, allowing you to sample the wide variety of information. Various dog trainers and animal behaviorists write blogs on a variety of topics. Finally, there is excellent video of Sirius puppy classes in action as well as various dog trainers showing their work with their clients.
  • Patricia McConnell, animal behaviorist and dog trainer, has a blog well worth following if you want to learn more about why dogs behave they way they do with real world applications. At The Other End of the Leash (also the title of her book), you’ll find the science of dog behavior presented in a very accessible way. Plus, you’ll see how Dr. McConnell tries to apply her knowledge with her own animal companions. I expect to learn when I read the blog; I’m always surprised to find how often I’m touched.
  • Not every trainer employing positive methods and operant conditioning uses a clicker. I’ve found, however, that the clicker helps me with my attentiveness and training. Developed by Karen Pryor, Clicker Training uses a simple mechanical device (the clicker) to mark a behavior that will be rewarded. The Karen Pryor Clicker Training website is a good place to start if you’re a newbie. You’ll find thousands of clicker trainers once you get started.
  • Finally, I’ve learned much from reading Norwegian dog trainer, Turid Rugaas. Her website introduces the concept of calming signals dogs use to communicate. For example, a dog that’s uncomfortable in a situation may lick her lips. Knowing these signals and how to respond to them can deepen the bond with our dogs. At Turid’s website, you’ll find an FAQ section that covers every potential behavioral issue and some excellent photos of dogs exhibiting calming signals.

These are just a few of the All Stars who are providing good science and excellent practical resources for people who want to have a good relationships with their dogs–no alpha rolling or choke chains allowed.

Golden Retriever Puppy Sleeping on the Grass

If you try to roll me, it could get dangerous! I might lick you to death.

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  1. Great round up of resources for positive training techniques. One I’d add is Behavior Adjustment Training (BAT) created by Grisha Stewart: http://ahimsadogtraining.com/blog/bat/

    I’m doing a kind of BAT for Dummies series on my blog, with Irith Bloom of the Sophisticated Dog giving the explanations; it’s been in the Training Tuesday section for the last several weeks. Warning: The information is serious but I haven’t been able to resist bat puns, including a video of a pug screaming “Batman!”

  2. Thanks for the link, Edie.

    I saw the second post on your site with Irith Bloom but had to go back to look for the first one I missed. I’d love to see some of your work with Frankie in your series. I found the video at the Ahimsa website was much more helpful to me than the text.

  3. Great list! Have visited or heard of many of them!

  4. Yep, the cream rises to the top. I have a few more obscure sites I may pull out later.

    Isn’t it encouraging to know how much good information is out there when it sometimes seems to be a lot of dreck?