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Staceybob

The Alpha Roll-Over Debate

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yeh same as the dog that attacked skyla but i think it was a staffy x as it looked like a staffy but it was huge pure muscle and no collar on - i didnt think clearly at all i thought the dog was gonna kill her - thats why i now take a spare lead n try n keep a clear head when i see an offlead dog just incase

I didn't think clearly when it happened to me either, this was a while ago now, I knew how to separate two attacking dogs but it's different when one is ripping into another, I made sure I found out the safest and quickest way of stopping an attack like that and with a method I knew I would be capable of using.

There is risk in any situation like that though, regardless of the method you use, of course the best "method" to use is prevention (though of course that's not always possible, we can minimise the risk in a number of situations). The attack on my dog happened at training club and would have been entirely preventable had the idiot head instructor implemented rules on safety and equipment. The staffy was on a crappy plastic clasp collar and that's how it broke off the leash to attack my dog.

The trainer/behaviourist I work for runs handling courses for government agencies on handling dangerous and aggressive dogs, there is so much we can learn just on how to handle dogs safely so we never have to be in a dangerous situation.

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I didn't think clearly when it happened to me either, this was a while ago now, I knew how to separate two attacking dogs but it's different when one is ripping into another, I made sure I found out the safest and quickest way of stopping an attack like that and with a method I knew I would be capable of using.

There is risk in any situation like that though, regardless of the method you use, of course the best "method" to use is prevention (though of course that's not always possible, we can minimise the risk in a number of situations). The attack on my dog happened at training club and would have been entirely preventable had the idiot head instructor implemented rules on safety and equipment. The staffy was on a crappy plastic clasp collar and that's how it broke off the leash to attack my dog.

The trainer/behaviourist I work for runs handling courses for government agencies on handling dangerous and aggressive dogs, there is so much we can learn just on how to handle dogs safely so we never have to be in a dangerous situation.

yeh skylas attack was about 8 months ago now but she still gets scared of other dogs n tends to fight because she cant flight :(

this dog just got out the house when the owners opened the door - which could have been prevented if the owners wernt stupid idiots! n made sure their dog was in the house - could have been over alot quicker if it was on a collar too - makes me mad as its not even really the dogs fault :(

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The way I would break up a fight is a bit hard to explain over the net, but I would use the 'wheel barrow' method to separate the dogs.

If I had a dog latched on to me or attempting to attack/bite someone and it was a case of personal safety, I would air block them with the collar or with a leash so they let go that way and could be safely restrained.

So that one actually works? I read about it after the August fight when I was trying to find a better way. It sounded like a good idea so I tried it with Scout - he's very mouthy when he doesn't like something. I picked him up by the hind legs and went to drag him back and circle - the website I read maintained that they would have to keep going in a big circle to keep their footing. This is probably true, but Scout had no problem flopping to the ground so he could curl around and mouth my hands. I'm pretty tiny too, and only 5'4", so holding a struggling dog up high enough to keep him from curling back on me seems to be a challenging feat! I have no doubt that I'm probably doing it wrong. Do you know of a good online source or video (I couldn't find any demonstrations) that better describes it?

I don't think that "aversion to fear!" is always a bad thing. We all learn that way! I won't put my hand on a red hot cooker ring because I have learned that doing so hurts like hell!

As a child I wouldn't throw a tantrum while out shopping with my mum because I knew I'd get a smacked bum.

Training with "positive reinforcement" (praise) is very effective, but so, at times is "negative reinforcement" (punishment).

I do agree with you, but that starts on a completely different topic, I think. There is a difference between comprehensive negative reinforcement and punitive negative reinforcement, which I would consider abuse. As a child, you can grasp the concept that mom told you to stop pitching a fit, you ignored her, so she hit you. You know that the next time you think about throwing a tantrum there will be a tanning in your future if you misbehave. With a dog, any animal, they only get that they are upset and you hit them. They may stop what they're doing out of fear of being hit again, but they don't truly understand why you hit them because they were squalling. Hitting them for peeing in the house - abuse - there is no correlation or lesson learned between peeing and being hit. And even a mild tapping on the nose is pointless, because hitting their face does not encourage them to look at you the way a redirecting touch to the body does, and with some dogs it can and will prompt a bite reaction, especially if they're highly charged in a dog encounter situation.

Comprehensive punishment would be immediate and relevant, and I have no qualms with that. There are few situations where this is ever relevant, however. One that I can think of is that I've always found that the best method for a dog jumping up on a person is to turn your back to them and just use your elbows to divert them when they attempt to jump up. They usually get the idea pretty quick that jumping gets them nothing. But for those few dogs who become even more persistent about it, I won't hesitate to give them a solid knee to the gut or a good strong elbow to the head or chest. Yes, the intent is a punitive blow. But the dog understands that it jumped up, I expressed I didn't want that, it persisted and received a direct blow whilst in the middle of jumping up. This can sometimes illicit a yelp, because yes, I'm sure it hurt, and the more force they put behind their leap the harder the contact is - but there is no lasting injury and no repeated blow. And the point is made - do not jump on me or else. There is no fear reaction from it, other than the aversion to jump, which is what I want anyway! The dog won't flinch when I next approach, expecting to be hit again - it knows why it got that instant reaction. There was nothing confusing about the message at all.

Some people might disagree with those kinds of methods, but that is how I see the difference and rationalize it. Dogs don't hit each other, thus there is very rarely a reason to hit them as another more appropriate correction will do.

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I don't think that "aversion to fear!" is always a bad thing. We all learn that way! I won't put my hand on a red hot cooker ring because I have learned that doing so hurts like hell!

As a child I wouldn't throw a tantrum while out shopping with my mum because I knew I'd get a smacked bum.

Training with "positive reinforcement" (praise) is very effective, but so, at times is "negative reinforcement" (punishment).

I agree in some respects, but my form of negative punishment would be to remove them from the situation and then offer praise when they are behaving more calmly.

I don't like the idea of smacking a dog, especially as some wont think twice about snapping back.

I don't think any trainer can say they are 100% positive, because without showing the dog the difference of rewards between a bad thing and a good thing, they can't truly learn their boundaries.

I suppose it depends on people's perspective of negative reactions as to whether you see punishment as removal or getting physical with a dog.

I wouldn't hit a child, so I wont hit a dog.

But I would send a child to their room with no toys and things and so I would with a dog.

(Just putting out this post was aimed as a reply to everyone, not just you Mick)

Stacey xxx

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There is no fear reaction from it, other than the aversion to jump, which is what I want anyway! The dog won't flinch when I next approach, expecting to be hit again - it knows why it got that instant reaction. There was nothing confusing about the message at all..

Actually, that is something I should have clarified in my post above. Aversion and fear are two completely different things - as you so clearly demonstrate in your "jumping up" example. To go back to my example - I am not scared or fearful of red hot cooker rings - as a result of my experience, I am aware that touching them causes pain (which I am averse to). Same with my mum - I was not afraid of her, but I was aware that certain actions of mine had consequences to which I was averse. Fear is neither an appropriate nor effective method of training, and negative reinforcement is not cruelty.

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@Bec : it seems we do agree over many sides of this, but I do take exception when you take my words, change the context then throw it back in my face as being something terrible. For instance, when write "So I grabbed him by the throat, lifted him and pinned him in a corner" you then quote it back as "to hang the dog up in a corner and choke it by the throat?". The only way to hold a dog such that it cannot bite is round the head or throat. If you hold it any other way it can bite. I held him in a way that was not painful or harmful to him, but showed him that resistance was futile. The effect: exactly as required, he accepted he was powerless and calmed down. When I released him he didn't show any signs of wanting to bite and seemed happy and content. He did not cower away and I actually took hm for a nice walk after that (having slapped a couple of plasters over my wounds!).

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Since my last post in this matter I have discovered the appropriate use and time for this "alpha Roll."

With your average, sweet natured, slightly less attentive dog there are MANY other things you can do

to get a healthy response from a dog, however, there are dogs out there that may need this approach.

The alpha roll is a very useful and under the right instruction, a very humane way to get a dog to respond

to his environment and his human, appropriately.

The alpha roll is not meant to be a harsh, overbearing action, it is meant to be quick, precise and humane.

It doesnt mean slam the dog around, crush their throat, and be scary, it means that you Roll the dog over

and get his attention, and let him calm down....then let him UP!

rolling a dog can be challenging, but if you are smart and savvy, you can make it effortless.

if the dog does respond to you but is having a problem that could become serious...

get the dog to lay down, then take his front paws and point them towrd the ceiling, and

his body will follow. one he has looked you in the face or eye, let him up.

DO not attempt to do the alpha roll on an aggressive dog that doesnt respond to you.

I can do a vid to show you how the "alpha Roll" can be done humane-ly, to get the response you

need.

after a safe and humane "roll" you can go on to teaching the standing or sitting "attention" command.

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