[lit-ideas] Re: Can't have a gun? Get a dog

  • From: Robert Paul <rpaul@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 02 Jun 2006 21:09:22 -0700

Lawrence wrote:

We had several dogs trained by Dick Koehler. He and his father were authorities on dog training. They say you need to establish yourself as the alpha of the pack (aka, show the dogs you are boss).

If you have a dominant dog, you had better prove to him that you’re the boss or you are in for big trouble.

Okay, let’s hear how your opposing theory, i.e., showing the dog he is boss, works better. And let’s hear who your authorities are.

No one is arguing this, Lawrence. What Andreas was responding to (I think) was the expression 'show the dog who's boss' with its suggestion of negative reinforcement (the infliction of pain, etc.). I'm sure you didn't mean your use of it to have such implications.

Nobody in the dog training world denies that dogs should have it clearly explained to them that you're the alpha dog and you're the law around here.

I was myself originally reacting to Paul Stone's notion that large, powerful dogs could not be trained by old guys and women because with such a dog one had to 'kick ass' in order to train or control it, and that in order to kick ass one had to be physically stronger than the dog.

Robert Paul
Reed College
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