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I've been training dogs in New York City for nearly 20 years. My training approach and philosophy are based on the way police dogs, search-and-rescue dogs, and detection dogs are trained--through the prey drive, inherited from the wolf. It's true that there's been a shift away from using the "wolf model" in dog training recently, and to some extent, there's a good reason. That's because trainers have been using the wrong model, the one that says you have to be the "alpha" or the pack leader in order to control your dog's behavior. This simply isn't true. In wild wolves there is no dominance hierarchy, no "alpha" wolf, and no pack leader (not in the traditional sense). The pack instinct only exists to enable wolves to hunt large prey by working in harmony. (Wolves who live near garbage dumps, for example, and who don't hunt together, don't form packs.) So if wolves don't have an instinct to "follow the pack leader" or "obey the alpha wolf," how could dogs have inherited it from them?
Years ago, before I became a dog trainer, I noticed that the happiest, most obedient, and best-behaved dogs I met weren't the ones who'd been to a dog trainer or behaviorist; they were the dogs whose owners always had Frisbees and tennis balls on hand. And while it might seem that my approach would only be relevant to high-drive dogs who love fetch and tug-of-war, it isn't. Even something as seemingly unrelated as a housebreaking issue or greeting behavior are often the direct result of a dog's predatory energy not having an acceptable outlet.
All behavior is an expression of energy. So when a dog's energy isn't utilized in a way that feels satisfying to his or her instincts and emotions, that's when behavioral problems develop. Giving the dog an acceptable outlet for its energy will almost always bring the dog's behavior back into alignment with its instincts
Feel free to ask me questions about any training/behavioral issue.
20 years as a dog trainer. I'm also a bestselling author, writing a series of dog-related mystery novels for Avon.
Dog Writers Association of America
Just a natural gift I have for understanding and training dogs
Too numerous to mention.