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Cesar Millan's Positive Dog Training Techniques

Updated on February 11, 2016
Be the Pack Leader: Use Cesar's Way to Transform Your Dog . . . and Your Life. From
Be the Pack Leader: Use Cesar's Way to Transform Your Dog . . . and Your Life. From

Cesar Millan always makes a distinction between dog behaviorists (himself) and dog trainers. Whatever label you choose to use, the fact is that dogs respond to classical and operant conditioning.

Simply put, classical conditioning is responsible for involuntary responses, e.g. a dog salivating when dinner is served, while operant conditioning is responsible for voluntary responses, e.g. a dog sitting for a treat.

Behavior modification and dog training are both based on classical and operant conditioning techniques. Operant conditioning techniques can further be divided into reward dog training and aversive dog training.

Here, we focus on Cesar Millan's positive or reward based dog training techniques.

Cesar Millan's Dog Training Techniques - What Works

1. Body blocks.

Reward dog training technique. This technique works by taking away space/freedom.

Body blocks can be effectively used to get your dog not to move into a particular space. This space may move, as you move. Once your dog moves into the forbidden space, you correct him by body blocking him and getting him to move back.

Note that a body block is just a block. There is no hitting, beating, or poking of the dog.

Body blocks work very well for keeping my dogs from rushing out of doorways. It is also very useful for claiming space when I am sweeping the floor, or when I do not want my dogs crowding me.

Alternatively, you could get your dog to do a Stay, which also takes away his space and freedom.

Dog Whisperer With Cesar Millan: The Complete Second Season.
Dog Whisperer With Cesar Millan: The Complete Second Season.

2. Consistent use of a no-mark (tsch sound) and follow-up.

General dog training technique for communication.

It is important to be consistent in your communication with your dog so that he does not get confused and stressed.

In addition to obedience commands, there is also a mark, for when your dog is doing something right; and a no-mark, for when your dog is doing something wrong.

Sometimes, trainers have several different marks and no-marks to indicate degree of rightness and wrongness. A mark need not be verbal. Clickers or other devices (bell, keys) can be used to generate a unique sound to mark or no-mark dog behaviors.

Many owners have problems with their dogs because they do not communicate with them (i.e. tell them right from wrong) and because they are not consistent in their communication.

Cesar Millan recommends using a consistent no-mark (the tsch sound) when a dog is misbehaving. If the dog continues to misbehave, it is important to follow-up the no-mark with some action (e.g. a body block or time-out) so that the dog understands that there are consequences for ignoring a no-mark.

However, the consequence need not be a physical correction. In fact, the most effective consequences are the ones that take away a valued resource.

For example, if your dog misbehaves with guests, his access to guests get taken away until he calms down.

3. Use treats for putting on a muzzle.

Reward dog training technique. This technique only works if you spend the time necessary to properly condition your dog.

This is one of the few treat/food based techniques that Cesar Millan uses.

In most cases Millan is dealing with dogs that already have a very negative association with the muzzle. He cautions his clients not to force the muzzle onto the dogs, but to make it into a positive experience. Millan shows how you can get dogs to put their nose into the muzzle themselves, through the use of dog treats.

This type of counter-conditioning works well, but it requires a fair amount of time. Many weeks or months may be needed to recondition a dog to see the muzzle as a positive object, rather than an uncomfortable restraint that keeps him from opening his mouth.

Unfortunately, Cesar Millan does not have the time to do this properly given the time limitations with his clients. He ends up using a small number of treats (< 10), before forcing the muzzle on.

While it is good that he is trying to introduce such reward based counter-conditioning methods, it would even be better if he verbally instructed people that this is a long process, which may take weeks or months. Indeed counter-conditioning should be performed slowly and according to the dog's comfort level.

Counter-conditioning should be performed slowly and according to the dog's comfort level.
Counter-conditioning should be performed slowly and according to the dog's comfort level.
It is rare to find someone who can follow the no-eye-contact rule when a cute, foxy-looking Shiba Inu is asking for their attention.
It is rare to find someone who can follow the no-eye-contact rule when a cute, foxy-looking Shiba Inu is asking for their attention.
Shiba Inu Sephy looking foxy and irresistible.
Shiba Inu Sephy looking foxy and irresistible.

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4. No talk, no touch, no eye-contact.

Reward dog training technique. This technique works by taking away attention.

When meeting dogs, Cesar Millan always institutes the no talk, no touch, no eye contact rule. You give the dog no attention until he is in a calm, submissive state, then you can praise him and pet him as a reward for being in that state.

This technique works very well but can be difficult to follow. Most people have a hard time not giving a dog eye contact, especially when the dog is so happy and excited to see them.

After using this technique for a very short time, my dog stopped jumping on family members. He still occasionally jumps on strangers because it is rare to find someone who can follow this rule especially with a cute, foxy-looking Shiba Inu asking for their attention.

This technique is essentially a time-out lite. In a time-out, you remove a dog to an extremely low stimulus area (e.g. laundry room) and leave him there to calm down. In this way, you take away all of his freedom, and all of his external stimuli.

With no talk, no touch, no eye-contact, you are not taking away freedom, or stimuli from the surrounding environment. You are just removing your own attention. This technique is especially effective for dogs that are people focused, and highly motivated by owner attention e.g. the Border Collie.

Holding back attention only works in limited cases for training my Shiba Inu, e.g. when he is actively asking for attention. In most other cases, he is perfectly comfortable entertaining himself, and does not ask for, or particularly desire much human interaction.

A full time-out works very well though, because my Shiba Inu likes being around his pack (line of sight), and having interesting things to see, smell, and do.

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Shiba Inu Sephy happy entertaining himself.
Shiba Inu Sephy happy entertaining himself.


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    • Armi 11 months ago from Kuopio, Savo, Finland

      This guy is just horrible! I read that he only manipulates the dogs and their health isn't the number one priority when he trains the dogs!!

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 2 years ago

      Congratulations on your new puppy. Four paws up for helping out a dog in need.

      1. No-mark

      The no-mark and yes-mark are just ways to communicate with my dog. I use a no-mark to indicate undesirable behaviors and a yes-mark to indicate desirable behaviors. For the mark to have meaning, I must usually follow it up with a consequence. For example, I may follow-up with a yes-mark with food rewards, a favorite game, greater freedom, and more. Similarly, if after a no-mark my dog continues with her bad behavior, then I need to follow it up with a consequence, for example, a timeout.

      2. Consequences/Motivators

      There are many different types of motivators. What is most effective with my dog will depend on her temperament and the current context. For example, if my dog is biting me because she is seeking attention or play, then standing up and ignoring her may work well because it teaches her that if she bites, then she loses her play-mate.

      However, at the same time, I want to teach my dog the "right" behavior. Therefore, in this situation, I may start out by redirecting her onto a toy or giving her an alternative command. If she redirects, then I make sure to reward her really well with her favorite game with the toy. If she does not redirect, then I no-mark and then follow that up with a consequence, e.g. stopping play and withdrawing my attention. If she escalates, then I calmly say timeout and take her to a timeout area. I always try to start small and try to turn the experience into a positive one by teaching her what to do. I only escalate my consequences if my dog escalates her behavior.

      I talk more about the "mark" and about consequences here-

      For biting, I also do bite inhibition training with my dogs.

      Both my Huskies are food motivated, which actually makes them easier to train because I just keep a bunch of kibble in my pocket, and use that to motivate them. However, there are also many other motivators that can come in handy including a favorite game, freedom to the backyard, access to other dogs, access to walks, access to toys, etc. that I can use to motivate them. My Shiba Inu is not as food motivated, so I usually mix things up with him, manage him properly, and time things carefully so that I use my motivators at the right time. For example, he is more motivated by food when he is hungry.

      I follow the Nothing in Life is Free program with all of my dogs. They work for all of their food, and also for other things that they want.

      To change my dog's behavior, I want to not only discourage undesirable behaviors but also to really reinforce good behaviors. For example, in potty training, when my puppy goes outside, I reward her extremely well with praise, her favorite games, special treats that she only gets for potty success, and more. I make it into a really big deal especially in the beginning. At the same time, I supervise her closely so that I minimize mistakes in the house. If I miss her cues and she starts to go, then I interrupt her and take her outside. In this way, she learns that -

      Going inside = Get interrupted and taken outside,

      Going outside = Favorite games, favorite treats, fun, and lots of good stuff.

      In this way, I make it easy for my puppy to make the right choice.

      More on what I do for biting-

      This is getting long so let me just quickly summarize-

      1. Whenever possible, I use management techniques to set my dogs up for success. I try not to expose them to situations where I know they will resort to bad behavior.

      2. I always try to teach my dog what the right behavior is by redirecting her and/or giving an alternative command.

      3. I try to stay calm at all times. If I get frustrated, angry, or stressed, my dog will pick up on that, become stressed herself, and act more crazy.

      4. I try to always have a plan of action for each of my dog's undesirable behaviors. In this way, I can take decisive action before things escalate.

      5. I set up a consistent set of rules and a fixed routine so that my dog understands what to expect from me and what I expect from her in return.

      6. I apply motivators based on my dog's temperament and the current context. When possible, I time my motivators so that they are more effective. I make it easy for my dog to choose the right action by applying a very strong positive motivator for the right alternative behavior.

      7. I follow the Nothing in Life is Free program. This teaches my dog that she gets what she wants most by doing something for me first. It also teaches her that I am the source of most resources.

      I talk a lot more about my training experiences with my dogs on my main site.

    • Crystal 2 years ago

      Thank you so much for the shibashake blog! I have found it really useful. I recently adopted a "husky mix" from the shelter at about 2.5-3 months old. Her name is Laika. She is a beautiful and intelligent dog with a lot of energy and confidence. In many ways, she sounds quite similar to your Shiba Inu.

      We spend a lot of time trying to expend her energy (walking, hiking, play dates with other dogs, playing with toys, food toys, etc on a daily basis), and we also spend a lot of time working on obedience and various positive reinforcement strategies. Even with all this, we are struggling to control her tendency to bite during play (and her bite is getting stronger every day) and throw occasional "tantrums" when she doesn't get what she wants (e.g. when we are not playing with her, or if we pick her up to bring her inside when she would prefer to stay outside). A tantrum usually involves biting and snarling. We are very patiently applying all of the suggested strategies, but none of them seem to be working:

      1) redirecting to toys - sure, she will happily take the toy. but she will just as happily resume biting us. enjoyment of the toy does not teach her that biting is inappropriate.

      2) using a "no" mark (ah, ah, ah!) - she doesn't seem to care, and in some cases it will even cause her to escalate. we definitely don't use any kind of adversives because her immediate reaction is to fight back.

      3) standing up and ignoring her - she doesn't care very much. she'll just go find something else to do.

      4) putting her in a brief time-out - this certainly upsets her and calms her down. thus far, I can't tell that she is making the link between biting and time out. maybe we just need to keep at it.

      She is a highly food motivated dog, but not an affection motivated dog. While she enjoys a belly rub and playing with her toy on your lap, its on her own terms. If you walk up to pet her, she may very well just walk away. She is very independent and strong-willed.

      While I completely understand and agree with the positive reinforcement strategies for dog training, there seem to be a couple short comings when it comes to Laika. First, the only positive reward that seems to motivate her is food. She doesn't care about pleasing us. Second, while she seems to understand that she will be rewarded for "good behavior", she is not learning that there is such a thing as "bad behavior". This even extends to her potty training. She certainly seems to understand that we like her to pee outside (she will get a treat!), and she may even prefer to pee outside. But she has no qualms about peeing inside either!

      That was a pretty long ramble! Any advice would be much appreciated.



    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 2 years ago

      With my Shiba Inu, doing dog-to-dog desensitization exercises helped him to stay more calm in the presence of other dogs. I write more about our experiences in the article below.

      Desensitization and counter-conditioning may also help with car chasing.

      The key with desensitization is to always start small, and in a controlled and safe environment that is low stimulus. In this way, I can keep my dog below threshold so that he is still capable of listening and learning. In outside situations, the environmental challenge is usually too strong, so our dog goes into rear-brained mode right away and is no longer able to learn or respond.

    • Alexandra 2 years ago


      I have a very tame GSD, she is very playful and charming (only 8 months old but also about 80 pounds). In fact, if anything she is a little timid or nervous around new dogs at first. We take her to the dog park at least once a week and she plays with all the playful dogs (and avoids the aggressive or more dominant ones). She also goes to agility class and has no problems doing the activities or getting along with dogs and people. To sum it up she is an amazing dog off leash (in the house very calm, in the yard she never barks, at the dog park gets along with dogs and comes back easily). Unfortunately, on leash she is the worst! When she sees a car coming she goes insane (wants to go and see it) and same with dogs. The few times we have let her approach the dog (with permission of owner) she just sniffs them and wants to play. She is not aggressive but now because she is so big she looks scary (and the more we pull back the worse she looks). We have tried redirecting her, giving her treats for ignoring cars, yanking the leash, etc. It just seems like she enters a different mode and is too stubborn to stop the pulling until she gets what she wants. Has anyone else had this and what did you do? (remember she is not aggressive just strong willed)

    • natural holistic profile image

      D. Lemaire 2 years ago from Arizona

      Cesar Millan is a topic of controverse. I watched a few series of hiw show The Dog Whisperer and got out of it what I felt was right. I watched some of Victoria Stilwell's It's The Dog Or Me series and got out of it what I felt was right for me. In general I try to stay as positive as possible with my dog and focus on reward. You can say whatever you want about CM, and I for one definitely don't agree with everything he does. But he is exceptionally good at understanding dog behavior.

    • Chelsy Curtis 3 years ago

      hey i have a question. i love Caesar but i do agree that some of his methods are a bit harsh and some times just don't work on some dogs. my puppy is super sensitive. and i am kind of stuck on how to deal with him. i am not used to a big dog being such a baby. he is a 15 week old boxer. for one when i tell him to lay down he gets really nervous, circles a couple times then rolls over on his back. then when i go to pet him he wiggles everywhere and uses his paws to push off me. i dont know if he is scared or if he is just being a retard. another thing is his potty training. he is really really good if i am in the room. he will ask to go out, but it seems that as soon as he is alone for 2 mins he pees in the house. i dont know how to stop this…. at the moment he is in a crate at night but i would like him to not have to. if i could trust him to hold his pee while i am not in the room…other then that he is a really well behaved puppy. i have never allowed him to pull on the leash from day one so he walks on the leash pretty nicely. he sill jumps up on new people and dogs and wants to lick their face but he is getting better about that. i have a 18 month old daughter that he is great with. he lets her take his toys while he is chewing them and she often times helps him eat is dog food by taking had fulls and feeding them to him while he is trying to eating from the bowl. its really cute because you can tell that he loves it cus his tale never stops.

    • Willow 3 years ago

      Thank you for telling people this stuff does NOT work in the long run. I tried leash jerks for around 4 months or so on my Aussie/Husky gal. Where did it get me? Months behind in training and lost trust!

    • Frangipanni profile image

      Frangipanni 3 years ago

      I love your hubs on dogs. Thanks for sharing.

    • Tc 3 years ago

      No mention of the damage a leash jerk can cause to the neck and spine of a dog. Often this physical damage will not show up until a few years after the damaging jerk.

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 4 years ago

      Hello J,

      Glad to hear that the ignoring technique is starting to work.

      Another thing that I do is give my dogs an alternative command. For example, when they jump, I no-mark (Ack-ack) to let them know that it is an undesirable behavior. Then I give them something positive to do - e.g. a simple Sit command. If they do the command, then I mark the behavior (Yes) and reward them with my attention and a really fun game.

      If they do not, then I fold up my arms and withdraw my attention.

      In this way, they not only learn what not to do, but also what *to do*, e.g. do a Sit instead of jump when meeting people.

      Hugs to your Sibe. They are an awesome breed and four paws up for helping a Sibe in need. :D

    • 4 years ago

      Mikkurayne, thanks so much for the tip. Perseverance pays off, after another 2 days of the ignoring technique, she's finally starting to get that jumping and mouthing will not get my attention. Only occasionally during play will she try and mouth, which I will then try the "hold mouth" technique.

    • mikkurayne 4 years ago

      In answer to J's question about the Siberian Husky mouthing and nipping when first coming out to greet...I am a dog trainer and I also have a Siberian as well. She did this same thing. In order to stop her I simply closed her mouth with my hand and said quickly "No Bite" and let go. After a couple times of this she quit. If she from time to time repeats this behavior the "No Bite" correction works every time. The good thing about Siberians is that they are an extremely intelligent breed. I can show my Siberian a new command a few times and she learns it without much repetition. If I don't use that command for months and then call on that command she remembers it. Good luck!

    • 4 years ago

      I have a 2 year old Husky who I just rescued from the shelter 2 weeks ago. She's already made a lot of progress moving into her new home. However, she has a bad habit of jumping and mouthing/nipping when I initially walk out to see her in the yard. Once I'm out there for a bit, she calms down and is a sweetheart, but I believe she has a hard time controlling the initial excitement of seeing a person. I've tried Cesar's technique of ignoring, no eye contact, "tsch" sound, small push with foot but she just keeps nipping and mouthing more and more aggressively until finally I distract her with something else (treat, toy). Is this a case where this dog would be suited better with redirecting her excitement towards something else or do I continue with the ignoring method. At times I feel it is the ignoring that creates more excitement in her. What do I do?

    • DrMark1961 profile image

      DrMark1961 4 years ago from The Beach of Brazil

      Thanks for the great hub. Have you tried walking your dog with the Volhard collar? How about a cheap leash from Petsmart (the type with just a single metal ring, without a collar) and keeping it up high, like they do in dog shows? You can not walk a dog with a loose leash but I find they work a lot better than choke chains and "checks", something that will drive a sensitive dog really insane. Keep on writing for us!

    • bac2basics profile image

      Anne 4 years ago from Spain

      Hi shibashake. I am a huge cesar fan, but then I am a huge fan of anyone who can get complete control of an animal by just using some common sense, I also idolise Monty Roberts. You seem very knowlegeable about dog training too and have written a great hub.I do agree with you on some of the points made, and I also think you need to have a lot of knowledge before attempting some of the things cesar advises, but to be fair there are warnings before each episode telling people not to try this at home, to get a trainer. I have tried some of cesars techniques myself and yes you can have the dog turning on you in frustration. I know for sure I don´t have his patience or calmness, or his knowledge and maybe you are right, maybe the warning before each episode should be backed up by the man himself. Anyway great article so voting up and following. Good luck with your dog training.

    • Me 4 years ago

      Alpha rolls should NEVER be used. Wrestling a dog to the ground and pinning him there does nothing but induce learned helplessness.

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 4 years ago

      One possibility is to desensitize him to people-

      Some other methods to stop barking-

    • Denise 4 years ago

      Hi , I have A 3 year old pug and he barks at everyone who comes to my home and even when he hears things outside , what can I do to stop this? Please help

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 4 years ago

      Hello Stu,

      Two things that helped with my dog's biting-

      1. Bite inhibition training.

      2. Teaching him that if he keeps biting, he loses his access to people. If he stops biting, he gets affection and a fun game. This is what I do -

    • Stu 4 years ago

      I should just add, in case this wasn't clear, that he isn't an aggressive dog as such, and his biting is usually relatively "playful", but it's just that I don't want it to escalate to the point where he does start to become more aggressive, so I really want to nip it in the bud now! Many thanks in advance, Stu

    • Stu 4 years ago

      Hi there, great post!! If you don't mind, I'd quite like to ask you some advice... my dog Marley (an 8 month old terrier mix) tends to bite and mouth my wife and myself when he wants to get our attention. We've tried ignoring him but then he just continues to bite us!!... It doesn't actually seem to phase him much at all that we're ignoring him. So at that point we feel like we can't just let him keep biting us, so we either say "no" to him (which tens to lead to him getting a bit agitated and barking at us (even though generally he's really not a barker at all)), or, more recently, after reading one of Cesar Millan's books, I've been trying the body block technique, but all that happens is, again, he gets agitated, and starts biting my feet and legs as I try to invade his personal space, with the bites becoming more vicious as he gets more wound up). Everything my wife and I try just seems to actually make him worse, rather than better, and now we're feeling quite desperate, so any advice you could give me at all would be much appreciated!

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 5 years ago

      Yes I agree. The force of the correction is very important as I stated in the article above. It cannot be too hard or too soft. What is the 'right' amount of force is dependent on temperament, past experiences, and a variety of other factors.

      In addition to strength of force, it is also important to implement the aversive correction with exactly the right technique, energy, and redirection.

      -This is why aversive techniques, especially pain based aversive techniques are risky and difficult to apply properly.

      -This is why studies like the one from UPenn show that under the hands of most pet owners, such techniques result in additional behavioral issues, including increased aggression.

      -This is also why Cesar Millan says-

      "Do not attempt the techniques you are about to see without consulting a professional"

      It is arguably the most important message from Millan because it is repeated many times, in every single episode.

      Therefore, I choose to take Millan's very good advice and use alternative techniques that are less risky, and also very effective.

    • Paul 5 years ago

      The intensity of the correction should match the intensity of the dog's behaviour at the moment otherwise the dog will not even recognize your disagreement with the unwanted behaviour.

      There are also numerous ways to speak to the dog's instincts that remind him that you are leader and not the dog, many of these are subtle.

      By choosing to pick out some of Cesar's methods that he uses in certain cases and under certain conditions while ignoring the larger parts of a culture that Cesar insists is necessary to balance the dog then the context of his philosophy can be completely eroded.


    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 5 years ago

      "Do not attempt the techniques you are about to see without consulting a professional"

    • Paul 5 years ago

      Going back to your comment about leash jerks, they are effective if done properly. The timing is critical, at exactly the time of the intention to walk ahead of the handler becomes apparent. If the dog persists other methods can be mixed in such as curling your foot in front of the dog's chest like a hook and even grabbing the loin near the back leg much like an actual canine pack leader might do with their teeth. You should make sounds to accompany the corrections so that eventually just the sounds will do the job, such as 'hey' or 'shhttt'.

      When nothing else works then stopping the dog and making him sit while you go in front again and turn to him, grab the skin on the neck and say 'no' assertively but calm.

      Leadership before, during and after the walk both in the home and otherwise are also crucial so the dog sees you as the calm benevolent leader.

      Good luck.

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 5 years ago

      Dear Robin,

      I am not Cesar Millan. Millan's website is at-

    • Robin of Cape Cod, Ma. 5 years ago

      Hi! First let me say, tyssssm for your help! I have learned so much from your shows an books! Now, I have a big problem , I have raised my morkie 4 a yr. now, w/ my sons 7yr. old pug. They r together 6 days a week sometime. She has become very aggressive towarsd the pug, she will lunge at him, even if I keep their jumbones put away! She now starts fights w/ him biting n grabing the thick side of his neck, n won't let go! He only wants to sleep eat n go for his walks. I have been having my son or husband to help me break them up. She tries to boss him all the time if he walks around the house. I have been walking her more hoping it will get rid of her aggresion.She is more my dog, but we have always everyone interact w/ both dogs. exspecially we're all dog lovers!I do use her crate for her house. she sleeps in their sometimes, chews her bones in their n on our old couch or love seat,I have to put them away when (pedro) our pug, comes over. Now, she has gotten more territorial and wants to fight him more now. I don't want to stop him from coming over ,I think she needs to know her place better, so that might make it worse?How can I fix this! Desperately seeking your advice! TYVM, Robin

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 5 years ago

      "Do you reserve this food specifically for teeth-brushing times?"

      Yes I do. This makes the food be higher priority because Sephy can't get it any other way.

      "would you suggest that i introduce the food/treat before the activity, to make it an incentive? Or just delay feeding her if she puts up a fuss?"

      With Sephy, I will brush part of his teeth, and then treat a bit. Then I brush some more, and then he gets a bit more. If I give him the stuff before brushing, he just gets up and walks away when I try to brush his teeth. Now, he only gets the stuff after a bit of brushing, and so on.

      If he doesn't let me brush, then I try again later. During his more stubborn periods, Sephy has skipped meals for about 1 day, but that is the longest time he has gone without eating. I wouldn't let him go longer than that, and he has not tested this either. Usually, after some sleep, he is in a better frame of mind.

      With nails, I do nail grinding and treat with salmon.

      "With Sephy, did you have to address him pulling on the leash? How did you correct this behaviour?"

      Yeah, Sephy did pull a fair amount when he was a puppy. I tried a variety of methods with him, but what worked best with Sephy is the 180-turn-around technique.

      Consistency was very important with Sephy. Here is more on my leash training experiences-

      Sephy also tried many other Shiba-moves during walking including alligator rolls, shiba screaming, and leash biting. I definitely had a big adventure with Sephy during his first year. :D

      Hugs to Laika.

    • NDG 5 years ago

      Hello again shibashake-

      thanks for all of the useful information. I am just envisioning myself trying to brush Laika's teeth... she would probably start bouncing around, in her usual manner, and think it's a game.

      Do you reserve this food specifically for teeth-brushing times? I think this may work well for nail-clipping. would you suggest that i introduce the food/treat before the activity, to make it an incentive? Or just delay feeding her if she puts up a fuss?

      Laika is very challenging in most regards... the walk is always interesting since she pulls non-stop. It would be nice to let her walk with a loose lead, but she would be pulling me down the road.

      With Sephy, did you have to address him pulling on the leash? How did you correct this behaviour? I'm afraid Laika will eventually get used to pulling me around, and I will have to struggle through each and every walk!

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 5 years ago

      Add- Depending on the situation, time-outs also work well on Sephy because he very much likes his freedom. For example, time-outs worked well when I was training him to stop biting on people. In that circumstance, timeouts taught him that if he bites on people, he does not get to play or be with people.

      However, it will likely not work as well for teeth brushing, because in that situation, he doesn't really want to be with people. Instead, I time my teeth brushing session at around dinner time, so he is hungry and really wants food.

      What works well with Sephy is to make him think he wants to do, what I want him to do. :)

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 5 years ago

      Hello NDG,

      My Shiba Inu, Sephy, is also extremely stubborn. He is a lot more stubborn than my two Siberian Huskies.

      I have found that if I try to force the issue, he will dig in and get even more stubborn. He is very much a rebel and does not like to bend his will to others. I suppose I can understand that. :)

      What has worked best with Shiba Sephy is to use management and passive resistance. For example, I brush his teeth 3 times a week. Sometimes, he doesn't want to brush, which is fine. I just ignore him and give his yummy chicken-cheese to my Sibes while brushing their teeth. This usually gets his attention, and then he will come to me and wait to have his teeth brushed.

      If that does not happen, then I just pack up and try again when I am free. He will usually get hungry before then, and come begging, but I ignore him. I will only try again on my schedule. In this way, he learns that if he doesn't want to brush his teeth, then he doesn't get his favorite chicken-cheese food, and has to wait until I have free time.

      I have found that Shiba Sephy is very motivated to work when he wants something from me. So I identify the things that he wants most, carefully manage him, and make sure that he only gets things when he works for them. Here is more on my training experiences with Sephy-

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 5 years ago

      Hello Janet,

      I don’t train service dogs so I can't be of much help in this area. This site seems to have some useful resources on service dogs -

    • NDG 5 years ago

      I am happy that I came across this site! We have a 9 month old American Akita. Now, whether she is stubborn, intelligent, easily bored or a combination of the three, I'm not sure. What I do know is that she nips at me if I ask a command of her (sit, down, back, etc.) and if she is lucky enough to get off her tie-out, it's challenging to get her back.

      Exactly what do you use on your Shiba Inu to 'correct' unwanted behaviour? If Laika (our AA) nips, how can I quickly correct her without being physical? As I've read and experienced, physical touch only worked for a short amount of time.

      I have done obedience and clicker training with her, but I feel like ultimately, if she doesn't want to do what we ask of her, she will certainly challenge the request.

      If anybody has dealt with this type of behaviour, I am certainly open to new ideas and suggestions.

      In terms of exercise, she gets a good hour in the evenings, and maybe a brisk walk before work.

      A few ideas that I've come across are getting her a backpack while we're out on walks, or even getting her on the treadmill. I'm not sure what I think about the latter idea just yet, but maybe her behaviour is linked to a lack of exercise that I could address indoors if time or circumstance doesn't permit a walk.

      Any ideas would be great! Thanks

    • janet 5 years ago

      hi i want a really good lead for my puppy lone

      and i am wanting to traning him for a deaf dog so he can help me

      tell me when the phone gose

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 5 years ago

      Hmmm, sounds like she may be barking out of excitement.

      Some possibilities -

      1. Teach her the Quiet command.

      2. Ask for an alternative command. E.g. Down.

      3. Get her to do something else.

      With my dogs, exercising them and taking them out for more walks also helps with excitement barking.

      More on dog barking-

    • Charlene Taylor 5 years ago

      Hi, my 11 year old son and i have a gorgeous 20week old Cocker x. She is bright and affectionate but also quiet naughty. She barks at the vacuum, she barks at me when i have a bath, whilst i iron and now she barks whilst i drink. She is supposed to be my sons dog, but she seems to have attached herself to me. Please any advice, her bark is high pitched.

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 5 years ago

      1. Nobody argues about calm energy because everyone agrees that calm energy is important in dog training.

      2. "Do not attempt the techniques you are about to see without consulting a professional".

      Indeed, we should not attempt pain based aversive techniques because they are risky, difficult to implement, lowers a dog's quality of life, and can result in even more behavioral issues.

      Much better to use techniques that will not get you bitten.

      3. The techniques used *do* matter, even Cesar says so. Some techniques apply pain, some techniques apply stress, some techniques are riskier than others, etc. This is why it is dangerous for your elderly neighbor to perform alpha rolls on a 100lb Rottie.

      4. "Cesar makes dogs submit to demonstrate the "possible" not so my elderly neighbor thinks she can dominate my 100 lb Rottie that barks and wakes her up from a nap"

      The show sometimes features young children applying various pain-based aversive techniques to bring Rotties, and other large dogs in line. It is certainly "possible" for young children to do these things, but it would be very "risky".

      5. "Stubborn means that the dog has reasoning powers, can deliberately and consciously decide to do something other than what the human is asking just to be difficult."

      Definition of stubborn - difficult to manage or suppress: a stubborn horse; a stubborn pain.

      Definition of spite - a malicious, usually petty, desire to harm, annoy, frustrate, or humiliate another person;

      One does not imply the other.

      6. "People have long said that breed x or y is one of the most difficult to train. This is also a false statement."

      Definition of difficult - not easily or readily done; requiring much labor, skill, or planning to be performed successfully;

      I think that everyone agrees that some dogs require more labor and skill to train than others. A dog's size, independence, energy level, etc. all matter. Even Cesar Millan says so.

    • Fed-up Guest 5 years ago

      Sorry, I have to do this to you very well-meaning posters...

      The Dog Whisperer opens every segment with "Do not attempt the techniques you are about to see without consulting a professional".

      I consulted a professional and learned that Cesar Millan is a very polished correctionist and that it takes a lot of time and practise to get most of his techniques to work consistently.

      Cesar uses the techniques that work the fastest for each situation to show the owners and the audience what is possible and that they don't have a dog that can't behave properly.

      His singular message is always very clear but no one seems to focus on it in boards like these. Instead, we argue about the merit of techniques, kinds of collars, etc. The message of the Dog Whisperer is that the human is the problem, not the dog.

      "Calm and assertive" pack leadership. How this is accomplished doesn't matter. Dog treats, leash corrections, praise, what matters is never giving up and never letting the dog see you have given up before getting the behaviour you have asked for. Calm comes before assertive. I is the most important thing of all and it is somethat that very few people are actually able to bring to a situation with misbehaving dogs.

      I know because I have a hard time not getting frustrated with my own dogs, not worrying about having to use the leash to control them, not thinking of how to deal with a problem (that hasn't happened yet) on a walk.

      Calm comes before assertive when he says "calm and assertive" but everyone argues over how to be assertive. "Cesar hurts dogs" or "Alpha rolls are dangerous with breed x but not breed y". Sorry, but that is wrong. If you got bit doing this, your intensity was wrong (Calm before assertive) or you came with too much intensity.(Seen by the dog as aggression)

      I know this because I have been bitten several times by my dog trying to curb her leash aggression. If I get frustrated and yank on the leash she instantly corrects me. However, a calm me in exactly the same situation can give a gentle tug to the side on the leash, touch her back and she sits instantly and looks at me for what she should do next.

      Cesar makes dogs submit to demonstrate the "possible" not so my elderly neighbor thinks she can dominate my 100 lb Rottie that barks and wakes her up from a nap and not so that an angry or frustrated dog owner can make his dog feel attacked by a technique meant to calm a dog.

      Another absolutely false statement is that certain dogs or breeds are "stubborn". Stubborn means that the dog has reasoning powers, can deliberately and consciously decide to do something other than what the human is asking just to be difficult. Spite is a human thing, try not to project this onto dogs.

      People have long said that breed x or y is one of the most difficult to train. This is also a false statement. Its not "hard" for an experienced sheep farmer to train a border collie. Nor is it "hard" for a duck hunter to train a new spaniel.

      I imagine it is more difficult to train my girlfriend's dachsund/shitsu cross to pull a sled for 6 hours per day on those stubby little legs.

      And maybe, the hardest part of any of it is to train a dog that uses instinct and learned responses to ignore how absolutely unstable most of us are emotionally from second to second as we live in the past and the future at the same time while our dogs do the best they can to take care of the present since we are not.

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 5 years ago

      Hello Jk111008,

      Colt sounds like a really active Lab. My Sibes are also very energetic and will get into trouble if I let them! :)

      Some things that helped with my Sibes -

      1. Lots and lots of exercise. They each go on long walks every day and they also play a lot in the house and backyard. I also have an area in the backyard where they can dig. Sometimes I bury things for them to dig up.

      Other possibilities for exercise - dog daycare, and group dog walking by a professional walker. I have tried both of these. Daycare is nice because the dog gets supervised play with other dogs all day. The advantage of the group dog walking is that the dogs usually get taken to a nice outdoor park, so there is play with the other dogs as well as a very interesting environment.

      2.In terms of manners in the house, I have found that it is a good idea to set up fixed rules and a routine for the dog.

      3. In terms of walking, using a head-halti may help with the pulling. I used this briefly with my Siberian, especially when walking her in the park because there were so many distractions. At the same time, however, I continued training her on-leash with a regular collar. After she got better walking with the regular collar, I stopped using the head halti.

      There are also some criticisms against the head halti, so I would do some research on it first.

    • Jk111008 5 years ago

      I have a 2 yr old, unaltered male yellow lab that I got about a year ago and I need help with him! He was crated for 10 hours a day, 7 days a week for the first year of his life in an apartment. That owner had to get rid of him because of consistent barking. Then he went to another home but they had an elderly retriever that he was just entirely too energetic for. So here I am, I have 3 young children and 4 other dogs. My other 4 dogs are not the best behaved but I'm able to manage them. Colt on the other hand, I can't. He weighs about 100lbs so physical force of any kind for me, is out of the question not only because of size but I don't want to instill fear in him. He jumps, barks, knocks the kids over, get on the counter, nips at my hand, pulls while on a leash and also bolts out the door and will not come back until I get in the car and drive to wherever he is and even that only works occasionally. Of course if he sees another animal, a car or person anything I've done is out the window. He's a good dog but it's gotten to the point that my husband is tired of him and is starting to want him gone and the poor dogs had already been bounced around more than he should've been and I'm trying to at all cost avoid that..... Any suggestions?

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 5 years ago

      Congratulations on your new Shiba puppy!

      Yeah, Shibas can be a handful. Sephy, my Shiba, was a crazy, head-strong, independent, and very stubborn puppy.

      In terms of the Shiba scream, what worked best with Sephy is just to ignore him. Most important of all, do not give Shiba any attention when she is screaming.

      With Sephy, any type of attention, even negative attention, was a reward. Therefore, responding in any way to a scream, only made him scream more.

      Time-outs is another option, but with Sephy, ignoring him was enough. I also make him work for all of his food so that he gets used to working for what he wants. A drag-lead was also very helpful to prevent Shiba from starting a catch-me-if-you-can game.

      Here are some of the things that helped with Sephy when he was a puppy-

    • Holou 5 years ago

      Hi Shibashake! I've just found this hub after googling.

      I'm in the uk and 3 days ago we picked up our shiba girl Yuki.

      I've had collies before and this is my first shiba but i'm really at my wits end and need advice as we cannot get her to settle. The breeder has already housebroken her and so as far as potty routines go shes doing great but she simply will not stop screaming the infamous shiba scream whenever shes unoccupied/not interested in playing, eating or being cuddled. Help!

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 5 years ago

      Yeah, you are right. Since the originating study cannot be found, it probably detracts from the argument. Link removed as suggested.

    • Jesse Carroll 5 years ago

      OK, you made sense until you mentioned the "study" about prong collars. Apparently there is no such study. Many, many other training blogs and websites have debunked this. I suggest removing the link to the bogus study.

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 5 years ago from India

      I used to love his show - and watched most of them. True, I could never implement some of the things he recommended but I always got something useful out of every show - and that was good enough for me!

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 5 years ago

      "There are so many wrong choices and so few right choices so why not help teach the dog how to be right."

      That is a very good point.

      In general, it is effective to follow-up a non-mark with a command or with some redirection so that we teach our dogs what *to do* as well as what *not to do*.

      In this way, we turn something that started out negatively into a very positive outcome.

    • Dawes Paws DTC 5 years ago

      Cesar Millan creates fear in dogs, he does not understand dogs as he thinks he does and is setting a terrible example for countless dog owners across the globe! i cant wait to see the day the man is booted off tv!

    • abbyh 5 years ago

      The problem with the non marker is that it doesn't tell the dog what you want only that you are doing something wrong (Am I on the wrong side, too far ahead, behind, shouldn't be sniffing that telephone pole, barking at that cat you don't see behind the bush and the list goes on).

      There are so many wrong choices and so few right choices so why not help teach the dog how to be right.

    • Beth 5 years ago

      Cesar does use Alpha roles, he does hold dogs down. His methods & theories are all wrong. Fact Dominance does not exist neither does the Alpha male or female they just happen to be the breeding pair.

    • Dave 5 years ago

      the alpha dog roll can be extremely dangerous on the wrong kind of dog. It worked for me on my lab but when I did that on my bull terrier I nearly lost my had as did the dog trainer. The dog now gets aggressive if anyone so much as gently touches his stomach.

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 5 years ago

      Hello Ritchie,

      One of the things that all dog trainers agree on is that it is important to set up consistent rules and routine for our dogs.

      Here are some things that may be helpful for puppy obedience -

      Here are some of my experiences with puppy biting -

      Here are some activities I do with my dogs to drain their hyper energy -

    • ritche 5 years ago

      it's not a comment but i just like to ask if you can help me with my german shepherd dog., he is so very active and the problem is he bites shoes, rugs, ropes etc. etc. in our house., what will i do to change his behaviour., hope you can help me., thanx and more power!!

    • danjo 5 years ago

      ive got american akita named shadow and all of mr milans techniques ave worked up to now with him i hope caesar keeps it coming daniel england uk

    • justmesuzanne profile image

      justmesuzanne 5 years ago from Texas

      Great explanation of Caesar Milan's techniques! Voted up and useful! :)

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 5 years ago

      What has worked well with my own dogs is to desensitize them to people -

      During the desensitization process, it is important not to let people overwhelm the dog or invade the dog's space. If the dog keeps experiencing scary or negative greetings, he will likely become more and more fearful of people.

      Usually I just avoid random greetings with people until my dog has made significant progress with desensitization.

      I have tried asking people to ignore the dog (e.g.Cesar Millan's no-talk, no-touch, no-eye-contact), but the no-eye-contact rule especially, seems difficult to follow. For this reason, I have found that it is safer to just keep walking and create neutral experiences for the dog.

      In this way, I won't lose any of the positive progress I have made with desensitization.

      What seems to work best in such situations is to set my dogs up for success. I only let them do greetings when they are ready for it and with people who know how to properly greet dogs.

    • Growling at strangers 5 years ago

      I have a half three year old half westie/half shchnauzer dog. She is extremely smart and great with commands. She is also great off the leash and good with people she knows. However, when a strangers comes over to pet her, she shows teeth, growls and sometimes nips. She is okay if SHE goes up to them, but not when they try to pet her. She will never go after a person or dog, but just doesn't like to be approached by a stranger. How can I make it okay for strangers to pet her. She's so cute, until she shows her mean teeth! haha

    • Dr Rockpile profile image

      Dr Rockpile 5 years ago from USA

      Excellent Hub! I appreciate that it's from first hand knowledge. You sound like a great dog owner.

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 5 years ago

      With my own dogs I have a no-furniture rule. Every time they get on furniture, I non-mark them and tell them off. If they get off I reward them. If they don't then I just calmly remove them using their drag-lead (*only* with a flat collar).

      Using a lead gives me better control and I don't have to lay hands on my dog.

      I also follow the NILIF program with my dogs. I always ask my dogs to do something for me first before giving them anything in return including food, affection, backyard access, etc. This teaches them that to get what they want, they must first do what I want.

    • abhinav trivedi 5 years ago

      hey...i have a 4 months german shepherd...yesterday at night he was sitting at my mother's bed so i asked him to leave the bed and suddenly he started growling at me and grabbing my hand(he ws not actually bitting) but growling,barking hard and grabbing hand....same things he started doin wid my mom when she asked him to leave the bed.....i dont know how to control him and teach him manners dat not to sit at bed....plzzz help meee.....

    • Rina-chan 5 years ago

      It's still a little too early to tell if im having a boy or girl yet but we're hoping for a boy. But it's okay if we have a girl. My youngest daughter has a Japanese name so I will continue with the tradition :). If we have a girl her name will be Kokoro. If we have a boy he will be Kenji. (I'm not Japanese by the way. I'm Filippina lol.)

      I would love to stop back soon and let you know how we are progressing with Take-chan's training and behavior. He just got a bunch of new toys to tear into today. No doubt there will be stuffing and and a squeaker hanging out of a gutted, disemboweled rabbit looking thing. LOL! I love watching him do that. Perhaps I'm a bit morbid xD.

      In the meantime you and yours take care as well. Ja na!

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 5 years ago

      Hello Rina-chan,

      "I have three children with one on the way."

      Congratulations on your new bundle of joy! :D Boy or girl?

      "When they are grown and out of my house one of my dreams is to have a bigger place where I can be an adoptive pet parent to two or three needy pets who maybe in transition or who need a home."

      That sounds awesome!

      You will probably be really busy in the short term, but hope you will drop in from time to time. It will also be great to have you here on HP!

      I would love to hear more about Take-chan and his pack. :D

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 5 years ago

      Hello Shawna,

      It would be great to have you on HubPages! I would love to hear more about your dog and dog training experiences.

      HubPages has a nice community of writers and I not only learned a lot from the people here but also had some good fun.

      Let me know if you have any questions about the site. :)

    • Shawna Kelly 5 years ago

      Hi! Great article - very well written. I come from a similar background where the majority of the training techniques I used were aversive-based. Now I prefer rewards-based training too, and I couldn't agree with you more!

      I've been searching for other like-minded folks that can articulate as well as you did the pros/cons with the different training techniques. Thank you! I will probably join hubpages now because of you :)

    • Rina-chan 5 years ago

      Well said!

      And it's true. I think that an independent, loyal and indomitable spirit is what separates the lap dogs from the heroes . . . EVEN in history there are dogs that will never be forgotten for their bravery and spirit. That during times of crisis they didn't look to a man or woman to give them a command but decided for themselves what to do. I've always admired the members of the Spitz breed, in particular, for that. A canine's intelligence is legendary.

      Back to the topic, though. Cesar Millan has a show. Like most things on TV, I expect adults to realize its for entertainment purposes. So, if you want to be EDUCATED about all the ways you can train your dog so you can figure out what's best for your dog depending on their breed and personality, common sense tells you to read about them. Talk to dog owners that have the same breed as you. Talk to reputable breeders or even the breeders you got your dog from. Talk to trainers, behaviorists. Most importantly, just simply LISTEN to your dog.

      I have three children with one on the way. The new baby will be my last child. When they are grown and out of my house one of my dreams is to have a bigger place where I can be an adoptive pet parent to two or three needy pets who maybe in transition or who need a home. So, I have a feeling my boy Take-chan wont be the last Shiba Inu I'll come across. :)

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 5 years ago

      Hello Rina-chan,

      I think you make a very good point. The Shiba Inu has a quirky and interesting personality that can be difficult to handle. This Dogs 101 episode characterize Shiba Inus as "one of the most difficult breeds to train".

      Some people think that difficult and stubborn dogs can only do well under pain-based aversive training and dominance techniques. As you said so well in your comment, this is simply not true. In fact, they respond much better to reward training, which also protects their independent spirit.

      There is a great quote from the Kung Fu Panda movie that I love -

      "Ah, yes. But no matter what you do, that seed will grow to be a peach tree. You may wish for an apple or an orange, but you will get a peach."

      ~~ [ Oogway from Kung Fu Panda ]

      If we want a dog that follows all of our commands and does not think for himself, then we should get an Aibo.

    • Rina-chan 5 years ago

      Hey :)

      I enjoyed your blog. I have had my Shiba Inu (Takezo aka Take-chan lol) for a year and he's been mine since he was 8 weeks old. I've been reading more about Shiba Inu and how to deal with their behavior issues. But the more I understand, the more I see that many people that may visit your blog don't realize what kind of dog the Shiba Inu is. They are practically on the other side of the spectrum . . . meaning, they are the opposite of Labs and Retrievers.

      The history if the Shiba Inu is an interesting one. I encourage anyone who believes a Shiba Inu should bend to your will like a lab to actually read about the breed's history. It's literally not in their blood. They were bred for their intelligence and independence. And if you don't want a difficult dog, a challenge, don't get one just because its adorable. It's not adorable to give up a dog that you gave up on because you didn't do your research and it's very sad to me how many Shibas have been abandoned for these very reasons.

      Anyhow, on a lighter note, I love my Shiba. I don't let him run my home to the best of my ability lol. But I love him so much because he has such an independent spirit. I'm excited to go hunting small game with him. I think he would LOVE that. He and my kids get along well enough, which I hear can be hard to accomplish so I'm thankful for that. But I think he and my husband are at odds because I got him while my husband was deployed to Afghan. So, he had to deal with this new person in his home whom he didn't know and didn't realize it was his home too. He listens to me much more but he has a ton of fun with my husband because they often do PT together. So I think his relationship to everyone in the house is a little bit different.

      Anyhow, I'm still training him, a year later. It's difficult and he's such a nut. But we move forward regardless. He responds well to positive treat training. He doesn't always want to be touched and I cant get him to let me trim his nails for nothin lol. But it's alright.

      Another thing I didn't realize until after I got him was that, the way we take puppies from their mom, dad and brothers and sisters is kind of an issue too. Puppies can learn good social behaviors from their brothers and sisters but we take them from their siblings too early. So, I have mixed feelings about that. But I thought I'd throw that out there since no one mentioned it.

      I like that you listen to your dogs. Sometimes, its just that simple. To pay attention and be patient and not stress.

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 5 years ago

      "Synonyms: partner, colleague, ally, confederate

      These nouns all denote one who is united or associated with another, as in a venture or relationship. A partner participates in a relationship in which each member has *equal status*: a partner in a law firm."

      Ultimately, it is not the words we use that define a relationship but rather our actions.

      When we listen and try to fulfill the needs of another, that shapes a relationship.

      When we give without expecting anything in return, that shapes a relationship.

      When we dominate and force compliance through pain and force, that also shapes a relationship.

    • Arijit Pal Chaudhury 5 years ago

      All pictures of Shiba Inu are saying that Dog commands you. Not U commands your dog. Dog should walk with you at either side, not in front of you. My dog walk with me with out leash like my walking partner, not like my commander.

    • belgium 5 years ago

      Hey great blog! I really enjoyed reading it because it's really good and objective. I do have some remarks about what you say.

      1) Cesar Millan doesn't really uses alpha roles. An alpha role is forcing your dog on his back or side, which is what dogs do when they're going to kill a prey. The bad respond from your dog to the alpha role is just his survival instinct taking over. It's a great technnique but very dificult, dogs don't submit themselves that easy.

      2) Using an assertive touch is also a great technique but you shouldn't over use it. If your dog gets ajusted to the touch you've probavely used it to often. Dogs only seldom correct each other behaviour. Like you say when you're dog is over focussing it's better to ignore the object his focussing on and stay calm and relaxed rather then using an assertive touch. I only use the assertive touch for biting or nibbing problems against people. Agression on the leach towards other dogs I handle with being calm and don't react to it except moving my dog further away from the dog he's responding to.

      Hope this is useful to you and you're readers.

      Once again great blog!!

      @ Coco: I don't know if you tried this particular positive reinforcement technique which works very good for strongly individual dogs. Whenever your dog accendently looks at you outside your home you should reward him majorely. I use this technique for all dogs, but for dogs with your problem I aslo say a word when he pays attention to me (for example "watch") in the beginning. This way the dogs learns it's good to pay attention to me randomly, but also learns to pay attention to me when I say the word watch.

      For you're other problem, food isn't the only reward for a dog. Playing with your dog is for many dogs a more effective reward then food. Take a rope with you sow you can always play a pulling game. If that doesn't work any form of positive attention will do, if she keeps ignoring you ignore her back. Take away a positive something like continueing the walk, etc. For you're pulling the leash problem, because I've no idea which techniques you used, I can only say be sure to be consistent. Always use the same response and make sure all other family members respond exactly the same. The technique I generally favor is to start walking in the other direction, even if this means doing the same small distance over and over. Presistence is the key here.

      Hope this helps you a little on the way.

    • Coco 5 years ago

      I have two siberians as well, and I exercise a lot with them - but I've had major problems I have yet to get rid of with them: they fail to focus on me when we're away from home and do not really care to listen to me at all.

      One of them I can -sort of- condition with food, but the other one does not even take her reward for finally doing something right when we're outside, because everything else is more interesting. So it becomes very difficult to get her attention. She also frequently pulls the leash, and I've tried several exercises to make her stop. It's very frustrating.

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 5 years ago

    • kumba 5 years ago

      how do i go about showing my dog to do his needs on a pad?

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 5 years ago

      LOL - Really?

      If you are interested in dog psychology and dog behavior, check out operant conditioning and classical conditioning.

      In any case, Cesar Millan says -

      "Do not attempt the techniques you are about to see without consulting a professional."

      I am just following Cesar Millan's very good advice by ceasing use of such dangerous techniques.

    • Really 5 years ago

      From what I read here, it sounds like your dog is the pack leader. Of course some of the techniques from Cesar don't work with you, because your dog owns you. He becomes calm when you stop using them, because in his head you have no reason to.

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 6 years ago

      Hello Annette,

      To reach Cesar Millan, it may be best to post on his website -

    • annette y. autio 6 years ago

      I just read the comment to Neo about potty training.

      And it sounds like I’m doing the right things with her. I put her on pad when she awakes and after eating and drinking. I watch for her signs and put her on pad when she acts like she’s got to go. Like I said we did good first few days but now she won’t do it. When she starts to piddle or poop I say no and put her on her pad. But she refuses to finish. She is so tiny all it takes is for me to look up and she’s done and not on her pad. I was told by my vet to not take her outside till she is up on her shots, she’s only had one so far. I guess Parvo is bad here. Plus it is cold where we live so that really isn’t an option for us. Maybe a littler box?

      Thank you,

      Annette Y. Autio

      Paradise, California

    • annette y. autio 6 years ago

      I am a dedicated watcher of your show and amazed at how much I’ve learned. I am 55 and haven’t owned a dog in about 25 yrs. and have recently bought a little deer Chihuahua about 9 weeks old.

      Her good traits: not afraid of things, not shaky and timid, and not noisy.

      Her not so good traits: potty training!

      I’ve had her about 5 days and the first few days home we did pretty good. I’ve done something because the last 3 days she is positively avoiding pads to poop and pee on carpet. Interestingly enough, I've helped friends and family members with their dogs and had great success. Now I have one of my own and I feel lost and inadequate. My husband and I are trying to retire the first of the year to do some traveling in our RV and I want a good, well balanced little friend to take with us.

      I need advice and off the top of my head I can’t think of many episodes about potty training.

      Thank you,

      Annette Y. Autio

      Paradise, California

    • Melbourne Boarding Kennels 6 years ago

      I am trying to stop my dog pulling on the lead, so at the moment I run to keep up with him. i know this is the wrong message but it is so much easier. I tried the turning around and walking the other direction and i was almost walking in circles...

      any help would be greatfully appreciated

    • HuskyWisper 6 years ago

      I find it amazing...people tend to forget that dog are dogs and wow amazingly they behave that way. If you want soldiers start an army or get a baby. Treat the dog with respect and you will get respect back...btw having a degree may make you certainly does not make you smart, people who think that really annoy me.

    • NJHeart2Heart 6 years ago

      Very interesting page. I'm looking forward to reading more- I thought the comments by Illusionary and your responses were excellent. I too believe that the best answer is to know all the possible techniques and to use your good judgment based on an understanding of a particular dog, to create the best conclusion.

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 6 years ago

      Hello Heidie,

      Probably the best thing to do is to get the help of a professional trainer. It will go a lot faster especially in the beginning to have someone come over so that they may read the dog's body language, and see how he acts in his day to day routine.

      One thing that really helped me with my own dogs is bite inhibition training. As you say, accidents do happen, and when a dog gets startled, their instinct is to snap back. One time I only touched my Shiba Inu when he was in a deep sleep and he got startled. He snapped but he did not break skin because he controlled the force of his bite. I guess that is where "Let sleeping dogs lie" come from :)

      I first learned about bite inhibition from Dr. Ian Dunbar's training books. He is a well known animal behaviorist and a veterinarian.

      Here is a bit more on bite inhibition -

    • Kit 6 years ago

      Everything is risky nowadays the dog could have a genetic defect that causes a uncontrolable outburst of aggression that enables the dog to kill its owner which is trigged a few years after ownership for no reason there is risk only if you do not know what you are doing.

    • Heidie 6 years ago

      My Australian Shepherd bit (actually snapped) at my son who is 4 and accidentally stepped on dogs foot and there was a puncture wound on his face. My husband would like to get rid of the dog. The dog is not aggressive. Should we try training the dog with my son together or muzzle the dog when 4 year old is around. I think both dog and son can be trained.

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 6 years ago

      It is more than just a misuse or misunderstanding of terms.

      Studies by animal behaviorists show that some of Millan's techniques can be risky and can increase aggression in dogs.

      Scientific studies by Polsky and Schalke et al. also show that shock collars are risky.

      Finally Cesar Millan himself cautions us not to use the techniques because they are risky.

      It is best to follow Millan's very good advice and use alternative techniques that are safer and just as effective.

    • Alicepirate 6 years ago

      I agree w Milan. I have been rescuing and rehoming dogs of all breeds from pounds for 5 years. I have dealt specifically with dogs who have behavioural issues and documented my work with them. Communication w dogs is a language.

      Domestic dogs need their owners to create meaning for them and most dog owners fail to do this satisfactorily. This failure creates patterned behavioural dysfunction. Treating dogs like robots is a misunderstanding of what is going on. It is not about 'dominating' the dog in the sense of forcing an unnatural or unhelthy submission it is about understanding its way of being in the world and learning to communicate in ways a dog finds significant and touch is one of these ways as is physical posture and learning to send calming signals. DOminance in the way Milan uses it I believe is simply about taking responsibility for creating the structure which creates meaning for the dog, this inevitably means there must be certain things which are not up for negotiation.

      Alot of confusion comes from some of the language Milan uses like the term 'dominance' however rather then trying to understand what he means when he uses this term his critics ascribe the technical meaning they understand to this term and then reject what he is doing on this basis. I find this pedestrian. I certainly agree as mentioned continuoulsy in the episodes that people should get help from someone experienced. For my part I have learned alot from Milan and I have learned even more from the dogs I have rescued, they have become my teachers.

    • MoRita profile image

      MoRita 6 years ago from IL

      Agree on all counts :0) Good Hub.

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 6 years ago

      Heh - well pretty much everybody is claiming to be a dog behaviorist nowadays. There aren't many controls when it comes to dog training so anybody can pretty much claim anything they want.

      Ultimately, we must do our own research and listen to our dogs.

    • thinkagain 6 years ago

      So, Cesar Milan is a behaviorist? I hadn't realized he had any academic degrees. What are they in and where are they from?

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 6 years ago

      "Cesar Millan does not practice "alpha rolls" He does not hold the dog down..."

      I have seen many episodes where he holds the dog down. A good example is the JonBee episode.

      "Do not try this at home. Consult a professional dog trainer"

      I think that is very good advice. I think we should all follow it.

      I am curious though, did you consult a professional before trying out alpha rolls and other Cesar Millan techniques?

    • Dogaholic 6 years ago

      Cesar Millan does not practice "alpha rolls" He does not hold the dog down...and he stands over them keeping them in place with his energy with no touching and knows the timing. He also performs massage and relaxation on the dog. I have in the past praticed both types of discipline and they are very different. The original Alpha roll never worked for me. But Cesars way with the right energy does work in the right circumstance. I also wanted to point out that preceding every show advises "Do not try this at home. Consult a professional dog trainer"

    • sasha 6 years ago

      cesar is awesome ! :D i want to be a dog whisperer justlike him one day; i watch his new shows all the time even though my dog has no agression or nothing but its good to learn : ]

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 6 years ago

      When I was potty training my Siberian, the most important thing was consistency.

      Every time she started to want to poo or pee inside I will non-mark her (No) and then calmly take her outside. If she continued with her business outside, I would reward her with praise and a fun play session.

      Dogs will frequently show some type of body language before they do their business. Many dogs will circle an area before they poop. As soon as you see your dog begin to do that, non-mark him (No) and bring him outside.

      Having a very fixed feeding, play, and sleep routine will also help with potty training. Feed twice a day at fixed times and bring your dog out as soon as he wakes up and after a rigorous play session.

      Here are more potty training techniques -

    • Neo 6 years ago

      I have a little yr old mini pin and have been trying for 3 months to get him to pooh outside. I have tried the pee pads, collecting his pooh and making him a pile out side nothing works. I have walked him for hrs at a time and as soon as we get in the house he will pooh. Any one have any suggestions?

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 6 years ago

      Cesar Millan's official site is -

    • Jéssica 6 years ago

      how to talk to Cesar? on his site I can not!

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 6 years ago

      Hello Sophie,

      Unfortunately I am not Cesar Millan. Like you, I love dogs and try to learn as much as I can about them so that I can make good decisions.

      If you are worried about your dog, you may want to get a second opinion from another vet. Sometimes, a vet may miss something that another may pick up on. It often helps to get a fresh perspective.

      Hope your puppy feels better soon! Let us know how it goes.

    • sophie  6 years ago

      hiya ceasar my dog is 2 years old and has a sore paw i thought it might be a thorn in her paw but the vet said no she has had this for a month what do u think that it might be ??? lots of love sophie love your show

    • pablo 6 years ago

      thanks for your comments and kind word and for de inf

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 6 years ago

      Thanks for your comment and kind words, Illusionary.

      "Worse, this has been damaging my confidence in my studies and when I attempt to implement training with my family's dogs."

      Yeah I know what you mean. When I first started on my journey with my dogs, I experienced a fair amount of negative energy from practitioners in the field. Not just online - but also face to face.

      All the traditional trainers told me reward training will never work on my stubborn dog and all the reward trainers scolded me for using aversive techniques on my dog - lol.

      It is too bad that things are so polarized in the dog training arena. I try my best to just gather all the information that I can so that I can make the best decisions for my dogs.

      This song ain't about us, it ain't about Cesar Millan, Victoria Stilwell, Ian Dunbar, or anybody else. This song is about our dogs - and I try my best to listen to them.

      I wish you all the best in your studies and work with dogs. Have you watched DogTown? It also airs on NatGeo. It is one of my favorite dog shows currently. Every time I watch that show I feel inspired.

    • Illusionary Nothing 6 years ago

      Heya Shibashake,

      This is my very first time on hubpages. I am not currently a dog owner, but I am an Animal Management student and training to be a vet nurse and behaviourist, hopefully so that I can be of more use in a welfare and rescue context.

      My passion has always been animal behaviour, but I have always been particularly awed by the relationship between dog and human- and often, particularly shocked by how imbalanced it can seem!

      I've watched a lot of Cesar Millan and read one of his books, and in general agree with his methods. I'm not stupid; I know nothing he does is instant, and I can see that a good deal of his more physical techniques are dealing with dogs that nobody else wants to bother with anymore.

      That said, I would never personally try an alpha roll (I believe its only for use in a very serious context, and is very high risk) and although I have used lead jerks in the past, I am not a huge fan of their popularity because people so often use them wrong (e.g. if they don't get an instant response they start tugging dangerously hard, not to mention simply doing ineffectual tugging or pulling back).

      I love reward based training, and for sit, stay, and tricks I find this invaluable,a although not quite so much for attempting to negate unwanted behaviours.

      Wherever possible, I use praise and patience with dogs in order to gain trust- patience and waiting for dogs to come to you- No Touch, No Talk, No Eye Contact- being another thing I picked up from Cesar.

      I will always prefer non-physical methods, but I find that a simple touch can often do wonders to get a dog's attention.

      I realise I must be rambling here a little; basically, in light of the recent Anti-Cesar/Pro-Cesar Controversy, I have been searching the web for articles discussing his good and bad methods, and have been horrified by most of what I have read. Many readers have condemned many ideas methods I found gentle and helpful as evil and cruel, and many proponents have displayed a disturbing recklessness using alpha rolls and in confronting aggressive dogs which really causes me worry.

      Worse, this has been damaging my confidence in my studies and when I attempt to implement training with my family's dogs.

      I agree almost completely with most of what you have said, and it has been so refreshing to read an article by someone who has tried all techniques and is relating, from their experience, a very balanced view of Cesar's technqiues. I must admit, I feel as if a weight has been lifted from my shoulders that I can read something that does not condemn as cruel my personal blend of techniques, despite the fact that our opinions are not exactly the same.

      I'd like to thank you for this article, and I think I may poke around in future for your other articles. I would like to say that I am very impressed both by your literary skills in creating a calm, enjoyable read, and by the polite, level-headed way you answer all questions and write your articles (not something I'm used to when reading online articles, I'm sorry to say).



    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 6 years ago

      Hello Anastasia,

      Thanks for the info.

      Do you watch DogTown? It airs on the National Geographic Channel as well.

      They do a great job in rehabilitating dogs with serious behavioral issues including many of Michael Vick's fighting Pit Bulls. They use reward training and I have never seen them do any physical corrections.

      I truly enjoy that show and it is very inspiring what they do for dogs with very little monetary returns to themselves. They also convey a great and clear message to all their viewers.

      One of my neighbors visits them several times a year to do volunteer work. I would love to be able to do that as well sometime in the future.

    • Anastasia 6 years ago

      Hey, Just thought you might want to know this: Everything you said, Ceaser agrees with. He had been to my neighborhood for my neighbor and I helped with social interactions with my shiba (Rufus ShinRa, lol) but my shiba acted in a way that the physical intercactions were needed at the begining of his training. He had been abused in his last home. At the begining of the show he had told my neighbors that one of their dogs didn't need physical correction but the other did. Ceaser (according to him) usualy does not use any physical corrections, but the channel that airs his show are the ones who decide that only physical cases are shown.

      For example: he had seen my dogs and hit it right on with their training meathods I used. My shiba had been 're-sensified' from harsh physical methods(that he had been become used to under previous ownership back into social meathods. While my German Shepherd/Mountian Dog cross needed and still responds only to light physical touches, and my Lab-Rottie has only ever needed a look to correct him.

      Its less that ceaser himself caused the misunderstanding of his methods and more that the show itself portrays, not a truth of how the training works, but it is an entertainment not an informational show. It says so at the beging and credits. Its actually sad. So many people misuse almost all of animal training techniques that come along.

    • Lynn 6 years ago

      I like your article, however, I would like to point out that in all of Cesar's episodes where he uses dog rolls he specifically says that this should only be done by a trainer. This is not a technique that should be used by an owner.

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 7 years ago

      That is a very good topic. I will definitely have to write something up. Thanks Keith.

    • kimlum keith 7 years ago

      would like to see more on controling dog jumping.

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 7 years ago

      Actually, I think that many of Cesar's techniques work well especially those that are based on reward training. Social learning is also very effective when properly applied.

      "Cesar tells viewers on his show not to attempt the techniques he uses without consulting a professional"

      It is human nature to follow those we admire - whatever is said in text during commercial breaks.

      "Don't let your dog control you."

      Heh - my dogs are my life companions. I trust them to make their own decisions on most things, and I only exercise control when it is absolutely necessary for health and safety.

      Humans are natural leaders because we already control all of a dog's resources (food, freedom, toys, play time, etc.). The control of resources is much more effective in the long-term than any aversive stimuli.

    • go cesar 7 years ago

      You make Cesar sound like an amateur in training dogs and make him out to be a deceiving, magic-man poser. He does not hide the fact that he uses rewards to modify dog behavior. He uses techniques that work and rewarding dogs with food is effective. He encourages dog owners to use food, but it is not needed indefinitely. Cesar tells viewers on his show not to attempt the techniques he uses without consulting a professional, ESPECIALLY with AGGRESSIVE/DOMINANT dogs. If you have problems training your dog, perhaps you should consult with Cesar yourself. His techniques work-maybe you are just applying the techniques to wrong situations. Don't let your dog control you.

    • dogdiva 7 years ago

      I hope that before trying any techniques, people will visit the American Veterinary Society for Animal Behavior (AVSAB) web page, and read their position statements. At least, you will be getting information from people who are thoroughly educated in operant conditioning, classical conditioning and social learning. Also, please consider that even though some techniques may work, they are not always the most advantageous for long term behavioral health.

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 7 years ago

      Hi Carrie,

      Yeah Shibas are in a class of their own - lol. I really love visiting Shiba message boards because there are always many people there that really know a lot about dog training. Shibas truly keep their owners on their toes. :)

      "How does your dog react towards small children and other dogs?"

      My Shiba is reactive to other dogs especially dogs with excited or dominant energy.

      He gets along with the excited dogs, but he really wants to play with them and gets extremely excited himself.

      He does not get along with dominant dogs. He especially dislikes dogs that invade his space to sniff his butt. Apparently, butt sniffing can be seen as a dominance move especially between dogs that do not know each other well.

      In general I just avoid random dogs that I meet on the road. Some of them are even more reactive than he is and I do not want to expose my Shiba to bad greeting experiences.

      What has worked well for me is to help make dog encounters be as neutral and calm as possible. I try to stay very calm and just move my Shiba along. If there is a friendly dog that I know, then I may let him meet briefly - but I will interrupt him very frequently and after a very short amount of time (couple of seconds) so that he doesn't have any time to get into trouble.

      Here are some of the things that helped with my Shiba's dog reactivity -

      My Shiba can also get excited when meeting children, and may get mouthy as a result. This is because children are small in size and usually move their hands around quickly.

      This triggers prey drive in dogs and Shibas have very strong prey drive given that they are hunting dogs.

      I always supervise very closely when Shiba is with children, and he is always on leash.

      How is your Shiba wrt. handling by adults? My Shiba was very reactive towards handling and after much desensitization work, he is a lot better today. Shibas can also be slowly desensitized wrt. children. You want to start with a very calm child, have your Shiba be a far enough distance away so that he is not reactive, and then do commands with him and reward him. Then move a bit closer to the child and repeat commands and reward.

      If your Shiba gets reactive, then you have moved forward too quickly, so move back and repeat.

      This helps to slowly condition Shiba to stay calm around children and to look to you for direction.

    • carrie_p 7 years ago from Philadelphia


      Thank you for writing this. Although I know it was meant for a broader audience, I have a shiba for almost a year now that I rescued from a shelter and it's been difficult finding training techniques geared towards their breed. I have always had dogs and trained them with no difficulties whatsoever. but these guys are very different and I truly appreciate the perspective of another Shiba family.I do not like the roll either. I have found that my dog is more willing to do something out of respect and loyalty than humiliation. The leash technique never worked for me either. I got a harness, and we're both much happier (plus he can swim in a harness safely) How does your dog react towards small children and other dogs? That seems to be the last bit of aggression my guy clings to. Any suggestions?

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 7 years ago

      "You MUST associate this bad behavior with negative consequences - even if it is just a loud "No", and to come over, lay down, and stay for awhile."

      In reward training, positive reinforcement is paired with negative punishment - which does provide the negative consequences.

      When many people say they only use positive techniques - they usually mean they do not use pain-based or other physical based techniques which tends to be risky and difficult to execute well.

      According to this University of Pennsylvania study

      aversive techniques frequently results in more aggression in dogs.

      It is not a matter that leash jerks do not work - but rather that there are other alternatives that are less risky and just as effective.

    • loki 7 years ago

      Oh, and after re-reading some posts I think there is some averse (or negative) vs and positive reinforcement technique controversy here. I can't see any way to train a dog without both. My leash training with a quick jerk - is negative (or at least not positive), and includes vocal negative cues, but needs to be followed by positive reinforcement when the proper behavior is initiated. When I hear someone say only use positive reinforcement, I cringe. How can you train a dog not to go in the garbage or chew on things not meant to be chewed on without communicating to the dog that this is not to be done. Simply positively encouraging other behavior will not work. You MUST associate this bad behavior with negative consequences - even if it is just a loud "No", and to come over, lay down, and stay for awhile. Negative need not be pain! But it needs to be negative. And Caesar does use negative techniques on people - as does the Dali lama - but it's subtle. They use rhetoric - and do teach people by making them realize why something is not working. It's negative, as it makes them use self examination to see why what they are doing or not doing may be wrong - or at least ineffectual. With people, this is possible, because of language. With animals it's not possible, so we need other methods of communication, which can be touch, sounds, and sights (perhaps even smells in some cases!).

    • loki 7 years ago

      I've used the leash jerk very successfully. I've always used it (way before Caeser). It was instinctual to me. It works wonders. Here it what I do. Walking along, the dog starts to pull. Do a quick light jerk, and say - no pulling. Do not keep jerking the leash, and do not keep yelling at the dog. I really think it has less to do with the jerk being negative, than it gets attention. The dog does not like it, but it's only mildly annoying, not painful. That's it. It will take awhile to work. If the dog does not respond, wait a bit. Then bring the leash up a bit so there is less slack. Once the dog is walking along properly - give them praise - lots of vocal, and a little patting on the head. Even stop and pet under the head a bit - and look them in the eyes and praise. After a few walks - the dog will be great.

      I also train the dog to heal off leash - and to stay on one side, and to move sides - left to right. Be consistent, but not fanatically so. It's like a game for the dog. Go from heel to roam free (my command to go where you want), then heal again - with lots of praise when done well! These take awhile - but once you get these things down, leash walking is easier too.

    • explorer9360 profile image

      explorer9360 7 years ago

      Excellent info. Thanks. (just got a gorgeous puppy:-))

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 7 years ago

      haha - np :) Have fun with ballet!

    • Random Person profile image

      Random Person 7 years ago from San Diego, California

      Wow very interesting animation. Cool that you have ur own site!! Would explore it more but real busy latetly.

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 7 years ago

      Hey RP - I just posted it. Check it out when you have some time.

    • Random Person profile image

      Random Person 7 years ago from San Diego, California

      k cool

    • Mark 7 years ago

      But that's what I mean. I too use treats and decide when and where a dog would need a firm approach or you have to ease up on it. That's what I am talking about. You have to be Diverse. You have to be fluent and don't limit yourself. And you've done so. You have explained and have Cesar's books, Monks of New Skete etc. But to bribe a dog with treats, trust me, you are building that bond, but really "respect". Again, I said respect not fear.

      Of course it is less risky with treats. But in my opinion, it is also cheating. You have to use treats carefully and smartly. And most people and even most trainers DO NOT.

      And ignoring a dog's bad habits isn't always effective either. Since even our habits can't be fixed if we simply ignore them. Again, all I'm saying is mixing positive with negative based on careful evaluation of the dog, is what makes a bid difference. But most trainers aren't like that. They are either all positive or all negative. And to me, that's just dumb and being close minded. Again, that is just me. And thank you for being civil and carrying a mature discussion with me. Good luck to you M

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 7 years ago

      Hello Mark,

      Thanks for this interesting discussion. I am sorry if it seems like I didn't check out the link - but I actually did, and read through the first page. I probably agree with half of the things that he says :)

      I also read the other link you provided. I liked most of his points but do not agree with all of them. In particular I agree with the common sense point, but have to disagree with the detailed examples. Not giving dogs any attention (i.e. ignoring) can work really well on dogs, especially dogs you have a strong bond with.

      "However but you claim that all dogs need positive training or all dogs can be trained/rehabilitated just by positive reinforcement, which is clearly NOT true."

      Thanks for pushing me on this point. It made me think about it a lot more carefully. I don't think I claim anywhere that all dogs >need< positive training, but I will stand by my opinion that reward training is easier to implement, less risky, and builds a stronger bond.

      Behavioral psychology studies tell us that both reward techniques and aversive techniques can be used to shape dog behavior. Reward techniques include both positive reinforcement and negative punishment. Sometimes we forget about the negative punishment part and do not believe it can be used to stop bad behaviors, but it can.

      Can reward techniques be used to shape all behaviors?

      I don't think science knows, and I don't know either. Similarly we cannot say that aversive techniques can be used to shape all behaviors either. It is just not possible to make broad claims like that because we can never prove it. However, I will say that if a behavior 'can' be shaped, then it can be shaped by either reward or aversive. This does not say which is more effective because frankly, effectiveness is a subjective matter - and that I think is the crux of the matter.

      This brings us to blended techniques - i.e. use whichever is most effective. Easy to say but very subjective when it comes to implementation. This is where most of the controversy is in dog training. When to use which? Why not use both?

      Again, my opinion is that reward techniques are less risky, easier to implement, and builds a stronger bond. I will always use reward techniques first for any type of behavior shaping and will always encourage others to do so as well.

      Can we *only* use reward techniques on *all* dogs?

      Again, I can't say. This is another one of those really broad statements that cannot be proven.

      "I see that at least you are introducing both sides, but you really aren't explaining it fairly"

      Again, this is very subjective and I can only present what I know based on my own experiences and based on my own reading. "Fairness" itself is a very subjective matter.

      Are you referring to my stance on leash corrections? If there are factual errors, then please let me know what they are because I would want to correct them. But my opinion is that leash corrections are extremely difficult to implement properly - especially for non-dog trainers (me and most other people). And when not implemented properly, it can cause other behavioral issues.

      True, any dog training technique can be misused, but I think that reward techniques are less risky, easier to implement, and builds a stronger bond. If you disagree, I would very much like to hear your thoughts on this. I think getting as much information as we can is key to making good decisions.

      Thanks for the really interesting discussion Mark, and thank you for using positive techniques in discussing it with me :)

    • Mark 7 years ago

      I totally agree. I am not into making a soldier out of a dog. However but you claim that all dogs need positive training or all dogs can be trained/rehabilitated just by positive reinforcement, which is clearly NOT true. Positive doesn't always work on us. How can it with every dog?

      I say correct only the dog that needs to be corrected. And a leash correction is just that. A leash correction but followed by praise. I do also use treats once in a while and I don't care for alpha rolls, throw chains, Kung Fu grips that Cesar does, or even yelping or barking like a dog to make my point.

      More than the dog, you have to also consider whether the owner is going to be happy with the results. And giving a dog treats left and right isn't going to work all the time and leash corrections don't always work on every dog either.

      I've seen those dogs that will grab the leash out your grip, chew it up and pee on it. And I've seen dogs that could care less for any tidbits, no matter how much you build a solid foundation in private or how much you starved it prior training it.

      I see that at least you are introducing both sides, but you really aren't explaining it fairly. Look, anybody can bribe a dog and anybody can beat a dog. If you don't have to do neither, then that's where you truly are a natural, got lucky with an easy dog, or you truly must have some skills.

      And to do it over and over again with different dogs, is even more impressive.

      I see that you love to read and write and I admire you for that. When you can, read that section on best and worst trainers on Dog Secrets site. In there, he explains about how he met a dog that was truly trained, but had no personality. And I hate that. I want to be more my dog's buddy and have control over him.

      But all the best to you. You never said if you even seen those clips or not. If not, then at least glance through that article or I think it is a chapter of his book or something, but he hits the nail on the head with making sure you never ever break a dog's spirit.

      Sorry about posting it three times. It was my computer acting up.

      The exact link is

      You will agree with ninety precent of what he says, but I don't even agree with all of it. But for the most part, the guy knows his stuff. Happy training.


    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 7 years ago

      Hello Mark,

      We may have to agree to disagree on this but let me try one last time :)

      The thing that I strive for most is my dog's happiness. Rigid control does not equate happiness. Getting groups of dogs to do synchronized dancing does not equate dog happiness.

      As for dogs running into traffic, that is what leashes are for.

      There was this guy that I often saw at an off-leash hiking park. He had a group of dogs with him. Everyone else's dogs were running around weaving in and out of trees. His dogs were all walking with him and not even exploring the interesting hiking trail. Every time one of them even had the audacity to look at another dog he got a stern command. I did not look close enough to see if his dogs were all wearing shock collars and I don't know what he had to do to get his dogs to act this way.

      Personally, this is not what I want for my dogs.

      There is no absolute right or wrong in dog training. Different people desire different things from their dogs.

    • Mark 7 years ago

      Here's how we can prove who's right and wrong:

      Show me a video clip of how many dogs you've actually got to listen to you off-leash and from a distance around other dogs, kids, cats, joggers or perfect strangers. Treat bribery isn't practical nor natural. You say it's been scientifically proven the food test and the drooling crap, but science wasn't there to see whether the same hot dogs are going to stand a chance against real world distractions. Now that my friend is a real life scneario. Cesar has a poor technique. He gets bit a lot. This guy Kevin could be the next Cesar.

      If you watched his clips, he too has a ponytail that you might dig. Other than that, let's agree to disagree. I wish positive worked on everyone and every dog my friend. I say, there is nothing wrong with being nice, as long as it works.

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 7 years ago

      Hello Mark, Thanks for dropping by.

      I am familiar with both aversive training and reward training. I started out with aversive techniques including leash corrections, finger pokes, and alpha rolls on my Shiba Inu. I also went to several traditional/aversive trainers and did many private lessons with them. I also practiced the leash correction technique on a chain link fence to make sure I got the snap exactly right, rather than just doing a tug - which most people end up doing.

      I think I am pretty educated in both styles of training. Ultimately, I chose to use reward training because it is less risky, builds a stronger bond, does not encourage aggression, and got me much better results on my dogs.

      "Positive doesn't always work on someone and neither does negative."

      Actually positive works really well on people. It is often difficult to implement, but the people who know how to use positive techniques on other people end up doing very well for themselves.

      Some great examples -

      1. Cesar Millan - Cesar only uses reward or neutral techniques on his people clients. Even when some of them are nasty, he usually stays calm and either ignores, or just leaves. I have never seen him use any aversive techniques on people :) This is one of the reasons why he is so popular and why other trainers who use aversive techniques on people are not.

      2. The Dalai Lama. This is why so many people go to listen to him talk and get advice from him.

      People will naturally gravitate towards positive people. :)

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 7 years ago

      Hey RP - I am almost done with the website - whew. Will post something on it once I am finished. :) It was a pretty time-consuming but kindda fun project.

    • Mark 7 years ago

      Nice site. The thing is, you honestly haven't been truly truly educated on difference between different ways of dog training. In fact, it is a lot like mixed martial arts. Cesar mixes different method. It is a lot like the Diverse Method. When you limit or call yourself only negative or positive trainer, then again, you are limiting yourself. Look, dogs are a lot like people. Positive doesn't always work on someone and neither does negative.

      I want you to check out that site dog secrets and let me know if you know what I mean. Nice Shiba :-)

    • Random Person profile image

      Random Person 7 years ago from San Diego, California

      So what is that website you were talking about?

    • Random Person profile image

      Random Person 7 years ago from San Diego, California

      Oh sorry.. Uh ballet is great! I liked this picture better so I changed it. :)

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 7 years ago

      Ok, just checked - I generally remove personal comments that are not addressed to me. It is only fair since some of the people who post here may not know the people at HubPages, and may get offended as a result :)

      Hope things are going well with ballet. Like the new profile picture.

    • Random Person profile image

      Random Person 7 years ago from San Diego, California

      Oh cool. I left a comment on here recently but, it was unaccepted... ????

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 7 years ago

      Hey RP - How goes it? I haven't been on HubPages as much. Trying to build up my own website :)

      What have you been up to?

    • Random Person profile image

      Random Person 7 years ago from San Diego, California

      Oh please don't turn into Whitney... (No offense to her or anything)

    • Random Person profile image

      Random Person 7 years ago from San Diego, California

      Hey didn't I leave a comment here?

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 7 years ago

      haha- the only time I dressed my dog was after her surgery. I got her a sweater to protect the wound and help to keep it clean :)

      They are both double coated dogs, and very active, so I think it will be too hot for them to wear anything in regular times. Not to mention they will totally shred it up :D

    • Amy 7 years ago

      cool lol

      do you ever dress up your dogs?

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 7 years ago

      Yes there are :) Actually the ones that I have been to sell clothes and other pet accessories as well. I haven't been to any of the really swanky ones though - lol.

    • amy 7 years ago

      I am fine well i am slowly tellying her it wouldn't be a good idea! and now she getting chickins so it is ok

      Now is there really clothes shops for dogs over there?

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 7 years ago

      lol Amy. How are you? How did things go with your aunt?

    • amy 7 years ago


      hi i watching beverly hills chihuahua

      is there really clothes shops over there!

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 7 years ago

      Hi Amy, I can understand - it can be very difficult to convey messages that people would rather not hear - especially to family members.

      I think that you are already doing a good job by emphasizing all the responsibilities that go into dog ownership. You could also read up on stories of how dogs have gotten destructive and cost their owners a lot of money - and just relay those stories to her. That way it is from somebody else and not you.

      Just keep doing that and ultimately your aunt will decide for herself that getting a dog is not right for her. The important thing is not to get personal - just relay the facts.

    • amy 7 years ago

      thanks i really did not what to do i needed to tell you but the only thing is that i dont no what way to say it and i dont want to hurt her feelings

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 7 years ago

      Hi Amy, Good to see you.

      I am not sure how I can help except to say that it is probably best for your aunt not to get a dog.

      As you know, dogs are a lot of work, and a big time commitment. Potty training and walking are just the bare minimum - there is also grooming, playing, training them to follow house rules, training them to follow backyard rules, training them to walk without pulling, and much much more. Dogs give us much, but we also need to give them much in return.

      If someone is unable to fulfill the needs of a dog - the dog will likely become unhappy and frustrated. This could lead to a variety of destructive and aggressive behaviors, which will ultimately result in the dog getting surrendered and probably euthanized. This is no life for a dog.

      I think what you are doing now is the right thing - which is to convince your aunt not to get a dog.

    • amy 7 years ago

      HI have not spoke to you in awhile

      my aunt is lookin for a dog she has never had 1 be 4 i dont REALLY like her, she has a big fancey house and dose not a dog in the house so she wants a big dog but i told her she would need to keep it in the house while it is a pup because there is foxes and other big dogs around her house she did not seem to happy about that idea so she said what if i got it as a big dog so i said ok but it would be harder to train it and she wants it trained then she sarted comeplaing about walking it every day and it shiting on her grass can you help me please shibasshake!!!

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 7 years ago

      Thanks for that link anon. That episode, and that particular clip is one that is often mentioned and discussed.

      It probably highlights the key issues that many people disagree on about Cesar Millan.

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 7 years ago

      Glad you liked it autum. It is great that you are planning to work with dogs in the future! They are really a lot of fun and quite awesome to be with :)

    • autum 7 years ago

      i think these tips will help me on becoming a great dog trainer in the future. i love this and i hope there is more to it then just these tips to help me out more in the future!!! i am also a big fan of cesar millan!!!

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 7 years ago

      Hi Random, May be best to leave it be for a while, and then try to engage her positively on other subjects - not Cesar Millan related :)

      Also, just get to know more people around here, and comment on more hubs. There are some really interesting people here and some very good writers so I think you will have fun.

      Let some time pass and you can go back and revisit Whitney. :)

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 7 years ago

      Hi Amy, Yeah I did some of the earlier Sim City games. I tried 'the Sims' briefly but never really got into it. Never did Sims Online. Are they still coming up with new upgrades for the 'the Sims'?

    • Random Person profile image

      Random Person 7 years ago from San Diego, California

      Hey shibashake!!! I really miss talking to you. You have been so nice. :)

      Recently I have been leaving comments on Whitney's hub, "Cesar Millan will not train my dogs and why I willl not let him." I have been trying to be REALLY nice but she has been deleteing my comments. What should I do?? I am sure you're more experienced with hubbers, maybe you can help.



    • Amy  7 years ago

      my fav game on the computer is the sims games did you ever play one of them games

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 7 years ago

      Yes actually I do. I am mostly interested in RPGs, although sometimes I also play strategy games. I was really into MMORPGs - did Final Fantasy Online and WoW. Currently I am waiting for Diablo 3.

      What about you?

    • amy 7 years ago

      cool names!!

      you like computer games?

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 7 years ago

      Good to see you again Amy. Yeah I would like to visit Ireland sometime - love the pictures I have seen.

      My Shiba Inu's name is Sephy - after Sephiroth who is a really cool character from a computer game.

      My Siberian Husky's name is Shania - Shania is a Native American Indian word which means "on my way". We named her that because she is always so energetic and is always on her way to doing something fun. :)

    • amy 7 years ago

      i am in lreland

      i love it here! wat is your dogs names my sister wants to no

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 7 years ago

      Hi Amy, I am glad that you found the article to be helpful. Yes those pictures are of my silly dogs. I love them very much :)

      I am in Northern California. My Siberian Husky does get a bit hot in the summer but the house is cool and she gets to go in and out as she wants. Also got her a wading pool and a nice water bed for at night :)

    • amy 7 years ago

      thanks your tips where really helpful and just like to say is that your dog because it is lovely wat part of the wrold are u in?

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 7 years ago

      Hi Amy,

      Check out:

      Please let me know if you have further questions.

    • amy 7 years ago


      my dog Tilly she is a king charles she wont stop barking

      in the garden have you any tips

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 7 years ago

      No it is not. I am a dog owner who has tried Cesar Millan's techniques, so I write sometimes write about my experiences.

      Cesar Millan does have an official website though, at:

    • amy 7 years ago

      hi janetta.....

      dont no who you are but is this a web site set up by Cesar millan?

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 7 years ago

      Hi Janetta, yeah shh and ack-ack are great to use as a non-mark because it does not come up in normal conversation unlike "No". :) Body blocks also work very well for my guys.

      But, I stay away from leash-jerks and definitely far-far away from alpha rolls. :)

    • Janetta 7 years ago

      I am a big Cesar fan also. I can't seem to get the leash tug down either, but some of the other stuff works great with our Boxer. I use the sounds (ah ah and shh) all the time. Teaching her the "back" command was easy using Cesar's steps. Great hub!!

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 7 years ago

      Hey there, haven't seen you in a while. Been trying to motivate myself to write a few more hubs but I've been lazy :) What about you?

    • Random Person profile image

      Random Person 7 years ago from San Diego, California

      Hey what's up? Nice hub!:D

    • JoAnne 7 years ago


    • Temi 7 years ago

      The i am Temi and i have two dogs when wde put the dog whisperer on their behaver changes in a good way so the dog whisperer is a good dog trainer and one day i hope he could help my dogs to stay happey and too be good not just when they are watching the dog whisperer for them to be good all the time.

    • shibashake profile image

      shibashake 8 years ago

      Thanks for visiting Canis Humanis. You are absolutely right that dogs also learn much through social learning. When Cesar Millan brings dogs over to his Center, he is using social learning. Daddy also helps him a lot with that. Dogs also spend a lot of time observing us, and learn a lot that way.

      Social learning is a very broad and interesting area. I am still reading up about it, so if there are any books or links that you recommend, please let me know. Many thanks!

    • Canis Humanis 8 years ago

      There are actually three levels of learning which exist at the same time, and are used by anyone who works with dogs - Operant Conditioning, Classical Conditioning, and Social Learning.

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