The Pen is mightier than the sword, but the Pen must sometimes move the sword against corruption if the corrupt are not moved by the pen.. An idea without an implementer is useless. "The Rulers do not carry the sword in vain"Rom 13:4

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Is Caesar Milan the Great Canine Satan?

If you soaked up the apoplectic criticism of his 'dominance' theory and methods, you could be forgiven for thinking so.  In "The Rise and Fall of Caesar Milan" article he main criticism is of his use of 'dominance' rather than positive reinforcement methods to achieve the desired behavior  in the dog. 

This criticism seems to me to be more about a hysterical reaction from believers in a cozy psychology of 'positive reinforcement only' that more resembles a religious cult than objective thinkers.

How much observation and general learning do we need to conclude that dogs are a) Pack animals and b) are kept in the correct peck position by... dominance of an Alpha male.  I doublt you would ever find a National Geographic documentary that had any other kind of explanation for dog behavior in the wild.

Yet for some reason, Milan is crushed and crucified by these "oh you are cruelllll!!" pundits who seem insistent on using only  'reward when he obeys, do nothing when he disobeys' psycho babble.  They appear to have uncritically embraced B.F. Skinners approach to rats and mazes.  Skinner did not punish the rats when they could not find their way through the maze, but he rewarded them with food when they succeeded.  'Conclusion'= "no need for negative reinforcement.".

Well.. I think there is a lot more at stake here in the attacks on Milan than first appears. I sense that a whole 'cult' of people out there who can't stand the thought of the word "NO" or.. it's behavioral equivalent in various physical deterrents to certain kinds of undesired behavior in people as well as animals.  If they cede the animal territory on this, they think they must also cede the human territory....and 'that' would never do, now would it?

It's almost as though 'facts say this and that'.....about animal behavior, yet these sentimental humans irrationally reject the facts in favor of a futile psychology of personal preference and cognitive comfort.

I guess Im in the camp of.. "Good for dogs in the wild, good for humans who have dogs".  If dogs are kept in line by a bit of a nip and a growl by the Alpha male... why not use these legitimate  proven techniques  in the backyard?

I met a man once who  bred Dobermans. He told me that the male will seek to assert itself strongly at some stage after it has reached maturity....he said the only thing to do then is whack it..punch it.. hit it....and establish dominance!  Given the alternative would be to have your throat ripped out by an ambitious dog...wellll.... I'm not too fussed by this approach.

I think the root of the 'anti Milan/ Milan is Satan' mob is pure simple jealousy!  Milan is self taught, and this threatens those uppity Vets and Animal Shrinks who have paid big money to get their precious degrees... well woop de doo.... you mob seem more like the legalistic pedantic Pharisees that Jesus condemned  than genuinely concerned for the dogs.

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