Response to a Facebook post: Bullies and Behavior Analysts

img_Little-Bullies-BoyRecently a person posted on Facebook a wish that all children be trained with “positive” methods. The specific Facebook page is run by the largest professional organization of behavior analysts. Comments of that ilk are common along with grandiose promises of behavior analysis as the tool to save the world. I think not. Here’s my reply to that wishful thinking.
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Old Sayings And Safe Handling:

There is an old saying that you should never turn your $_72back on a strange dog. I’ve done it literally thousands of times and never been bitten. There seems to be a big of a disparity between the old saying and what I know to be safe. Turning your back is often the best way to greet a dog you don’t trust. Facing front can be a trigger for a bite. That is because many threatening dogs are scared. If you let them off the hook they aren’t going to bite you. If you do things that make them more fearful eventually you will hit their breaking point. With that in mind I’ll tell you about how I caught a dangerous Akita, one day.
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What Science Says…aint’ necessarily so. Eye contact with canines.

A recent scientific study determined why humans love dogs. They claimed it was that humans who make eye-contact have an edge. Apparently dogs tha169270413t gaze into a human’s eyes love them. To counter this finding I will tell you my rule, derived from eight years of humane and animal control work and more than 25 working as a behaviorist. I never make direct eye-contact with a dog I haven’t slept with. Continue reading

Cartesian Dualism: Say what?

9969462_orig“Dualism is closely associated with the philosophy of René Descartes (1641), which holds that the mind is a nonphysical substance. Descartes clearly identified the mind with consciousness and self-awareness and distinguished this from the brain as the seat of intelligence. Hence, he was the first to formulate the mind–body problem in the form in which it exists today.” Wikipedia Continue reading

The Nike Motto: Just do it.

OK, so you want to be a great dog trainer. Believe it or not it starts with the most basic concepts. The problem is that most people don’t start at a foundation and then build on top of it. They start from a half-way point of hearsay from someone who is considered an expert, like me. As there is no shortage of experts the information is overwhelming and often contradictory. Eventually the person selects one or more experts and starts training.  As a result of depending on hearsay, the beginner assumes that their existing level of skill is complete because they have memorized all the rules of the expert. The problem is that the beginner can’t know if there are glitches in their education. By accepting information on faith they may have wide gaps in their knowledge – gaps of ignorance. Then, one day, a problem arises that requires a fundamental solution they don’t know. The most common way to side-step this is to create a complex solution based on existing knowledge that doesn’t really solve the problem. That is the norm.
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