Cognitive Behavioral Dog Training, Nothing New!

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Get your dog thinking and enjoying life.

Cognitive Behavioral Dog Training is nothing new, we have been developing and practicing cognitive behavioral dog training for decades. Motley Dog Training came into being because our founders loved two things, Dogs and Applied Psychology. After working with dogs and learning dog training techniques, more or less a lifetime endeavor, he knew there was a better way. There are many specialties in psychology, and they all offer tools to improve dog training. This is what all dog trainers try to do but, we stuck with the psychology and left the confines of conditioning behind. Psychology is better than dog training.

What you should know about dog training

Dog training and anything useful came from psychology and the actual study and science of behavior. So, when a dog trainer tells me about a dog training technique or theory I almost always recognize where the theory was stolen from, and I already know, not just the dog training version but, the founding theory, the research and have far more experience in using the science in real world situations and not just with dogs. I am constantly checking to see if animal behaviorists or dog trainers have added anything to the actual science of behavior, and believe me we will post when and if this ever occurs. Until then, we train and treat dogs with the best tools and techniques. Those are all from psychologist and psychology. Science has collected enough evidence to assure all of us that dogs are far more similar to us when it comes to psychological problems than dissimilar so, to think you can be an expert of behavior in this day and age without a minimum of a Master of Science degree you are mistaken.

Yes, this means there are a lot of people above me, and those are the people I seek out and learn from. We use a lot of cognitive psychology. Cognition is about thinking, conditioning is about eliminating thinking. They do not play well together.

What is Cognitive psychology

What is Cognitive Psychology? It is the scientific study of mental processes such as attention, language use, memoryperception, problem-solving, creativity, and reasoning. [1] Cognitive psychology originated in the 1960s in a break from behaviorism, which had held from the 1920s to 1950s that unobservable mental processes were outside the realm of empirical science. This break came as researchers in linguistics and cybernetics, as well as applied psychology, used models of mental processing to explain human behavior.

In a nutshell Behaviorists, your standard dog trainers, and Animals Behaviorists follow outdated theories based on the idea that what goes on inside your head “cognition” does not matter. This is the foundation for all conditioning and rehearsal techniques, it is wrong. Dogs think, solve problems, have emotions. True animal lovers and dog people knew this all along.

Cognitive Psychology influenced many Specialties

Cognitive Psychology influenced many specialties in psychology and beyond. Social Cognition, Evolutionary Psychology, Developmental Psychology, and so on. The fact is that you could put cognitive in front of 100’s of things, and it would add to the study of that thing.

So, you can imagine that when the idea of putting cognition in front of dog training was proposed, the professors were not impressed. Human Psychologists have used dogs to understand human behavior from the very beginning. Psychology is where all dog training techniques originated. Motley was studying animal cognition and using this advantage far before it was the cool thing to do. The idea that dogs are far more similar than we would like to admit was obvious, not a groundbreaking idea in the world of Psychology. Even to this day, any dog training or animal behavior worth knowing is an attempt to rewrite a well-established and superior psychological theory.

Give Credit to Those that have Earned it

Now, after reading all of this, you should know that the majority of the specialties that use our work give psychologists the credit but, not dog trainers or animal behaviorists. They are famous for trying to cram exceptional science into a conditioning and behaviorist box and putting their name on it. So, in cognitive behavioral dog training here at Motley Dog we give the credit to those that have earned it. Now you know why, and yes, we will torment dog trainers and behaviorists until they own up and give the credit to those that deserve it, not us by the way, we have developed and modified great psychology for dogs but, we stand on the backs of giants.

Our Teams Say it Best:

“Motley dog training has been! Wonderful. My Australian shepherd/ border collie rescue has many issues including nipping, anxiety, over-protectiveness and a short temper for others.”

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“Motley was great, he taught me how to read my dog and be able to see and avoid situations before they occur.”

The bond and trust between my dog and I have only increased with the training we’ve done, and for this I’m very grateful. It’s a slow process, but we’ve made so much progress in the last 3 months.

I’d suggest Motley to anyone with a troubled pup looking for a trainer… or a parent who just can’t take it anymore! He’s a great guy who goes above and beyond to help, working with him has been a very positive experience for us all!

Thank you! Motley

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The bond and trust between my dog and I have only increased with the training we’ve done, and for this, I’m very grateful. It’s a slow process, but we’ve made so much progress in the last 3 months.

I’d suggest Motley to anyone with a troubled pup looking for a trainer… or a parent who just can’t take it anymore! He’s a great guy who goes above and beyond to help, working with him has been a very positive experience for us all!

Thank you! Motley

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Cheat sheet for selecting a qualified dog behaviorist or dog trainer

It is common to find a sad story about how dog trainers struggled and worked so hard to be the best and the rest of us are just not up to the task. We thought someone should just put it out there for you.

If your dog has no behavioral problem, let the new trainer take a shot at it. That is where we all started. We are always here to fix whatever happens. For the rest of you, there are experts in dog training. They are not experts in behavior, and dog behavior is not sufficiently different to excused them from the formal educational requirements necessary to become an expert in behavior. A Master’s of Science degree means you mastered what we know about behavior and are now ready to specialize. One of these is necessary to be and expert. When you choose a specialty, that is what the PhD means. There are just too many cool things to learn in psychology to specialize, so, our lead dog never specialized. Dogs are similar to people, scientific evidence of this is mounting, and we say, it is about time we have used cognition and psychology for decades.

Dog Trainers

In the area there are only two organizations that train dogs that we might recommend you to so, we make sure your dog has the best even if that turns out not to be us. This is not a bash at our local dog trainers, we have been many places and this city is just like most cities. We have a very high standard for ourselves and those we recommend. For dog trainers, stop telling everyone how great you are, we are only as good as our last session, only as good as the last dog we helped. We are qualified to call ourselves behavior experts and not just dog training experts. We still do not know everything we want to know to help dogs. Not only that, but we work every day to make sure we deserve to be referred to as an expert, that make us elite. This is because I enjoy it and love dogs, not because I have to, I would be doing it anyway.

Thank you,

Motley.

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