dominance

This explanation was taken directly from sessionswithcesar.com

Cesar Millan is a world-renowned dog behavior specialist, known for his uncanny ability to walk large packs of dogs at a time. From poodles to pit bulls, the well-behaved canines under Cesar's care have all been rehabilitated; each of them rescued from a wide range of behavior issues-- everything from insecurity to severe 'red zone' aggression!

Cesar's unique "Power of the Pack" methodology comes from his keen understanding of canine pack behavior. While most dog trainers relate to one animal at a time, Cesar often uses the pack itself-- the natural social unit for canines-- to rehabilitate a wayward dog. Cesar teaches that, in order to properly fulfill both our dogs and ourselves, we each need to become our canine's calm-assertive pack leader.

Cesar's fulfillment formula: exercise, then discipline, and finally, affection, is the key to create a happy, balanced dog. We need to help our dogs achieve balance by fulfilling their needs as nature intended them to be. Most dog owners give only affection, or don't provide these three necessities in the correct order: Exercise-- walking a dog at least one hour every day, and in the correct way; Discipline-- giving a dog rules, boundaries, and limitations in a non-abusive manner; Affection-- a reward we give to our dogs and to ourselves, but only after the dog has achieved calm submission in our "pack".

A few examples of Cesar's unique methods are as follows:
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  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.
  2. Consistent use of a non-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 non-mark, for when your dog is doing something wrong.
    • Sometimes, trainers have several different marks and non-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 non-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 non-mark (the tsch sound) when a dog is misbehaving. If the dog continues to misbehave, it is important to follow-up the non-mark with some action (e.g. a body block or time-out) so that the dog understands that there are consequences for ignoring a non-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. Touch the dog's flank.
    • Aversive dog training technique. This technique worked in the short term but not the long term.
    • This technique is commonly used to stop a dog from obsessing on an external stimulus (e.g. another dog, a cat, a person). Reactive or aggressive dogs often start by actively searching for something to focus on. Once a target is acquired, the dog gets extremely still, and will stare unblinking at the object.
    • During this time, the dog will not give attention to anything else, even food.
    • From here, the dog can explode in a burst of energy and lunge after his target when it gets within range.
    • You want to stop your dog as early as possible, and redirect him onto something else. If you wait too long, he will lose control and practice reactive/aggressive behavior, that he will then be more prone to repeat.
    • Initially, I was able to break my Shiba Inu from focusing on objects by touching his flank. After a few times however, he got habituated to it and would just ignore the touch.
    • The best technique, I have found, for avoiding reactive/aggressive triggers, is to ignore those objects myself, and just move my dog along. There are a variety of other techniques for dealing with dog-to-dog aggression and other aggression triggers.