Sometimes Stopping a Dog From Mauling a Child is A Good Thing Even if It Reduces the Dog’s Self-Esteem.

Excessive Barking, Bad Behavior, And How to Avoid Alpha Dominance or Actual Control of The Dog

[Disclaimer: This article will be shocking to most people because it expects them to be dominant over their dog.]

There are trainers who would prefer to let a dog maul a child, instead of hitting the dog and screaming at it. This is because the dog’s self-esteem would be damaged and you’d be engaging ‘fear-based’ training which is emotionally unacceptable and could leave the dog with PTSD. You can always make another kid. The chance to make s good impression on your dog is sometimes limited at crucial training junctures.

You wonder sometimes, why somebodies’ dog just barks their heads off, and won’t stop even when the owner is scolding them.

It’s a combination of “Instinct Versus Alpha”.

If the owner is “Alpha” to the dog (if the dog is subservient to and respects the owner) then it will stop when the owner says so. However, this is practically impossible now as training has gone to strictly positive-reinforcement. Also, “Alpha-training” has been abandoned in practically every avenue of training except when it actually matters: Like police, drug, military and security dogs when performance has to be predictable, repeatable, effective and reliable.

“Alpha” just means the dog respects you as an actual superior. It’s established by domination and “Alpha behavior” when they’re really small. It’s not quite as easy as it sounds because it’s not about ‘beatings’ at all. It’s firm, even rigid, and it’s about “Putting the dog in it’s place” while it’s young enough to care. It doesn’t HAVE to be ‘fear-based’ but sometimes that’s effective too, when absolutely necessary. (This is heresy in 2023)

Let’s face it: Words like “domination, rigidity, firmness, respect and superior”, have no place in America’s lexicon of politically correct words. Dominance and authority are both out of the question for our kids, and discipline is moving in that direction for our dogs. There are ACTUAL psychotherapists for dogs now. And there are trainers who are careful not to oppress the free will and “full emotional expression” of dogs. I think that says enough about why there are dogs that won’t stop barking.

More than forty years ago people didn’t take any crap off their dogs. Dogs were NOT our equals and we didn’t join THEIR pack. They were admitted to OUR pack and were absolutely expected to be respectful to us, or they were “sent to the farm”

Some of you remember when your families’ “difficult” dogs were given to the “Kindly old farmer who wanted a new dog and was going to give them an amazing home on a farm.”

Yeah no.

Old and New Methods of Dog Training








Swift Backhand, or Find a tough military-veteran dog trainer who will teach you how to Alpha your dog.

Call misguided pet into training mode, reward them to obey.


Swift Backhand

Hire a trainer, behaviorist, or therapist, or call into training mode, calm them down and reinforce good behavior with high value treats, put the dog down in 3-4 months when it really hurts the child.


“The Kindly Farmer”

Psychotherapy, drugs, positive reinforcement, back-off on punishment-therapy, reward the dog when it lets up in an attack. Wait til the dog is too tired to keep chewing on the child and then give it a reward for stopping. Figure out how YOU screwed up as the owner.


Sound-Activated Rechargeable Shock Collar or Flyswatter or Coin can

Reward them when they stop barking on command. Wonder how that’ll work when you’re not home.


Rabbit Repellent in every hole under a handful of leaves, Remote Control shock collar, “Drag and Scold” or live with it.

When you see them digging, command them to stop, or come, and reward positive behavior with a high value treat. This works when you’re home and in the yard with them. Then, hire a landscaper and avoid investments in decent shrubs or features.


Sporn Utility or Training Harness, Remote Control Shock Collar, Flexi-Lead arm-clip-arm-clip-neck-clip Method, Pinch Collar. (Notice I did NOT say choke-collar)

Pull dog up on very short lead, and pull up on lead when they pull, using a command “Heel” and give high value treat when they heel for any decent length of time. This works until they see something they want to pull you over to.


Electronic sound activated bark collar (they don’t separate the barking from the rest of the overreaction) - Remote control shock collar - Sporn Harness nice and tight - a Delta-8 Gummy 60-90 minutes before the walk. *not CBD Alternatively, a sharp tug on the harness and a sharp “NO, KNOCK IT OFF”

Hire a no-Alpha trainer. Place dog in proximity to another dog. Call into training mode. Give a high-value treat when the dog sits and behaves. Repeat many times. Be ready to spend an extra 20-30 minutes on this every time you take the dog for a walk in public. Eventually it works.


Remote shock collar, Have your friends and neighbors get out of their car and chase the dog home with shouting and or repellent, a car with a Train Horn, NEUTER HIM, Yelling at them from the front door of your house is pointless.

Call dog into training mode, have them sit. Drive by in a car. Have them hold the “sit’ and if they do, reinforce with a high value food treat.

But later, when not in training mode, the dog runs into the street and is killed. But you didn’t degrade or humiliate the dog’s spirit with scolding or negative reinforcement.

Basics of Shock Collars

1. If it's not at least a little painful, it won't work - Put on "nice and snug"

2. Keep it on the dog til the behavior is gone-gone - Put on "nice and snug"

3. Shock collars should adjust to low sensitivity and HIGH shock-charge - Put on "nice and snug"

4. Shock collars should give a sound-warning before shocking - Put on "nice and snug"

5. There are collars under $30 that are rechargeable and powerful - Put on "nice and snug"

6. Buy a collar with a liberal return policy because everyone buys wimpy spray-type or "ultrasonic-sound" collars which don't work, before they buy a bonafide Shock Training Collar.

I’m going to tell you a true story with NO ASSOCIATION with a “How You Should” train a dog because “by-and-large” this is unnecessary. More simply stated: This is not how I recommend you train your dog. But it DID train this dog.

It AMPLY illustrates the point that for the first three thousand years that we “owned” dogs, we “had it right.”
Let’s go:

I had a dog named Isabella. She was young. She was mouthy. Most puppies are. She liked to gnaw on your feet. It didn’t matter because she was a Shih Tsu.
Well, I wanted her to stop but I was like “Whatever, she’ll figure it out”

(When a small breed dog misbehaves like that just put them on the floor and the inconvenience of having to climb back up makes them think twice about the “behavior that got them on the floor.” )

One night I got up at 3 in the morning and before I knew it, Isabelle was across the floor to have-a-gnaw on my feet and my foot went under her as I stepped forward and scooped her across the floor and into the bedroom door. Bonk.

I wasn’t running. But, let’s face it: I might-as-well have kicked her. At least in her mind, I kicked her.

She instantly became the most obedient dog we ever had, and never gnawed a foot again.

NO she was not traumatized, fearful, punishment-trained or any of the PTSD that the trainers promise your dog will have from what happened. ## Furthermore I’ll reiterate it was an accident ##. But the trainers will assure you that the “punished” dogs will have lower self esteem, appreciate fine music less, become sociopaths and Narcissists, try to run away, fail in dog classes, badmouth you in therapy, and end up less creative than “Good” owner’s dogs.

Bull shit.

The rednecks had it right. Rednecks don’t take shit off their dogs. And it works.

Okay okay okay…… I’ll admit that maybe the speed and method by which they establish ‘Alpha” is abrupt and a little too physical. But again: It works.

Don’t take crap off your dog. Find an Alpha trainer (usually ex-military or extremely experienced) and use one.

Never beat a dog unless (and this is a maybe) it bit a child*. I’m not kidding. That’s a whole other story but I am not recommending dog-beatings “in general” because the need to beat a dog is never. Unless maybe the next step is euthanasia then do what you gotta. Or pay a police-dog-trainer.

*Don’t hit a dog that can kill you because they may. If you have a Rottweiler, large unneutered German Shepherd, you might be surprised to know that they’re super sweet until-or-unless you actually challenge their alpha status, or cause them the slightest discomfort or lack of full-control of a situation..

If you find yourself saying “Oh no, he would bite me if I tried trimming his nails” –

You are NOT alpha to your dog.

Author: Dr. Erik Johnson
Dr. Erik Johnson is the author of several texts on companion animal and fish health. Johnson Veterinary Services has been operating in Marietta, GA since 1996. Dr Johnson graduated from the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine in 1991. Dr Johnson has lived in Marietta Georgia since 1976.