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Most K9 trainers are beginning to understand the advantages of non-compulsive training methods for teaching aggression control. When Stephen Mackenzie started his career training police service dogs, trainers relied on pain to teach dogs what was expected of them, and motivation was limited to their love of biting on one hand and their desire to avoid painful consequences on the other. The idea that aggressive dogs could learn in non-compulsive ways was slow to take root but is now widely accepted. Mackenzie describes several different approaches for training dogs in aggression control and teaching them to release the decoy without using compulsion. He explains in detail the use of the muzzle, the self out, and various toys and games, so trainers can use the techniques they prefer. Advice for decoys on controlling the dog’s excitement level and the use of equipment to help the trainer are also included.

Table of Contents

1. The Yerkes-Dodson Law
2. Obedience sets the stage
3. The self out
4. The muzzle
5. Toys and games
6. Problem solving
7. Decoys and equipment

Stephen A. Mackenzie

Stephen Mackenzie has been a deputy sheriff for more than 20 years and has been training and handling police service dogs for more than 30 years. A popular seminar instructor, he has testified in both criminal and civil cases as a court-recognized expert in animal behavior. He is currently a professor of animal science at the State University of New York at Cobleskill.

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