Debunking The Dog Daddy: Why Augusto Deoliveira’s Training Methods Are Harmful and Dangerous

The Dog Daddy Harmful Training Methods Exposed

The Danger Behind the Charisma – A Critical Look at The Dog Daddy’s Training Methods

By Will Bangura, M.S., CDBC, CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA, FFCP

In the sprawling digital landscape of pet care advice and dog training tutorials, certain figures stand out — not for their expertise or ethical approach, but for their ability to captivate an audience. One such individual who has caught the public’s eye is Augusto Deoliveira, widely known as “The Dog Daddy.” With a strong social media presence and a flair for dramatic showmanship, Deoliveira portrays himself as a dog trainer who swiftly brings ‘out-of-control’ dogs to heel. However, behind this façade lies a concerning reality that pet parents and animal welfare advocates cannot afford to ignore.

My name is Will Bangura, a certified dog behavior consultant with over 35 years of experience committed to science-based, humane methods of dog training. This article is a call to action and a plea for a more nuanced understanding of dog behavior. I aim to shed light on the severe ethical and scientific shortcomings in the methods employed by “The Dog Daddy.” These aren’t merely methods that are unproven; they are harmful techniques that pose real dangers to both dogs and their human caregivers.

From flooding techniques to the use of prong collars and inducing learned helplessness, Deoliveira’s methods perpetuate harmful myths about dog behavior. His techniques do not ‘cure’ dogs; they break them. And it’s not just animal welfare at stake here — the people who follow Deoliveira’s advice are also put at significant risk.

In this article, we will dissect the methods touted by “The Dog Daddy,” backed by credible scientific research, to expose why these practices are not only ineffective but also dangerous.

The Dog Daddy’s Misuse of Flooding: A Disguised Drama

One of the most notorious methods showcased by Augusto Deoliveira, aka “The Dog Daddy,” is the technique of flooding. With a flair for the dramatic, Deoliveira makes it appear as though he’s rapidly resolving complex behavioral issues. To the untrained eye, it might seem like a ‘miracle cure,’ but make no mistake: this is not responsible dog training; it’s showmanship disguising a flawed and harmful approach.

What Deoliveira is doing is not desensitizing the dog to its fears but flooding it with stimuli, thereby inducing an extreme stress response. Though it may look like the dog has calmed down or “submitted,” what’s actually happening is a physiological and psychological shutdown caused by overwhelming stress (Ziv, 2017).

Moreover, these ‘quick fixes’ are temporary at best. Flooding does nothing to address the root causes of a dog’s behavioral issues. It merely suppresses them, often resulting in a ticking time bomb of pent-up stress and fear that is likely to explode in worse forms of aggression or other undesirable behaviors.

The danger here is twofold: First, it severely compromises the well-being of the dog. Second, it misleads pet parents and other viewers into thinking that this is a legitimate, effective method for resolving behavioral issues. In reality, Deoliveira’s approach ignores the basic tenets of canine psychology and ethology, leaving the underlying emotional state of the dog unaddressed.

This leads to a cycle of recurring aggression and stress, not just for the dog but also for the pet parent who believes they’ve found a solution, only to have the problem return, often worse than before. It’s a cycle that can be broken only by debunking the illusion that Deoliveira creates with his charismatic but scientifically unsound demonstrations.

The Inherent Risks of Prong Collars: Debunking The Dog Daddy’s Claims

Among the myriad of troubling techniques employed by “The Dog Daddy” is the use of prong collars, an outdated and harmful tool that is vehemently opposed by reputable dog training organizations, veterinarians, and animal behaviorists alike. Despite evidence detailing the psychological and physical trauma these devices can inflict, Deoliveira continues to feature them in his videos and seminars, often hanging dogs from leashes attached to these collars as part of his ‘training’ regimen.

The premise behind the prong collar is ostensibly to provide a ‘correction’ when a dog behaves undesirably. However, what these collars actually do is induce pain and discomfort, violating the basic principles of ethical animal training (Herron, Shofer & Reisner, 2009). The pain from the prongs pinching into a dog’s neck not only causes immediate suffering but also leads to increased levels of stress and anxiety in the animal, further aggravating behavioral issues like aggression (Grohmann et al., 2013).

Pet parents who emulate Deoliveira’s methods are also putting themselves at significant risk. Utilizing such aversive methods and tools, especially when dealing with behavioral problems like aggression, increases the likelihood of the dog lashing out. This not only exacerbates the animal’s behavioral issue but also puts the pet parent in a situation where they could suffer severe physical harm.

When pet guardians apply the punitive measures championed by Deoliveira, they are not merely misunderstanding dog behavior; they are participating in a dangerous practice that can lead to increased aggression and jeopardize human safety. It is both a disservice to the canine community and a direct contradiction to the multitude of scientific studies advocating for humane, positive reinforcement-based methods (Ziv, 2017).

Ultimately, Deoliveira’s persistent use of prong collars is a testament to his disregard for established scientific literature and ethical standards in animal training. His approach exemplifies the severe problems that arise from the dog training industry’s lack of regulation and oversight, enabling individuals like him to propagate harmful techniques under the guise of expertise.

The Dark Reality of Learned Helplessness: Unpacking The Dog Daddy’s Techniques

In the arsenal of damaging techniques employed by Augusto Deoliveira, also known as “The Dog Daddy,” lies an especially insidious concept: learned helplessness. Although he does not label it as such, his methods frequently result in this devastating psychological state for the dogs he ‘trains.’

Learned helplessness occurs when an animal, after experiencing repeated adverse situations that it cannot escape or control, becomes passive and essentially ‘gives up,’ showing decreased ability to learn new tasks or escape future adverse situations (Seligman, 1972). It’s a state of emotional shutdown that leads to an array of long-term problems like increased stress, decreased ability to cope with future challenges, and heightened susceptibility to conditions such as depression and anxiety (Maier & Seligman, 2016).

What Deoliveira is essentially doing is forcing dogs into a state of learned helplessness by using fear, pain, and intimidation. Dogs subjected to such methods become passive not because they are well-behaved or ‘fixed,’ but because they have been emotionally and psychologically crushed.

But this isn’t just an ethical quandary; it’s a danger to pet parents. A dog that has been ‘shut down’ is unpredictable. The aggression may appear to be cured temporarily, but the dog’s emotional volatility remains. This creates a ticking time bomb scenario where the pet parent is lulled into a false sense of security, risking serious physical injury when the dog’s suppressed emotions inevitably surface.

Moreover, learned helplessness undermines the foundational tenets of positive, science-backed animal training, which emphasizes building a relationship based on trust and mutual respect between the dog and its human companion. Scientific studies have consistently shown that training methods based on positive reinforcement are not only more humane but also more effective in the long term (Hiby, Rooney, & Bradshaw, 2004).

In summary, by forcing dogs into a state of learned helplessness, Deoliveira is perpetuating a deeply flawed and dangerous approach that is neither supported by scientific literature nor endorsed by reputable animal welfare organizations. His methods stand as a glaring example of what happens when sensationalism and showmanship trump evidence-based, humane practices in dog training.

Professional Consensus Against Aversive Methods: A Unified Stance for Humane Dog Training

The Dog Daddy’s methods may seem novel or compelling to some, but they starkly contrast the overwhelming consensus within professional circles advocating for evidence-based, humane dog training techniques. Various esteemed veterinary and animal welfare organizations have openly criticized the use of aversive training methods similar to those employed by Augusto Deoliveira, and they advocate for a science-based approach that aligns with animal welfare considerations.

Veterinary Organizations

  1. American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB): They assert that punishment-based training methods can cause “problematic behaviors,” including fear, anxiety, and aggressive tendencies (AVSAB, 2007).
  2. American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA): AAHA goes so far as to say that aversive training methods have limited efficacy and can be replaced entirely by positive reinforcement (AAHA, 2015).
  3. Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) and The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA): Both have issued position statements warning against the potential harms of punishment-based training, advocating for positive, science-based approaches.

Professional Training Organizations

  1. Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT): APDT emphasizes that training should be based on “current scientific knowledge,” which increasingly favors positive reinforcement (APDT, 2016).
  2. International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC): The IAABC opposes any training that “causes physical or emotional harm to the animal” and endorses practices that prioritize the dog’s psychological well-being.
  3. Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT) and The Canadian Association of Professional Pet Dog Trainers (CAPPDT): Both stand against aversive methods and advocate for training rooted in the latest scientific research.
  4. The National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors (NADOI): The NADOI cautions against techniques that might inflict pain or fear in dogs, advocating instead for methods that “foster trust and cooperation between dogs and humans.”
  5. The Australian Association of Professional Dog Trainers (AAPDT)

Animal Welfare Organizations

  1. Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), The American Humane Society, and The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS): These organizations argue that aversive methods are not only harmful but are also less effective in achieving sustainable behavioral changes.
  2. American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and The Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC): They concur that positive reinforcement is the most effective and humane training method.
  3. British Veterinary Association (BVA), British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA), and The Kennel Club (UK)

The unity among these organizations is not trivial. It’s a collective recognition that scientific research supports humane, positive reinforcement methods as the most effective, safe, and ethical form of dog training. Such methods focus on enhancing the dog’s understanding of desired behaviors rather than suppressing undesirable ones through pain and fear (Friedman, 2008).

This collective professional and scientific opposition to aversive training techniques should serve as a stark warning to anyone considering the practices promoted by The Dog Daddy. Not only are these methods harmful to the animals, but they also pose a substantial risk to pet parents who might find themselves dealing with a dog whose issues have been aggravated rather than alleviated.

The Imperative for Ethical, Science-Backed Training: A Call to Action

In the maze of social media influencers and self-proclaimed experts, it’s easy to get sidetracked by theatrics and quick-fix illusions. Augusto Deoliveira, known as “The Dog Daddy,” is a case in point. While his charisma and showmanship may entertain some, they mask a harmful reality that jeopardizes the well-being of both dogs and pet parents. This article aimed to pull back the curtain on these deceptive practices, revealing their inherent dangers and the vast professional disapproval they receive.

As the litany of respected organizations outlined earlier shows, the methods Deoliveira promotes aren’t just a subject of controversy; they are flat-out denounced by the scientific community and professionals who dedicate their lives to the humane treatment of animals. These organizations urge us all to adopt evidence-based, ethical approaches that respect the physiological and psychological well-being of dogs. Techniques based on fear and punishment not only induce stress, anxiety, and potential aggression in dogs but also fail to address the root causes of behavioral issues (Blackwell et al., 2008).

When so many authoritative voices speak in harmony against the use of aversive methods, it’s imperative for us as responsible pet parents and professionals to listen. Falling for the allure of fast, dramatic results could lead us down a perilous path that places our pets and ourselves in harm’s way. Effective dog training is not a spectacle; it is a science. And like any science, it requires a thoughtful, methodical approach backed by empirical evidence.

So, what can you do? Start by seeking advice from certified professionals who adhere to science-based, humane training methods. Be a critical consumer of information and scrutinize the qualifications of those you turn to for advice. Challenge the status quo and question anyone who promotes harmful, outdated training methods.

Let’s collectively aim for a future where dog training is universally rooted in compassion and evidence, free from the shadows of cruelty and misunderstanding. A dog is not just a creature to be “mastered” or “controlled,” but a sentient being deserving of respect and kindness. We owe it to them, and we owe it to ourselves, to get it right.

It’s now up to each of us to make informed, ethical choices in how we train and care for our canine companions. Your dogs, and dogs everywhere, will be better off for it.


Blackwell, E. J., Twells, C., Seawright, A., & Casey, R. A. (2008). The relationship between training methods and the occurrence of behavior problems, as reported by owners, in a population of domestic dogs. Journal of Veterinary Behavior, 3(5), 207-217.

Ziv, G. (2017). The effects of using aversive training methods in dogs—A review. Journal of Veterinary Behavior, 19, 50-60.


About the Author:

Will Bangura, M.S., CDBC, CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA, FFCP is a Dually Credentialed International Certified Dog Behavior Consultant and Certifed Professional Dog Trainer of 35 Years. Mr. Bangura Specializes in Dog Aggression, Dog, Anxiety, Fears, and Canine Phobias. He is one of only 33 Dog Behavior Professionals to be Dually Credentialed as an Internationally Certified Dog Behavior Consultant by both the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, (IAABC,) and the Certification Council For Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT). He is the Author of the Textbook: Taming The Treasure Takers: Understanding, Managing and Addressing Resource Guarding Behaviors in Dogs for Pet Professionals, and House-Training 101: Potty Training Unleashed.