Do no harm.
It seems that lately I've been seeing the use out dated punishment and dominance theory training every where I go.
There's a little pet specialty boutique that Annabelle and I used to (note that I said "used to") walk to at least once a week during our breaks from the office. One day, I turned around and right there, hanging with the collars was a StarMark training collar (pictured left). I looked at that thing and I looked at the young girl behind the counter and asked her if she would use that thing on her dog. "Sure" she said. "It doesn't hurt them. [The owner] uses it all the time on her dog." I almost asked her to put it on and lets try it out. Instead, I left and I haven't been back. If it doesn't hurt, why use it. Isn't that the whole point of such a gruesome looking device? To cause pain to the dog that doesn't obey? It says that it is "gentle but effective in enforcing pack leadership." And what happens when the dog doesn't respond right away? Most people will yank harder. I have neighbors that use prong collars and when I asked them about it, they said "[Expletive] right.. If they don't listen they will get pain"
This is what it says in the description of the Neck Tech.
According to an article by Timothy Kirn for the VIN News Service
"The AVSAB recommends that verterinarians not refer clients to trainers or behavior consultants who coach and advocate dominance hierarchy theory and the subsequent confrontational training that follow from it," the position statement says.
Do No Harm
The next one I've been hearing a lot is the "tzz" noise that has been made so popular by a tv personality that likes to add a quick side kick or hard poke to emphasize it. That is all he is folks. He is a TV personality - nothing more. His shows are edited to make it look like everything he does is seamless. Let me ask you this. Would you honestly pay someone to come over and choke your dog with the collar until his tongue turns blue because they have a behavior problem? Or pin him on his back until he submits? Now lets substitute the dog for something else. Would you pay someone to do this to your cat? Your bird? Your ferret? Your child? What makes it ok to do this to dogs? And what are you teaching them? Nothing, except to fear/hate you. Wouldn't it be better to teach them what you want instead?Trainer and friend Jeni Grant of Train Your Best Friend uses a great analogy that goes something like this:
Pretend you're starting a new job. They sit you at the desk with no instructions because "you should know what they want you to do" and every time you do something wrong, they give you a jerk or a jolt or a kick. They never tell you what they want, you are on your own. Now, pretend you're at that new job and they've sat you at a desk and given you step by step instructions of what they want and every step you do right, gets you a chocolate kiss (or better yet, extra $). And when you do the whole job really well, they give you even more. Which job do you think would give you more confidence, you'd do better at, and which one do you think you'd enjoy more and want to work harder for?
So, the next time your dog is doing something "undesirable", instead of punishing them, simply interrupt the behavior and give them something appropriate to do instead. If you're not sure how to do this, have a session or two with a positive trainer or sign up for positive training classes.