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Without Force or Punishment

Author: Alison Spanner | Date: November 16, 2012

There is little doubt dog training with an aversive (punishment) works. When an aversive is applied immediately following a behavior, the likelihood of the behavior occurring in the future is reduced.  Easy peasy and if done well, rather effective.

However, I choose not to train using punishment.

I don’t use shock collars, prong collars, choke chains or leash corrections.  Why? Because if someone can train a 10,000 pound Killer Whale with a only a whistle and a few fish to hold his mouth open and get his teeth cleaned, I can certainly train a dog without using pain and intimidation.    Trainers using positive reinforcement have trained a giraffe to stand on a scale to get weighed, a raven to hold a camera and fly over a particular area and a rat to detect tuberculosis — to name just a few amazing feats.

I choose not to force a dog to perform a behavior. Rather I use my own skills to define what behavior I desire, break down that behavior into small pieces and reinforce these behaviors until a dog offers my desired behavior on command.  Sometimes it takes slightly longer than it would if I jerked up on the leash and the sharp prongs of the collar dug into the dog’s neck but at least I can look my dog eyes and know he trusts me.

 


Both trainers had different approaches to offer to help solve any problems we were having.

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