An Open Letter to Pet Industry Representatives Regarding the Use of Shock in Animal Training

Shocking pet dogs remains a common, if controversial, training practice worldwide. In this open letter, Pet Professional Guild (PPG) combines decades of research, the opinions of certified animal behaviorists, and the question of ethics to explain why using electric shock in the name of training and care is both ineffective and harmful. PPG concludes that shocking constitutes a form of abuse towards pets, and, given that there are highly effective, positive training alternatives, should no longer be a part of the current pet industry culture of accepted practices, tools or philosophies.

Diversity and Breed Distinction of Canis familiaris

The domestic dog, Canis familiaris is said to be the most morphologically variable of the mammalian species. According to scientist, artificial selection contributed heavily to the rapid development and variation in color, shape and behavior we see in dogs today. The difference among dog species rivals that of any other species in the family Canidae.

Learning, what does this mean? How is learning applied in dog training and behavior modification?

Learning applied in dog training, by professional dog trainers, certified in dog behavior, located in Bradenton and Sarasota FL Specializing in Puppy Training, Dog Training, Aggression, Separation Anxiety, House-Training, Jumping, Barking, Cognitive Dysfunction, OCD, Canine Communication

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Responsible Dog and Cat Training and Behavior Solutions located in Sarasota and Bradenton Florida

Responsible Dog and Cat is located in Sarasota and Bradenton Florida. Our services include dog training, dog day care, dog boarding, dog day training, dog board and train (limited). We use pet friendly training methods. Our services are designed to enhance the human-canine bond. If you want to learn how to train your dog using behavioral and preventative strategies, Contact Us to schedule your private dog behavior/assessment consultation.. Joyce Kesling is certified in dog and cat behavior through iaabc.org and professional dog trainer experienced with many breeds and types of dogs. Review my experience, training, certifications and professional memberships here.

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IAABC Statement on LIMA

What Is LIMA? LIMA requires that trainers and behavior consultants use the “least intrusive, minimally aversive technique likely to succeed in achieving a training [or behavior change] objective with minimal risk of producing adverse side effects.” It is also a competence criterion, requiring that trainers and behavior consultants be adequately trained and skilled in order to ensure that the least intrusive and aversive procedure is in fact used. 1 LIMA Is Competence-Based LIMA requires that trainers/behavior consultants work to increase the use of positive reinforcement and lessen the use of punishment in work with companion animals and the humans who care for them. LIMA protocols are designed to be maximally humane to learners of all species. In order to ensure best practices, consultants/trainers should pursue and maintain competence in animal behavior consulting through education, training, or supervised experience, and should not advise on problems outside the recognized boundaries of their competencies and experience.2

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Experiencing Anticipation Training Dogs – Using Time Outs versus Stops

“A common flaw in stimulus-controlled behavior is anticipation: Once the cue has been learned, the subject is so eager to offer the behavior that it acts before the cue has actually been given” (Pryor, 1984, 1999). I prefer to use the training correction “stops” given the context is connected with actively training dogs versus using timeouts for social corrections. There are inherent differences between the two types of context and use. To avoid confusion and provide consistent feedback between dog and owner/handler, understanding when, why, where, and for what reason should be considered at all times. Dogs learn best when provided clear rules concerning their behavioral responses, doing this avoids anxiety produced when any subject is unsure about any consequences that may result from their behavior. This also explains why using punishment, especially incorrectly, can cause serious learning deficits.