What is a Dog? This is an honest question! After 25 years of working with all sorts of dogs I am still mystified by them. They are so common and familiar, yet they are still so unexpected and amazing. I’ve been thinking about this quite a lot lately. My guess is that different people have vastly different answers to this question. Why does it matter? I think that’s what I’m even more interested in exploring! It matters because our vision of dogs shapes our treatment of them. And our treatment of them is vital to their mental and physical health.
Dog Owner Responsibilities by William E Campbell I think many professional dog trainers will appreciate what William Campbell said about using "shock collars" in 1999. I too have referred to these individuals as "predators" taking advantage of dog owners, who either lack understanding what their dog/s are communicating or as Campbell suggests prioritizes needs of the individual, not the pet.
New Literature Review Recommends Reward-Based Training A review of 17 papers concludes that reward-based dog training has fewer risks and may even work better than aversive methods. The review, by Dr. Gal Ziv (The Zinman College of Physical Education and Sport Sciences) looks at the scientific literature on dog training methods. Seventeen studies were identified that include surveys of dog owners, intervention studies, and reports from veterinarians. The paper identifies some methodological issues with the literature, but the conclusion is that people should use reward-based methods to train their dogs.
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.
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.
These forms of learned aggression may become more threatening, providing little warning in the “context of social code violations” e.g. disturbing a sleeping dog or taking a prized object away. The intensity of the dog’s response to these social code violations will directly depend on the negative stimulus. The dog described here has some control over their aggressive response and those responses are in direct correlation to the invoking stimulus.