Choose Wisely When Considering Shock, Prong or Choke Collars

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.

Anthropomorphism, Double-Edged Sword

Why understanding this is useful in applications of companion behavior modification and training! The difference in mind between man and the higher animals, great as it is, certainly is one of degree and not of kind. We have seen that the senses and intuitions, the various emotions and faculties, such as love, memory, attention, curiosity, imitation, reason, etc., of which man boasts, may be found in an incipient, or even sometimes in a well-developed condition, in the lower animals.

The Canine Senses

Dogs, Canis lupus familiaris and humans, Homo sapiens have coexisted at least 14,000 years. When you consider how different the two species communicate, interpret the world around them, and make decisions based on these abilities, it is amazing how the dog has adapted to living with us. However, this may explain why many dog owners find themselves unable to cope with their dog’s behavior. The sensory organs of dogs affect thought processes and understanding the canine senses can be helpful in building better communication between us allowing a healthier human-canine bond. How dogs perceive their world using their own unique set of senses helps us to understand the differences between us.

Disciplined Dog Training Using Play

How can the behavior consultant help? In matters of behavior, dog owners should seek out only those consultants qualified through appropriate education and training. Animal behavior problems can be complicated along with recognizing the unique characteristics of each individual animal and family. The skilled behavior consultant will embrace not only scientific knowledge but will have sufficient education in dog behavior consulting as exemplified by cynopraxic modalities. The cynopraxic trainer-consultant will not only acknowledge the necessity of play, esthetic appreciation, emotional empathy, compassion and ethical restraint but will characterize qualities that mediate connectedness, facilitate the bonding process, support behavioral healing, composure, sincerity of purpose, presence and a certain amount of playfulness (Lindsay, 2001). In conclusion, “the ability to train dogs is an art that depends on a trainer’s ability to play and a dog’s ability to play in turn…where there is no play, there is no relationship or meaning.” Play facilitates “portals of affection and trust” and “humane dog training is playing with a purpose” and as “Heine Hediger (1955/1968) said, ‘Good training is disciplined play’ Lindsay (2001).

Housetraining, using a signal indicating need to eliminate

Unsuccessful housetraining is a leading cause why dogs end up in shelters. House training is not an individual process, all dogs benefit from the same housetraining strategies. However, dogs may independently learn, depending on breed, size, early exposure to acceptable substrates and beginning at the breeding location. I am discussing training a new puppy, not training an adult dog with incomplete housetraining. However, the same strategies apply. If you have potty trained a child, you know, you need to be there during the early stages. Sometimes we are there to encourage, teach the location, patience and perhaps even model the behavior. During this process, the child had to learn to hold it or wait, at some point during the potty training.