What Tools Does a Dog Trainer, or Owner, Need?

A local pet shop in the next town over is currently holding a choke chin amnesty.  Wayne, of Wayne’s World of Pets, is offering anyone who bins their choke collars in store a 10% discount on any harness (here is the link to the article in a local newspaper).

This got me thinking about the range of training tools that are available to all of us, some can cause pain, some can cause fear, some can cause undesirable side-effects, or fall-out, and yet people still insist on using them.  Perhaps people know no differently; perhaps they are going through every available training tool and option, not giving any single thing enough time to begin to work; perhaps they are incorrectly using each and every tool, and the behaviour is only getting worse; or perhaps, as I read recently, they are fundamentally insecure in themselves, and the use of harmful training tools and punishment makes them feel a little bit better about themselves.  The last comment came from an article illustrated by the following:

Alpha Man Illustration

Alpha Man Illustration

I think the look on the face of the little plastic dog says it all!  I can’t bear even him looking like that, and I hate even more when real dogs have that same posture and expression. I think this ties in quite nicely (and coincidentally) with this story of a man in Wales who has been fined for using an electric collar on his dog.  It actually was an electric containment system, where the collar shocks the dog for getting close to a wire buried in the ground around the edge of a property, or an area you don’t want your dog to leave.  Most telling about how well electric collars work is the quote “They also heard that the dog, which kept escaping, was known at a local kennels as “the dog with the shock collar. ”

At some point I will post more on the effects of aversive training tools and methods, but for now, I was wondering what tool(s) you and our dog couldn’t live without, or are happy living without?

In brighter news, my partner and I will be moving in a couple of weeks and are on the lookout for a rescue dog, and I’m finding myself increasingly looking forward to having a dog again.  All the walks and playing, and even all the parts that may make me stress out and worry!

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One thought on “What Tools Does a Dog Trainer, or Owner, Need?

  1. Pingback: Don’t Feed the Troll(s) | Pawsitively Training

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