Shocking Training Techniques

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Would you shock a child?

  Twice in the last couple of months I’ve had clients come in to the hospital with young dogs, actually they were puppies, wearing shock collars. I have no doubt these people love their dogs. What I really don’t understand is why anyone would choose to shock a puppy. Both owners said the puppies were doing very well. I’m glad. But, what kind of relationship are they building with their dogs? Certainly dogs feel pain from the shock. Puppies really haven’t had time to figure out what we want them to do, but they are getting shocked for not knowing. In both cases, I had the owners remove the shock collars as soon as I noticed them. Aversive collars are not allowed in my hospital. In both cases I tried to explain how they were setting their dogs up for anxiety, aggression, and above all, lack of trust and confidence. There is nothing you can train with a shock collar that you cannot train with dog friendly, science based, humane methods. My deal for those that want to use a shock collar? You use the shock collar on your dog and I’ll use a shock collar on you. I will zap you for every training mistake. I am pretty sure you will be getting more zaps than the dog. I am an experienced dog trainer. I have worked with a lot of dogs over the years. I have put over 40 titles on dogs. I have taken lots of courses, read hundreds of training and behavior books. I make PLENTY of mistakes. I am surely happy no one is shocking me. How can I tell if I have made a mistake? Mostly, it is because my own dog is not performing correctly. Believe it or not, neither my dogs nor I are perfect. The dogs are closer than me most of the time.   photo courtesy of fusionmonkey via Flickr