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I've made my share of mistakes when working with dogs but I've learned from my mistakes, have sought to know better and now I do better. My philosophy is not based on "old science", old anecdotes, old beliefs or human ego. Instead, it's based on science, the most up to date science of the canine brain, the most up to date science of the canine species, the most up to date science of canine emotion and physicality. Scientists, academic qualified and skilled animal behaviorists, ethologists, zoologists, veterinarians, etc. have and are exploring further who and what our dogs are, how they operate and successfully survive and thrive in their world as well as ours. Science, technology, research, and real world studies are allowing us to observe more, explore more, discover more. The simple fact is that we and our dogs are very much alike. Their brain and ours operate the same, react to emotion the same and the behaviors as a result are the same.
When we are not in control, when we are presented with unwanted or undesired behavior, we jump right to punish or "discipline". It's simple, all you have to do is inflict pain to get or retain control.
Aversive methods like choker, prong (pinch) and shock collars (e-collars, stim collars), leash corrections, water bottles, shaker cans, hollering, screaming, alpha rolls, hitting, kicking, hanging, helicoptering, etc. all work because they inflict discomfort or pain AT THAT MOMENT in order to stop the unwanted behavior. The only thing those methods emphatically teach and reinforce is to FEAR the response to the behavior and the person inflicting it.
Scientific fact- dogs trained using aversive methods are 2.5 times more likely to bite a family member.
This is why it's imperative, that we MUST teach without pain, force or fear. Which leads us right into the biggest obstacle to any successful attempt to teach: communication. Dogs are GREAT communicators but it's up to us to learn their language in order to teach effectively. Dogs can effectively communicate with most other species except us- WE are the variable that gets in the way. Since we don't communicate the same way, WE have to learn a new language in order to teach.
Build TRUST with your dog by making sure they feel safe and that you are always their advocate; TEACH your dog the skills they need to live a happy, healthy life with you in our crazy human world; CHANGE unwanted, inappropriate or fearful behaviors using only pain free, fear free, force free, science based, bond building, positive reinforcement tools and methods; which ultimately means that you and your dog will ENJOY the incredible partnership that both of you want and deserve.