People often go to puzzling extremes to try and make their dogs obey commands. When confronted with undesirable behaviour, the first instinct of many owners is to use a tool that corrects the problem.
There are many types of tools available for these kinds of tasks. All of them are bad. To make sure you understand that these methods aren’t acceptable, we’re going to talk a little bit about some of the most common ones.
Hopefully, you’ll come away from this with a renewed appreciation for what is and is not safe to use on your pet.
Commercial Pet Correctors
One of the common tools a dog owner will employ to try and modify their pet’s behaviour is a pet corrector. This can be a device that makes a loud noise, sprays air, and makes a sound designed to cause distress.
A tool like this is wrong because it creates anxiety in a dog. They come to fear anything in life that makes that noise instinctively and negatively conditions them to be fearful when they do something wrong.
Your dog may even develop additional behavioural problems or become aggressive due to the fear you create with this tool, so don’t use it.
On the surface, a water spray may seem like a harmless pet corrector to help condition a dog into behaving properly. However, it can be a bad idea to use for many reasons.
You also condition a latent fear of water, which can be difficult to overcome. Dogs naturally have a basic enjoyment of the water, so taking that away from them is problematic.
A Prong Collar
A prong collar can be a very dangerous way to correct behaviour in a dog. Do you want to make sure that you give your dog as much support as possible when they are still learning? And the prong collar involves a colour with sharp points pointing inwards, so when the dog pools, they are harmed by the prongs.
It doesn’t take much to realise that this is not good for dog welfare. You run the risk of severely injuring your dog by exposing them to this kind of training tool. There are far better and more humane ways to try and train a dog than this.
Obviously, on the other end of the scale, you have something like a shock collar. This is a very old training method, which relies on delivering a small charge of electricity to the dog if they do something you don’t like.
If we have to explain why this is cruel, there is a problem. Trying to condition a dog into behaving by electrocuting it when it doesn’t do something is incredibly inhumane and fosters aggressive behaviours and a fear of the owner. Your dog will eventually begin to put together that you are responsible for the pain, and then you will have a major problem on your hands.
Can of Coins
The count of coins is something that could be easily cobbled together at home, but that doesn’t make it a good way to train a dog or condition it into behaving.
The premise is very straightforward. The can of coins is shaking violently when the dog does something, and it is designed to scare them.
No, obviously, this is very cruel. Trying to scare the dog into behaving is just going to encourage aggression and behavioural issues, regardless of how well-intentioned it might be.
One of the most recent methods of training an animal is the use of a citronella collar. Basically, this is a collar which is designed to spray at the dog if it barks.
As is often the case with many different types of behavioural training methods, this is not very nice for dog welfare.
You are essentially taking a dog and then trying to condition it through negative reinforcement. This does nothing but harm the dog on a welfare level, and potentially makes it aggressive or scared of you. The dog may become accustomed to this type of situation, and this only means that they are fearful of gusts of air in reality, which makes for a very nervous animal.
So, as you can probably tell, there are many different types of items out there that people use to try and condition the behaviour of a dog. There are some options which you can buy commercially, and some that are made at home. The majority of them are not safe or helpful for the training of a dog.
What you are attempting to do with an item like this is essentially try and force a dog into cooperating with you.
This is not going to work, because the dog is a sentiment animal that has a basic set of instincts.
If you condition it through the use of violent or unpleasant methods, then you are inherently conditioning it to become aggressive and fearful.
Dogs who are trained using these methods can often become scared of external stimuli, and may even attack other dogs or people as a result of becoming afraid of the environment around them.
Training a dog is best done with a combination of patience and positive reinforcement. There is no situation where these types of products will benefit your dog in the long-term. You might correct the immediate issue, but you run the risk of creating many more other problems that will not be so easily resolved.
If a dog becomes aggressive, then it is only a matter of time before it does something very serious, like attack another dog or a person. If you have conditioned it to become aggressive or fearful, then you are ultimately responsible for its actions, so do not use these kinds of products. They are not safe, and will not do you any good.
Why not consider taking your dog to training classes
Finchley dog walking services do NOT use any kind of adverse training method and never will
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