I am professionally involved with dogs and their people for almost 20 years and
- Attended seminars, workshops and lectures with internationally acclaimed behaviorists and dog experts, including: Dr. Patricia McConnell, Turid Rugaas, Suzanne Clothier, Steve White, Dr. Jesus Rosales Ruiz and Kelly Snider, and a: By Invitation Only For Professional Dog Trainers Exclusive Day with Dr. Sophia Yin
- Spent more than 1000 hours volunteering for several humans societies and rescue groups
- Had a number of foster dogs fully integrated into our family
- Designed and taught group obedience, puppy and reactive dog classes
- Specialize since 2007 in private consultations and dog behaviour - and it's the people and dogs I've been working with that taught me the most
- Literary and DVD learning is ongoing. I am current on the latest research
My Method: Motivational, positive reinforcement using treats, but also functional rewards. Emphasis is on making the dog feel safe and providing the platform for him/her to learn desired behaviours. You don't have to use a clicker.
I do not use aversive tools like a choke, prong or shock collar, or a nose harness. Why? Because behavioural problems manifest when:
A dog feels threatened (whether he is, is irrelevant - how he feels is what dictates behaviour)
When she is frustrated (the two levels up are anger and rage)
When overstimulated and over-the-top aroused
When physically not feeling well
Obviously, adding more distress by deliberately inflicting pain or discomfort, or threaten with it, is counterproductive on all accounts. Even if you quelled the unwanted expressions, the root problem still exits, or worsens. It is also against my ethical standard.
Veterinarian and Applied Animal Behaviorist Dr. Karen Overall writes: "The use of shock in the treatment of behavioral conditions is abusive, is doomed to fail, and will make situations less, not more, safe and reliable". She states that dogs that had been shocked to treat aggression are at an increased risk for euthanasia. (Manual of Clinical Behavioral Medicine - 2013 Edition - Page 113).
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