< Updated 18JAN18 >
Dog training has changed dramatically in the past 30 years. While the use of aversive techniques such as choke and prong collar corrections, shock collars, alpha wolf rollovers, dominance downs, and other methods based on positive punishment and negative reinforcement were the predominant form of dog training many years ago, these methods are now considered to be both unnecessary but also counter-productive and detrimental. Many consider them to be inhumane. Dog training should be fun and that means it is pain-free, force-free, and fear-free. Dog training should be fun for both you and your dog.
Aversives and the use of force cause fear and pain, which can be physical or emotional in nature. That in turn, impairs our dog’s ability to learn, damages the bond and trust between our dog and us, and has been found to cause behavioral problems such as aggression, anxiety, and extreme stress.
The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB), and the Pet Professional Guild (PPG) recommend that aversives NEVER be used.
In their Canine and Feline Behavior Management Guidelines the AAHA said this about aversives:
“This Task Force opposes training methods that use aversive techniques. Aversive training has been associated with detrimental effects on the human–animal bond, problem solving ability, and the physical and behavioral health of the patient. It causes problem behaviors in normal animals and hastens progression of behavioral disorders in distressed animals. Aversive techniques are especially injurious to fearful and aggressive patients and often suppress signals of impending aggression, rendering any aggressive dog more dangerous.
Aversive techniques include prong (pinch) or choke collars, cattle prods, alpha rolls, dominance downs, electronic shock collars, lunge whips, starving or withholding food, entrapment, and beating. None of those tools and methods should be used to either teach or alter behavior.” [Emphasis added]
FMI – AAHA Canine and Feline Behavior Management Guidelines – https://www.aaha.org/professional/resources/behavior_management_guidelines.aspx
For more on this topic, and for links to the actual position statements and references, check out the Recommended Resources section below.
Articles on Don’s Blog (http://www.words-woofs-meows.com)
Dog Training – How science and reward-based training have pulled dog training out of the dark ages – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2016/04/21/dog-training-how-science-and-reward-based-training-have-pulled-dog-training-out-of-the-dark-ages/
Green Acres Kennel Shop Position Statement on Pet-Friendly, Force-Free Pet Care – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2006/02/01/no-pain-no-force-no-fear-green-acres-kennel-shop-position-statement-on-pet-friendly-force-free-pet-care/
Green Acres Kennel Shop Position on the Use of Dominance and Punishment for the Training and Behavior Modification of Dogs – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2010/07/01/no-pain-no-force-no-fear-green-acres-kennel-shop-position-on-the-use-of-dominance-and-punishment-for-the-training-and-behavior-modification-of-dogs/
Pet Behavior and Wellness – Pet Behavior as an Essential Component to Holistic Wellness – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2016/10/28/pet-behavior-and-wellness-pet-behavior-as-an-essential-component-to-holistic-wellness/
Selecting A Pet Care Provider – Yes! A Trend Towards Kinder and Gentler Professional Pet Care – Green Acres Kennel Shop’s “Pet-Friendly” Philosophy – Part 1 – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2015/04/02/yes-a-trend-towards-kinder-and-gentler-professional-pet-care-green-acres-kennel-shops-pet-friendly-philosophy-part-1/
Selecting A Pet Care Provider – Yes! A Trend Towards Kinder and Gentler Professional Pet Care – The PPG – Part 2 – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2015/05/02/selecting-a-pet-care-provider-yes-a-trend-towards-kinder-and-gentler-professional-pet-care-the-ppg-part-2/
Selecting A Pet Care Provider – Yes! A Trend Towards Kinder and Gentler Professional Pet Care – A Veterinary Perspective – Part 3 – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2015/06/30/selecting-a-pet-care-provider-yes-a-trend-towards-kinder-and-gentler-professional-pet-care-a-veterinary-perspective-part-3/
Shared Blog Post – The Double Advantage of Reward-Based Training – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2017/08/05/shared-blog-post-the-double-advantage-of-reward-based-training/
Podcasts from The Woof Meow Show (http://www.woofmeowshow.com)
<Click on the title to listen to the show>
Other Articles and Blogs
Choke Collar Pathology – an excellent blog post from dog trainer Daniel Antolec on the dangers of using a choke collar on a dog. – http://ppgworldservices.com/2017/06/13/choke-collar-pathology/
Position Statements on Animal Behavior, Training, and Care
2015 American Animal Hospital Association Canine and Feline Behavior Management Guidelines – https://www.aaha.org/professional/resources/behavior_management_guidelines.aspx
The Guiding Principles of the Pet Professional Guild – http://www.petprofessionalguild.com/PPGs-Guiding-Principles
The Pet Professional Guild Position Statement on the Use of Pet Correction Devices – http://www.petprofessionalguild.com/Equipment-Used-for-the-Management-Training-and-Care-of-Pets
The Pet Professional Guild Position Statement on the Use of Choke and Prong Collars – http://www.petprofessionalguild.com/chokeandprongcollarpositionstatement/
The Pet Professional Guild Position Statement on the Use of Shock In Animal Training – http://www.petprofessionalguild.com/shockcollars/
The Pet Professional Guild Position Statement on the Use of Dominance Theory in Animal Training – http://www.petprofessionalguild.com/DominanceTheoryPositionStatement/
The Pet Professional Guild Position Statement on Puppy Socialization – http://www.petprofessionalguild.com/PuppySocializationPositionStatement/
American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB) Position Statement on the Use of Dominance Theory in Behavior Modification of Animals – https://avsab.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Dominance_Position_Statement_download-10-3-14.pdf
American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB) Position Statement on The Use of Punishment for Behavior Modification in Animals – https://avsab.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Punishment_Position_Statement-download_-_10-6-14.pdf
American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB) Position Statement on Puppy Socialization – https://avsab.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Puppy_Socialization_Position_Statement_Download_-_10-3-14.pdf
American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB) Position Statement on Positive Veterinary Care – https://avsab.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Positive-Veterinary-Care-Position-Statement-download.pdf
Professional Pet Care Associations
The Pet Professional Guild – http://www.petprofessionalguild.com/
The Pet Professional Accreditation Board – http://www.credentialingboard.com/
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