What tools do you use? Do you shock the dogs?
This is one of the most common questions a dog owner asks, because everyone would love for their dog to learn without pain. Of course No trainer in the world would EVER tell you that they would love to torture your dog! But how does the question What tools do you use? helping you to find out what you really want to know? Which is Will my dog’s character and personality change?
If you are going under a surgery, would you ask your doctor what tools he uses, or would you be more concerned that he does the best job possible? Would your car mechanic use the same wrench for all bolts …in all different cars?
When I worked as an animal behaviorist for the San Francisco SPCA I quickly realized that my job in reality was to decide which dogs will be saved from euthanasia and which ones will have to be put down due to unwanted behavior. I love dogs! I decided to use any tool that could help me to get rid of the bad behavior and give the dog a second chance. All dog training equipment is designed to curb bad behaviors, and to give you ability to control your dog easier than other tools. Each year there are more and more products. More and more advertisements for the latest magic ( good luck!) most of which are out of the market in a year or two.
Moreover a trainer that only works with dogs from breeds such as border collies, golden retrievers, toy breeds, very rarely have to use the equipment that a protection trained dogs may need. The later dogs are selectively bred for their pain threshold, aggression and fighting traits. They will not respond to the same training approach!
Different breeds, different individuals, different levels of severity of the problem (s), is it a life threatening issue, different physical ability of the owner, how reliable the dog must be â€¦ these are only some of the factors an experienced instructor will have to take under consideration when choosing the right tools and approach.
As an owner, don’t get stuck on the equipment used, instead take a look at your dog’s tail. Is it wagging happily, or is it tucked under its belly? Does it looks stressed, lost weight, showing fear, trying to run away , or fight , or be afraid to move at all!? Does it still like to play and take treats? Look for signs, use your feeling, you know your dog don’t you? Oh yeah and don’t forget that besides being happy it has to listen to you too . This is not an easy task at times, and to be accomplished your instructor has to have excellent credentials, knowledge and experience.
By Ivan Balabanov