Using fear to train… owners.
“You’re going to ruin your relationship.” “You’re going to make your dog scared of you.” “You’re going to shut your dog down.” “You’ll crush his spirit.” “You’ll ruin your dog.” “You’ll create a ticking time bomb.” Or my favorite: “Your dog will slide into learned helplessness!” (Love that one!)
These are just a few of the fear-based messages that are lobbied about to try to scare owners away from using certain tools in training (especially prong and e-collars), as well as correcting their dogs for any unwanted or even dangerous behavior. The messages are built around all sorts of super scary outcomes. Ruining your dog or your relationship sounds pretty darn bad. So owners, being good folks, and not wanting to ruin their dogs or relationships, try all sorts of methods that will keep things happy, healthy, and “humane”.
The problem starts when owners find that these “kinder”, “gentler” methods leave their dogs, and themselves, stuck. The problem behavior doesn’t go away. The jumping, barking, biting, growling, charging, pulling, exploding, guarding, fighting, running away…continues. In fact, in many cases the issues get worse.
So what’s a conscientious and caring owner to do? Educate yourself. That’s truly my best advice. Don’t just take these scary messages at face value. (That’s what they’re hoping you’ll do!) Instead, do your homework. Dig around and dive into some of the videos and resources out there. Do a Google or YouTube search of e-collar trainers or prong collar trainers. Take responsibility to find out what’s really going on out there. You can’t be bamboozled (or scared into submission) if you’re educated. Simple as that.