there has been a lot of controversy in the last few years on dog training. Many products have been released as well like prong collars and shock collars, these have been available for years but it is only the last 2/3 years that they have become more readily available.
i have never hit my dogs, I don’t believe in training that practices this as if installing fear in your dog is the only way that you can control them, I don’t think you should have a dog. Dogs want to please their owners so training should encourage this. I use clicker training mainly which entails asking your dog to do something, pressing the clicker when they do it and give them a treat as an award. Repetitive training with the clicker will result in the click being enough of a reward after they have learned with the click and treat for each new trick. Repetition is the key to training. I train my dogs 2-3 times a day for 10-15 minutes each session, this gives you the chance to repeat commands they already know and time to teach them new tricks. So the first training session encompasses sit, lie down, stay, paw, other paw, high five, roll over, play dead all commands they both know then the second session teaches new things for example at the moment I am teaching them ‘dance’ moves like spinning whilst on back legs, figure of eight between my legs and walking backwards and the third session a combination of both. It is important to repeat the tricks they already know as this boosts their confidence to learn new things.
Training should be fun for both you and your dogs and not a chore. Training can be done anytime, anywhere and can be incorporated into play, it doesn’t have to be regimented and set. You want the dog to enjoy training then they pick it up faster. After I have clicked and treated I always make a big fuss of them and they enjoy this more than the treat, they love being praised, you can see the pride in their faces and their tails!
why would you need to hit or use shock collars when you can make them as happy as this without them and get better results. I don’t want my dogs to say sit out of fear of being beaten or shocked, I want them to sit because I have asked them to and they are eager to please me. Dogs enjoy having a ‘job’ to do it gives them a purpose and achievement. People that defend shock collars say that the shock isn’t that bad when turned low but it is still a shock and still instills fear no matter how low it is and it would be easy to accidentally knock the switch to high without realising. The damage that I have seen on dogs necks from shock and prong collars is tantamount to cruelty and abuse no matter how your reasons for using it started and you have to ask yourself if the dog would obey your command without the shock/prong collar and if not is it really trained in that command – NO it’s not as if it were trained in the command it would do it whenever asked not only after it has been shocked into submission! This is not an endorsement in making them wear the shock collar all the time! Try training without it. It may take longer for your dog to learn the command but it will be learning it not being bullied into doing it. If you make training fun they will pick it up and remember it quicker and it’s fun for you as well and gives you the feeling of acheivement.
I do training whenever the fancy takes me which could be anywhere, whilst out walking or in the house. I always make it fun for the dogs and intersperse the training with play. Teaching recall outside is very easily done with the aid of a ball (or their favourite outdoor toy) and treats but also great fun for both you and the dog. I also have a ‘special’ toy that they only get whilst training. They know it’s a special toy and love it when it comes out so I allow them to run about squeaking it for a few minutes then call them over and ask them to give me the toy in exchange for a treat and a click of clicker then off they go again to play whilst I ask the other dog to do the same so I alternate between the 2 dogs which work exceptionally well for new tricks as they copy each other, so learn it faster.
i train them with my parents dogs as well as my neighbours as they do pick it up so much quicker and it mixes it up a bit for them including the other dogs and is much more fun. It builds their confidence and makes them much happier in themselves. I also allow close friends to train them, with my supervision, so that they know no matter who tells them to do something, that they should do it. This includes helping Sally train them who is 10 years old. This lets the dogs know that all ages of humans should be obeyed and teaches Sally the correct way to interact with dogs.
my dogs are happy and contented which I don’t think they would be had I hit them or used prong /shock collars and I don’t believe we would have the level of trust that we do. This is evidence enough for me that you don’t need to punish.