You can’t sweep your dog under the carpet
How to save your dog’s life

K9 Training Specialist

Are you facing something in your life you’d rather not deal with? If so, are you inclined to do what most humans do and “sweep it under the carpet.”?

Why not? Everyone seems to be doing it.

Congress kicks the can down the road, corporate managers often just fire the problem employee, people with addictions refuse to admit their predicament, and marriages end in divorce when people don’t care to work things out. Why are we tempted to take the easy way out? You see this everywhere and quite frankly, it is discouraging!

Unfortunately, these days this trend has crept into my professional world, the dog training world. If a dog has a behavioral problem that seems too difficult to fix the owner either gives the dog up to a shelter or just puts the dog down. We make it someone else’s problem. This is particularly unfair because we humans are usually the ones that created the behavioral problem to start with.

You can’t sweep the dog under the carpet!

I’m here to tell you that if you find yourself in this situation, don’t take the easy way out!

There are alternatives.

We at K9- Training Specialist recommend you do three things:

  • Once you realize there is a problem, don’t attempt to fix it on your own. The problem is usually much more complicated and may require a specialist. Most of the larger dog training associations can help with a recommendation of a qualified professional in your area. Reach out for their help.
  • Don’t let the cost scare you, since you owe it to your dog. Most reputable trainers and behavioral specialist will work with you and come up with an affordable plan. We at K9-Training Specialist never turn away a client because of money
  • Spend the time necessary to work with the trainer or specialist to solve the problem. The vast majority of behavioral problems can be fixed if you are willing to put in the time

if you have ever spoken to anyone who has adopted a dog from a shelter they will often tell you that the best dogs are often the “broken” ones. Doing these three things may not only save your dog’s life, it will make you feel like few other things in life can for not taking the easy way out!

You have the group that takes the politically correct position on one side. That position in today’s dog training world is to be against e-collars or any other perceived form of “Punishment,” either “Positive” or “Negative,” as defined by the Skinnerian Operant Conditioning model. The truth is that the E-Collar is just another training tool, as is the leash, the martingale, or the Halti headcollar.

“Punishment” in the Operant Conditioning model is defined as adding or removing something that will make a behavior less likely to occur. Unfortunately, this group associates the e-collar with a form of punishment with an ugly, inhuman connotation. The e-collar, however, delivers no harsher a correction than an exhausted mother bitch nipping at a persistently rude puppy.

Today the internet is fraught with members of this group made up of mostly “clicker” and “treat” trainers who advertise their “100% Positive training” to clients who don’t want to punish their dogs in any way. These trainers often are very successful with this marketing approach. However, they either are not being honest or are not knowledgeable about their training methods. By definition, punishment is a penalty inflicted on an offender or the loss of something desired as retribution. Consider this then: during this 100% positive training method, when “Spot” is denied a treat for not sitting, is he not being punished? Just saying!

It is human nature to knock or disparage what is not understood. Most so-called “Positive” trainers have not trained themselves in the proper use of the e-collar. They are not familiar with the tremendous benefits, which leads to their negative outlook on the e-collar based on lack of knowledge. Interestingly enough, most will support electric fences but not the e-collar when they both work on the identical premise.

On the other dog training hand is the group that has seen the benefits and understands the usefulness of the e-collar. However, this group is not without its subset of people who don’t know how to use the e-collar or rely excessively correctly on it; most e-collar users have successfully incorporated it into their training regimen.

Professional hunting dog trainers like Ronnie Smith, George Wilcox, and Jim & Phyllis Dobbs, to name a few, have been successfully using e-collars for many, many years. I am sure they would back me up when I state that if you don’t know how to use an e-collar, don’t use it until you get proper direction.

The e-collar gives you many benefits, such as long-distance control, which can’t be gained from any other training tool, and the ability to perfect your timing in certain situations. The e-collar is super effective when dealing with specific behavioral issues. Take unwanted “digging,” for example. When used properly, the dog does not associate the stimulation with the handler but instead with the undesirable act of digging, thus correcting the behavior.

In conclusion, the one thing that all trainers should agree on is that a lack of understanding, knowledge, or exposure to specific training tools should not lead to a premature evaluation of its effectiveness. The E-Collar is no different.

For any questions, don’t hesitate to contact Jorge A. Fleming with K9-Training Specialist, LLC in Maryland at 301-980-2204 or through our contact form.

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