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By Published On: March 15th, 2011

dog being dragged on its back by a leash around its neckI’m actually an open-minded trainer and dog owner who has looked at and considered the merits of a variety of different training techniques. If a handling or training technique works I am curious to see why it does, or to assess whether what we are seeing in regard to the dog’s behavior is actually success. A shut-down dog may have stopped doing something  inappropriate, but how’s that going to hold up in the long run? If a technique works, but there are alternatives which achieve the same end using less force or intimidation you can probably guess which route I’ll take.

Today I heard the darndest thing. While speaking with a group of people, all with professional dog handling experience of one form or another I was told about a local trainer’s use of strangulation as a tool for achieving compliance in dogs. Several of the handlers had witnessed the ‘technique’ being used by the trainer and one had been requested by a pet owner to use it on her dog, as she had been taught by this trainer. The handler deferred. The methods employed by this trainer are self-described as ‘natural’.

I must have missed the memo referring to the use of oxygen deprivation by animals to achieve compliance in others. Oh wait. I did read something about that, we call it torture.

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