Monday, December 7, 2015

If You See Something, SAY Something! Positive Pet Training


Today I wanted to talk to you about something that is very important to me. You all know that I am big on Positive Reinforcement training, I truly believe that it is the best way to train our dogs. It makes me incredibly sad that there are still some trainers and owners out there that rely heavily on punishment based training techniques, some of which I consider to be abusive.

I think it's really important that if you see something that you should SAY something. I know that confrontation can be hard and it's not fun but it's important and it could save an animal's life. Force and punishment-based dog training methods have been shown to have detrimental and lasting effects on our canine pals, which can lead to aggression. So if I can save someone from going down that road by helping them, then I will. You might change that person and animal's life for the better, which makes the awkward conversation worth it.

I try to give back to the pet community by helping others. I'm active in many dog groups and I always try to make myself available to help anyone with training who asks. If I see abuse when I'm out, I try to talk to the owner about working with their dogs in a kinder way and in some (extreme) cases, I will end up reporting the abuse to the authorities. Most of the time, owners are just unaware of what they are doing and a lot of the time they are very receptive to being shown a better way. Most people don't get animals to abuse them, they just don't know any better or are having a bad day. Dogs can be frustrating sometimes! I'm sure everyone has been there at one point in their lives with their pets where they were frustrated, I know I have. Wouldn't it be great if you were upset to have someone say, hey can I help you out? Let me show you how you can work on fixing this.

Seeing something and saying something also goes for when you see something you like! Whenever I see someone with a well behaved dog, I make sure I compliment them. Don't forget to reinforce the good things you see, too! The other day I told someone how much I loved seeing her dog walking politely next to her on a harness. It's the little things you say that can really brighten someone's day!

I think we could definitely use some more kindness in this world and I'm always willing to help anyone with their pets!

How do you give back to the pet community?

Today we are joining the Positive Pet Training Blog Hop. This month's theme is "Giving Back" but any positive posts are welcome. Be sure to check out all the other posts and thanks to the hosts! :D






 

28 comments:

  1. Positive training does work well, and when the patience is running out, leave and try again later. Except for our cat bro Bert who pushes the limits constantly and is always getting yelled at, but cats are a whole different animal in more ways than one!

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    1. I totally agree with you! If I'm losing patience we just stop and try again later. I also agree with you on cats. Our kitties are very frustrating, too. Lilly is a beast who will attack your leg as you walk past her. It's hard not to yell and/or cry out when she does it because it hurts!!

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  2. It's really hard for me to talk to strangers, especially to make suggestions, because I know how sensitive I am to criticism and being told what to do, but the pet store protest has been giving me lots of practice! I love that you pointed out recognition of good things, too.

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    1. That's so awesome! Confrontation is really hard. I try to go about it as instead of confronting, more of a conversation. I try not to criticize them, if I can help it! There are some people that you just can't help and in those cases, I've ended up having to call the authorities.. which isn't fun either.

      One of my biggest regrets in life was when I worked with someone who hung her dog by a choker. I was too shy to say something and I still think about that incident to this day and wish I had said something. I really try not to make that mistake anymore.

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  3. This is tough for me, because it's hard for me to be polite in a stressful situation, but I'm getting better. Most of the things I see are people reacting badly towards my dogs. Most recently, a man released his dog to "meet" my dogs when they were on leash. I ended up with an injury and one of my dogs ran out into the road. It was awful and I wanted to scream at him for being so thoughtless, but I kept my cool. I hope that he never does it again, because it was a hot mess.

    Thankfully, I never see anyone abusing their dogs. Just a lot of off leash walking where I let people know that my dogs aren't allowed to greet when their on leash and I direct them to a local off leash dog park. I know I might come off as snarky, but I do try to be polite.

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    1. I totally agree with you! It can definitely be tough to remain polite when you're under stress. In those sort of situations you just do the best you can! I remember your post about that! That situation sounded so scary! I'm so sorry you got hurt! I'm glad your dog that go into the street was okay!

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  4. You're so right about pointing out the good things as well - it's extremely powerful. Everyone seems to respond well to positive reinforcement, even us dog owners :)

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    1. Yep! I know that I glow every time someone tells me something nice about my dogs, so I make sure that I give back and compliment others! It's so important and with so much horror in this world, being kind to others doesn't cost a thing. :D

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  5. I totally agree Lauren. We just have to tread lightly as some people get offended because they think what they're doing is right. Great tip!

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    1. Absolutely! I have run across a handful of people who did get offended but after talking to them for a bit a couple of them realized I was just trying to help.

      I've had some cases where I just ended up reporting the abuse to the authorities because it was so bad that I was afraid to say something directly.

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  6. I agree, although being a shy person it is a challenge for me to approch others. Your post brings up some great points!

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    1. I totally understand being shy! It can be hard to talk to people!

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  7. Fantastically stated! I loved how you mentioned the need for PR for the "good" owners, too. My day (hell, my week!) is made when someone compliments my dogs' good behavior.

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  8. This is such an important topic. We were walking the boys last night and experienced two cases of people with dogs running loose. I had to bite my tongue while my husband asked them to get their charging dogs. It is my pet peeve and I probably wouldn't have handled it so politely. ☺

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    1. I totally know what you mean. I've had that happen to me, too.. I also had to leave my husband (who had Zoe) to deal with them because I had to job Phoenix away from the oncoming dog. It's really hard to be polite when you're under stress, I've actually learned in those situations it's better to just be real with people.

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  9. I couldn't agree more. I admin a Siberian Husky group and I can't even tell you how many times I come across people who think the only way to train their dogs is to hit them on the nose and other things like that. :( Just awful
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

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    1. Dog groups depress me so much. I have a hard time dealing with them sometimes because people are so awful to their dogs. :(

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  10. I agree with you in principle but I've had almost zero success in my interactions with mountain neighbors about dog training. Most of them are "old school". When I see someone new with a dog, I try to steer them to my positive trainer for socialization and classes. However, instead, they tend to go to the very local and very traditional trainer or they don't train their dogs at all.

    The only thing I've had success with is convincing shock collar users NOT to shock their dog as s/he runs toward me. I explain that the dog will associate the shock with me (or other people who the dog runs toward) and it could lead to aggression. I've also had success in explaining my approach with Shyla's fears, and they've been very respectful of my requests about their behavior around Shyla. However, I don't think that I've converted anyone to positive training :(

    Now, if I saw a case of abuse, I'd either talk to the people and/or call the authorities immediately. But I've given up on trying to get others to adopt positive training. Mountain people are a weird bunch.

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    1. I'm sorry you haven't had any luck with the mountain people. At least they've respected your wishes with Shyla, though! That's a step in the right direction in my book. :)

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  11. "It's the little things you say that can really brighten someone's day!"

    This is so true! Just takes a second of our time but it stay with the person you give it to for the rest of the day.

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  12. I always want to say something to the dog owners who leave the prong collars on in the dog park. I never have, though. :(

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  13. Great post. It's so important to reinforce people who are doing the right thing.

    I also don't like confrontation. But I have demonstrated clicker training on stranger's dogs when we start talking in the park. Actions speak louder than words.

    And it's why you should always carry and clicker and treats everywhere you go. :)

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  14. It is hard sometimes, but I do try as well. There was that one lady that was told to put her dog in a down stay and shake a chain in his face if he reacted. I told her using treats would be better. Not sure if she listened or not, but I tried.

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