Q&A on Punishment and Aversives

Discussion Post

This link takes you to the discussion post in our Facebook group

It is inevitable that as this group grows, we will attract people who are still on their force-free journey. We welcome everyone who is willing to learn. Several of the Admin are cross-over trainers, and understand very well how hard it can be to learn that what we always thought to be true is, in fact, the opposite. What we once thought were acceptable training methods, even kind because ‘they get the message over quickly; it often only takes one correction’, are totally unacceptable. Any lesson that only needs telling once or twice has necessarily to be so awful in order to put your dog off for life.

Examples from recently-deleted comments on this group, and some seen recently on others:

  • On the spray bottle – ‘It’s just a harmless spray of water, but you’d be surprised how quickly he’ll learn to stop it’
  • On the rattle bottle (stones in a bottle) – It’s just a noise to interrupt, but it’s enough to let him know he’s in trouble’
  • On prong collars – ‘These collars were designed for the stronger breeds which sometimes need stronger methods’
    • ‘It just distributes pressure evenly on the dog’s neck, as a reminder’
  • On shock collars – ‘If my dog didn’t like it he wouldn’t be so pleased when I get it out’
  • On any of the above – ‘I only have to show him it now and he behaves’
  • On the firm voice – ‘use a very firm voice, he needs to know it’s wrong’
  • On the neck punch -’it just mimics how the mother dog corrects her pups’ (it doesn’t, by the way)
  • On lifting a knee to stop a dog jumping ‘it doesn’t really hurt him, but he won’t like it so he’ll stop jumping’

There are plenty more. If we stop and think about how we would like to be treated, or how we would like our children to be treated, we know we wouldn’t like any of the above. So why would we inflict it on any family member, even the four-legged ones?

This post is open for everyone to comment, but please be kind and respectful to each other. Anyone who would like clarification on any of the above comments, or has any of their own they have heard and would like to understand better, please comment below for a reply. Be assured that no one will ridicule or show anger to anyone for not knowing. We all have to learn something first. The only deletions will be for those who don’t respect the ‘be kind’ rule, or who deliberately set out to change our minds, and have no interest in learning.