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Category Archives for Never Shock a Puppy

Day 7: Never Shock a Puppy

In week 7 of the 2010 Never Shock a Puppy dog blog campaign, we discuss whether or not snake aversion training is the one “acceptable” use of shock collars.  Personally, my answer is no, but there are many people I like and respect who believe otherwise.

Since Lilly has survived TWO rattlesnake bites in TWO years, I like to think we know a bit about this particular subject.

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Day 6: Never Shock a Puppy

In week 6 of the 2010 Never Shock a Puppy dog blog campaign, we discuss the special cases of training a fearful, reactive, or “aggressive” dog. Unlike the other topics so far in the campaign, this one is harder for me to summarize.

Every dog is different. Every situation is different. So, my fall-back reminder about doing any rehabilitation work or training with a fearful/reactive dog is this:

You cannot change how a dog behaves until you change how she FEELS.

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Day 5: Never Shock a Puppy

In week 5 of the 2010 Never Shock a Puppy dog blog campaign, we offer a few ideas on how to get your dog to COME when you call. The main post started to get REALLY long, so I’m continuing one idea here. And, it is this: Playing FETCH is a great way to practice recalls every single day. We even made a little how-to video (see below).

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Day 4: Never Shock a Puppy

This week’s topic in our Never Shock a Puppy campaign is barking. And, if you’ve ever seen those border collie t-shirts that say, “Welcome to the BARK side,” you know I speak from experience. Some dogs, some breeds, simply bark more than others.

Lilly barks to try and "control" other dogs during play. Here, Ginko waits happily for me to throw the ball. Lilly ... Well, Lilly does her thing. Different breeds of dogs bark more than others. This is a good example of that.

Border collies (and many herding dogs) bark. So, do terriers of many stripes. One way to manage barking is to know your tolerance for it and which breeds might better meet your expectations from the get-go.

This barking video dates back two years, and you can hear me trying (not succeeding) at getting Lilly NOT to bark incessantly at her best, best dog friend Katie (the borzoi). Lilly is noisy when she plays. I’ve accepted that (somewhat).

More Than One Barking Dog: Divide and Conquer

I’ve tried to address the group dynamic of two barking dogs in the past, particularly when it comes to chaos right before they go outside or right before they eat. Lilly and Ginko get so riled up. It can be quite noisy.

I’ve tried teaching that barking/noisy dogs don’t get what they want, but trying to teach BOTH of them at the same time is very hard (at least for me).

So, my advice … if you’re dealing with more than one barker … is to train/re-train them individually before you ever attempt to manage the situation with both together.

Any Bark Training Tips?

Barking is one of the top 5 reasons people turn to shock collars. Typically, people use the kind of shock collars triggered by sound.

While this is somewhat better in my mind for the timing required (versus the kind of shock collars triggered by a remote control held by a person), I’m still opposed to their use.

Very few dogs bark for “no reason.” So, for me, the key is to know why your dog barks and WHAT you can do to reframe the situation so that the dog doesn’t bark or HOW you can retrain that scenario so that the dog learns that barking doesn’t pay.


Enter to Win Great Prizes (tell your friends!)

Again this week, we’re doing random prize drawings for some awesome gift packages on the Never Shock a Puppy site. We’ll take entries (via comments posted on Never Shock a Puppy). I hope all of you will hop over there and comment for a chance to win. Seriously. Nice. Prizes.

Please Donate?!

We are halfway through our 8-week campaign, but we’re ONLY about 22% toward our goal of raising $2,500 for the Humane Society of Boulder Valley’s upcoming No-Choke Challenge (set to begin in November 2011).

Every little bit helps, even $1 or $5. So, if you believe in our cause, we’d appreciate your vote of support via a donation.

The donation widget will be to your right in the sidebar during the campaign. Just click the donation button on this handy-dandy donation widget to get started! If for some reason you cannot see or use the donation widget, please visit the Never Shock a Puppy Donation Site instead.

Day 3: Never Shock a Puppy

This week’s topic in our Never Shock a Puppy campaign is how to teach loose leash walking. Because it’s completely aggravating to have a dog who is terrible on leash, it is no surprise that so many people turn to shock collars, choke collars, or pinch collars to feel like they have some control. I disagree with those tools and methods, of course.

But, in the interest of full disclosure, there was a time when I used a choke collar on my Dalmatian. It’s not something I’m proud of, but there you go.

  • It was 1990.
  • I was 22.
  • She was my first dog as an adult.
  • She was a wild monkey of a girl.
  • I didn’t know boo about dog training.
  • When the dog obedience instructor at the big box store told me to use a choke chain. I used a choke chain.

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