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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.


And, I believe with all my heart that you CANNOT (and should NOT) try to punish away fear. Through using a shock collar you may be able to suppress the behaviors you do not like, at least temporarily, but the fear remains. I weep inside for all the fearful dogs out there who are subjected to punitive dog training.

Enter to Win Great Prizes (tell your friends!)

Again this week, we’re doing random prize drawing for an awesome gift package on the Never Shock a Puppy site. We’ll take entries (via comments posted on Never Shock a Puppy).

Please Donate?!

I’m beginning to WORRY that we will NOT reach our fund-raising goal of collecting $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 that positive-reinforcement dog training should be the RULE, not the exception, 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 donate 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.

Roxanne Hawn

Trained as a traditional journalist and based in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, USA, I'm a full-time freelance writer for magazines, websites, and private clients. My areas of specialty include everything in the lifestyles arena, including health and home, personal finance and other consumer interests, relationships and trends, people and business profiles ... and, of course, all things pet related. I don't just love dogs. I need them in my life. Seriously.

Lorie Huston - October 6, 2010

Roxanne, I think you made such an important point here. You cannot punish a dog out being scared. I think that’s important for all dog owners to realize. Thanks for a terrific post.

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