April 6, 2010

gilly- the teenager

here's a pic of gilly i snapped last night on my iphone.  she's totally NOT a puppy anymore.  i think she's beautiful and graceful, but i do miss the puppy days.  i don't miss the sharp puppy teeth and biting, but i do miss being able to walk her on a leash without pulling my arm out of the socket.

her stitches are out and she's healed up from being spayed.  she's been pretty cooped up the last few weeks.  i think she's hitting that adolescent "teenage" rebellious time.  this article explains it perfectly.

she's ready for more training classes, more socialization with other dogs, more exercise, etc... but am i ready?  i think so!

i see a big difference in training philosophies out there.  i believe a dog can be trained using 100% positive reinforcement, and we are working to never resort to yelling, shoving, choke collars, etc... she's a good dog and just needs a little guidance from us.

here are some pics from when gilly was a pup:

1 comment:

glittergirl said...

Training is a critical component of our relationship with dogs. Training isn’t about teaching dogs to do tricks for our amusement or about bending them to our will; it’s about enhancing communication between species and assuring good outcomes for everybody. And it’s another way to enhance the human-animal bond, and the particularly special relationship we have with dogs.

However, some training methods are at odds with the spirit of the human-animal bond. When dog trainers or pet owners resort to harming animals in an effort to train them, it weakens the relationship. Training should be fun and stimulating for both people and their pets. When training becomes painful or frightening, it will induce stress and anxiety in dogs, and that’s not a desired outcome.

Physical, punishment-based training is grounded in outdated theories of dominance. Such methods may include the use of choke chains, shock collars, or alpha rolls (physically rolling a dog onto the ground and holding him there). While these methods peaked in popularity in the 1960s, the science of dog training has advanced significantly in the last 50 years and today’s reputable trainers overwhelmingly shun them in favor of positive reinforcement.

The Association of Pet Dog Trainers’ position on dominance and training states that “physical or psychological intimidation hinders effective training and damages the relationship between humans and dogs.” The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior notes that punishment can cause several adverse effects, including “inhibition of learning, increased fear-related and aggressive behaviors, and injury to animals and people interacting with animals.”

These major, mainstream organizations reflect a modern view on dog training, making it clear that the resurgence of punishment and dominance in training is simply the inevitable pushback that a sea change in any major field would face. Some people may promote harsh training methods because they’re entrenched in the old ways and unwilling to change, or just don’t realize that great results can come from positive reinforcement.

The human-animal bond comes with human responsibility, largely because of the power we hold in the relationship. We should pursue best practices in all of our interactions with our animal friends, including in the fast-changing world of dog training.