As should be abundantly clear by now, I'm all about training using positive reinforcement. That means I favor giving dogs rewards for when they something right over using aversives to stop dogs from doing something wrong.
Not everyone--including people I admire and respect--agrees with me, though. Many people believe that correcting a dog through the use of aversive devices should be part of a trainer's and/or dog owner's tool box. That's why I've joined a number of other dog bloggers on an 8-week campaign called "Never Shock a Puppy." This campaign aims to raise public awareness of humane alternatives to one such device: the electronic collar.
The electronic collar aims to correct unwanted behavior by delivering a shock that can range in intensity from a mild vibration to a truly painful jolt. The idea, of course, is that the dog will associate the behavior being corrected with getting the shock, and thus refrain from repeating that behavior. Over the next few weeks, my fellow bloggers and I will discuss other, more dog-friendly ways to deal with such behaviors. We'll also keep you posted on social media promotions and a boatload of great prizes associated with the campaign.
In the process, we hope to raise $2,500 for the Humane Society of Boulder Colorado's No-Choke Challenge, which will include lots of media outreach and other events in which the gorup will give away humane training tools to people in the Boulder area who relinquich their electronic, choke or prong collars. The donations will enable the organization to buy about 165 of those humane training tools.
For more info, check out the Never Shock A Puppy website. And, in the meantime, enjoy the above YouTube video of this year's Doritos Super Bowl commerical, which went a long way toward articulating the reasoning behind opposition to electronic collars.
No, this is not a picture of me. This smiling face belongs to Allie, the eight-year-old Golden Retriever for whom this blog is named. I'm an award-winning writer who specializes in companion animal topics, especially those pertaining to dogs. In addition to my writing for periodicals, I've also written six books about dog care, including the best-selling Housetraining For Dummies. On this blog, I'll explore various aspects of living with dogs and writing about them -- with occasional detours into totally unrelated topics (because I can!). Enjoy!