Perusing the internet I come across some pretty bizarre and outlandish statements in regards to why one should use force free training for dogs. Actually i should rather say its in regards to why not use any other form of dog training .
I found a website called the pet professionals guild. I found this through the RSPCA ‘s website. I knew they were going the all positive way though I didn’t realise they actually promote fully force free dog training.
This is what the trainers must sign or ones that are promoted by the rspca.
“I confirm that only ‘Force-Free’ dog training methods are used, defined as;
- No shock
- No pain
- No choke
- No fear
- No physical force
- No physical moulding
- No compulsion based methods are employed to train or care for a pet
So in fact these trainers use only ONE way to train ALL dogs.Yet there are many ways to train dogs. Different dogs loosely speaking require different training methods because ALL dogs are different. The above list makes their style of training so angelic , wrapped in cotton wool ,and my dog will do all i say because he loves me.
Let me tell you some hard FACTS.
FACT 1 . No Shock, No Pain , no physical force, No physical moulding , No prong or check chains
Most of the highest awarded dogs and trainers who participate in dog obedience and sports use one or many of the above list at some time. There are few and I MEAN few dogs that have achieved any level similar using force free training. One main reason is that a level of obedience needed to excel in various dog sports can not be achieved with so called “force Free”training.
FACT 2 . The science backs their claims.
Yes IF the dog is in a sterile environment with no distractions, is deprived of food and needs to press a button or do some sort of task to receive that food, well then the science does back their claims. Mentioning if a killer whale can be taught to pee in a cup using force free methods ,so can any animal.
Let me ask you where are these killer whales kept? Are they in the ocean free to come and go ? NO they are kept in holding pens at night with just enough room to move, no light and no outside stimulation. Only seeing the light of day when being trained or doing a show . Pee in this cup or you don’t get fed. Jump through the hoop or you don’t get fed. When i call you come to me or you don’t get fed.
Not to mention eating ,biting or killing trainers . Let me ask you if those killer whales were not in pens and were in the open ocean do you think they could be trained to do tricks?
They have NO choice .
Science states that if you reward an animal when it does something the likelihood of that behaviour to re occur increases. The science ALSO states if an animal does something and it receives an unpleasant experience the likelihood of that behaviour happening again decreases. But the “Force Free” trainers leave that out. So only quote or use the science that suits their agenda. Yet these same trainers will readily tell you to desex your dog . No pain ? No stress? No fear? So its ok to inflict pain on a dog for desexing but not to stop it doing something wrong or inappropriate? You might say but it has to be done.. What desexing has to be done ??Who said ?? your trainer the vet?? The same trainer that tells you that they do no harm to their dogs or cause fear or pain?
Fact 3 Contradictions to suit their agenda
The science STATES if a behaviour causes consequences that aren’t likeable for the dog, the behaviour will diminish or stop. Again Quoted from their site “Choke chains and prong collars are designed to administer negative reinforcement and positive punishment. Training techniques based in these two learning theory quadrants are prone to side effects. As an example, a dog wearing a choke or prong collar that fearfully barks and lunges at another dog would then be choked or pain inflicted by the prong collar. The pain and choking then adds to the negative association the dog wearing the collar has with other dogs. This is the polar opposite of what an ideal training protocol is designed to accomplish.” Excuse me but where did the science go that they firmly adhere to??? Punishment decreases a behaviour ,Positive reinforcement increases a behaviour?
There has been no VALID study do determine that punishment is detrimental. There cant be because science has proven and states that punishment is a part of the operant conditioning learning quadrant.
Fact 4 More Effective
They use that word a lot . Force free training is more effective. I ask in what way??Cost effective Time effective? Will it achieve what it set out to do ?
Cost effective.. Reading various sites on average a course costs $200 and they usually run for 8 weeks.
Time effective..8 weeks for a course is pretty much standard and a lot can be achieved in those 8 weeks.
Training Efficiency… Now here comes the brick wall. Again MOST dog training courses specify what will happen in those 8 weeks.
make eye contact with you
walk on a loose lead
come when called
sit for greetings
lie down and stand on cue
handling skills for grooming and vet visits
Thats pretty standard.
Though there is no mention of how long will your dog walk on a loose lead or how long will it sit for. Drops and stands are a given ..but will the dog do it first time everytime? And what happens at the end of the 8 weeks.Actually 7 weeks as most centres have a dog free class initially.What if your dog isn’t proficient in all those behaviours ? Do you have to do the course again? Do they just let you go? Or worse do they invite you to join the next level class? Even though you and the dog aren’t proficient in those skills yet? Seems to be a lack of transparency due to all the smoke and mirrors.
Jumping to the crux of the issue on average it will cost you 24 weeks not including puppy classes and $600 to have your dog do the following.
Entering and leaving the car
Grooming and vet exam
Sit politely for a greeting
Walk close to owner
Walk past a crowd
Play then settle
Reaction to another dog
Release and recall
Stop and recall with distractions
Tolerance to separation
Of course he doesn’t need to do them all the time to past this level . The owner can have numerous attempts at it. And i gather that food is always present.
So after 24 weeks and $600 your dog still isn’t obedient or trained? Is this effective? Oh and not to forget after the $600 you will then be eligible for a council discount on registration of approximately $10 – $15 per year? Effective?
What is effective is that all the above can be achieved in 6 weeks at a lesser price apart from puppy classes. So why does it take so long and have to be so drawn out and be so INEFFECTIVE?. FORCE FREE TRAINERS LIE . Plain and simple . It isn’t effective at all. Due to their ideology they are committed to using an ineffective training system.