Hot Weather Dangers
Every year thousands of dogs die due to heat stroke after being left in parked cars. Even if the day doesn’t seem that hot, temperatures can quickly rise to dangerous levels, even if the windows are open or the vehicle is left in the shade.
Ability To Sweat
Leaving a dog in a hot car for short periods of time can have serious consequences because of a dog’s limited ability to sweat. Dogs can only sweat through panting and through the pads of their paws meaning they can over-heat very quickly.
Visible Signs Of Heat Stroke
What To Do
How To Cool A Dog's Body Temperature
Most people who end up in this situation mean no harm and were simply unaware of the dangers so please be compassionate with the owner of the dog. My rule of thumb is – if I’m not sure whether or not it will be too hot for my dog I leave him at home or take him with me when I leave my vehicle.
Other Hot Weather Concerns
Hot pavement can burn the pads on a dog’s paws very quickly.
86 degrees can cause the asphalt to feel like 135 degrees, which is hot enough to burn the dog’s pads and cause permanent damage in less than 1 minute.
87 degrees can cause the asphalt to feel like 140 degrees.
Walking on hot asphalt causes the heat from the asphalt to be absorbed through the dog’s pads into its body. Asphalt also reflects the heat onto the dog’s body increasing the risk of heat stroke.
How Can You Tell If The Asphalt Is Too Hot?
Place the back of your hand on the pavement for five seconds. If it’s too hot for your hand it’s too hot for your dog’s paws.
Because cone muzzles are designed to hold a dog’s mouth shut, these muzzles restrict the dog’s ability to pant and can cause heat stroke or asphyxiation.
How To Prevent Over Heating When Out With Your Dog
Photo By: Nicole Barbara
Canine Correspondence Studies Dog Training Do's and Don'ts
Dominance is a word that's been bandied around the dog industry for years. Back in the day, it was widely accepted as a dog training theory because we didn't know any better. However, modern science has proven that explaining dog and wolf behaviours using the dominance theory is simply incorrect. Still, there are dog handlers out there who cling to this erroneous, archaic and potentially abusive theory. More recently, the dominance theory has made resurgence with the introduction of pop culture television shows depicting dangerous training methods that use this theory to explain canine psychology. These shows have spawned a new crop of both dominance trainers and balanced trainers (who use both reinforcement and punishment). Lets be perfectly clear – at present time, the leading and most respected canine behaviourists and scientists worldwide are united in the opinion that the dominance theory is in actuality a myth, grossly misguided and a misinterpretation of canine motivation. It's safe to say, it's the dirty little lie of the dog industry. Actually, it's a great big lie.
Photo By Norma Jeanne Laurette
If it's not dominance, what explains the challenges we face when raising and training our dogs? What makes our dogs rush out the door ahead of us? What makes them ignore our cues for something more interesting? What makes them demand our food or attention? What makes them guard and defend their food or favourite toy?
Like every living thing on our planet, people included, it comes down to resources but more specifically – the survival instinct to control them. This instinct spans the entire animal kingdom and dogs are no different because: resources = life. A dog that’s able to control valued resources such as: food, water and shelter is more likely to survive should the need arise, than one that is not. When a dog’s guardian controls everything, he or she is the most valued resource of all, which explains why some dogs try to control their humans. These challenges are not about dominance – they’re about resource control. So if you can control the resources, you can control the dog – it’s that simple.
Copyright © February 1, 2018 - Greg Ceci * Norma Jeanne Laurette, CCS - Canine Correspondence Studies, ACTT - Applied Canine Therapy & Training
Teaching Advanced Canine Social Skills and Canine Conflict Resolution
Photo by Dale Carter
It's not uncommon for dogs to have heated discussions, especially as they mature. Although, they are simply communicating, as professional dog trainers it's our job to intervene and "split" R1 the dogs to prevent their energy from escalating to a level that can result in fights and/or bites and to teach safe and solid Conflict Resolution skills.
In this picture, you can see Norma Jeanne using her body to step in between Chester (Golden Doodle) and Lila (Old English Bulldog) as Lila disciplines Chester for standing over top of her. Note Norma Jeanne's positioning. She is splitting the dogs in the same manner that a dog might split others, by inserting herself between the two dogs in conflict while avoiding physical contact.
Note Greg's position as he removes Lila by gently pulling her away from Chester by her hips and hindquarters. He's removing her in this manner because it's easier to move a powerful dog this way without the use of excessive force as well as putting himself out of the line of fire in the event of a possible redirected bite. The handler who is touching the dog should always avoid putting him or herself near the dogs' teeth, especially when breaking up an actual dog fight. This is important because many incidences of dogs biting humans occurs when handlers intervene incorrectly during heated canine discussions.
Copyright © January 18, 2018 - Greg Ceci * Norma Jeanne Laurette, CCS - Canine Correspondence Studies, ACTT - Applied Canine Therapy & Training
R1 - Splitting - Turid Rugaas - On Talking Terms With Dogs, Dogwise Publishing, Wentatchee, WA, 1997, 2006
Photo by Sandra Monaco Photography
Aggression is simply communication. The burning question is where acceptable communication crosses the line into unwanted aggression. For perspective let’s take a look at CCS' Canine Communications Continuum.
Think of canine communication and aggression on the same continuum. In Zone-A, you’ll see normal, healthy communication. Zone-B is where the intensity starts to escalate.
Social and confident dogs exist in Zone-A. Under-socialized and fearful dogs live in Zone-B. On a best day scenario when anxiety is low, B dogs live in the center of the continuum and are more likely to start communicating their discomfort with deterrent behaviour. (See CCS' Canine Deterrent Behaviour Model) This is why they’re perceived as “reactive” or dogs with a low threshold.
A dog can change its communication according to the situation by sliding up and down on the continuum with the intent of preventing conflict. The dog may communicate its discomfort with calming signals (R1) in Zone-A, but if those signals are not respected, the dog’s behaviour will move toward Zone-B into deterrent behaviour. The line between A and B is where the dog flips from mild to more severe deterrent behaviour leaning toward aggression.
While Zone-A dogs tend to warn approaching stimuli utilizing calming signals, B dogs use deterrent behaviour. If forced into closer proximity anxiety levels rise. While A dogs will use more calming signals and possibly mild deterrent behaviour, B dogs quickly slide up the continuum into severe deterrent behaviour ultimately boiling over into aggression.
If a dog is punished for communicating, it stops communicating. This is on par with taking the batteries out of a smoke detector. Reprimands cripple communication causing a dog to jump quickly to severe deterrent behaviour in order to protect itself while avoiding the admonishment. Punishing communication can create a highly reactive dog and allowing unwarranted deterrent behaviour can create an aggressive bully that picks fights. When communication is repeatedly punished it creates a learned helplessness and can trigger a primordial survival instinct that manifests in easily triggered self-defense behaviours.
To prevent or mitigate aggression and shape a confident dog that’s a master communicator you need to do the following.
The secret to solid communication is socialization and because it’s a skill, the “use it or lose it” rule applies. Dogs should be carefully and thoroughly socialized before four months of age and supervised socialization should continue throughout their lives to keep their skills fine-tuned and to prevent aggression.
Copyright October 2010 - Greg Ceci * Norma Jeanne Laurette, CCS - Canine Correspondence Studies, ACTT - Applied Canine Therapy & Training
R1 – Turid Rugaas – http://en.turid-rugaas.no/calming-signals---the-art-of-survival.html
Canine Correspondence Studies' Canine Deterrent Behaviour is a new canine communication categorization formerly thought to be aggressive in nature and intent. Canine Deterrent Behaviour is simply a function of natural dog behaviour and communication.
Photo by Sandra Monaco Photography
Every year, many dogs are unjustly euthanized when normal canine communication is mistaken for aggression. The communication responsible for this confusion is what we’ve coined “Canine Deterrent Behaviour”.
The term “Canine Deterrent Behaviour” refers to deliberate communication by dogs used during approaches, in greeting and during interactions, to warn another animal or person to respect its space and/or to discipline unruly or disrespectful behaviour.
Some deterrent behaviours include: baring teeth, barking, growling, hackles, lunging, nipping, nose butt, snapping, sneezing, staring, stiffening and more. Always remember that when reading canine body language, it’s important to put the part of the body you’re reading into context with the dog’s history, what the rest of the body is saying and what’s happening in the environment. A communication from any part of a dog’s body can have a variety of meanings depending on the situation.
Deterrent behaviour is normal and necessary, and is acceptable as long as the dog only uses as much communication as necessary, does not physically harm the other animal or person and stops the moment the animal or person backs off.
You’ll commonly see adult dogs use deterrent behaviour to warn or discipline unruly or disrespectful pups or dogs with poor social skills. Although deterrent behaviour is widely accepted in humans, dogs are often not afforded the same right to communicate their discomfort and need for space.
Copyright March 2010 - Norma Jeanne Laurette * Greg Ceci, CCS - Canine Correspondence Studies, ACTT - Applied Canine Therapy & Training
Shell-shocked. Burned-out. Broken beyond repair. Ruined.
Photo By Norma Jeanne Laurette
Over the years we've heard these and other derogatory terms used to describe dogs that in one way or another have had a rough life and are riddled with behavioural issues. Are these dogs really broken beyond repair or are they suffering from nightmares or PTSD?
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that is caused by trauma. Recognized by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) in 1980, PTSD is only partially understood in humans and is even less understood and rarely diagnosed in dogs. It's a highly influential factor in both human and canine minds and can greatly affect behaviour and quality of life in both species. We know that stress and anxiety are killers and are a leading cause of serious physiological and psychological ailments.
With that in mind, it’s always wise to remember when people are miserable or angry or behaving irrationally, that we don’t know what may be going on in their lives that may be affecting them emotionally. This is one of many reasons that we need to be patient and compassionate with one another. But what about the dogs? They can’t tell us how they’re feeling or what they’re experiencing. And there are so many factors that contribute to human and animal behaviour that we can’t assume to understand why anyone behaves as they do.
During one of our daily off leash hikes with our dogs, Greg and I had a rousing discussion about doggy nightmares and PTSD. Our opinion is that because it’s been scientifically proven that dogs dream, that the potential is there for emotional fallout from these dreams. And we have seen plenty of dogs that appear to have symptoms associated with PTSD such as: avoidance of things they were previously comfortable with, hyper-vigilance, changes in temperament and an inability to respond to previously learned cues. Every single case had a history of abuse, mistreatment, neglect, daily trauma and/or a single traumatic event. So we thought we would ask our good friend – world-renowned author, scientist and psychologist Dr. Stanley Coren, Ph.D for his opinion.
Here is what we asked Stanley:
We know that dogs dream about life experiences so we’re assuming these dreams can be both good and bad. When we remember our nightmares it can effect how we feel when we wake up. We know that dogs live in the moment but they also have good memories. Do you think that a dog could remember a nightmare and have it trigger unpleasant emotions after it wakes up? And could these memories and unpleasant emotions affect the dog's behaviour throughout the day and over extended periods of time?
"Your question has an answer which is a bit iffy. We know that dogs dream, and it seems evident that dogs can also have bad dreams or nightmares. If we want to look at the effect that these nightmares have on dogs' behavior a good place to start is by looking at a severe condition, PTSD. Like people, dogs also can suffer from PTSD, and we are seeing more of this in returning military service dogs. A tear-jerking example of this is in the new film "Max" about a dog with this problem.
In humans part of the symptomology of PTSD is frequent and repetitive nightmares, and there's no reason to believe that that is not the same in dogs. The effect that these nightmares have on people is that they awaken and start the day in a state of negative emotion, which can persist for many hours. This can bias the person toward negative thoughts, which can persist through the day and result in poor performance and bad social interactions. A secondary effect of nightmares is that they greatly reduce the amount of sleep and the mental restorative property of sleep and this alone can also cause problems. There is enough similarity between the mental processes of dogs and humans so that we can draw a parallel with a reasonable degree of certainty.
For individuals and dogs that don't have PTSD but do have nightmares I am inclined to believe that the effects are very much the same, but of course scaled down in terms of magnitude (unless the frequency of nightmares is very high).
All of this is based on extrapolation since, unfortunately, we can't talk to our dogs and expect them to give us an introspective account of what they are feeling, and what is running through their heads, at any time. However an awful lot of experimental psychology is based on the belief that we can draw such parallels between animals and people.”
So it seems that as our knowledge of human PTSD increases, so will our knowledge of canine PTSD. What is important is that we recognize that the results of trauma, punishment, emotional and physical abuse, neglect and negativity on our beloved companions are similar to what we experience. As professional dog trainers, we should always consider the possibility of PTSD and avoid making general assumptions about the cause of a dog’s behaviour.
To protect our dogs from the potential long-term repercussions of unpleasant experiences, it’s essential to control our own emotions, behaviours, insecurities and anxieties in order to keep our dog’s experiences positive.
Our dogs’ quality of life depends on it because caustic and traumatic experiences could literally haunt them for the rest of their lives.
Copyright July, 2017 - Norma Jeanne Laurette * Greg Ceci, CCS - Canine Correspondence Studies, ACTT - Applied Canine Therapy & Training
Many thanks to Dr. Stanley Coren
Photo by Greg Ceci
Most civilized people believe that prejudice; bigotry and racial profiling are unacceptable. Then why is it so widely accepted in the dog world?
Many trainers, kennel clubs, dog organizations, behaviour specialists, other dog professionals and guardians continue to teach and preach breed profiling. We believe this to be discrimination and downright perilous for everyone involved. Dogs are dogs, plain and simple. Forget the breed because in the end, what makes them tick is universal and their thought processes are the same.
It’s true that each breed was bred for unique tendencies, drives and characteristics such as herding, guarding, or retrieval – but to make blanket statements about any particular breed is misguided. For example, we’ve heard many times that Rottweilers have a greater propensity toward aggression or that Pitbulls are more dangerous than other dogs. But having trained dogs for over twenty-five years our experience has taught us that this is misinformed.
All dogs and people are capable of aggression in fact; aggression is communication – plain and simple. All dogs are capable of biting if the circumstance calls for it because everyone can be forced to defend themselves. Any way you slice it, package or justify it, breed banning is segregation. It appears as though the issue of Pitbull banning isn’t going away any more than racism is.
Kitchener, Ontario was one of the first cities in Canada to ban Pitbulls. Our training facility was called upon to do the temperament testing in order to grandfather Pitbulls that were already in town. We met over fifty amazing Pitbulls that day.
Before the ban we welcomed Pitbulls into our classes and didn’t have any more trouble with them than any other breed. Of the hundreds of aggression consultations we've conducted over the years, the aggressive dogs we were working with were rarely Pitbulls. Many were the smaller, under-estimated breeds and some were Labs and Golden Retrievers. In other words, the aggressive dogs we’ve worked with spanned all breeds and sizes.
Without the interference of underlying physiological or psychological issues, dogs quite simply become what humans create and shape. Humans are notorious for categorizing things into neat little boxes but when dealing with canines, handlers must think outside the box because every dog has a unique genetic make up, personality and background. However, they all learn, think and reason in the same way – through cause and effect. So if a Boxer becomes a bully, that’s what it’s learned and if a Jack Russell is a biter, that’s what it’s been taught. Our point is that the breed is not the issue.
Most aggression is caused by people, whether it’s from breeding fearful or aggressive dogs, failing to sufficiently train and socialize at a young age, using dominance methods instead of positive, failing to protect, or neglecting and/or abusing dogs. And unfortunately, many unsuspecting well-intended people unknowingly rescue aggressive dogs and inherit someone else’s problem.
Breedism is racism plain and simple. We don’t accept racism against people and will not accept it with the dogs. A dog is a dog – four legs, a wet nose, and a tail – with a cause and effect brain directing the whole show! We need to embrace our dogs for their uniqueness and prevent and troubleshoot behaviour issues instead of punishing or making excuses for them by breed profiling.
Copyright June, 2017 - Norma Jeanne Laurette * Greg Ceci, CCS - Canine Correspondence Studies, ACTT - Applied Canine Therapy & Training
On May 30, 2017, a three year old girl in Toronto was clotheslined by a retractable leash leaving a large welt on her neck, but it could have been much worse. As Chair and Co-Chair of IPDTA (International Positive Dog Training Association) we’ve heard a long list of complaints about the use of retractable leashes. Here are some examples:
These highlight just a few of the many dangers associated with these leashes. The line of the retractable leash has become wrapped around bikes, other objects, dogs and people resulting in deep lacerations, amputations and/or broken bones. There was also an incident where a dog ran into an elevator ahead of the owner just before the door closed resulting in the dog being strangled.
Graphic videos. Play at own risk.
One of the problems with these leashes is that they are available for next to nothing at dollar stores but many are cheaply made. These leashes are prone to breakage at the clasp, where the line attaches inside the plastic casing, the line itself, the plastic casing and the locking and retractable mechanisms. When a leash of any kind breaks, the dog is not safe.
Retractable leashes are extremely dangerous when used with choke chains, pinch collars or head halters because if the dog runs ahead and hits the end of the leash, the handler has no control over the intensity of the jolt to the dog’s head or neck.
If the plastic casing is dropped, the dog can be frightened by the handle “chasing it” causing it to run away, become lost, injured or killed. And if a dog encounters another dog or animal at the end of the leash, because the handler is not close enough to the dog to control it, it can result in bites and fights.
The list of risks, concerns, injuries and deaths is long making it clear that the risks far outweigh the benefits and as result we do not allow them in our training classes, discourage their use, will not recommend them to our clients and will never use one on our own dogs. Due to these risks, IPDTA has deemed retractable leashes to be unacceptable due to potential for misuse, abuse and/or malfunction in the hands of the average handler resulting in a high risk of accidents, injury and/or death.
We love our dogs and make all of our decisions based on risk verses reward. Because the risks associated with retractable leashes are so high, we will never recommend or use them.
Copyright June, 2017 - Norma Jeanne Laurette * Greg Ceci, CCS - Canine Correspondence Studies, ACTT - Applied Canine Therapy & Training
Photo By Norma Jeanne Laurette
Hiking off-leash with our dogs has been a daily part of our lives for many years, but now that we live in bear country there is a need to take extra safety precautions. We need to instil some unique training protocols in order to safely and respectfully co-exist with these beautiful animals. Although bear attacks are rare, statistics show that the risk increases when hiking with off-leash dogs.
Bear Spray – Too Close For Comfort
Bear repellent spray is definitely something we carry on our hikes however, we're firm believers that if you need to use bear spray, things have gone awry and the bear is way too close. Bear spray is an excellent deterrent to have on hand but its even better if you never have to use it. And bear spray alone isn't much of a safety plan.
Bear Bells – How To Make A Racket 101
Black bears are quite timid by nature and are easily scared away. That's why the single best thing you can do to prevent a bear-encounter is to make a cacophony of noise as you travel through the trails of the forest. Every dog and person in our pack wears a bear bell. These bells emit a very unnatural sound that warns bears and other animals well in advance that we're coming through. It gives them plenty of warning and if they have young, they can move them out of harm’s way. Un-habituated bears will almost always avoid humans if given the opportunity and offensive bear attacks are extremely rare. In fact, only 67 people have been attacked by black bears in Canada since the year 1900 and the odds that you’ll be murdered by a person is 60,000 times greater. R1
Air Horns – The Bear Runs Away, The Dogs Come Back
There are two things you would like to occur simultaneously when you’re out with your dogs and you spot a bear. You want the bear to run away and you want your dogs run to you – you do not want your dogs to chase the bear. Untrained dogs are the cause of many bear incidences involving humans. A wise old bushman once told Greg that a well-trained dog will keep bears away while a poorly trained dog will lead them back to you. He also told him that one of the best bear repellents you can use in the woods is an air horn. As previously mentioned, bears are generally timid creatures and the very loud, obnoxious blast of an air horn is usually quite effective at chasing them away. Greg experienced this firsthand when he encountered a four hundred pound black bear on his northern bush property, but that's a tale for another day. In lieu of all this, we have developed what we call our Bear Horn Recall Training Protocol.
As you can see in the video, our dogs have been conditioned so that when they hear the air horn, they immediately run to us and hopefully, the bear becomes startled and runs away. It may be simple in theory but when teaching this protocol, there are some very specific criteria that must be followed.
1. First and foremost, your dogs should be well trained in secured, distracting environments before testing their skills in unsecured or potentially dangerous habitats.
2. Then you need to desensitize your dogs to the sound of the air horn while creating the most incredible cause and effect association possible. Start with short, low-volume toots while your dogs are fairly close in a safe and controlled environment. When they turn to look at you, call them to you and give them a very special treat or other highly valued resource. You don't want to scare your dogs with the air horn so start with low volume and intensity and gradually build up to a long, full volume blast once they're desensitized, conditioned and are further away from you. It’s just as important to get your dogs accustomed to blasts in close proximity in case one of your dogs is near you when you see a bear.
3. Your treats must be exciting enough to motivate your dogs away from major distractions. Use a potent resource that is unique to this protocol. In other words, use a very high valued treat that your dogs don't get at any other time, something with a ton of flavour and aroma such as a sizeable piece of meat, fish or salmon cake. A low valued treat or cookie won’t cut it.
4. Begin with low distractions and call your dogs in with the air horn while hiking. As you achieve repeated success, call your dogs when there is just a bit more distraction, then, gradually increase the level of distraction. The idea is that with successful repetitions, coming in quickly for a wonderful treat becomes a habit, to the point where the dog is conditioned to quickly recall without thinking about it, because making a choice could lead to disaster.
5. Once your dogs return to you, require them to sit and focus on you before rewarding then releasing them. This is important for two reasons. The first is to prevent your dogs from focussing on the bear and running off, and the second is because in a dangerous situation, you may need to get your dogs on leash and vacate the area quickly. This is much easier to accomplish if your dogs are under control.
6. Once you have a solid air horn recall and sit, practice on a regular basis. As with all dog training protocols, you need to put the reps in. We hike with our dogs at least once a day and make a point of practicing at least one air horn recall per hike whether or not it’s bear season, in order to maintain a polished response. This is because there could be other situations where a quick recall is crucial to the safety of you and/or your dogs. The air horn recall can also prevent unfortunate encounters with other potentially dangerous animals including: porcupines, fisher weasels, coyotes, wolves and moose or even unexpected snowmobiles or ATVs. This is a training protocol that you want as close to 100% reliable as humanly possible.
As a benevolent leader hiking your pack off leash, your three priorities should be for your own safety, the safety of your dogs and the safety of the indigenous wildlife. Hiking your dogs off leash in bear country is about weighing risk versus reward. Although the risk is real it is very low, and to us, the rewards far outweigh the risks, but it is our responsibility to do everything possible to tip the odds in our favour. That said – everyone has to accept the risks that are within his or her own comfort level.
One thing Mother Nature has taught us time and again is that if we go head to head with her, it’s not likely to end well for us, our dogs and/or the wildlife we encounter. In the end, it’s always wise and prudent to respect Mother Nature and all of her creatures – big and small.
Copyright May 26, 2017 Greg Ceci * Norma Jeanne Laurette, CCS - Canine Correspondence Studies, ACTT - Applied Canine Therapy & Training
R1 – http://wiseaboutbears.org/about-us/bear-attacks-2/
Is it 2017 or 1817?
It's amazing in this day and age that breeders and dog guardians still cling to the practice of cutting away pieces of dogs’ anatomies for aesthetic purposes and/or human imposed breed standards. Not only is this practice unnecessary, it's out-dated and downright abusive.
Both the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) classify these surgeries as elective, medically unnecessary and are united in their stance that these procedures "are not medically indicated nor of benefit to the patient," and "these procedures cause pain and distress, and, as with all surgical procedures, are accompanied by inherent risks of anaesthesia, blood loss, and infection."
We know that many people judge others by appearance and it’s the same with dogs. Studies have shown that many people perceive dogs with ears and tails that have been ritually cut off to be more aggressive, less playful and less affectionate. These people are judging the temperament of cropped and docked dogs simply by their appearance, without any evidence or scientific basis. They perceive these dogs as potentially aggressive, and as we know, what we perceive is our truth. We already have a problem with unfair discrimination against certain breeds and this only serves to exacerbate the problem.
Chopping off tails and ears is equivalent to cutting out a person’s tongue. Dog's don't have a voice to communicate, they do so with body language and their ears and tails are two main components of these communications. Stumped tails and sliced ears are less informative to other dogs and humans, limiting the dog’s ability to communicate effectively.
We must ask ourselves if we would put our babies or toddlers through unnecessary, painful and savage cosmetic procedures that would not only interfere with communication for the rest of their lives but would also give them a threatening appearance. It goes without saying that it’s time for breeders, guardians and veterinarians to take a stand and say no to cropping and docking!
Copyright March 21, 2017 - Greg Ceci * Norma Jeanne Laurette, CCS - Canine Correspondence Studies, ACTT - Applied Canine Therapy & Training
Artwork by permission: WeeStiv - @WeeStivArt – Visit artist's Facebook page
American Veterinary Medical Association, Ear Cropping and Tail Docking of Dogs
Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, Cosmetic Alteration — Position Statement
Psychology Today, How People Perceive Dogs With Docked Tails and Cropped Ears
Photo by Sandra Monaco Photography
We'll give credit where credit is due. The city of Toronto did a good thing by prohibiting choke collars, choke chains and prong/spike collars but did they fall short of the mark? Although this is a fantastic first step to improving rights for our dogs, the by-law notably excluded the banning of shock equipment.
Shock collars work short-term because they hurt and scare the dog but in the long run, the risk of long-lasting emotional and psychological damage far outweighs any gains one would expect to achieve.
Modern studies have proven that dogs are thinking and feeling, emotional animals. In fact, dogs are equipped with the same five basic emotions that a human baby is born with. It's also been proven that at full physical, intellectual and emotional maturity, dogs have the intelligence of a three to four year old child.
Would you strap a shock collar on your baby or toddler and zap them every time they did something you deemed wrong? We don't barbarically shock our children into subservience, instead we teach them to make correct choices. So why would someone shock a dog that has the emotional equivalent of a toddler?
Aversive and compulsion tools such as choke chains, prong collars and shock equipment (including e-fencing) are a cop out for those who do not wish to put the time in to train their dog in a fair and humane way. After all, don't we all want loyal trusting companions as opposed to brow beaten, subservient slaves?
Here’s hoping that other cities follow Toronto’s lead and that they include shock equipment in the list of tools to ban.
For more information about the risks associated with the use of choke collars, prong collars and shock equipment visit IPDTA – International Positive Dog Training Association.
Copyright March 7, 2017 - Greg Ceci * Norma Jeanne Laurette, CCS - Canine Correspondence Studies, ACTT - Applied Canine Therapy & Training
The Intelligence Of A Three To Four Year Old Child - Dr. Stanley Coren, Ph.D.
The Intelligence Of Dogs, Published by Maxwell Macmillan Canada1994
Same-Five-Basic-Emotions-Dr.StanleyCoren,Ph.D. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/canine-corner/201303/which-emotions-do-dogs-actually-experience - Canine Corner - March 14, 2013
Norma Jeanne Laurette is owner, author and instructor of CCS & founder & Chair of IPDTA.
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