Just as Americans are divided by polar opposite political beliefs, so are people at odds in the way they care for and train their pets. Going back to at least the 19th century, companion animals have been controlled through the use of force. It’s hard to imagine it, but choking and hanging dogs — and killing those that did not comply — were normal practices.
Fast forward to the 21st century, and people are still using these practices. Dog training, for instance, is an unregulated industry, and so anyone can call themselves a professional trainer, whether they are qualified or not. And because training through the ages has been based on inflicting fear and pain to the dog, many dog trainers today continue those practices. Unfortunately for dogs (and for the people who care for them), these trainers are often skilled at disguising these antiquated training methods.
Visit these websites to learn about scientifically proven, humane methods for caring for and training companion animals:
- The Pet Professional Guild
- The Academy for Dog Trainers
- Karen Pryor Academy
- Peaceable Paws (based locally in Maryland)
DC-Area Force-Free Dog Trainers
- Dog Latin Dog Training
- Tracy Krulik
- My Fantastic Friend
- Wholistic Hound Academy
- Dolores Murray
- Family Dog Training
- C&C Pals
- Peaceable Paws
Beware Aversive Training Methods and Equipment
Training equipment such as prong collars, choke collars, and shock collars are commonplace today, and proponents claim that they do not hurt the animals. They do. In fact, the only way that these devices can possibly work, is if they scare or hurt the animal.
Beyond the fact that they can physically and emotionally scar an animal, research shows that animals trained with aversives can develop fears and become aggressive towards people or other animals. Visit these links for more information:
- American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior position statements:
- Pet Professional Guild position statements: