Training and Behaviour Methods

Only positive reward based methods are used as the overwhelming scientific evidence suggests that problem behaviour is more easily resolved if the animal learns to behave through kindness and reward. The animal is therefore more likely to change its behaviour through choice rather than being forced through fear, intimidation, pain or punishment. With this in mind I do not use any forms of what I consider to be aversive training techniques. This includes the use of shock collars and choke chains. There are also many well-known organisations that are in favour of using reward based methods. Please look at the *Dogs Trust web site for further information.

Why should you avoid using punishment?

* A dog or cat is more likely to do what you want them to do when using a reward

* More aversive techniques are more commonly seen as unnecessary, cruel and ineffective

* Behaviours that are rewarded are more likely to be repeated

* Training through reward is easier, usually quicker and is likely to make both owner, dog or cat feel more comfortable and satisfied

* The chances of your dog or cat trusting the owner are more likely to increase, creating an harmonious home

 * Reward is not only food based. It can also include toys, games, your attention

Reasons not to use punishment

*There is now sound scientific evidence that shows an increase in problem behaviours when aversive methods are used.

* A lot of aggression stems from fear and if punishment is used on a fearful animal then it may use aggression to defend itself.

Aggression can escalate further because while the punishment stops the animal from doing the behaviour, it does not tell it what to do instead.

*The animal is likely left feeling confused and fearful of the next possible punishment.

*If an animal is frequently punished then it is unlikely to learn

* The bond between animal and the  owner is most definitely broken. This can make teaching an alternative and more acceptable behaviour very difficult because the relationship between the pet and the owner is now damaged.

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