Talking with a puppy parent last week, she was sharing how she was struggling with her dog’s leash pulling.
She mentioned how many friends, neighbors and passerbys mentioned to her about using an electronic collar, prong collar or choke chain.
I asked her what her understanding of how those tools work?
She didn’t know.
I shared with her that those tools cause the dog pain which shuts down the dog from doing what dog’s naturally do.
Behaviors like sniffing the ground and zigzagging on a walk (believe it or not, dogs don’t naturally walk in a straight line, they meander and are following their nose).
These tools are designed to punish those behaviors.
Dogs experiencing learned helplessness is what is described as a dog giving up because there is no other option. The bad situation is inescapable or unchangeable.
As the conversation with the puppy parent continued, she shared she didn’t agree with those tools, but she wasn’t aware of what other options were available.
This puppy parent values teaching her dog with do no harm principles.
Her value of building a relationship and cooperation with her dog was a priority and she inherently knew tools like prong, choke and shock collars went against her values, but she was at a loss of not having access to information that is aligned with her values.
With new information presented, she was excited about the possibilities.
Other options she expressed she never tried before were counting games! https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=fV3pExLrFjk&fbclid=IwAR1X6-GZDHh2KLQI315U2HXD9UJt4QemtjAxy–vqUX3hbVkImz1Yy4PNUI
When she learned how simple this activity is and recognized that going slow and building distance in the walk is secondary to building the engagement between her and her dog, gave her a sense of relief.
Are you looking to build connection and cooperation with your dog, but not sure how? Schedule a Discovery Call with me and we can chat!