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  • I have a few thoughts for the New Year. Every day is a new day and a new opportunity. On this forum we have quite a range of personalities and experience, and most of us get along quite well. The internet as a medium of expression isn't ideal, and at times messages get mixed, feelings get hurt, and people go away sad or mad. That is unfortunate, because I believe we can all learn from each other and everyone has something to contribute. I'm relatively new to this forum, and I'm very aware I may have stepped on a few toes from time to time, and if so I apologize. I never say anything with the intention to hurt.

    I have found that I am often playing "devil's advocate", and I will admit it is a tendency of mine to do so. "Back in the day" I found myself on the other side of the argument, usually in regards to training horses. I came early to the positive reinforcement camp, when it was quite unfashionable to be there. I seldom approached a training session without a pocket full of carrots, and I believe that habit served me well…....my horses have always been easy to catch, easy to handle, but a nuisance when you want to do any work around the farm because they are always "in your pocket", literally at times. Teaching a horse to stand quietly for mounting, indeed, teaching a youngster to want you on their back, is far easier done with positive methods. Horses are timid creatures, and forcing them into complying often ends badly. By working with gentle methods, I often got results like this (taken in the late sixties). Nothing but a halter and leadrope on the horse, and great cooperation......


    I can still ride any horse I have trained this way…....although I am not so gung ho with jumping as I used to be! :)
    If you will permit one more example.......if a picture is worth a thousand words. This was taken during a "liberty" training session in 1991 (this horse is now 34 years old, and still with me)

    My point is that you can get excellent results and a wonderful relationship with your animals, and nobody has a magic formula. It takes work and consistency, and building trust. There are a lot of methods that yield results, and I am not about to throw away my options to adhere strictly to whatever is currently "politically correct". You know what your relationship is like…....good or bad, abusive or not.......and in the end your animal will tell you whether you have made the right choices. Willing cooperation is the goal I strive for, and I get it more often than not.

    As an aside, I might mention that women have been using positive reinforcement to "train" their men for thousands of years. It might not be politically correct to point it out, but they have tended to use the most salient of rewards, which doesn't always result in a flattering assessment of their methods. ;)

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  • First Basenji's

    Beautiful pix, and the relationship that is shared in that ol' boy's (or girl's?) eyes is priceless! Good going! and thanks for the post. Sometimes the internet does get in the way of conveying only in words what we want to say. Not everyone is a gifted writer!

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  • ::::::::There are a lot of methods that yield results, and I am not about to throw away my options to adhere strictly to whatever is currently "politically correct". :::

    You had me at first, because lord knows no one is less read correctly than me. I can go back and ask you or anyone to find actual words they think said what I got accused of, but the truth is they can't because we all put a tone and decide based on what we think, not the exact words, much of the time.

    And then you lose me when you equated anyone who doesn't believe as you do in punishment as being "politically correct." It isn't that I think you ever post to be mean or hurtful, but often your words make it clear that you think it is your way, or some extreme way.

    Let me give you an example going back to the last thread. My point– positive (and please don't talk about NOT being punished as positive, because no one is fooled by the psychobabble) works and physical punishment (and I bent over backwards including things that were not extreme or even painful!) rarely needed.

    Your response--- physical punishment OR HOURS of isolation in a crate.

    Let's flip it. Lets say I said positive training OR physical punishment or shocking a dog so strong it knocked it off it's feet or had a seizure.

    Please try to allow for one moment at the cusp of this new year that people who do not believe in shock collars, in rolled newspapers, in stepping on dogs toes, in hitting a dog in any way, is spraying things in their face etc. do so NOT in order to be "politically correct" but that (are you sitting down because this may be such a strange concept for you that it will knock YOU off your feet!) they actually honestly believe the other is both wrong and uncalled for in all but rare situations.

    If you want a dialogue, consider that the person has views you may not agree with based on belief instead of your condescending suggestion those beliefs are based on some political correctness needs. If I don't ascribe your methods to be because you are a lazy sadist, do me the same respect and stop assuming I have any freaking desire to be politically correct because if I couldn't possibly really THINK different.

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  • @DebraDownSouth:

    And then you lose me when you equated anyone who doesn't believe as you do in punishment as being "politically correct." It isn't that I think you ever post to be mean or hurtful, but often your words make it clear that you think it is your way, or some extreme way….........Please try to allow for one moment at the cusp of this new year that people who do not believe in shock collars, in rolled newspapers, in stepping on dogs toes, in hitting a dog in any way, is spraying things in their face etc. do so NOT in order to be "politically correct" but that (are you sitting down because this may be such a strange concept for you that it will knock YOU off your feet!) they actually honestly believe the other is both wrong and uncalled for in all but rare situations.

    If that is what you took from what I wrote, then I am sorry I didn't explain myself better. People use the methods they use hopefully because they like the results, not because they need to be in any particular box. I don't believe for one minute that you do what you do to be politically correct, because your responses would indicate that if the accepted method was punishment based you would not quietly accept that, and would likely go out of your way to enlighten people, whether they agreed with you or not. I do not think it is "my way or some extreme way". Far from it. I offer the extreme crate scenario as a counter to the extreme e collar scenario. Of course crates can be used in a gentle, humane fashion. My contention is that e collars can also be so used. You don't agree. So be it.

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  • For those really interested in training and what works to effectively train all animals give the video Patient Like The Chipmunks a try.

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  • Wow - if the dialaogue in the above posts don't point out that things can and do get taken in the wrong context and that differing personalities sometimes result in disastrous responses, I have no idea how it could be put more clearly! Gentle out, dear readers…......................

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