People Who Still "Beat to Train"
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  • I found out today that some people I work with beat their dogs/pups (with hands or rolled up newspapers) as a way of training them not to do certain things, go into certain rooms, etc. I'm really saddened to hear this. I told them that I had never had to do anything like that with Paco, and that he was a very well-behaved dog(pup), and that I never worry about him acting out in anger at guests or kids. I told them that the only dogs I've ever been bitten by were dogs that had been beaten as a part of "training," and that I think beating a dog makes the dog not only fearful, but angry, and might fight back at any moment.

    They raised their eyebrows and changed the subject, so I know they disagree, and I'm not going to be "that woman" that is on a soapbox about how to do something in someone else's own home…but...:(

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    I've seen the results of people who think they can 'rough' their Basenjis out of unwanted behaviour and I find that those who use beating as a punishment to their dogs just don't listen to contrary advice. They think that good results from gentleness are pure luck!!!

    I totally agree with you, Shannanigan

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  • Some people will never change their opinions no matter what you tell them.
    A friend of ours called when we had only just got Malaika. He whipped her up into a frenzy and then slapped her when she bit him. You can imagine what we said and we made it clear he hadn't to play with her in this way.
    You could tell he thought we were being too soft with her.

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  • In society, we are as good as we treat our animals. Do you beat your kids to get them to behave? If you do, child services will be at your door in no time. Too bad this sort of behavior is not 'policed' for animals.

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  • I always tell people that newspapers are great for training your dog.

    Roll one up HARD. Every time your dog does something you don't want it to do, hit yourself in the head 20 times while repeating "train my dog!"

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  • While I do not generally strike my dogs – the occasional pop on the bottom does happen -- I also think it's important to differentiate between giving a dog a slap or spank and "beating".......
    do these people BEAT their dogs, or do they strike them in a tempered manner? There is a huge difference in the effect and the result.

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  • Probably some people use 'controlled' bottom pops or 'tempered mannered strikes'. I've just never done that to any animal I have owned. IMO, an owner's hand should be viewed as a pleasurable experience. Owner attitude (towards the animal), voice and time outs should be used instead.

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  • I won't claim I have never smacked a dog… pop for effect not hard enough to hurt. But I also won't pretend it is good training or necessary. Is it abusive, no. But it is not good training. But then, I also think the best parents don't spank. I want neither my dogs or child to behave for fear of getting hit, even if the hit doesn't hurt. I want them to do what I want through training, rewards and punishments that do not include hitting.

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  • Without getting into the morality of physically punishing your animal, I think that in the case of Basenjis (at least) it just is not very effective. I think that negative reinforcement training is generally the "easy" way out for a lot of pet owers. It just so happens that we discovered quickly that it just doesn't work with Basenjis. It takes patience and creativity to solve problems using positive reinforcement. I also agree that an obvious disadvantage of punishing your dog is that the law of unintended consequences is such that you can train your dog to be fearful of you, which is trouble waiting to happen.

    As far as the morality, I think we need to be cautious and not judge. And keep in mind that in canine behavoir, pack leaders will often make their desires known by using physical force-not to hurt, but to make a point. A smack with a rolled up newspaper may be the equivalent of nip on the rump by another dog, but I still think there are better ways. Of course, if you are hurting your dog, that is just cruel.

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  • @DebraDownSouth:

    I won't claim I have never smacked a dog… pop for effect not hard enough to hurt. But I also won't pretend it is good training or necessary. Is it abusive, no. But it is not good training. But then, I also think the best parents don't spank. I want neither my dogs or child to behave for fear of getting hit, even if the hit doesn't hurt. I want them to do what I want through training, rewards and punishments that do not include hitting.

    Good post!

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