Tamar Geller is a trainer who emphasizes good manners in every dog she works with, treating each one as part of the family. The following excerpt from The Loved Dog is Chapter Five: Pain and Pleasure.
To this day, I know of several well-respected trainers who use unreasonable exhaustion to break a dog's spirit. A common method is to tie dogs to a moving treadmill and force them to run until they are beyond exhausted. At that point, all the dog cares about is surviving.

Don't be fooled when a trainer calls a choke chain a "slip collar." The name may sound prettier, but it's the same old violent method of choking a dog until he submits to your commands. I have seen these so-called trainers telling owners that spraying Binaca in a dog's face is the way to stop unwanted behavior. Still others physically force dogs on their backs in what is known as an "alpha rollover," which is scary and unnecessary. I wish these torturers, disguised as trainers, who are too lazy to actually learn dog behavior, would take to heart the words of Mahatma Gandhi: "I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent."

You have to be smarter than your dog, not tougher. If you think being tougher works, try training a rat to run an agility course. Or try training a chicken to heel, like I have. Being tough and dominant will get you nowhere. Compared to working with these animals, training a dog is a piece of cake, because he actually wants to help, and will forgive you when you are being unclear or inconsistent. If your dog doesn't want to lie down when you ask him to, hurting his neck and shoving him around will only cause his enthusiasm level to plummet even more. I find this abusive behavior utterly unnecessary, because teaching your dog to lie down is actually easy—and when you do it properly, he won't even want to get up! When you coach your dog using The Loved Dog method, your wishes will become his favorite behavior because he will associate it with great pleasure—not pain.


Next Story