no dogs beyond this point

3

your regular reminder: Chalo and Priya are absolutely stunning.

Why Are We Still Hurting Dogs?
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This is very unlike me, but I need to vent.

I was browsing Instagram and came across a picture of an adorable, fat-faced pit bull (not pictured). “Oh! How cute. But what’s all of that…”

I enlarged the photo to see a dog wearing a flat collar, a shock collar, and a prong collar (leash clipped to the prong). I notice who posted the picture… a local well-known dog trainer who is extremely outspoken regarding his use of and promotion of punishment-based training methods.

The dog was available for adoption. He was labeled as trained, dog and kid friendly, and food motivated.

So I’m over here, desperately struggling to understand… WHY are these devices necessary?!

Did the dog jump on or bite at people? That can be corrected without pain.

Did the dog steal food from the garbage or off the counters? That can be corrected without pain.

Did the dog react violently towards dogs, skateboarders, or any other stimuli while on leash? That can be corrected without pain.

Did the dog growl or bite when removed from the couch? That can be corrected without pain.

Seriously. All of it. And way, way more. If we can train a hyena to present itself for a voluntary blood draw, a whale to pee in a cup, or an African wild dog to “smile” for tooth brushing without painful training methods, there is simply no comprehensible reason that these methods will not work for your pet. Force-free / humane / positive / progressive (whatever you care to call them) training methods DO work, and proof is plainly available for those who care to see it.

It’s at about this point that I frequently hear, ‘well, if you don’t like punishment-based methods, don’t use them. They’ve always worked for my dog’.


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It’s really not that simple. For starters, I often need to fix dogs that are emotionally crippled by punishment-based trainers. Additionally, this attitude perpetuates the belief that when it comes to dog training, “there’s no one right way”. Or that “different methods work for different people”. To an extent, that’s absolutely true. But when you motivate a dog with an electric shock and I motivate a dog with a piece of dehydrated liver, my way of training isn’t different. It’s better.

When your idea of behavior modification is setting a dog up to fail and then holding it on it’s side until it can hardly breathe, but mine is setting a dog up for success and rewarding it for appropriate behavior, my way of training isn’t different. It’s better.

When your training practices rely on thoughts, theories and beliefs which have been debunked by decades worth of behavioral and ethological research, but my mine are the result of over a decade’s worth of strategic research based upon the most up-to-date scientific data available, my way isn’t different. It’s better.

And to those who believe that humane methods are fine for 'soft’ dogs and puppies, but that these tools are necessary for “extreme” cases (animal killers, “red zone dogs”, whatever)… join the club. That’s what I thought, too. Now I understand how preposterously backwards that line of thinking is. If you have to tell a dog “hey, don’t attack that thing – or else!”, you are essentially walking a loaded weapon around and hoping that the safety is on. Prong and shock collars do not correct aggression in any way… they suppress it. This is why so many punishment-based trainers view themselves as being the last option for dogs. If punishment doesn’t work, it is made more extreme until the dog: a) submits to a state of learned helplessness and gives up, or b) refuses to stop fighting for its life (or, in other words, stops 'acting aggressively’). It is at this point that many trainers will deem a dog beyond help and suggest euthanasia.

Yes, humane training methods work for aggressive dogs. If you don’t believe me, at least listen to Jim Crosby. Jim is the only expert in the world who routinely consults with dogs who have killed human beings. He does his consultations in neck-to-ankle Kevlar. He is a leading authority on extremely aggressive dogs, and he is also a staunch supporter of force-free training.

“Unwarranted aggression is an undesirable behavior pattern that needs to be redirected. Redirection can definitely be accomplished by using praise and cookies. I do it every day. Interrupt the unwanted behavior-before it becomes an avalanche-and redirect the behavior to an incompatible behavior. Reinforce (with praise, cookies, etc). Rinse and repeat.”

He isn’t the only one who does it, folks. The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior, the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, and many more organizations are filled with thousands of people – applied animal behaviorists, veterinary behaviorists, certified professional dog trainers and beyond – who treat aggressive dogs without the use of shock or prong collars (or anything else designed to cause pain or fear). If they can successfully change the behavior of pet dogs without utilizing methods that are painful or frightening, why can’t anyone else?

The fact is: anyone can. I do not know why some people cling to certain concepts with unrelenting persistence. I suspect that it has a lot to do with ego, and a refusal to admit that there may be a better way than what they already know. But seriously… enough is enough. We know better. Start doing better.


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We bring these animals into our homes with full knowledge of their innate drives, desires and follies. We acquire dogs knowing that they may bark at other dogs, or dig in the yard, or discover treasure in the garbage. Yet some people still treat these behaviors and others like them as criminal offenses which need to be punished severely.

Stop. Train your dogs. Meaning, take time out of your day to actually show them what you want from them. Drop the ridiculous expectations. Dogs aren’t psychic, and do not deserve to be hurt because they don’t understand our rules.

To the trainer of the adorable, porky black pit bull who is apparently so out of control as to require three collars (two of which are designed to inflict pain): Send him over to me. That garbage is straight-up unnecessary, and I’ll show you myself if you’re struggling to believe it.

Stop looking for excuses to hurt dogs.

There is no justification.

Sickness & Health || Matty Healy Oneshot

Word Count: 2,045
Summary: Matty gets sick with the flu while away on tour, and you are called in by Adam to help tend to him.
Author’s Note: Wrote this at 2am and made myself super happy with how fluffy this gets. Please feel free to send more requests here! Also, be sure to throw in a like or comment if you liked it! I love seeing feedback from you all. Enjoy! 

“Hey, we have a problem.”

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