I have recently come across many comments about equipment, tools and training techniques that tend to demonize or glorify one or the other without thinking at all in the context or dog that will work.
It is very easy to speak and say when you do not have the knowledge and only let us be guided by trends, sayings and myths. But I think the reality is much more complex and to know it there is nothing more than the experience that gives you the job, dealing with situations, customers, dogs and different environments I would suggest to do a canine training .
Speaking from the must be and what we all wanted it to be, I think most of us today opt for positive reinforcement as the lure or the clicker. However, when you are called by an owner saying, “If you do not compose the dog I take it out to the street” it is very complicated for me to understand some reason and then we enter into a “Bioethics” area which is better, but not for me … That particular puppy to make him go through a bit of discomfort but stay in his home, or use the decoy and that while the family despairs and they send him “to the ranch”?
In addition I think – and I may be wrong – but in LIFE not everything is positive reinforcement, so why overprotect our pets and deny them important learning for their life? We all learn through conditioning, in any of its quadrants and with all of them: positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, positive punishment and negative punishment. How does a mother teach bite inhibition to her puppies? How do you teach them about proxemia?
Making these claims about equipment and tools is over simplistic. Not knowing more than a single tool can be limiting, if we have already accepted that there are multiple intelligences, why believe that all dogs are equal and should be treated equally are not we denying their individuality?
And being extremists, all those people who complain about these methods and techniques assume that they have the moral and ethical authority as well as all the professional experience to make such statements, they certainly do not use vaccines (developed and experimented on animals), they do not use Cosmetics (tested on animals), do not use animal derivatives in their clothes or accessories, do not use products that pollute or damage ecosystems, are strict vegans in diet and philosophy and with this level of spiritual evolution all their relationships are positive .. or what? Are they not coherent or congruent?
The electronic collar or the clicker in themselves are neither good nor bad and much less work alone. In clumsy and unprepared hands the clicker is just as dangerous as a collar of compulsion or intervention … They only make sense if you know the why? And for what?
The environment modifies behavior and without context, all you can do is talk about a specific technique, its application is something else and if you do not consider all the other factors, your equation is simply incomplete …