It has been awhile since I have posted to my blog and I am sorry for that. I am sitting at the airport waiting for my flight to return to sunny San Diego and can't wait to see my human and furry family. As I sit here and I think about all the information that I heard presented at the APDT conference as well as the interactions of people and thier dogs, I can't help but write about it.
I was not that impressed this year at the APDT conference and feel it is time for a change. A time to start changing not only the use of positive punishment physical methods, but verbal as well. Anything that a dog views as punishment should be removed from dog training. Well, that is my opinion and that is what this blog is really about. My opinion, methods, techniques, and all things that I believe in.
While at the conference I saw many people using verbal punishment and that includes saying "NO, Eh Eh, etc...". I even think that sometimes the way things are said can be punishing to a dog. If you use their name in a harsh tone and that tone always means you are upset with your dog. No reward markers are punishing to dogs and time outs can be punishing to dogs if used too frequently and with the intent of punishing. I am just jotting this stuff down and really should be mapping out this article, but I am about to board a plane. :) I will write more about this when I have time.
I also think that forcing a dog to perform when clearly the dog is stressed and showing signs of stress is punishment. A dog that is yawning, lip licking, running off stage, tail between the legs among other anxiety related body language or behaviors. I felt badly for the dog that this happened to and could not watch. I just got up and left. I know that many many many people enjoyed the performance and maybe if they had picked up on the stress related body language of the dog, they would have felt the same way that I did.
I am now boarding my plane and will continue this conversation at a later date. However, when I get home, I will be spending time with my dogs and husband.
Have a great day and think about the things that your dog might think is punishment.