Oxygen As A Training Tool

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I’m an open-minded trainer and dog owner who has looked at and considered the merits of a variety of different training techniques.

dog being dragged on his back by leash around his neckIf a handling or training technique works I am curious to see why it does, or to assess whether what we are seeing in regard to the dog’s behavior is actually success. A shut-down dog may have stopped doing something inappropriate, but how’s that going to be helpful in the long run if the dog not offering appropriate behaviors which can be rewarded and repeated? If a technique works, but there are alternatives which achieve the same end using less force or intimidation you can probably guess which route I’ll take.

While offering a fearful dog workshop I heard the darndest thing. The attendees were professionals with dog handling experience of one form or another. I was told about a local trainer’s use of strangulation as a tool for achieving compliance in dogs. Several of the people in attendance had witnessed the ‘technique’ being used by the trainer and one, a vet, had been requested by a pet owner to use it on her dog, as she had been taught by this trainer. The vet deferred. The methods employed by this trainer are self-described as ‘natural’.

I must have missed the memo referring to the use of oxygen deprivation by animals to achieve compliance in others. Oh wait. I did read something about that, humans do it and we call it torture.