Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Bay Woof Critique: Peace At The Fence (Sept. 2011)

Marthina McClay's article, Peace At the Fence, in the September 2011 issue of Bay Woof, points to a common misuse of dog training, specifically the misuse of the recall- arguably the most important command we have.  In her article she talks about how to proof your recall to avoid fence fighting or issues of enclosure when there is distraction on the other side of the enclosure.  However, removing the dog from the situation does not teach it how to be in the situation.  Will it ever be able to handle being at the fence?  Why can't it still be around the yard instead of having to recall to your specific location?  I believe it is better to correct the dog when it does engage that way and then leave it to its own devices instead of recalling it to you.  This issue is not about a reliable recall but about not fence fighting.  So why address something other than the problem?  By addressing the fence fighting and not using a recall, the dog is allowed to make its own decision whether it will fence fight or not instead of being removed from the situation that would allow him to make his own decision.  Constantly recalling your dog will also destroy your recall when you may really need it and there is no fence!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Dog Training: Thoughts on Equipment Use

What is the purpose of equipment, such as collars and leashes?
What is the purpose of physical restraint?

Why do we have linguistic references such as "Being kept on a short or tight leash"?
 Is this image mirrored in today's dog culture?

What is the result of physically restraining a dog? 
What does it teach them? 

What happens when equipment malfunctions?
Do you ever worry about this?