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Comfort is for all seasons, and something that we can offer anyone we love, especially our dogs when they are feeling anxious or outright afraid. Yet in some animal training circles, there is a persistent belief that to comfort an animal who is afraid will only serve to “reinforce the fear.” A life spent with many animals in many situations has taught me that providing meaningful comfort is the sensible, loving response to any friend in need.
Suzanne Clothier says it very well.
There was a recent article in the news about a Rottweiler getting his tongue stuck in a toy. The toy had a hole in one end and was otherwise solid. When his tongue got stuck, it created a suction that prevented him from pulling it out. This isn’t the only time this has happened. Here are some other stories on dogs getting their tongues stuck.
Some of these toys are designed this way. The Dog Enthusiast has a simple solution for the problem: Drill or cut a hole in the solid end.
One toy can be used to create this problem. The amazing Kong®. I like Kongs but I don’t stuff them as often recommended. I make sure there’s a hole in both ends. This picture shows how they are often used.
The small hole is stuffed with something then the entire inside is stuffed. I suppose as long as the primary ingredient is soft, the suction won’t occur. I don’t know. However, when these toys are completely stuffed then put in the freezer, they have the same problem as the one-hole toys. As the dog eats into the big end, the other (open) end is still closed with frozen food.
I only stuff one side and make sure I can see through it before I put it in the freezer. Then I check it again before I give it to the dog to make sure nothing shifted while it was in the freezer. This is a picture with one side stuffed with yogurt and peanut butter.
It’s going in the freezer tonight & the dog will get it tomorrow.
Stuffed Kong with a hole still visible.
As an aside, dogs with any toys should be monitored.
One never knows when an unforeseen problem might occur.
Petsitter Charged with Animal Cruelty Burlingame, California, August 2015
A Burlingame pet sitter who was videoed in late July jerking a dog up by the neck then slamming it on the ground and slapping it has been charged with animal cruelty…is out of jail after posting $10,000 bail.
The July video was also not the first one the organization received regarding Levac’s treatment of dogs in her care. Two other videos were received in May. In one, Delucchi said, it appeared Levac was stomping on a dog.
MWolf: Research a dog sitter the same way you would a sitter for your child.
Two Missouri Trainers Charged With Animal Abuse
St. Peters, Missouri, July, 2015
Anthony Dean Lambert and Zachary Labath of Sit Means Sit face animal abuse charges for using shock collars in a way that caused pain to four dogs at a St. Peters dog training facility, according to authorities.
Lampert, 45, was charged with one count of animal abuse. Labath, 24, was charged with three counts. The charges are all misdemeanors.
According to court documents, Labath knowingly used a shock collar device “to cause pain and suffering” to two Labrador Retriever mixes…[and] …They also allege that Labath used a shock collar device to “unreasonably cause pain” to an Irish Setter.
The Sit Means Sit St. Louis website lists Tony Lampert as the owner and training director and Nick Labath as a trainer.
There may be as many answers to this question as there are dog trainers. I have my own ideas, of course. I like to think I follow this logic:
To use shock as an effective dog training method you will need:
A thorough understanding of canine behavior.
A thorough understanding of learning theory.
And if you have those three things, you don’t need a shock collar. –Author unknown
In my opinion, and many others, this logic applies to tools and methods dogs may find aversive, not only shock collars. There are SO many options before aversives are applied, that a good trainer would never need to use them. That said, I do use head halters as an occassional training tool but want my clients to work out of them.
For your perusal and thought:
LEIBI. Version 6.0 (AABP)
WHAT’S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE? EFFECTIVENESS IS NOT ENOUGH (The origin of CCPDT’s Humane Hierarchy)
The “Humane Hierarchy” for animals may have been based upon a similar treatment hierarchy for developmentally disabled people. I can’t find the original source.