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A friend of mine recently was telling me how her dog growled at her when she tried to take a chew away from him. She proceeded (to my horror, but I hid it) to tell me how she then got the "shock collar", put it on him, and "zapped" him until he dropped it. Yes I know, it hurts to read this! she is a very good person, she just doesn't know any different. So I very carefully aside well, if you are open to it - I have a lot of experience with this exact behavior, and could share my success with you if you'd like, she was very happy to get advice.

I explained to her how her dog was communicating with her, and yes, while it is concerning he was growling, you want him to communicate with you! next time he may remember that he growled, and that didn't work, so On the way he'll just bite. I told her to instead of inflicting pain on him, and stress on herself, to just go get some yummy bit from the fridge and offer that to the dog instead. Keep it up with him like this and before you know it he will be wagging his tail dropping things left and right.

Sure enough the next day, she said he did the same thing, but instead they got some cheese and he dropped the chew for cheese. And they are going to cut back on the chews and work on his drop command in a healthy way!

Yay!
 

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That's awesome! I was saying to my partner that as a first time dog owner, finding positive reinforcement training is a little like when someone finds religion , I totally want to go around shouting about it on rooftops and I seriously don't understand why everyone's not doing it you know?!!

So glad you got the opportunity to change someone's perspective in such a positive way and that is was taken with such grace, my partner says one day I'm going to get a smack in the mouth from one of these poor people I try so hard to help see the light!!! ;-)
 

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Oh, gosh. That story really is cringe-worthy. I'm really glad you were able to enlighten this person about a really great training method. :) In my opinion, I think dogs should comply always out of respect, friendship, and encouragement rather than fear, pain, or intimidation. This movement towards Progressive Reinforcement Training is really great! Still, I understand the naivete--only about 5 years ago, I was doing alpha rolls to the advice of Cesar Millan's the Dog Whisperer. My first clicker changed my life!
 
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