Why people shouldn’t let untrained dogs run free
Do you notice it is untrained guardians, owners, and parents that create the problems? Sure it is cute and fun and sunshine and roses at first. Then it moves into unhappy neighbors, scared children, and bullied animals. Then uh-oh. It’s dangerous and irresponsible and often leads to unpleasant outcomes and resentment towards dog people and dogs.
The situation is now alarming. These are recent news stories:
The lack of training and responsibility by the human is really a concern. For everyone’s sake, be responsible and restrict your dog to a leash. Even better, get both of you trained, so you are welcomed more places, and everyone loves you and your dog. You become the poster child of being a fabulous dog parent. Doors open and life is especially good for you and your dog.
The type of training is very important!
It is best to avoid fear-based or punishment-based training. This type of “old school” training is adversarial and often creates an insecure, fearful, possibly reactive, and aggressive dog. The dog has been taught people cannot be trusted and become wary of them. Some dogs are broken. You can often identify an abused dog by the way they act and carry themselves.
A knowledgeable, experienced, kind, positive dog training coach uses methods to encourage the dog to want to engage and learn. Look for them to do the same with you. Also, look for solid skills. A good trainer will have MANY skills to help you and your dog learn. Dogs are like children, and they all don’t learn the same way. Often I find a dog can begin with one thing, then move to another, and another – sticking with one method alone plateaus the training and goes no further. For more growth and development as an individual and part of a team, training is a progression and maintains the basics.
Beware of a person who trained their dog and now calls themselves dog trainers. Training one dog that fits you does not create a well-rounded, skilled trainer. Chances are slim you are exactly like that person, and your dog exactly like that dog. You can do better. Much better.
A recommendation from a friend or neighbor is helpful. However, look at their individual and team results and ask yourself, is that what you want?
Recently I met a woman and her dog on the street. The dog was out of control and she was frazzled as her body was jerked this way and that from her dogs wild lunges and leaps. As we walked a block together, she shared a previous neighbor recommended her trainer, as the neighbor was very happy with the results. Done. This woman sent her dog off to “boot camp.” Weeks later, the trainer delivered her dog equipped with a shock-collar set on high and watched as the trainer repeatedly shocked her dog into performing basic skills in the house with the dog crying and squealing in pain.
The trainer also left an extremely tight prong collar sized for use with the prongs digging into the dog’s neck.
Her dog was tortured, traumatized, and resulted in significant behavior problems, obedience problems, fearful and out-of-control. The dog is only two years old. And because the woman didn’t know, she was using the “less severe fitting prong collar” and was damaging her dog’s physical body and mental and emotional health and their relationship. This woman did not have a loving, trusting relationship with her dog.
Imagine if she had looked closely and done due diligence and discovered the good training and been able to avoid and prevent the awful treatment. The fact is they both ended up being victims of abuse. She didn’t do it with malice. She didn’t know. It was the status quo around her. How many others don’t know?
I used to get worked up and confront people on how they treated their dogs. I felt it was my duty to “help.” Looking back, I see I came at it completely wrong. Telling people in a judgmental or aggressive tone that what they were doing was wrong probably didn’t help. It could have made for anger, resentment and if they didn’t take it out on me, did they take it out on others, possibly the dog? Where did they learn dog care and training? I’ve learned to be curious and open. Perhaps we can connect and make a positive difference in their lives and their pets lives.
Animal care is making great strides, and there is further to go.
Currently, we are engaged in helping both the mom and dog heal, undoing wrongs like tossing all that horrible gear in the trash and leaving toxic methods behind. They are creating a new relationship based on respect, care, and love. Two lessons in, and the changes are remarkable. When I arrive at their door, two joyful students greet me. Our time together is positive and results in creating a foundation of trust they can build on. Each is eager to learn and to join up together. Dogs are very forgiving. Not to make light of it, there’s a ways to go.
Most caring, compassionate people would choose positive training for themselves. It stands to reason that you would prefer that for your dog as well.
Bringing that all back to the dangers of untrained dogs was relying on untrained guardians, owners, and parents. It’s a concern to neighbors, communities, people in the cities, people in the country, and animals of all kinds. And it needs to be looked at and addressed.
Please get yourself trained and get your dogs trained. Life will be better for all.
P.S. Please share with others.
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Do you have an untrained dog?
Do you and your dog work as a team impressing all with your recall skills and great social manners? If not, let’s talk about your current situation and what is possible.