Why electric shock is not behavior modification. Journal of Veterinary Behavior (2007) 2, 1-4
In doing the Web research for my earlier survey of
nonveterinary programs for those who work with troubled
dogs (Editorial: How do we obtain and disseminate accurate
information? Vol. 1, Issue 3:89 -93), I encountered a number
of Web sites that either supported or reviled training
using electric shock. This is a perennial issue, and although
I loathe starting the new year with yet another revisit,
perhaps the time has come to ask-not what people think
about shock-but whether it "works," what we mean by
"works," and what would be necessary to evaluate this or
any other technique using the scientific method. If we can
start the new year by promoting a rational, scientific approach
to this issue, we will have set a tone for discussion
that is much needed. . .
I am going to review
some of the ground I covered in previous letters, and add
information from data relatively recently published in hopes
of allowing anyone who is interested to understand that:
- the use of shock is not treatment for pets with behavioral
- the use of shock is not a way forward;
- the use of shock does not bring dogs back from the
brink of euthanasia; instead, it may send them there; and
- such adversarial techniques have negative consequences
that those promoting these techniques either
dismiss or ignore.
Download the full article in PDF format
Why Won't Dominance Die? by David Ryan (APBC.org) -
Many leading animal behaviourists are concerned that the “dominance” model of pet dog behaviour continues to survive, despite the accumulating evidence that it is at best unhelpful and at worst highly detrimental.
It is easy to see why trainers and owners alike are fond of the concepts of “pack” and “dominance” in relation to pet dogs. A pack means we’re all part of the same gang. “Dominance” explains our respective positions in that pack. We live in a pack with our pet dogs and they either dominate us or we dominate them. To be at the top of the pack with total dominance would make you the “alpha”, with all the esteem that entails, therefore dogs will strive for dominance unless you beat them to it. It’s a neat explanation.
Except that none of it actually bears scientific scrutiny. Read more
AVSAB Position Statement on Puppy Socialization - The primary and mostostost impoportatant time for puppy socialization is the first three months of life.1, 2 During this time puppies should be exposed to as many new people, animals, stimuli and environments as can be achieved safely and without causing overstimulation
manifested as excessive fear, withdrawal
or avoidance behavior. For this reason, the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior believes that it should be the standard of care for puppies to receive such socialization before they are fully vaccinated. Download the full article.
Veterinary Behaviorists Take a Stand Against Cesar Millan from Janet's Veterinary Medicine Blog by Janet Tobiassen Crosby, DVM, About.com Guide to Veterinary Medicine
In recent weeks, there has been a lot of talk on Twitter about Cesar Millan, otherwise known as The Dog Whisperer, and his dominance-based training methods for dogs.
In February 2009, the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB) issued a "position statement" about the use of punishment for behavior modification in animals, detailing 9 possible adverse effects of negative reinforcement (punishment) training. While not naming any trainers by name, the statement was written to counter Millan's techniques featured on his National Geographic channel show, The Dog Whisperer. Read the full blog at About.com
Statement on the Use of Dominance Theory in
Behavior Modification of Animals
"AVSAB is concerned with the recent
re-emergence of dominance theory and
forcing dogs and other animals into
submission as a means of preventing and
correcting behavior problems. For decades,
some traditional animal training has relied on
dominance theory and has assumed that animals
misbehave primarily because they are striving
for higher rank. This idea often leads trainers to
believe that force or coercion must be used to
modify these undesirable behaviors.
In the last several decades, our understanding
of dominance theory and of the behavior of domesticated
animals and their wild counterparts
has grown considerably, leading to updated
views. To understand how and whether to apply
dominance theory to behavior in animals, it’s
imperative that one first has a basic understanding
of the principles..."
the full Position Paper from the American Veterinary
of Animal Behavior. This is important!
General Tick Info
If you have a smooth coated dog,
right after your walk, "brush" him
down with one of those big sticky
lint rollers. The sticky paper
will capture any ticks that haven't
To rid your yard of ticks, get out your garden hose, attach one
of those bottle sprayer things, fill it with 1/2 Ivory liquid dish
soap (no other brand, must be ivory) and 1/2 water. Spray your yard
a few times per week for about 2 weeks. No more ticks! Be sure to
spray any fencing as well. This will not hurt any foliage.
New (or not so new) tick borne disease
- Anaplasmosis. My dog Emma had been
very lethargic, refused to eat or
play, was very depressed and has
been diagnosed with Anaplasmosis.
So be sure that if you see any of
these symptoms, you have your vet
check for lyme, Ehrlichia and Anaplasmosis.
From a site on Google:
Question. What is canine anaplasmosis?
Answer. Canine anaplasmosis (Anaplasma
phagocytophilum, formerly known as Ehrlichia equi) is
transmitted by the deer tick and the Western black-legged
tick—the same ticks that transmit Lyme
disease. Canine anaplasmosis symptoms are often
arthritis-like with multiple painful joints.
Some canine anaplasmosis-infected dogs run
a high fever, accompanied by lethargy, inappetence,
vomiting and diarrhea. Neurological signs,
while infrequent, may result in seizures and
neck pain. Although minimal geographic data
is currently available about the disease, its
common host, the deer tick, can be found throughout
the United States, primarily in the northeastern,
mid-Atlantic and north-central states, as well
Car Sickness in Dogs
Ginger Trips by Soloray (1 or two wafers)
Cocculus Indicus (for nausea - great for humans too) (use 3-4 pellets)
Rescue Remedy (a few drops)
For each car trip, use two of the remedys listed above. They can
be purchased at most health food stores (real ones - NOT CVS type)
REAL Truth (opens new website)
Response to question from Mastiff-Talk on Yahoo groups:
Dear Heather (Jackson): Thank you for the inquiry. The principle behind the vaccine protocol that we follow is to start vaccinating a little later [i.e., not before 9 weeks, now that most bitches have been well or even over vaccinated], give the minimum number of vaccine antigens needed for serious diseases in your area in 2-3 doses spread at least 2 and preferably 3-4 weeks apart, give rabies vaccine as late as possible by law in your state ---but separate rabies from the other vaccines by at least 2-3 weeks, give one more booster a year later with the rabies booster separated from the rest, and then start annual serum titer testing instead of more boosters, except as required by law for rabies vaccine. Whew !
That translates to a simple MINIMUM PROTOCOL of Distemper+ Parvovirus only at 9, 12 and 16 weeks [or 9-10, 12-14 weeks] e.g. Progard Puppy DPV, then rabies at 20-24 weeks. If there is infectious canine hepatitis around. Read the full article.
Responses to questions:
Dear Marge (Lutz): Thank you for the three back-to-back
vaccine questions. Most vaccine reactions beyond acute
anaphylaxis begin from 3 to 45 days post vaccination.
Occasionally, there appear to be some adverse effects
to rabies vaccination that show up at 4-6 months later,
but the cause-and-effect relationship has not been proven
to my knowledge.
to read more about the adverse effects of vaccines.
Pets don't need
shots every year, Experts
say annual vaccines waste money,
can be risky
by LEIGH HOPPER
Copyright 2002 Houston Chronicle
Debra Grierson leaves the veterinarian's office clutching
Maddie and Beignet, her Yorkshire terriers, and a credit
card receipt for nearly $400.
That's the cost for the tiny dogs' annual exams, including
heartworm checks, dental checks and a barrage of shots.
"They're just like our children," said the
Houston homemaker. "We would do anything, whatever
What many pet owners don't know, researchers say, is
that most yearly vaccines for dogs and cats are a waste
of money -- and potentially deadly...
to read the full article.
Skunk Odor Info
|Recipe to get the skunk odor
teaspoon liquid dishwashing soap
1/4 cup baking soda
1 quart hydrogen peroxide
mix and rub into dogs fur
|DO NOT, DO
NOT, DO NOT, try to keep this once you
are done using it. Throw it out as soon as
you are done. It WILL explode.
Superbug bites dog
Drug resistant staph infections aren't just
for humans anymore!
"There's a new and growing threat to your
pets' health, and while I wish I could tell you
it's just another Internet rumor, it's all too real.
I should know, because my dog is its latest poster
child. I'm talking about something you might have
thought only affected humans: drug-resistant staph
the full article.
For Those Who Are Local
Back Sledding Harness - 320-485-4825 -
Go to their website and look for the instructions
on how to measure for a harness. Measure TWICE,
Leather Tracking harnesses (padded breastplate).
My other pick for a harness. You would use this
if your dog tends to back out of collars, or
if your dog is big Lab or German Shepherd sized.
With this tracking harness, they can't get out
of it. They are beautifully made, comfortable
and fully adjustable. You can get them from: K9
Solutions. Item # 233 Use "positivedogs.com" as
the coupon code and get 15% off!
PA, Northwest NJ)
Other Good Web
For those of you that have seen Susi Marsh and her amazing Siberian
Huskies (Yazzie, Coco, Hannah, Jack Jack, Mogi, Mingus or Tuzigoot) at my exhibitions or at classes, this is her website! www.arcticpawsdogsledtours.com
For those of you that have seen Kelly Simonetti and sweet Meme Louise, the Dalmation at my exhibitions or in classes, this is her website! www.antler-ridge.com
Nature's Harvest - Main St. in Blairstown.
908-362-6766. Michelle is very knowledgeable.
Tell her I sent you.
Dr. Khalsa - Holistic vet in Yardley PA. Far,
but worth the trip. She is THE best. 215-493-0621.
She is a little weird sometimes - sometimes
she gives you all the time in the world and
sometimes she tries to rush you out the door.
BE FIRM and insist that she answer all your
questions. (Be sure to have them written down
- Dr. Jon Bertoldo, DMV. 908-496-0009. Animal Mansion Veterinary
Hospital in Columbia, NJ. He's the BEST! Gentle, caring, explains
everything, doesn't give me a hard time about a raw diet and no
vaccines (other than required-by-law rabies).
Eberly Poultry - Lancaster, PA, 717-336-6440.
Ask to talk to the store. Organic chicken
farm. Call them with order 1 week in advance.
Stuff comes in bulk (60#) boxes so you will
have to divide and conquer. I freeze the chicken
in 1 meal packages for my 3 dogs. For example
- Cody & Shadow
get one back each and Beau gets 2. For wings,
I triple the amount - 3 wings = 1 back. For
necks - depends on the size - if they are
big I feed one or two, if they are small, I
feed 4-5. Chicken backs are .40 per pound and
there are approx. 2-3 per pound. Make sure you
put plastic sheets down in your van/car otherwise
you will have chicken blood all over it and
I can tell you, you will have to have your
van/car professionally cleaned! Been there,
done that! This is where I get my organic chicken
for the dogs and for me. You WILL be
able to taste the difference.
Aldaron Animal Essences are flower essence formulas created specifically for behavior issues unique to dogs. [I have heard many wonderful things about this company. - Pam]
bronze pet hardware - Clicker Jewelry!
dog themed gifts, collectibles and decor for
dog and animal lovers: figurines & ceramics, puzzles,
jewelry, coin banks, clocks, music boxes, salt & pepper
shakers, teapots...even gifts for guys!
Featuring custom and hand-made collars, harnesses,
sweaters and accessories for your dog, cat or
Mac's Amazing Behavior Management Advice Site -
So our dogs aren't the only ones being trained
using positive methods, check out this site
(to be honest, I haven't read through the
entire site, but what I read so far looks
Pet ID Tags offers custom engraved Pet ID
Tags for Lovely Pets!
Sites with Good
Articles & Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
Read the Introduction
Bringing Light to Shadow:
A Dog Trainer's Diary
Buy Now from from our products page)
This book collects my daily journal entries chronicling
my training sessions with Shadow, a human aggressive
Border Collie. My book starts with Shadow’s
less than wonderful homecoming and ends with Shadow
being confident, trusting and calm enough to attain
his Canine Good Citizen title. Click
here to read more!
the Update to Shadow's story - January 19, 2009
I just thought I would update everyone on Shadow's
progress since 11/21/01 (the day he got his CGC).
He now has his CD (3 runs, 3 legs, 3 placements
- two 2nd places and one 3rd place), NA, NAJ (all
1st places), ARCHX, RL3 and TSW (Team Swim Certificate – Shadow
(and my other BCs, Beau and Emma were the first
of their breed to earn this title), Novice Head
Submersion and Novice Single Retrieve and he has
only 2 more QQs to get his ARCHEX. Shads is continuing
to do well and still surprises me with his good
behavior. He is starting to go blind (black film
on his eyes), so I decided not to go on with his
competition obedience career or agility (although
I do still train for it). He is 9-1/2 years old
now and still going strong and I am doing quite
a bit of trick and freestyle training with him,
although I refuse to dress up so will never compete.
I did it once (with Cody) and I will never again
appear in public in a poodle skirt! He is almost
ready to get his TD (Tracking Dog Title) and I plan
on doing that and then onto TDX and VST. He is an
amazing tracker and it’s really cool to see
him work. Read the rest!
Lew Olson - who owns K9 nutrition email list. Go to
her site and you can join from there. Her Web site is: B-Naturals.com
list on the Wellpet Web site. You can join from
there. I highly recommend either the wellpet list,
Barf list or K9 nutrition list.
And so the dogs aren't the only ones getting in good
health - here is a wellpeople list!
To subscribe, unsubscribe, view archives, upload or download shared
files, or for information about this list, click