What is acceptable training?
I'm interested in hearing other perspectives... I'll offer a parallel scenario to consider before answering. In WWII it was observed that the majority of combatants in a firefight did not actually return fire or engage in the fight. The fights were won or lost by a minority on either side. In order to increase these odds, the military began using pop-up man shaped targets to condition the response of firing at man shaped things. This dramatically increased the rate of engagement by Vietnam, however the rate of diagnosed PTSD or the presence of PTSD symptoms (whether you consider it valid or not) has dramatically increased. I personally believe this is a result of "tricking" or "conditioning" poorly nerved or unsound men into exacting violence on another. It is unjust to put them in this scenario... they should have been identified and removed before setting foot on a battlefield. Ironically, there are now studies conducted to explore ways to reduce the stress associated with exacting violence on another in combat to reduce the after effects presently experienced. I consider this to be a gravely dangerous path
In parallel, steadily the ability of drill instructors and leadership to truly test the "temperament" and "nerve" of their troops has been increasingly diminished over time in favor of political correctness and the complaints of a public & persons rejected from that system who do not understand the utility or nature of a practice thousands of years in the making (that we have written down), and arguably in existence since the origin of all species. In the case of the military I personally believe it is unjust to send someone into to harms way to fight for any cause and ask them to trade their life for yours without properly equipping them to the best of our ability. Equipping them includes providing equally sound and effective brothers in arms. Removing the traditions and measures to weed out poor soldiers & combatants is a failure to properly equip them. I believe this is why hazing does exist, is present in the military, and will always be present in any strong effective fighting force despite anyone's attempt to remove it. Simply, men must be tested and trialed by fire before they can be trusted and relied upon in extreme stress. They should not be "fooled" into performing their mission through conditioned response or any other measure. They should choose to act so.
I often see similar threads of behavior within training protection (sport or "real") dogs. People who cringe at the dog getting anything beyond a "ceremonial" stick hit, or even seeing a dog work outside of prey drive. I think it should be critically important to the breed that we do test dogs to the greatest degree so that those dogs unable to deal with stress and adversity can be weeded out. Corrections = stress. Biting a man = more stress. Fighting back when someone hits you = even more stress. Fighting back when someone stabs you in an alley = extreme stress. I want my dogs, and my grunts in the last group
I'm reminded of screwing up in the military and being told "We can do the paperwork and give you a page 11 or we can go behind the building and sort this out". Anyone ever presented with the option that I know of has always gone with option B. Anyone who selected the prior option, I'd argue didn't belong in a fighting force to begin with. I'd expect public opinion to cringe at that, however if they are not ready to put themselves in harms way I'd respectfully ask them hold their opinion on matters they do not understand. It was a correction, and a deserved one... nothing more, nothing less. No hurt feelings, and taken with a modicum of pride in confidence that you can take more than they can be put upon you. I believe an ideal, sound dog should take a correction and training the same. I believe a dog that cannot, does not belong on the field. I believe if you looked at the training of a modern US fighting man under the same lens many measure the training of an IPO or protection dog, you'd find that most IPO dogs have a far easier time.
Hunter, CWDC UScA Helper
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