Shelters/Rescues Against Correcting Dogs - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 211 (permalink) Old 05-27-2012, 01:39 AM Thread Starter
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Shelters/Rescues Against Correcting Dogs

I have been involved with fostering and volunteering with shelters for several years now,and noticed that quite a few of them seem to be against correcting the behavior in dogs without baiting them with treats. I personally only use verbal and physical praise when training my dogs and any fosters that come in.I have also used a Martingale and sometimes a Prong collar on a few dogs that needed it. I realize that all tools don't work for all dogs,but it's just surprising to see how many shelter staff seem to frown down upon correcting a dog or not using treats. It's like they feel as if you can't be a dog lover if you don't let the dog get away with murder. I know that a lot of these animals come from bad situations,but it still doesn't excuse bad behavior. I've actually had some staff members become defensive when I've pointed out behaviors some dogs exhibited that could be a problem down the road. For example there was a 9 month old black German Shepherd at a shelter a few months ago who snapped at a few individuals that walked past him in the lobby. This dog was a favorite of the staff and they actually said that he was 'just playing' when he did this. A few days later this dog was rescued and sent to Upstate New York. I still wonder if they moved him so quickly because they knew that he had issues and didn't want to be held liable.

I'm not saying everyone who comes to the shelter should be allowed to just put a tool on a dog and use it blindly. Nor am I saying that ALL SHELTERS are this way. A lot of the ones I have dealt with though seem to have at least a few staff members who are against any type of discipline which is not helping the dog.

I just wanted some opinions on whether or not you use any type of training collar on foster dogs?

Last edited by Gharrissc; 05-27-2012 at 01:47 AM.
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post #2 of 211 (permalink) Old 05-27-2012, 01:41 AM
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I agree completly and see the same thing here where I live with the shelter that I volunteer at. Of course it isn't really unexpected as the local OB club generally feels the same way.
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post #3 of 211 (permalink) Old 05-27-2012, 11:05 AM
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When you can do this - (click the above link/watch video) why use a correction collar?

That said - yes I've recommended and used Prongs and also a Canny Collar on fosters.
I think dogs in shelters/rescues have so much stress going on anyway that it's difficult to think of adding more in the form of physical corrections. We are very against any physical corrections for any dog - for one thing, you do that to the right dog and it'll get you bitten - and you won't know if the dog will bite until you push that envelope. Especially on an adult dog. Furthermore, if a dog has been abused in any form, what's a "tap on the nose" (love that phrase ) or a "swat on the butt" going to do to it?

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For example there was a 9 month old black German Shepherd at a shelter a few months ago who snapped at a few individuals that walked past him in the lobby.
This puppy does belong in a rescue with full disclosure. I'm glad the shelter did not adopt it out.
We currently have a little 6-7lb. LOVE BUG of a dog who is believed to be Toy Fox Terrier - who was said to have snapped at the man in her foster home. Well, now the shelter cannot adopt her out - and rescue is the only option because we work with them intensively to see just how bomb-proof (or not) they are. This one - whoever got snapped at must have done something really wrong - if it occurred at all - because she's not offered to snap at any of us, male or female! She's the sweetest thing ever - with that said, no kids under 12 and we'll screen carefully and let them know this potentially occurred so they are aware that under the right circumstances it might happen.

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a few staff members who are against any type of discipline which is not helping the dog.
A training collar is a tool - but what type discipline were you thinking of beyond that?
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post #4 of 211 (permalink) Old 05-27-2012, 12:40 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by msvette2u View Post
How to train your dog not to pull- Loose Leash Walking - YouTube

When you can do this - (click the above link/watch video) why use a correction collar?

That said - yes I've recommended and used Prongs and also a Canny Collar on fosters.
I think dogs in shelters/rescues have so much stress going on anyway that it's difficult to think of adding more in the form of physical corrections. We are very against any physical corrections for any dog - for one thing, you do that to the right dog and it'll get you bitten - and you won't know if the dog will bite until you push that envelope. Especially on an adult dog. Furthermore, if a dog has been abused in any form, what's a "tap on the nose" (love that phrase ) or a "swat on the butt" going to do to it?


This puppy does belong in a rescue with full disclosure. I'm glad the shelter did not adopt it out.
We currently have a little 6-7lb. LOVE BUG of a dog who is believed to be Toy Fox Terrier - who was said to have snapped at the man in her foster home. Well, now the shelter cannot adopt her out - and rescue is the only option because we work with them intensively to see just how bomb-proof (or not) they are. This one - whoever got snapped at must have done something really wrong - if it occurred at all - because she's not offered to snap at any of us, male or female! She's the sweetest thing ever - with that said, no kids under 12 and we'll screen carefully and let them know this potentially occurred so they are aware that under the right circumstances it might happen.


A training collar is a tool - but what type discipline were you thinking of beyond that?




Yes a training collar is a tool just like that harness in your video is a tool. What I am saying though is that this particular shelter doesn't like dogs to be corrected for misbehaviors such as jumping up, pulling on the leash, and door dashing. I am not condoning abusing a dog,and I agree that you should cater the training to the individual dog,but you can't fix everything with treats,hugs and kisses.

I have seen quite a few dogs come through that particular shelter who have some serious aggression or dominance issues because they were never made to do anything.They had no rules.



When walking through the lobby with a dog who repeatedly door dashed, I would quickly close (NOT SLAM) the door before the dog got outside.However a few of them have gotten their nose clipped by the door because they still tried to push the door open. To me this is not a combative way of teaching a dog to wait before exiting or entering,but I did get some ugly looks when the dog yelped.


The German Shepherd that I was speaking about was pulled from the shelter,but was immediately put into a home in Upstate New York.He wasn 't sent to a rescue facility to be rehabbed.So yes I do think it was very irresponsible to not only ignore this dogs' behavior AND try to justify by saying that the dog was just playing.


Again I'm not saying that they should let everyone do what they please with the dogs because a lot of people don't know how to properly use tools, even if it is considered to be 'non combative'.

If you have a qualified person as myself and you claim to trust that person, you shouldn't have a problem with them trying to make the dogs more adoptable. I have since stopped volunteering there and moved on to another rescue who doesn't have a problem with my beliefs. They have actually seen me with my dogs and are impressed with how they behave.

I think a lot of people who want positive only or non combative training see those who use other tools such as a martingale collar or prong as people who don't love dogs as much as they do.I won't speak for anybody else,but that I am probably one of the biggest animals people around. I have taken some shelter dogs on car rides,and to other public places just to give the a break from the shelter. I stopped doing that though because I was approached about not being fair to the other dogs who haven't been walked. IMO isn't a competition to see who can outdo who as far as volunteering or fostering goes. Everyone decides how they want to help.
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post #5 of 211 (permalink) Old 05-27-2012, 12:49 PM
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I am not condoning abusing a dog,and I agree that you should cater the training to the individual dog,but you can't fix everything with treats,hugs and kisses.
And again, what methods would you use to stop a dog jumping up, or pulling on the leash? Closing a door shut on a dog's muzzle can injure it, so you need to be careful about that.

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I think a lot of people who want positive only or non combative training see those who use other tools such as a martingale collar or prong as people who don't love dogs as much as they do.
I don't think that - but I do see them as being less creative, since there are proven methods - and again, watch the video for one example of how easy it can be to stop a dog from pulling without resorting to a choke chain or other aversive techniques, if this tiny gal can take a large dog straight from the shelter and have it walking nicely without pulling, then anyone should be able to.

I grew up with the mentality you have to push a dog around or pull or yank on them to get them to mind.
It has since been learned there's ways to work with them positively and it works as well or better/quicker than old methods. I'm excited and happy about that, and I fail to understand why people think it's coddling, or spoiling them, or whatever, since they actually work so beautifully on just about any dog out there.

That is - I think the best training involves teaching the dog what TO DO, instead of constantly correcting them for what they should NOT do.

When you potty train a child, do you spank them when they soil in their diapers, or do you take them to the bathroom and praise them for pottying in the toilet?

If all you ever do is spank the child for pottying in their diaper, how will you ever get them to understand there's a proper place for pottying?

Same with dogs - we train them best by showing them what to do and how to do it, rather than just correcting them for doing what we do not want them to do.

For one example - jumping up is universal for all dogs. It's their nature. So why scold them for doing what dogs do? Instead, teach them they will still get attention (and more of it!) when all 4 paws are on the floor!
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post #6 of 211 (permalink) Old 05-27-2012, 01:04 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by msvette2u View Post
And again, what methods would you use to stop a dog jumping up, or pulling on the leash? Closing a door shut on a dog's muzzle can injure it, so you need to be careful about that.


For one example - jumping up is universal for all dogs. It's their nature. So why scold them for doing what dogs do? Instead, teach them they will still get attention (and more of it!) when all 4 paws are on the floor!

I correct behaviors mentioned above by turning by back to a dog who jumps OR if they really persistent I will knee them. As far as leash pulling goes,as soon as the dog starts to go ahead of me,they get a quick pop with the leash and I am walking quickly in th opposite direction.They got lot of verbal praise when they come back to me. I am sure you won't agree with my methods and that's fine,but my dogs are well behaved and most importantly their not scarred from it. If you know what you are doing then one good correction is a lot better than a bunch of nagging corrections.
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post #7 of 211 (permalink) Old 05-27-2012, 01:12 PM
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In the video she teaches the dog how to walk w/out leash pops...it can be done

Turning away is always advisable when dogs jump up since some dogs would prefer a knee to the chest to no interaction at all. Same with pushing them down with your hands. The dog is getting interaction so will continue to jump, whereas turning away withdraws all attention, and dog learns it gets attention only when all 4 paws are on the ground.

I guess you have to understand why a method works rather than just assuming it's "not discipline". It is discipline in fact, and more effective when done positively, than when aversive techniques are utilized, which is why I say it works quicker to teach a dog what to do rather than just punish it for doing what we find unacceptable (jumping up, etc.)

The dog, by jumping up, is seeking contact and affection. You've just rewarded it with a knee or your hands (pushing it down). When you withdraw all rewards (contact, which is what it wants) you teach it more effectively.
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post #8 of 211 (permalink) Old 05-27-2012, 01:26 PM
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I have had many dogs in and out of my home and I have never used anything but positive training(treats, praise, and yes some hugs and kisses) A dog that is afraid or that has been abused or neglected is not going to respond well to someone correcting them. Its not the dogs fault that it is where it is and all dogs deserve a chance to be happy at some point. They come in and are treated as my own and loved the same way. I personally hate prong collars, I had to get one for my GSD to train at a club(it was a requirement) I put it on her once and it bothered me because she didn't need it. We have never gone back there and she has never had the prong on again. As far as closing a door in a dogs face so it doesn't door dash....well you can just as easily put the dog in a sit, tell it to wait, treat them for doing so, open door, tell them to stay, give a treat and repeat. IMO that is definitely going to get a better response from the dog. Why give a nervous dog more to be nervous about? Whether they came from a good or bad home, there whole life just changed and I'm sure they can sense something is wrong, as a volunteer or rescue I would think that one would be more concerned with making that dog comfortable, slowly work on some training and positive training can be fun for the dog and person!!

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post #9 of 211 (permalink) Old 05-27-2012, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msvette2u View Post

The dog, by jumping up, is seeking contact and affection. You've just rewarded it with a knee or your hands (pushing it down). When you withdraw all rewards (contact, which is what it wants) you teach it more effectively.

Yep, I turn around and once all fours are on the ground, the dog gets a treat and praise...it does work

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post #10 of 211 (permalink) Old 05-27-2012, 01:29 PM
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In fact, often when dogs come in previously abused, we're happy when they jump up to initiate contact, especially a withdrawn, scared dog.
It's different for a happy, stable, came-from-a-great-background 80lb. Labrador, who probably does need corrected for jumping, but even then withdrawing contact by turning is a superior method of training than kneeing.
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