Dog training a fundamental animal welfare issue

Discussion in 'Labrador Training' started by SianMJ, Feb 7, 2020.

  1. SianMJ

    SianMJ Registered Users

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2019
    Messages:
    96
    Location:
    South Wales UK
    I was walking my girl on the beach yesterday. She and so many dogs were having a great time. Apart from one poor dog. I have been so troubled by what I saw and my lack of action. The dog an it’s owner were the other side of the beach yet I could see and hear it all. The dog was having a nice time greeting other dog’s very nicely. However she did not want to go back to her owner - but would she? He was shouting so very aggressively and loudly persistently at her to come to him. She eventually went to him slowly cowering all the way. He then shouted and gestured at her so aggressively by her face you could see she was terrified and was anticipating a beating. It was horrible, I made an obvious point of showing I was watching him. I fear for that dog. I’m troubled that I didn’t go over and help him and the dog in a nice way. It really highlighted how positive training is such an animal welfare issue, it’s not just about teaching a dog to behave. That poor dog’s life is full of violence. I vow to go and offer help I’m some way next time as nicely as I can as my inaction has troubled me all night.
     
  2. pippa@labforumHQ

    pippa@labforumHQ Administrator

    Joined:
    May 10, 2011
    Messages:
    5,359
    Oh Sian, I am sorry you had such an unpleasant experience. I think it's one we can all relate to. I suspect that intervening might not have helped the dog. The owner needs educating, but it's very challenging to do that in that situation. Embarrassing him in public might have made him even more angry with the dog. I'm not sure I would have had the skill to intervene successfully in that situation either.

    It's so hard to know what to do but I think and believe that the answer is to keep spreading the word about positive reinforcement training. So that people who don't know how to train a dog without force become fewer and further between. Training our own dogs as best we can and telling anyone who'll listen how we went about it is probably one of the most effective long term solutions.
     
  3. SianMJ

    SianMJ Registered Users

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2019
    Messages:
    96
    Location:
    South Wales UK
    Thank you for your reply and very considered advice. I felt that if I could take her back to him gently on the lead and empathised with his frustration it might have , just might have, given him a moment to calm. But that may be very naive of me. Changing views on dog training is as you say so very important . This forum and your websites are part of the way forward in creating a culture of welfare. Cultures take time to change. People’s behaviours take a lot to change as part of those cultures. I myself have so much to learn about positive reinforcement training. It is just upsetting to see a dog being so frightened. Thank you for taking time to respond to my thoughts, it is very helpful .
     
    pippa@labforumHQ likes this.
  4. WillowA

    WillowA Registered Users

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2018
    Messages:
    351
    I had a rescue Springer Spaniel that we let off the lead she ran off and refused to come back.
    I got the feeling she had been punished in her previous life so was scared to come back so much damage had been done we never let this lovely dog off her lead all the years we had her.
    Someone that had her before us said the owner was very dominant with the dog.
     
  5. SianMJ

    SianMJ Registered Users

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2019
    Messages:
    96
    Location:
    South Wales UK
    That is so very sad and she was lucky to have been regimes to you. I had a rescue border collie , the farmer who had owned him was sent to jail for animal cruelty. My collie was frightened of everything and I couldn’t even carry an object around without him cowering when I first had him. He would also bite if felt threatened in any way. He never bit me but I always had to be cautious about how others interacted with him. He was such a sweet boy who only wanted to please and we had a great time together. What some dogs go through due to human hands is truly damaging, both intentionally and also without having an alternative to aggression.
     

Share This Page