AHA to release nonviolent national standards

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Boxer Booster
I recently read in the paper where the AHA will release a set of nat. standards for training pet dogs. The guidelines denounce such disciplinary tactics as holding a dogs head under water or using pinch collars. They will emphasize "reward-based" or positive reinforcement training. The article said traditional trainers believe an owner must establish dominance over his or her dog -which,depending on the size and temperament of the pooch, may involve choking, hitting & screaming at it. One particularly harsh but common practice is the "force break" method of teaching retrieving. In which a dog's toe or ear is squeezed with a pliers until the animal yelps, and a dummy is placed in the open mouth as the pressure is relieved. (got sick to my stomach on this one...) The new AHA guidelines were developed by Dr. Suzanne Hetts, a Colorado-based vet. and animal behaviorist, after she testfied in an Iowa animal-abuse case. A professional trainer had blinded a dog by using a punishment called "helicoptering"---lifting the dog by the collar, swinging it in the air & slamming its head on the ground. The trainer was not charged after showing the judge a book in which this tecnique was endorsed. She said" Dog owners tend to put blind trust in who they see as professionals," Hetts said. " This is a sensitive and volatile issue, but I think any practice that causes harm or injury to a dog should not be done." I agree with her, and post this for all of you as "food for thought".

Pat: Morgans Mom-2 yr. old fw. fe.


Boxer Buddy
What does AHA stand for? I could probably guess, but I'm not sure.

These standards - would they be for professional dog trainers and would they be enforced and how would they enforce them? Or are they just guidlines?

I am thinking of going through a dog training course this summer because I want to be a dog trainer. So I am curious about this.

It makes me very angry and SAD when I hear about dogs not being treated THE WAY THEY DESERVE TO BE TREATED. They give us so much, it is only right that we give them a little respect (and a lot of love) for all they do for us!

Lava Linda

Completely Boxer Crazy
I had a bad experience with a "professional" trainer, although not as bad as the sickening things already described. This trainer insisted that the nylon choke collars be TIGHT around the dogs' necks. I had to force the collar over my pup's head on the first day of class, and he was growing rapidly. She refused to issue a larger collar even when it was affecting his breathing and making him yip when I forced it over his head, and she treated me a "sissy" for asking. I eventually quit in disgust.
There are many good trainers out there, but does any agency monitor them? Is there any licensing involved?

Gilroy - 5 y.o. brindle male, uncropped ears
Purdy - 5 y.o. spayed female brindle/white, uncropped ears


Boxer Booster
Canuck,AHA stands for the American Humane Association, a coalition of educators and animal trainers that bills itself as being dedicated to preventing the abuse of children & animals. The article did not say if the standards were for professional dog trainers or how the standards would be enforced. In reading it again, it states the standards are guidlines. The headline was "Dog trainers increasingly support reward methods" It also said that last month, the 500-PetsMart chain began reeducating all its trainers in the new method. I was educated by this article however, as I didn't know there was "motivational" training vs. "traditional" training. I guess one has to ask a lot of questions before placing your dog with a trainer, to find out what methods they use.

Pat: Morgans Mom
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