"Training" vs. "Abuse"

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Postby pitbullmamaliz » December 13th, 2012, 7:10 pm

Just for old time's sake, figured I'd start a potentially heated thread. I always was good at that.

Saw this video on another forum. This guy, Patrick Keil, was not permitted to participate in the FCI IPO this year due to the abuse in this video. He's beating this dog with a cattle prod. It's not easy to watch, fair warning. I didn't watch the entire thing:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... 88438wCNds

Now, obviously none of us here would condone that "training." But where is the line drawn? There's a local trainer by me who is one of the banes of my existence. He throws prongs and e-collars on all the dogs, including the therapy dogs in training, no matter the age. People who live close to his business have heard dogs screaming for minutes on end.

Now I'm 99.9% positive none of us would condone that kind of "training" either. So where is the line drawn? If a dog vocalizes in pain, is that training or abuse? What about if it yelps in fear or cowers from the trainer? Training or abuse? When does physical touch on a dog turn to abuse? Is it Cesar's "bite"? His "taps" to the dog's belly? A smack on the nose or spank on the butt?

I'd ideally like to keep equipment out of the discussion as much as possible. Obviously I don't use prongs/chokes/e-collars, but I know that all users of them are NOT abusive. Dogs can be abused on flat collars, head collars, harnesses, etc.

So what's the line? I don't even know if there is a black and white answer to this. I have a feeling there isn't. But I still think it can be an interesting discussion.
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Postby Tubular Toby » December 14th, 2012, 1:11 am

I think it's certainly something that everyone will have to decide for themselves. Obviously on the extreme end, it doesn't matter *what* that individual decided, it would still be considered abuse by the majority of people.

But in the more grey area, I just think it really depends. Sometimes Toby gets a quick swat or correction for something that he knows better, but there are people on the opposite end of the spectrum that think that could be abuse. Although on that same hand, I think the majority of us here would agree that it's not.

I think without a shadow of a doubt, however, that if you are punishing a dog for something that it doesn't understand, that's abuse. Allen was telling me a story of a woman who went into their store recently with a large Schnauzer. The dog was standing quietly, minding it's own business, and the woman looked at it and repeatedly said "sit. sit. sit. sit. sit." The dog wouldn't sit. So she grabbed the leash (which happened to be a chain, and not like a cute little show leash chain, but a straight up chain), stomped on it so that the dog's head was yanked near the ground and forced him down. The second she let go and went back to what she was doing, the dog stood again. He wasn't being bad, he was just calmly standing while she was shopping. When she saw him standing, she grabbed the chain, hoisted his front end into the air, and dangled him there. Then she let him down and proceeded to shout "sit. sit. sit. sit. sit." again.

To me, that is abuse. I'm going to judge by her repetition of commands that the dog wasn't trained right and really has no clue what she wants and just gets lucky sometimes. The fact that she is willing to stomp on the leash/chain to jerk his head to the ground and then yank him off of his feet implies to me that she's not patient and not willing to train him to understand what she wants. As is, she's just confusing the hell out of the dog and yet, like a saint, he patiently waits unmoving and quietly between her outbursts.
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Postby HappyPuppy » December 14th, 2012, 4:34 pm

I'm no accomplished trainer but I think compulsion is easier/short cut to learning more positive/constructive ways....

My Ruby is pretty soft and didn't really need all of the 'pronging' I did to her in the beginning ... I don't know if I believe that more 'force' is truly required on less-soft dogs, however >>> I recently saw this on another forum - 'Do Some Dogs Need a Heavier Hand?': http://wildewmn.wordpress.com/2012/11/2 ... vier-hand/

The top vid is right up there with this one (which I think it total abuse):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... 2SQ4qjW72E
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Postby mnp13 » December 14th, 2012, 5:54 pm

Where is the line drawn? Unfortunately there isn't one that can be drawn, "abuse" is way too subjective. I know that sounds stupid, but I remember a post on a forum I used to be on
Using a prong collar is no different than putting out a lit cigarette on your dogs head

And the poster truly felt that way, and there were people who agreed with her. When you have people who can't think in any other form than ultimate extremes, you can't talk about "regulating." In some countries (Norway for example) it's considered abuse to spay and neuter.

Are there lines where reasonable people would draw that line? Sure, of course there are... but it's a fine one. What is abusive to one dog another dog may ignore. Alice lost her mind if you spoke loudly to her, a correction would have made her catatonic. I can scream until I lose my voice at Ruby, and she just stares at me, quite obviously wondering why I'm allowed to even breath in her air space.
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Postby call2arms » December 14th, 2012, 9:33 pm

A line is very subjective. You can have a dog on a prong and use it well, and a dog on a head halter that get his head swung around and corrected with it. It's, for the most part,about an "abusive attitude" like anger/yelling, but then again you'll have people who calmly (at least on the outside) hang the dog off the leash till it gets limp, and that is obviously abuse. Does it become abuse when the intention to hurt is there, or is it when the correction is so hard (escalating) that it ends up causing actual pain?

I find it's a hard line to draw, for the most part I try to be the least physical as possible when asking something of my dogs.
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Postby SisMorphine » December 15th, 2012, 7:09 pm

I have something to say about this, but trying to find a specific link before I reply. So consider this post just a card holding my place in this conversation. LOL!
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Postby SisMorphine » December 15th, 2012, 8:12 pm

Okay here it is! Unfortunately, IMHO, this video cuts off too quickly, and I can't find the article (based on the same thing) that I was specifically looking for. These are Steve White's rules for correction . . . IMHO anything that goes beyond is abuse.
http://youtu.be/zHiejASuDyQ
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » December 15th, 2012, 9:12 pm

Fantastic video, Lys! I love Steve - me & Inara had an opportunity to work with him & Jen and they were truly wonderful people.
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Postby Tubular Toby » December 15th, 2012, 9:24 pm

I was coming back here to add that I think the timing of the correction also helps draw a distinction between abuse and training. The timing and the severity.
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Postby Tubular Toby » December 15th, 2012, 9:48 pm

I got to watch that video about the rules of punishment. Very interesting. I wish I could sit through a whole lecture!
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Postby amalie79 » December 27th, 2012, 10:56 pm

Tubular Toby wrote:I got to watch that video about the rules of punishment. Very interesting. I wish I could sit through a whole lecture!


He's amazing-- He's speaking at ORCA again this February. It's a one day event in Denton/Dallas. Steve, Bob Bailey, Ken Ramirez, Alexandra Kurland, Kay Laurence...

Well worth the short drive.
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Postby Tubular Toby » December 28th, 2012, 1:28 am

Ohhhh, we have friends in the area too... But we were planning our trip on April 6-7th for the Color Run. I'll see if I can talk Allen into two trips. Haha

ETA: Is it the The 5th annual Art and Science of Animal Training Conference?
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Postby amalie79 » December 28th, 2012, 2:25 am

That's the one. :)
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Postby Malli » December 28th, 2012, 11:04 pm

I think it depends on the individual dog, to some extent. There is obviously a place where corrections or actions go too far, but the dog can define it, as well.
For instance, hardly anything (I mean anything) phases Oscar, yet Uzi will duck and act uncertain at *almost* the drop of a hat; so, because Uzi is so sensitive, it would be easier to do what I would consider something abusive to him then to Oscar.
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