Laura Van Dyne
- Is a Professional Member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) Membership #1319
- Has been a member of the APDT Board of Directors (2001 through 2008)
- Is a Certified Pet Dog Trainer (CPDT) through the Certification Council for Pet Dog Trainers Certificate # 1020229 (certified through March 31, 2011)
- Is a retired Professor of Veterinary Technology at Colorado Mountain College and continues to teach there part time.
- Is an American Kennel Club Evaluator for the Canine Good Citizenship Program Evaluator # 130 (expiration February 28, 2013)
- Is a member of Heeling Partners of the Roaring Fork Valley and is involved in the Angels with Paws program at Valley View hospital with her Pet Partner, "Teal".
- Is an Honorary Lifetime Member of the Roaring Fork Kennel Club
- Attends conventions and seminars to learn about new techniques in positive reinforcement dog training
Dog training is not rocket science! It is all about the science of learning theory. It is also a field that is cluttered with myth, fantasy, and some abuse.
The myth tends to converge around “The Dominance Theory” which poses that one must be “Alpha” and dominate dogs. Detailed information about this myth can be read at the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior web page:
Then choose "Public Site"
In the drop-down list choose "AVSAB Position Statements"
Scroll down to "Dominance Statement"
The fantasy revolves around the idea that dogs think like humans. The entertainment industry has perpetuated the myth that dogs know what is right and what is wrong when it come to behavior. "He knows better but chooses to do it anyway!" is the common complaint from people who buy into this myth. Behavior happens because it works! S/he, "...chooses to do it..." because there is a reward for doing it and the person is not in control of that reward.
For more information on this topic read The Culture Clash by Jean Donaldson (Ch 1, "Dog Intelligence and Morality"), James and Kenneth, 2nd edition 2005.
When we combine the myth of dominance and the fantasy of canine morals the end result is, sometimes, abuse! We have used choke, pinch, and shock collars, we have shook, rolled, struck, and done all sorts of other things to dogs in the name of training. Sometimes it worked but more often it did damage to the way the dog felt about us, other dogs or other people!
So Shock, Pinch and Choke Collars Won't Ever Work?
Yes, they can work. The use of such tools require:
A clear understanding of learning theory
- A thorough understanding of canine behavior
- Immaculate timming
Quite honestly, if you have all of those things, you won't need that equipment!
Another thing to remember about this topic is that while you are gaining the three requirements above, mistakes will be made; timing will be faulty. It's simple, do you want to make mistakes with rewards or punishers? Which do you think your dog will prefer?