Animal abuse or training?

Tara - posted on 01/11/2011 ( 60 moms have responded )

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Do you use force to train or correct your dog? Or cat? (I guess I'll include cats, lol)

Is it okay for someone to kick a dog, smack it in the face, pop it on the nose, rub it's face in urine?

Is some force okay or none at all?

Is there any limit? Or is a dog someone's property and if they want to kick it after a bad day, that's their call?

If your dog did something repeatedly even though you hit it, would you keep hitting it or try to find another way to handle the situation?

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Kate CP - posted on 01/11/2011

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Aww, did you post this just for me? ;)

Many of you know I'm a professional dog trainer. I've been in the business for well over 12 years (almost 13 now) and I specialize in behavioral problems now. The "old school" methods of using force and punishment to train dogs really don't work. Rubbing their nose in their messes, smacking or kicking a dog, or popping them on the nose really doesn't help a dog learn not to do something-it only teaches them to fear you. Dogs don't speak English (or Spanish, or German, or whatever human language you prefer) and physical violence translates to a loss of control to the animal. I don't pop my dogs any more. I used to when I first started training EONS ago because that's just how you did it. But now with the use of positive reinforcement and understanding canine behavior and body language you can train a dog to do almost anything without ever getting violent with them. It's a much better method with much better results and it's a LOT more fun this way, too!

...wow...sounds like raising kids, doesn't it? ;)

Tara - posted on 01/12/2011

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Okay so most people here agree that hitting a dog as discipline is wrong and ineffective. Of those that said this, how many of you use force when disciplining your kids?
I know Sherri said she does, so why? Why not use force on your dogs or animals but you do on your kids?
I don't understand that logic.
It's not okay to hit a dog but it is okay to hit a 14 month old?
Huh?

Kate CP - posted on 01/13/2011

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Go to the pet store and buy something called Sticky Paws in sheets or the roll tape. It's a double sided tape that is safe to use on almost all surfaces including fabrics. Cats HATE the way it feels and won't touch the stuff. You can use it on sofas and furniture where they scratch, on counters and tables they jump up on all the time, and even in potted plants. This stops the behavior from ever happening so you're not beating the snot out of your cat for no reason.

JuLeah - posted on 01/13/2011

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Well, would you do this with a baby? Then, don't do it with a dog, cat, or fish. It is never okay to hurt something that can feel pain and shame ... we used to not have laws about child abuse or wife abuse as they were thought of as property. We didn't like it, odds are Fido doesn't like it.

In America if animal control is called out for abuse or neglect of a pet and there are children in the home, they are required to make a call to childrens services because people are abuse animals never stop there - it has been found that if pets are abused, the chidlren are too.

If the method you are using doesn't work, why would you keep doing it unless you just like hitting the poor thing.

Animals are like kids in that, they want to please. If they are not doing what we want there is a reason - something is wrong, there is something they don't understand .... dogs can't learn our langauge, we have to learn theirs - like with kids, when we can understand the world from their point of view, we can communictate our wishes in way they can understand - when they understand they will comply - so they are not failing to do what we want, we are failing to communicate

Jenn - posted on 01/13/2011

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I don't have any pets, but I have had a dog and 3 cats. No, it is not OK to hit an animal and that is NOT how you train one. I HATE it when people rub their dogs nose in poop if it pooped on the floor GRRRR!!!!!! Most people who have pets shouldn't have one in my opinion, because they have NO clue how to properly care for them.

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~♥Little Miss - posted on 11/22/2012

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*****Old thread, locking it. Feel free to start a new debate*****



~DM MoD Little Miss~

Denikka - posted on 11/20/2012

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I guess I have a different thought on the word *force*.

When I first saw this thread, my first though was *yes, I would force, if necessary, when training an animal*.

But to me, *force* and *abuse* are VERY different things.

Yes, I would physically push or move a dog or cat away from someone or somewhere they weren't supposed to be. I would use a squirt bottle on them. I would use minor force to demonstrate what I wanted when first teaching a dog to sit or lay down.

Depending on the dog and the situation, I may be willing to attempt *wolf language* to assert a pack hierarchy. That can include holding the muzzle, and having a dominating stance.

In play, I have wrestled with my dog, including pushing her over, grabbing her ruff, gently tugging her tail (more like just touching her tail). This was all known and accepted *play behavior* between us.



I would consider all those to be instances of using *force* in training or in play.



I would not, however, abuse an animal. I would not hit or *pop* them, rub their noses in a mess, kick them, flick or tap their noses, etc.

I do hold the same principle with teaching my children. I do occasionally spank (singular, never more than once and usually it's to gain attention instead of to punish. Never hard enough to leave any kind of mark) and I'm working toward stopping that. It's a flaw in myself that I'm trying to correct. But I will grab my child by the arm to stop them, I hold their hands to make them face me when I speak to them. On occasion I have grabbed my sons chin to get his attention to look at me when I'm speaking.



I have no problem using a physical approach when the situation calls for it. To me, that means using any type of physical contact in order to obtain the required result. That, to me, is anything from grabbing your child's arm or shoulder to get their attention when they're walking away from you, or pushing a dog or cat away from something.

I do not condone and would not use abuse, physical punishment or purposeful injury to child or animal.

Tracy - posted on 11/20/2012

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We never hit our animals. We might get forceful (with the cats) at times but usually a squirt bottle works for cats. When our old dog was a puppy, a light tap on the nose and/or rubbing her nose in her urine (gently - it's more about the smell than about the RUBBING) was all that was needed and even that was rare. Mostly, we just talk to her like she's one of the kids. If she does something we don't like then we just use the mommy or daddy is angry voice. LOL, we even count. When she is barking at 3am, we go to the back door and just have to say "Pandora! Get in this house!" (she has a dog door) If she ignores us, then we start with "3!"..."2!" that's usually when she moves slowly towards the house like she MIGHT comply if it suits her needs...."Young lady - do NOT make me say 1!" and she runs into the house as fast as her old body will carry her. She's a fantastic dog and many people have said they wished their own animals were well behaved like her. So do you need to hit an animal to make them behave? No more than you need to hit a child.

[deleted account]

CAts aren't dumb (in response to another post). They just expect to be waited on hand and paw. However I am working on training my 3 cats to sit. How? I hold a treat out and say "sit". We then wait for the butt to touch floor. Once it does, they get the treat. I"ve seen it work with dogs so I figure it's worth a shot.

[deleted account]

" N E V E R stick your hands in the middle of a dog fight! That is the best way to get bit! If your dog gets into a fight with another dog there are ways to get them apart safely.

"



I will add to never EVER stick you hands into a cat fight. I still bear the bite mark scars on my right hand from when I attempted to stop a catfight. (My cat had gotten out and was trying to break into another tom's territory.) I also ended up very ill with cat-scratch fever and the scars will never go away.



I learned my lessson! Never ever ever use your hands to break up and animal fight.

April - posted on 01/14/2011

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that is a pet peeve of mine...haha! no pun intended. i hate when people buy pets for other people without asking or when they know full well that they don't want animals in the home. If they're truly animal lovers, they wouldn't try to place pets where they're not wanted!

Janessa - posted on 01/14/2011

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I am not an animal lover I hate cleaning after my boyfriends mom and step dad 3 dogs digusting that is when there are out of town. His mother was trying to buy one for our 19 months for christmas really and she knows I am not an animal lover err.

Jane - posted on 01/13/2011

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I currently have 3 dogs...all are basset hounds and I've had three before these three as far back as the late 80's. I can say for certain that hitting a dog or any other kind of in humane type treatment is horrible and all it does is create fear. My dogs are all very well trained and all of their training is done with positive reinforcement (treats and love). It's all about being consistent. if I saw someone hit their animal, I'd call the cops.

Kate CP - posted on 01/13/2011

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You do the best you can with what you have. That doesn't make any one a "bad" parent or a "bad" pet owner. That just means you don't have all the tools you could have in your toolbox. I'm just happy you're willing to ask for and take advice! :)

Melissa - posted on 01/13/2011

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I rarely have had to smack any of my animals now never had to smack my dog in at least a year she is so well bevaed I guess because I taught her from a young age how to behave, great with my kids. I dont want to harm my cats of course only to teach them but I did have a water bottle suggested to me and I started using it for a while til I kind of forgot about it. You just reminded me as I had it outside to spray the other animals during this hot summer weather. Like I say they rarely do something wrong now but I will keep a spray bottle in here. thanks. I could probably use some different parenting advice from you guys as well you al sound pretty informed lol. Sometimes its hard to figure out what the right thing is to deal with each situation to get the best outcome and turn my girls into great adults by raising them well. Think Im getting off track lol

Kate CP - posted on 01/13/2011

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A cat's head and neck are so small and fragile that even what we consider to be a light "tap" could do some serious damage. It would be better if you felt the need to discipline using a form of punishment to use a squirt bottle filled with water. Set it on stream, not spay, and aim for the face.

Melissa - posted on 01/13/2011

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I wouldnt say I beat him he is a lovely cat they both are they just got there bad points. As long as mizzie is kept outside I know she wont do anything in my house. Ill see if they have it here in Aus when I go out tomorrow.

Melissa - posted on 01/13/2011

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possibly Kate but I punish and do things the best way I know how. Open to suggestions. Sometimes I feel like I do the wrong thing but am not alwys sure on other ways to deal with things (kids or animals)

Kate CP - posted on 01/13/2011

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"Whack them good for that."

YOU ARE NOT TEACHING THEM TO NOT REPEAT THE BEHAVIOR. YOU ARE TEACHING THEM TO NOT GET CAUGHT BY YOU.

Mary - posted on 01/13/2011

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Tara, your point about not smacking your animals and then spanking our kids is the exact argument I used with my husband when we discussed discipline methods for children.

He grew up in a bit of an "old school" home; by no means where he and his sisters abused, but they were spanked on occasion. His parents certainly loved them, but they were strict disciplinarians. It made it hard for me to argue against spanking without appearing to attack or fault his upbringing; this was crucial, since he loves and respects his family immensely.

It was a blessing that HE adopted a dog who had been abused, and that the shelter clearly spelled out why physical punishment was never okay with this dog. Watching how well the dog did without the use of corporeal punishment was a real eye opener for him; it was a form of training and discipline he had never even considered could be possible or effective. Once we had a child, it made him second-guess the merits of spanking...and when I asked him how he could think it was okay to smack her but not the dogs, he realized that it wasn't.

Thank you, Sammy, for showing us how to be better parents!

Barb - posted on 01/13/2011

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Doug's cat, lardass, managed to jump up on my picture table the other day. Doug never moved from the couch, just yelled "what in the hell do you think you are doing?!" as soon as she jumped up.. she managed to weave her frame through my pictures and just as rapidly jumped back down again without knocking any of them over. If he had not of yelled, she would have settled in and taken a nap, that was her intention.

It was impressive.

It seems eons ago when i worked at the state hospital, they had a feral cat problem. The grounds guys were killing the cats. So us office girls got the "kitty committee" together and live trapped the cats, took them to the vet, got them fixed, got their shots and found them new homes with people. The problem was, we needed a place to keep them until we found them a new home.
I knew Doug would say no, so i didn't ask. I brought them home and kept them in a room in the basement. I had, at one point, 6 cats in that room. I also had my cat at the time, she was a black and gold tabby named squeakers that hated Doug and would never go near him.
One night i was laying in bed watching TV and Doug was in the living room watching TV. Apparently one of the cats escaped, a grey and black tabby. She was rubbing all over Doug. Doug came into the bedroom with "what is wrong with your cat...?" and then he saw squeakers, and he looked back into the living room and then back at me and said "do you have another cat in this house?!"

LOL i was so busted!!

Melissa - posted on 01/13/2011

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Desiree my cats used to do that always trying to get food off the table my other one used to even rip into the bread roll packets on the microwave which is high up. Whack them good for that. Vet says some cats are just naughtier then others cant be helped. I have one rag doll and the other was just a free one think thats why shes such a shit head not toilket training etc. they also said some cats will only use a litter tray in the house

Desiree - posted on 01/13/2011

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I have rubbed my dogs noses in their mess when they have messed in my home. Cat on the other hand are different, never had a problem until they aged and didn't want to go outside or if I have offended them in anway as a punishment for me. And because I have 6 Cats there is no way of knowing which one is the guilty party so they all get away with it. Who said they are stupid? The only time I managed to catch one of them was this week and thats because he was unwell and just couldn't get outside fast enough. (on the mend now) But never in a million years would I consider hurting my animal on a continuous basis. And yes I have given them the odd smack for stealing food off the table. Human food is not good for animals.

Kate CP - posted on 01/12/2011

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The vet wouldn't tell you the cat has a UTI unless you run a urinalysis and it comes back positive.

Barb - posted on 01/12/2011

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This is my favorite cat disciplining video:



In the past, when i didn't know any better i would tap my dogs nose at unwanted behavior. or rub the nose in urine and swat the dogs hind end. But then i started watching the dog whisperer shows with Ceasar Milan and trying his techniques, which do involve touch, but for redirection.

I just didn't know better, once i did and those techniques worked, i was happy to use them.
On dogs not understanding a language, i do beg to differ. If my dogs go into my bedroom, i can sit in the living room and say. "get out of my bedroom, buster" and he will come out of my bedroom and go lay down in the foyer.

Or i can give verbal commands without using my hands, like "bring me the sock" and he will. My spanish isn't good enough to say that in spanish. perhaps i could try, bein aqui and see what happens.. nope.. nothing. but 'come here' gets a head look "are you serious?"

aww, here he comes.. he was sleepy puppy.. poor baby, his eyes aren't even open all the way..(he's a hound dog, big droopy puppy face)

Kate CP - posted on 01/12/2011

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Uh...you do realize that if a cat is having toilet accidents it's USUALLY a UTI or kidney infection?

Hitting a dog or a cat doesn't teach them not to repeat the behavior. It teaches them to be terrified of you.

Melissa - posted on 01/12/2011

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I smack my dogs and cats when they do something wrong yes but they rarely do. We smack them if they go to the toilet in the house wich my first cat has done since day 1 so shes now mainly an outside cat , or if they eat eac others food or my kitten was getting smacked alot at one point for playing wth things he shouldnt or scratching up couches etc. There all pretty good now :) I wont rub their noses in anything by this is what my mum and nanna do when they are young to toilet train

Mrs. - posted on 01/12/2011

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Although I fear the wrath of Christina should I mention what I do for a living in a post....I had to work with some cats in a cat food commercial and I had no idea you could train them to do half the stuff they did. They hit their marks and they had several of them there (that all looked a like) to do different skills that were required. They even had the best looking cat do the close ups. It was kind of cool to watch.
They used little clicker things and food to motivate them.

[deleted account]

you need to find the right cat too, dali is really stubborn. she wont do anything i ask. She keeps herself clean and the basics cats just naturally do...bribery works sometimes for fancy stuff, but she does her own thing for the most part. For litter training though, their mom usually does that for us. Its really cool watching a mommy cat train her babies to use the litter :)

Kate CP - posted on 01/12/2011

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Oh yea, you can train a cat. Think of all the cats in movies-they've been trained to perform those tasks on command. You just have to find the right food reward and get them in the right mood. ;)

Tara - posted on 01/12/2011

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I haven't ever thought of "training" my cats. They have trained us though. When they want food, one of them will meow while the other one tries to trip me.
I also have one cat who walks around the house on weekends when the kids are gone and cry over and over again until someone picks her up to cuddle.
But actually training a cat to do stuff? It might work... if they're in the mood.

Kate CP - posted on 01/12/2011

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Believe it or not, there ARE cat trainers and behaviorists out there. Personally, I think it's a lost cause but whatever works. ;)

~♥Little Miss - posted on 01/12/2011

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Cats train the owners for sure! Except the toilet trained cats...I love it..wish I had the time. Maybe the next kitty!

OMG! This is one of the least talented ones! LMFAO!!

Shauna - posted on 01/12/2011

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and as far as training a cat. PAH-LEEEESE

and i guess but dog doesnt really "run" the house .. but he is a big flippin baby. He gets what he wants. Brand new couches and one of them is owned by him b/c my husband lets him! But he is very gentle with my son -and would protect his family if it meant his life.

Training him was actually pretty easy. For the potty.... rubbing dogs faces in urine/feces doesnt do anything but scare them. We tied a bell on the door everytime we took him potty we would say "outside" and ring the bell. IF he had an accident we would say outside and ring the bell and take him out even though he already went. he learned less than a month to ring the bell when he needs out. WE dont use the bell anymore but now he just goes to where the bell used to be and points his nose.
Germans are pretty easy to train though :/ we had a shiba inu/ min pin ... that just did what he pleased.

Shauna - posted on 01/12/2011

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Eh ... my german shepard runs the house ... he does what he wants, the only time we have used force on him was at a dog park he got aggresive with a rot and a pitbull i dont know why he usualy isnt aggresive. my husband had to tackle him and beat him off of a dog he was attacking .. it was for his own good. But other than that ... my dog runs the house pretty much.

Tara - posted on 01/12/2011

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@Kate
My son tried to "save" our dog ( 50/50 lab/boxer mix) from an attack by two pure bred chocolate labs. He was 11 at the time, these two dogs came on our farm and rushed my dog, One of them went for Mystic's neck the other was biting her back end. Devin (my son) reached in to grab the collar of the one biting her neck, my dog whipped her head around to bite the other dog and ended up biting my son on the back of his hand, but she stopped as soon as she knew it was him, she only left a small gash on him, as soon as he screamed, she turned around (up until that point she was trying to get away from them) then she got between Devin and the two dogs and started fighting like crazy... she was on the defensive now cause one of "her" kids was involved. My neighbour saw all of this happen (they were her dogs and she had come to find them when she came upon that scene) apparently after Devin was bit, Mystic turned around and fought hard, she refused to let them near her boy. She did nothing to stop this attack or try to end it, she watched while my dog ripped a hole in her dogs neck, another hole in her other dogs underside. They both required vet treatment. My dog suffered a laceration to her neck and an injury to her gums. When I found out (I was at work, my ex was home and completely oblivious to the fact there was a dog fight in our yard!!) I was furious that no one tried to stop it before it got so ugly. I know how to attempt to break up a dog fight, I was surprised no one else knew.

Mystic is literally my best friend, she doesn't talk back or give bad advice, she doesn't stand me up when we have plans, she's always there for me when I need her and she is a part of our family.
I have never had to use any physical punishment or force on her, she was trained well, by me.. she's almost 8 and is the best dog in our neighbourhood, everyone loves her and knows her name.
When you raise dogs, they really just want to know what you want from them, once they know what you want then training them is easier.
I raise my dogs like I raise my kids, they know what the expectation is, they aspire to that. I want them to listen to me cause they want to not because I will hurt them if they don't.

Tara - posted on 01/12/2011

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@Sherri
"My animals are the same to me as my children no physical force is okay. "

I'm confused, you use force with your children, physical punishment anyways... do you use the same methods with your animals?
Just curious..

Kerri - posted on 01/11/2011

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I'm aware of both those methods, however when it's both my dogs and they start fighting when both trying to sit on my lap, neither is an option. And yes, we are currently working on correcting this issue with a behaviorlist.

Kate CP - posted on 01/11/2011

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N E V E R stick your hands in the middle of a dog fight! That is the best way to get bit! If your dog gets into a fight with another dog there are ways to get them apart safely.

Method 1 (you need two people for this):
Grab the dog's BACK legs and pull up and to the side. This will knock the dogs off balance and get them to release each other. Also keeps your hands and face safely out of the bite zone.

Method 2: Hose them down. Get a pitcher of water, turn on the hose, get a squirt bottle...SOMETHING to get them wet and give them a cold shower. This will shock them out of the fight and give you a chance to break it up safely.

DO NOT make loud noises as this usually revs them up more and makes the aggression worse. I'll repeat myself (because it bears repeating) DO NOT EVER stick your hands near a dog's neck to grab collars or scruffs during a dog fight. YOU WILL GET BIT!

Lacye - posted on 01/11/2011

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Excessive force is not ok. But a little force doesn't hurt. Now before I get jumped (lol), when I say a little force, I don't mean just beating the shit out of the dog. I mean like a tap on the top of his leg, kinda like you would tap a person's shoulder, a nudge with your foot, like you are trying to move something gently. Force should never be the first answer, and only when you are trying to get the animals attention.

With cats it's different though. I have never seen a cat that behaved like it was brought up in the wild, unless it was a stray cat.

Kerri - posted on 01/11/2011

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The only time I have used physical force with any of my dogs is in breaking up a dog fight and even then it was only to grab them by the scruffs of their necks and get them apart. No animal should ever be abused. If you wouldn't want to be kicked, slapped or punched then you shouldn't ever do it. Violence breeds violence.

LaCi - posted on 01/11/2011

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I've never actually encountered a problem with an animal that needed any form of discipline. Animals are easy to train. At least, all mine have been.

April - posted on 01/11/2011

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no..there are gentle ways to teach animals. it is never okay to hit, kick, punch, rub pee or poo in his or her face...basically anything you wouldn't do you your child...you shouldn't do to your animal.

Mary - posted on 01/11/2011

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It is NEVER okay to hit an animal, nor is it an effective means of training.

I have two dogs, both rescues. One of them is a pit bull, who was 4 when we adopted him. He had been abused in his past.

I have never laid a hand on either of them in anger or punishment. Both dogs did very well with positive reinforcement. The only "negative" means of correction or discipline I use with them other than a firm "NO" is a coffee can filled with rocks that I would shake. After a month or so, ll I even needed to do was merely hold it, and they would immediately run to their "safe place" (an alcove off the kitchen) and sit. I actually haven't used it in years.

Both dogs are extremely well-behaved and responsive to simple commands. Of course, I also walk the hell out of them on a daily basis....a tired dog is a good dog =)

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