First off, i personally think that people who engage in acts of animal cruelty are some of the weakest in our species.... with that said...
I need to vent, and ask about animal cruelty laws, which i guess differ state by state (i'm in Jersey). I know recently in PA a pro football player was arrested for beating his pit bull, for the second time.
I was at a park walking my dog the other day, where i witnessed a man "training" his young, but large, black Lab. There is a lake at the park, and one way he was training the dog was to pick it up by the skin with both hands, repeatedly throwing it thru the air, into the lake as far out as he could. I was watching from pretty far away, while he roared commands at the dog and blew a whistle, never letting the dog out of the water when it finally came to shore. When it did make it's way out, he beat it with whatever thing they use to throw for the dog to chase; he beat it until it yelped, and CRAWLED to him. Is this dog training?? Or am i too sensitive? I came very close to calling the police, which might make you laugh, but my stomach had dropped so hard while watching all of it i didnt know what to do.
To me, to make a large dog YELP, you must be beating it too hard.
My boss at works trains dogs but i didnt even want to get into it with him, as he told me before about my "bossy" dog, that i needed to "break her spirit." Well, i'd rather she had one. I think we know we're higher up on the chain than dogs, why do some people have to prove it to themselves?
Wonder if he'd like it if I hit him with that thing until he crawled to me?
I think I would have ended up in jail for assault if I had witnessed that. Training does not involve breaking an animal's spirit, but encouraging the animal to cooperate. A broken animal is a sad thing to see.
Wouldn't that have been animal cruelty?
I should have trusted my first instinct and gut feeling and done something about it. I couldnt get it off my mind the whole day that it happened.
I didnt want an officer to come and think it was a ridiculous call... a guy training a dog too harshly! I will trust myself next time.
As what Excalibur said I would probably end up being in jail and probably ended up in prison for the rest of my life because of killing somebody for beating up on an innocent animal. I can't stand people beating up on an animal for no reason at all I think they should have a longer prison time for abusing animals maybe that'll make 'em think about harming another animal or have bunch of do the same thing to the guy that was abusing the animal!
While what you described certainly sounded like abuse, you can't always judge a book by it's cover.
I train and handle dogs for Schutzhund/Police Service. I'm sure that most people would agree that K-9's are some of the best trained, best cared for, best liked dogs around, right? And the bond between the handler and dog is stronger than many human relationships, right?
Well, be that as it may, there are some phases of training or some types of corrections that, how should I say, put a TREMENDOUS amount of stress on the dog. Is it abuse? No. But to an outsider, it may very well seem so. That's why of good deal of training for Police Service Dogs (or Schutzhund, KNPV, Ring, etc) is done "out of sight."
I (or anyone I train with) do NOT abuse my dog or any dogs I train. But there are times when "firm" corrections are called for and to a great many people, a correction of ANY type is too abusive.
There IS a distinct difference between beating a dog and applying a firm correction. But to most "untrained" observers, they are one in the same. I'm not saying that the guy at the park WASN'T beating his dog (it does sound like it.) But just be careful to jump to any conclusions.
I think hitting a dog with an object qualifies as abuse and not a corrective action. Big difference between firmness with a dog and hittting it. There is never any reason to hit an animal. Period.
Training a dog is a time consuming process. It cannot be done overnight and takes a lot of patience. I'm in the midst of training my 3 year old German Shep and it is a challenge.
I have 3 years of "damage" to correct and it takes time. I am firm with him at times and need to perform corrective methods with him at times but NEVER will I hit that dog with ANYTHING...including the lead. I hate it when I see people doing that.
All you are teaching a dog to do when you hit it is to fear you. Teach the dog the right way and he'll respect your role as the Alpha and keep his spirit intact. There is nothing more degrading than seeing a dog with a broken spirit.
Compulsuion training? I dont think so!!! Even when I trained my K9, I was hard pressed to use a live ring on a choker or a pinch collar.
Each breed/individual dog may require different types of training. IIRC, you work a Golden Retriever. In that case I would agree with you, for I too have never trained a Golden for dope work, obedience or tracking with anything but motivational training methods. For Goldens, that method of training seems to work best.
Even many GSD's I've trained (especially females) require only small amounts, if any, compulsion. However, there are many dogs, especially those out of HARD, HARD working lines that will eventually at some point in their training require compulsion in some shape or form. The amount of compulsion will vary depending on the dog and what the correction is for.
For those that say they can train ANY dog to do ANY task without ever using compulsion, I would venture to say that they have not been exposed to enough dogs or enough serious training yet (not speaking of anyone in particular). For many dogs (of various breeds) it can be done. However, as I said before, dogs that come from hard working lines will, at some point, generally require complusion in some shape or form. It all depends on the individual dog and what methods of training work best for that dog.
Some of the dogs I train (for Schutzhund, SAR, Police Service) require compulsion. Some do not. I prefer not to use it, but will (at varying levels) if it becomes necesary.
We can go around and around with this issue. But as the old saying goes, "The only thing that two dog trainers can agree upon is that a third dog trainer is doing it wrong."
Well I am not police, but I have trained dogs. I have a collie at present (and have trained other collies for obedience showing) and they are very responsive and do not need much "firmness" at all. HOWEVER, I have also trained other breeds and some of them do need physical corrections with such things as pinch collars. An Akita I once worked with was extremely dangerous unless muzzled AND controlled with a pinch collar. She was sweet as pie on the surface, but UNPREDICTABLE if something set her off. She was also very dense. It took me several weeks just to get her to look at me. Believe me when I say her neck must have been made of steel. (So was her brain I think.)
I also know what it is like to be misjudged in regard to dog training. I use a choke collar to train with and I use it correctly. When used correctly, it is very humane and does not "choke" the dog, yet I have had busy-bodies come up to me and chastize me for using this collar. (Meanwhile they think it is more humane to let their dogs drag them down the street gasping and choking at the end of a narrow leather collar with no corrections or training. BAH!)
Well, i did finally talk to my boss (the professional retriever trainer) about this when we were both in a good mood He gave the guy the benefit of the doubt at the beginning, but he did say he has never grabbed a dog by the skin and thrown it repeatedly into the water to teach it "Back" (or whatever the proper retriever termonology is). He said the guy was not using patience, and that it takes alot of patience and SLOW, repetitive training to teach a dog. As i explained more, he got pretty upset about it, and asked me the dog's name, etc. He said that he also has struck dogs with the thing they throw for it to chase (god i'm tired and i cant think of the name lol), but not repeatedly until they yelped, but that maybe the dog was so afraid by then that he would yelp easy, since he was already crawling to the guy.
He also said that most training of that type should not be done in public, where ppl who dont understand can see it. Children were even standing and staring. I also believe that training police K9 is a whole different thing than training a dog to retrieve your dead duck, or even to go in competitions. Though i'm sure some of the methods are alike.
I have no problem with pinch collars (i use one on my dog), or electronic training collars, they are a quick correction. And i have head friends comment on the pinch collar, so i'm sure everyone doesnt understand all training types.
At least i know now that the guy was doing wrong, and i wasnt just being overly sensitive for the dog's sake.
I totally agree that the guy at the park was an amateur that was losing his cool and patience with his dog. Applying a correction of any magnitude, be it a simple pop on the lead or something more, requires experience, skill and timing to be done CORRECTLY without killing the dogs drives.
As such, any correction should be applied NEUTRALLY. In other words, the trainer/handler should not correct the dog because they are mad, etc. It should be applied firmly BUT fairly, and with the least amount of correction necessary to accomplish the task.
MOST IMPORTANTLY, once the dog is CORRECT, a tremendous amount of praise and reward should be immediately administered.
Training dogs isn't rocket science. It just takes a LOT of time, patience, understanding and consistency to be effective. Regardless of the method used.
That's heartbreaking to read. I would have called police and animal control on him, jellybean. That was abuse, pure and simple. My neighbor is now doing community work because I saw him beating his rottie with a basebal bat.
Man, it steams me that people do that. GO back to the park, jellybean. Help that poor animal if you see this again. Teke you cell along with the phone # for animal control and police. Hopefully, they will take this poor animal away from him.
Your right about my Golden. The comment on compulsion was meant sarcasticly. When I trained my K9, we were with 10 GSD's. One was appropriately names "psycho" I was begining to think they were just beating the crap out of him, but, damn...he was a hard dog. My arm starts to hurt just thinking about catching him.
Somebody should throw his @$$ in the water and beat him with a retrieving dummy.
I know nothing about water retrievers, but I have obedience trained, and assisted with Shutzhund training. Out of all the dogs I've trained, I never saw a dog need more than a light tug of the choke collar for correction. I did see my boss pick up a giant yellow lab by the collar once but the dog was nearly impossible to train and was trying to bite him prior to his picking it up. (FYI: The dog suffered no injuries from this.)
I have 4 dogs, 3 are obedience trained (one in dutch), and the third one is coming along nicely. All it takes is time, patience, persistence, and compassion. If a dog is afraid of you, you might as well forget it. You have to gain their trust and respect. A dog wants nothing more than to please his master, if he does something wrong you have to correct him. Beating an animal is not an accepted method of correction.
If you ever see this type of abuse again, please report it.
The Road Warrior
"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God." Matthew 5:9