I was listening to the radio yesterday and heard a story about excuses for being late to work.
The best one was, “I was drunk and forgot which Waffle House I parked my car at.”
That is awesome. I can’t imagine walking into my bosses office and saying, “Sorry boss, I went out last night and got blasted. In fact I was so drunk I went to get some chicken and waffles. Damnest thing happened, I can’t find my car.”
This has to be a joke. I can’t imagine anyone using that as an excuse. And if the waft of the waffles was what impelled me to get myself some waffles, then it was high time I get myself a waffle maker from The Waffle Maker Bay and avoid such mishaps.
You know what else I can’t imagine?
Someone disagreeing with me when it comes to behavior and training.
But someone did yesterday. They disagreed with my method to stop jumping which I shared the other day (if you missed it you can see the video on my blog or YouTube channel.). If you remember, I instructed you to hold your dog’s paws for a few seconds. Here is the email I got from Laurie:
“I have to disagree with this particular training method. The reason? I’m a groomer.
While I agree, this does cure the jumping problem it creates another.
Dogs are very sensitive to their paws, doing this causes an issue when trying to clip the nails of a gsd or a pit or rottie. That makes it very difficult to do my job not to mention chancing a bite.”
First, before anything else. I want to thank Laurie for writing. It takes HUGE courage to write and disagree with The Amazing Dog Training Man and I’m sure her hand was shaking when she hit the send button.
All kidding aside, I’ve heard this argument hundreds of times. And it just does NOT add up. Let me break it down for you.
When you use the technique I showed, you will only grab your dog’s paws three, maybe four times and then never again. Done correctly, your dog will learn this very quickly because you are using (GASP) positive punishment.
I can do this technique and within two minutes have the dog sit and teach shake and give paw with no problems. I’ve done it more times than I can remember.
Laurie would be correct if this was done repeatedly. If the dog’s paws were grabbed day after day with no results the dog may become sensitive about paws being grabbed.
But here’s the deal Sparky.
Anytime you use a negative consequence, STOP doing it if it does NOT work within a few tries. Not every technique works on every dog. This one does work with about 90% of the dogs that I do it to, but if it didn’t I wouldn’t keep doing it.
I would switch to Plan B.
I would also argue that what I do is nothing close to clipping a dog’s nails. You have a much bigger chance developing an issue when you clip nails. I can tell you with 100% accuracy that every grooming shop in the country has Kwik Stop Styptic Powder or some version of it because at some point the dog will probably get his nails cut too close and bleed.
Does the possibility of cutting the dog’s nail too close stop us from ever doing it? Not at all.
This is why you need to be leery of anyone that tells you to never use a negative consequence in your training. Done correctly, you can END behavior problems you’ve been dealing with for a long time.
And yes, it may be a little unpleasant for your dog but so is nail clipping, so is getting vaccinated, so is getting the dog’s entire reproductive system altered during surgery. It amazes me that the “all positive” crowd has no problem inflicting pain when it comes to certain procedures but to stop jumping or other behavior problems, they go out of their minds.
If you’re looking for fast training results you can check out The Dog Training Inner Circle. It’s easy to get started. Here’s where to go NEXT:
P.S. Thanks again to Laurie for writing.