People tend to focus on how cute and adorable puppies are.  Many forget just how frustrating adolescence can be.  It is this frustration that leads to them to start puppy training. Unfortunately,  many people lose their patience and resort to punishment or techniques that cause discomfort.

Well-meaning people do not realise that they are potentially setting their puppy up for a life of anxiety and aggression. There are still a large amount of puppy trainers that have not kept up to date with current research. These trainers use negative training which causes pain or discomfort to your puppy. If you find a trainer who uses these techniques, avoid them like the plague!  Otherwise, you will damage your relationship with your puppy and end up with more serious behavioural issues later in life that are difficult or impossible to treat.

Some of the things we highly recommend avoiding are

Shock collars, citronella collars, prong collars, choker chains, sporn harnesses, spray bottles, yelling, smacking, pinching, biting, pinning a puppy down, or yanking on the collar or leash. Basically, anything that your puppy finds uncomfortable.

Consequences of using pain and discomfort to train your puppy

(Borrowed by a well-researched article produced by the Pet Professional Guild)

Infliction of Stress and Pain

Devices or negative techniques present an unknown sensation to the puppy. When not paired with something positive, it is frightening to the puppy, and unpredictable. Studies have indicated that puppies trained in this way show stress signals as they approach the training area.  These same puppies frequently work slowly, deliberately and reluctantly.  Such puppies are experiencing an extremely negative emotional state which, ethical issues aside, is not at all conducive to learning. Additionally, it can regularly causes psychological stress to the puppy, often exhibited by vocalisation, fleeing and complete shut-down. Electronic devices can also cause burns to the skin.


A puppy subjected to negative training  may go into a state of “shut-down,” or a global suppression of behaviour. This is frequently mistaken for a “trained” puppy, as the puppy remains subdued and offers few or no behaviours. Puppies may refuse to perform any behaviour at all and isolate themselves in an attempt to avoid any pain. This is obviously completely counter-productive to the training of any new behaviour and to the welfare of the puppy.

Fear, Anxiety and Aggression

This style of  training has a variety of effects and can cause fear and anxiety, which can have a variety of undesirable effects. Even in situations where the fear of punishment makes an puppy work harder, fear or anxiety can lead to a poorer performance. Another possible consequence is that it can elicit aggression. Using negative training to reduce behaviours such as barking, lunging and growling may suppress signals like these that warn of a more serious behaviour, which may well include biting. Without these behaviours, people and other puppies have no warning before the puppy being subjected to punishment feels forced to bite.

We work with people every day who, unfortunately, had no idea pf the serious effect of these techniques when they did puppy training. Fur Get Me Not only use positive methods and can assist you to either undo the damage that may have been done or train and help you raise a happy puppy that grows up to trust you. Contact us today. 

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