Trainer Tips–Things People do to Dogs that should be Banned: Part 2

6March 2015

As a trainer, I often see many things that people do to their dogs that is not good behavior.  Some of these things make me very sad for the dog, others make me down right angry.  Below is the continued blog of some things that people do to dogs that should NEVER be allowed!

See Also:  Part 1 of Things People do to Dogs that should be Banned.

#5 – Puppy Mills

If you haven’t heard of the puppy mill problem yet, you must be living under a rock.  Thankfully, this horrific and barbaric practice has received a lot of negative attention recently from the media and animal activists.  
responsible breeder will breed usually only one breed type, and will breed for health and temperament.  Responsible breeders usually have no more than 1-3 litters per year.  
puppy mill is basically a place where people breed dogs purely for profit. These people breed multiple dogs in poor conditions.  They pay no attention to health, temperament, or behavior of the dogs they breed.  Most of these dogs have little to no human contact during their lives of breeding, and are generally kept in unclean conditions.  Most times multiple cages are stacked on top of each other where these dogs live out their lives in wire-bottom kennels with no exercise or interaction with others.  
Pets that are sold in most pet stores usually come from a puppy mill.  So do your part to help curb the problem…do NOT buy your new puppy from a pet store.  Instead go to your local shelter or rescue.  If you do have your heart set a certain breed, do your research and find a responsible breeder:  one that breeds for health and temperament.  You should be able to see the puppies with the mom in the space they currently live.  If the breeder is not comfortable showing you this space, that is a big RED FLAG…they are probably a puppy mill/ back-yard breeder.  Do not adopt/buy from a breeder that refuses to let you see the puppies with the mom!
Also see an article by Victoria Stilwell on Puppy Mills.

#6 – Selling Dogs in Pet Stores

Again, most dogs that are SOLD in pet store are breed in a puppy mill.  DO NOT BUY A DOG FROM A PET STORE.  Instead, adopt from your local shelter or rescue.  
More recently, many pet stores have been partnering with their local shelters and rescues to adopt animals out of the store.  This is great!  You are still adopting a pet in need, NOT paying the puppy mill breeder.

#7 – Tethering

Although chaining or tethering your dog can be helpful, it should really only be used for short periods of time.  A dog should NEVER be left tethered while unsupervised!  Dogs can easily be injured or even killed when left tethered and unsupervised.

#8 – Punishment-based Training

As mentioned above, we have learned over the past few years that dogs actually learn faster and retain information longer when taught using positive reinforcement training methods.  Using punishment-based techniques can actually set training back, and create unwanted behaviors, including aggression, and can create a relationship of mistrust between dog and owner.

#9 – Retractable Leashes

This is one of my biggest pet peeves when it comes to dog training.  A retractable or Flexi-leash is made in a way so that there is always tension of the leash.  This leash actually teaches a dog to pull.  Besides being contrary to training, this type of leash is also very dangerous.  I have seen many times a dog take off and hit the end of the leash and either the leash breaks and they keep running (putting themselves in possible danger) or the owner falls down when the dog reaches the end of the leash (causing owner injury).  I also know of someone who actually lost a finer when the leash got wrapped around and the dog took off running.  Very very dangerous, silly tools!
Dogs should be walked a regular 4-6 foot leash (or use a long line for training).