No Choke, No Shock, No Shame!

Aunt Karen uses Reward Based training which relies on praise and rewards such as treats, toys and games to reinforce behaviors that you want while eliminating unwanted behaviors which are not being rewarded. A dog who is rewarded and praised during training will associate positive emotions with training and will enjoy learning. Reward Based or Positive Reinforcement training strengthens the emotional bond with the handler and stimulates a dog’s natural desire to learn.

Aunt Karen’s training method is not based on force or compulsion, adheres to the Humane Hierarchy and follows LIMA (Least Intrusive Minimally Aversive) practice. We do not use aversive punishment. Aversive punishment and threatening behavior will teach your dog to be afraid of you. Training based on physical punishment is not recommended due to the damaging emotional side effects that these methods can cause. Some dangerous side-effects of dominance-based training and the use of aversives, like electronic collars and choke chains, include creating repressed behavior, anxiety and fear in dogs which can cause reactivity and aggressive behavior.

Pleasant and unpleasant events both trigger emotions. In this regard, dogs are just like people. A dog who is scolded and punished during training will learn, by association, that training is unpleasant. Anxiety about discomfort and the possibility of pain can easily become associated with training. Signs of training such as seeing the trainer, the training collar, the leash or other tools will trigger the negative emotions associated with punishment such as stress, fear and anxiety. How your dog may react to those negative emotions will be unpredictable and your dog’s natural enthusiasm for learning may become repressed along with other normal behaviors.

Dog trainers who follow the Humane Hierarchy and LIMA (Least Intrusive Minimally Aversive) protocol use training methods that encourage learning by creating rewarding associations and positive emotional responses. Creating positive emotions and rewarding consequences during training sessions will foster enthusiasm for learning, give your dog opportunities to be a cooperative participant in the training process, and will produce predictable behavior results.

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