Why did I choose Choke Chain instead of R+ Training?

People often associate with Kobe as a sweet loving boy, who is super friendly with strangers and other animals (Dogs or Cats). But what you guys don’t know is that this sweet loving boy, has a side of aggressiveness thats hard to tame. 9/10 times he snapped at me, often bleeds and leaves a scar. Some people advise that I should assert dominance, Some people advise that I should choose force-free / positive reinforcement. 

Trust me, I did both and shed a fair share of blood during these process. 

We count ourselves lucky because we are aware what triggers Kobe to turn aggressive. So we can manage or prevent any situations that causing him to behave aggressively. EG: Feeding time (Resource guarding); or when Kobe gets tired (Cranky) 

For other owners, there are so many drawbacks in living with and loving aggressive dog. That may include manage feeding time, the arrival of visitors, or seeing other dogs. There’s the constant concern of an incident happening despite your best efforts at prevention. It may be impossible, or at least challenging, to join others for group walks, journeys to the park or to visit family over the holidays. But sometimes the worst part about having an aggressive dog is that other people don’t see the dog you love.

They don’t see the sweet dog who cuddles with you at night 

I strongly believe that most dogs with aggression issues are lovely to be around in most situations, however badly they may behave in others. Many aggressive dogs are not at their best when out in public around strangers or other dogs, but are kind and lovable around the family, including small kids and even the cat. When you have a dog like that, it hurts when other people don’t see the good side of your dog, even though that’s what you see most of the time.

If you have an angel who is all too often an angel in disguise, what do you wish other people could see in your dog that you see every day?

Im thankful that people viewed Kobe as a dog that’s very approachable in public, with humans or other dogs. Today I decided to share this because having Kobe is not all rainbow and sunshines. People often react negatively when they see an aggressive dog. It’s hurtful

Not all dogs are the same. Not all training works for all dogs at every situation faced. Training also depends on human’s lifestyle too. So why did I choose Choke Train old school training, instead of the hype R+ training for Kobe?

Well.. For what I understand. Treats do have their place in training your dog. And if your dog is food motivated, then you can see quick results using treats. But, and that’s a big BUT, treats won’t train your dog around major distractions. Say another dog that wants to play, or the grab food guy ringing the doorbell. Treats can be good for training your dog, but all in moderation. With a Positive Reinforcement Dog Training will be teaching your dog basic commands using treats to lure the behaviour.

There is no correction in Positive Reinforcement Dog Training (aka treat training). If the dog does not perform the command, you can continue to offer the treat or get a higher-value treat. Something tasty and more motivating. Which was I wanted because I never wanted to “abuse” my poor 3-legged dog. He have been through so much during his puppyhood. I just want to give him the best.

But Kobe is an insecure dog who is not treat/food motivated. So how am I supposed to make it work? A trainer advise me to be consistent, be confident! I did. But it still doesn’t work, what should I do? Kobe is zig-zagging his way with his then harness. Getting afraid of every single human that jogs pass him, or a bicycle, almost everything. People were afraid of him too? Wouldn’t you be scare seeing a dog so ‘out of control’? I tried putting a treat on his nose to redirect him, he don’t even bother to sniff it. Did I try? Yes.

So I decided to engage a trainer that uses Choke Chain for Behaviour Training. Did the training work for Kobe? Yes.

In less than 3 days. Kobe was heeling beside me. Sit down when I stop walking. Somehow magically, he was minding his own business while a bicycle passes us in lightning speed, he did not freak out! Did I get stares and comments from passerby? Yes.

“Why are you choking our poor dog? He only has 3 legs! Just let him do what he wants.”

“Why are you treating your dog like this? Its abusive!”

Kobe is happily walking beside me, enjoying the scenery and fresh air without feeling afraid. Choke chain was just a chain hanging on his neck. Its just dangling there. Oh well.. People judge from what they see.

There is a place for treats when training your dog. Treats are especially great for training a puppy.

I only use treat training when:

  1. Potty training a puppy or dog
  2. Treats are a great way to train young puppies (6 months and younger) basic commands. You can use treats to teach him to SIT, DOWN, COME, and do fun tricks such as PAW, BOOP!
  3. Crate training
  4. Occasional treats are great to reinforce any training commands, but should not be used as the only tool.

I believe that positive/treat training has become today’s popular method only because people are afraid to discipline their dogs! And somehow correcting your dog has been twisted into animal cruelty.

Please ask yourself, is it crueler to:

A) Never discipline your dog and allow him to misbehave and do as he pleases whenever he wants, pull on the leash whenever he sees a dog, bark at strangers, etc.

OR

B) Train your dog and correct your dog’s bad behavior one time with a good correction so he learns right from wrong the first time?

Choosing the right training method is very important to you and your dog. You as the owner need to be comfortable with your choice, but keep in mind what you expect from your dog.

Using treats can be fun for you and your dog, but remember that we all need discipline in our lives to be balanced.

9 Comments

  • Jeremy
    Posted November 17, 2020 12:40 pm 0Likes

    Thank you for sharing your input.

  • Eunice Tong
    Posted November 17, 2020 12:45 pm 0Likes

    I paid $300 for Good Canine Citizen Training with a local training school, because as Singapore Special needs to have an obedience cert in order to apply for Project Adore Licensing. Honestly, the treat training is bullish*t. Basically is holding the treats on your palm, asking your fur kids to ‘touch’ to get he/she attention. Using treat as a distraction. Honestly I think that my dog is only interested in the treats, not understanding the command.
    Without treats in my hand, my dog doesn’t care about my command, and when I approach my trainer for advise, she told me to just continue practise, and occasionally train with treats and without, to ‘trick’ my dog in thinking not always you will get a treat.

  • Eunice Tong
    Posted November 17, 2020 12:45 pm 0Likes

    …. come on.. I paid money to learn something that I can read online. Its a total waste of time with treat training in my opinion. It definitely works if your dog loves the treats, but even with slight distraction outdoors, treats will not work. is a 50/50 chance, and is a chance I will not take. If i would have read this article sooner, I will not go for the most popular positive training method in the modern days.
    Theres a reason why ‘old school training’ works, if it works then, it works now. We human made it complicated. Dogs are dogs.

  • yangqing
    Posted November 17, 2020 12:53 pm 0Likes

    I do agree that we need a balance of positive reinforcement and “obey command” training.
    We humans sometimes learn the hard way too. With too much “positive reinforcement” we human takes advantage too, eventually we create “spoilt brats” “self-entitled human beings”

    I think “old school” training has been twisted in all sort of ways of animal abuse. When spca is trying to ban this ban that, they often forget those people that abuse animal for sick reasons. Whereas owners are using “aversive” training methods out of love, they want to ban that, and forget or never even mention about any tighter measures to prevent the REAL animal abuse. Shame on you that supports “force-free” without understanding it first.

  • Jasmine
    Posted November 17, 2020 12:55 pm 0Likes

    My dog is train under R+. But I do experience difficulty recalling my dog in public places, and also stopping her from doing something that I dislike.
    It was as good as it can get while it lasted.
    I am worried about her safety when she’s outside. 🙁

  • xxx
    Posted November 17, 2020 1:04 pm 0Likes

    Yup. I regret just paying money for the sake of apply project adore. Because the training wasn’t beneficial at all. Can be trained by ourselves with youtube. lol

  • Aden
    Posted November 17, 2020 1:10 pm 0Likes

    I usually don’t comment on such article. But I totally agree with the article written here. I feel that Singapore is doing too much false marketing on OVERLY positive training. I am not against positive treat training, I just feel that is a little too OVER positive. Taking treat away from a dog when he/she is not performing, its more emotional tormenting than doing a quick physical sharp correction.

  • Claudia
    Posted November 17, 2020 1:18 pm 0Likes

    Have you ever seen R+ trainer posting training videos of an aggro reactive dog recovering from treat training?
    The answer is No. Because that doesn’t work. Try feeding a treat to an aggro reactive insecure scare dog, bye-bye to your fingers. Oh wait, do you even dare to feed a treat on a dog that’s lunging at you? >:D

  • lokithetoast
    Posted November 21, 2020 10:36 pm 0Likes

    AGREEEED. Purely R+ is not for us. We use a mixture of tools and rewards to reach where we are today. We are not perfect but definitely in a MUCH BETTER PLACE than we were a year ago. The media paints too good a picture of dog ownership that people think R+ is the only ‘correct’ way.

    You do you Kobe!

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