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Without Worry Canine Education only support non-coercive, kind, ethical, relationship centred, reward-based training

Dog training methods range from those using mostly positive punishment and negative reinforcement (aversive-based) to those using primarily positive reinforcement (reward-based). Reward-based training methods have been shown to be more effective than aversive methods and there is a great deal of evidence demonstrating the negative impact of aversive-based methods on companion dog welfare.

“LIMA” is an acronym for the phrase “least intrusive, minimally aversive”. LIMA describes a trainer or behaviour practitioner who uses the least intrusive, minimally aversive strategy out of a set of humane and effective methods in order to achieve the objective with minimal risk of producing aversive side effects. LIMA does not follow do no harm as its core practice and does not mention animal rights or welfare. With this in mind, Without Worry Canine Education issue the following position statement regarding the use of punishment and aversives. Punishment does not teach an alternative to the unwanted behaviour and does not teach dog guardians how to teach alternatives.

Dog training

With Worry Canine Education
Position Statement

Without Worry Canine Education promote interactions with animals based on compassion, respect, kindness, and reward-based training. Aversive methods rely on punishment and negative reinforcement and many studies demonstrate that aversive methods can cause stress in dogs. We fully support the new law that will come into force 1 February 2024 banning the use of shock collars. It is often claimed that electric shock collars are effective in preventing dogs from chasing livestock. However, research demonstrates that use of an electronic collar does not create a greater deterrent, nor does it result in better learning outcomes.

We disagree with the philosophy some organisations support, framed as Least Intrusive Minimally Aversive (LIMA) hierarchies of method selection. We reject the LIMA strategy which still allows behaviour practitioners and trainers to employ aversive methods when less aversive or intrusive methods have not worked. Without Worry Canine Education believe there is no role for aversive training in behaviour modification, training, or any interactions with animals. There are no exceptions to this standard, even for dogs with aggressive behaviours.

There is no place for the use of punishment or aversives in interactions with animals.

References:

de Castro ACV, Barrett J, de Sousa L, Olsson IAS. Carrots versus sticks: The relationship between training methods and dog-owner attachment. Appl Anim Behav Sci. 2019;219:104831.

Deldalle S, Gaunet F. Effects of 2 training methods on stress-related behaviors of the dog (Canis familiaris) and on the dog–owner relationship. J Vet Behav. 2014;9(2):58-65.

Fernandes J, Olsson A, de Castro A. Do aversive-based training methods actually compromise dog welfare?: A literature review. Appl Anim Behav Sci. 2017;196:1-12. 3. 

Friedman, S. (2010, March). What’s Wrong with This Picture? Effectiveness Is Not Enough. APDT Journal.

Herron ME, Shofer FS, Reisner IR. Survey of the use and outcome of confrontational and non-confrontational training methods in client-owned dogs showing undesired behaviors. Appl Anim Behav Sci. 2009;117(12):47-54.

Makowska I. Review of dog training methods: welfare, learning ability, and current standards. https://spca.bc.ca/wp-content/uploads/dog-trainingmethods-review.pdf. Published 2018. Accessed September 1, 2020.

Vieira de Castro, AC, Fuchs D, Munhoz Morello G, Pastur S, de Sousa L, Olsson IAS. Does training method matter? Evidence for the negative impact of aversive-based methods on companion dog welfare. PloS one 2020;15(12): e0225023.

Ziv G. The effects of using aversive training methods in dogs—A review. J Vet Behav Clin Appl Res. 2017;19:50-60. 2. 

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